House District 69 in southwestern Linn County, including Fairfax, Walford and part of southern Cedar Rapids.
Name: Joshua Henderson
Party: No party
Residence: Cedar Rapids
Education: Bachelor’s in criminal justice, emphasis in homeland security
What are the three most important issues facing Iowans, and how would you address them?
• Mental health: Bring laws current with mental health commitment laws, increase standards to include amount of beds, incentive programs for college students within the perspective field to stay in Iowa.
• Criminal justice reform: Decriminalize recreational amount of marijuana, increase the prosecution rate and severity of gun crimes, bail based on income/assets depending on criminal act.
• Education: Equally funding (statistics from previous years).
Do you believe the state should increase the minimum wage? If yes, to what level?
Increase minimum wage to $8.25 over the next two years. Monitor all areas and releasing all positive and negative effects of the increase of the minimum wage. Many of these smaller companies with 10 or fewer individuals working are paying their employees $10 an hour or more, and yet some of these other companies are paying the minimum. Why? What are they doing differently to survive?
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Would you vote to roll back the state income tax cuts passed last session? Would you expand them?
As more data comes out and shows that one way we as a whole state are hurting ourselves because of this then, yes, I would have no issues rolling them back a little. Only to where we can still pay the things that we need to pay and still be able to let the people keep more of the money that they earn. If the data proves that we are fine and we have more, then we should be expanding that and ensuring that the people get to keep the money that they earn.
Would you vote to end or phase out the property tax “backfill” for local governments?
As I believe that if a previous administration had created something that wouldn’t hurt but benefit the collective, I would hold them to their word. I would phase it out.
Would you vote to ban automated traffic cameras/enforcement devices? If no, would you favor bringing them under state regulation?
More needs to be done with these. Such as actually taking a picture of the driver as well as the vehicle and bringing that driver to court. The state should bring these under their regulation and allow the local communities vote how they would like the money to be used within their own community.
Would you vote to expand Iowa’s current medical cannabis law? Legalize marijuana?
Expand. Definitely expand on the medical cannabis law. However, before expanding I would strike the section that has to do with felons not being allowed access to medical cannabis. Republicans and Democrats alike have passed this bill, but yet are excluding people that have paid their debt to society. These people will or already need access to this and now they are saying no to certain people. I would be for legalizing marijuana and utilizing the tax revenue for our schools (K-12 and colleges).
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Should Iowa amend the state Constitution to protect the right to bear arms beyond current language? Would you support a “constitutional carry” change to Iowa’s firearm permit system that would significantly expand gun rights?
The U.S. Constitution has already put that in stone, and no state will be able to take that away. After getting out of the Marines for 12 years, I applied, waited and received my concealed weapons permit. I am an avid hunter and gun owner, but I am always first and foremost a father. In the Marines, we preach safety all the time. Before we go to a constitutional carry, how about we go back to teaching respect, qualifying, disassembly/assembly and weapons care.
Would you support giving counties local control to regulate livestock facilities? Would you favor a moratorium on new large CAFO construction?
Both state and local counties should be working together in this area. They shouldn’t be excluding one party, whether it be local or state entities. This is an area in which we as a state receive revenue, and we as a people need to work together. I am open to many new ideas as long as the impact is more positive than negative.
What are your thoughts on increasing funding for public education? Would you vote to extend 1-cent SAVE sales tax for school infrastructure until 2049?
We should increase funding for public education. We need to start priding ourselves again in our education and investing in our kids just as we expect them to invest in themselves. I would vote to extend it past 2049 if the tax went to the actual schools infrastructure and nothing else. If the schools need more money for things such as athletic facilities or gym equipment — anything other than educational facilities — then it shouldn’t come from the infrastructure funding at all.
Would you expand or repeal Iowa’s law barring doctors from performing an abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected?
Repeal. How many children are in the system waiting to be adopted? In recent news stories how many children are being abused, murdered, neglected, dismembered by their parents? It is not my body nor is it the states body to decide whether or not they can have an abortion. However, abortions should not be utilized as a form of birth control.