House District 69 is in southwestern Linn County, including Fairfax, Walford and part of southern Cedar Rapids.
Name: Kirsten Running-Marquardt (incumbent)
Residence: Cedar Rapids
Occupation: State representative
Education: Cedar Rapids LaSalle High School graduate; Kirkwood Community College; bachelor’s in political science, University of Iowa
What are the three most important issues facing Iowans, and how would you address them?
• Iowa needs to grow our skilled workforce by expanding training in shortage areas, work with the underemployed and build collaborations with union apprenticeship programs, high schools and colleges.
• Our public schools need to be a priority again. Our kids deserve quality and affordable educational opportunities.
• Our health care system is broken. We must cover pre-existing conditions and end Gov. Kim Reynold’s Medicaid privatization scam with the managed care organizations that deny care and put profits before people.
Do you believe the state should increase the minimum wage? If yes, to what level?
Iowa should raise the minimum wage. Currently, Iowans who work full time at minimum wage make $15,080. This is below the poverty line and puts many Iowans in situations where they need and qualify for government assistance even while working several jobs. An increase to $10.10 is fair. Of the 306,000 Iowans who make minimum wage, a majority are women and more than 77 percent are over age of 20. Iowa can raise the minimum wage and have economic growth similar to other states that raised their minimum wage.
Would you vote to roll back the state income tax cuts passed last session? Would you expand them?
The unbalanced income tax cuts that were passed last session need a major overhaul. Hardworking Iowans deserve targeted tax cuts for things like child care, small businesses, home-ownership and an increase to the Earned Income Tax Credit. The bill also included cuts in corporate tax rates that add up to $483 million in new corporate tax giveaways. The Tax Expenditure Review Committee needs to review all tax incentives and credits and give evidence-based recommendations back to the Legislature.
Would you vote to end or phase out the property tax “backfill” for local governments?
If the property tax backfill is phased out completely it would force local governments to increase the tax burden to homeowners and farmers. When the Legislature decided to reduce commercial and industrial property taxes, the backfill was to protect homeowners from increased tax burden. To take the rug out from under local governments now would be an unfair burden to regular Iowans. Property taxes for homeowners are high enough.
Would you vote to ban automated traffic cameras/enforcement devices? If no, would you favor bringing them under state regulation?
I am not a fan of the traffic cameras and their potential abuse of privacy but there is no disputing the lives saved and accidents avoided because of their presence. That is why I support a bipartisan plan that would have put strict regulations on traffic camera placement and revenues.
Would you vote to expand Iowa’s current medical cannabis law? Legalize marijuana?
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I strongly support the expansion of Iowa’s current medical cannabis law. The current law, which I worked hard on in a bipartisan manner, was only a start and needs improvement. Needed changes include allowing Medical professionals to make decisions on eligible illnesses (without discrimination on past mistakes) and allowing the THC levels to be adjusted as prescribed. My priority is to have a sound policy for medical cannabis in place before I begin to look at fully legalizing cannabis.
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?
I’ve voted yes to add the same Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to the Iowa Constitution. I did not support the Republican amendment that applies “strict scrutiny” to gun rights, putting those rights above all other rights. Recently, Iowa passed some of the most expansive gun bills in the country, and we now have fix the problems those changes created. We need to work together on solutions to gun violence and mass shootings like background checks and other evidence-based public safety policies.
Would you support giving counties local control to regulate livestock facilities? Would you favor a moratorium on new large CAFO construction?
I support giving counties more local control to regulate livestock facilities. This should be a balanced relationship with the state giving counties more oversight ability besides providing comment. I am open to looking at changes to the Master Matrix and permitting process, but only if those changes include fairness for our localities, residents, water quality concerns and farmers. We should also review the burden of proof that lies solely with the Department of Natural Resources when there is an issue.
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 can balance the budget and make public education a priority. Our economic future depends on investments in our children. I support the SAVE sales tax for school infrastructure. It has been important in the maintenance of structures, safety and creating a modern learning environment. We should also look at an easier way to trigger a vote by the public by petition normally, and if SAVE dollars are used for a plan that included new schools while closing several operational school buildings.
Would you expand or repeal Iowa’s law barring doctors from performing an abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected?
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The new law is unconstitutional. Difficult and private decisions should be made by individuals in consultation with their doctors and their families, and not by politicians in Des Moines. I would like to see the number of abortions continually drop, but this happens through education and access to affordable birth control and not through the continued attempts by Republicans to destroy opportunities for health education, access to affordable birth control and women’s basic rights.