Senate District 35 in Linn Couny includes parts of northern and eastern Cedar Rapids.
Name: Todd Taylor
Residence: Cedar Rapids
Occupation: Union field representative
Education: Bachelor’s in English, Writing Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa, 1988; Bachelor’s in political science, University of Iowa, 1990
What are the three most important issues facing Iowans, and how would you address them?
• Health Care (including insurance affordability and mental health accessibility): We need a safety net for families in need to replace the failed privatization of Medicaid.
• Education (including job creation, pre-K through higher education): Proper funding; job training for assisting non-traditional students or displaced workers; apprenticeship programs and job training in community colleges; this will translate to better opportunities and better wages.
• Protect all private and public pensions especially IPERS (Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System).
Do you believe the state should increase the minimum wage? If yes, to what level?
I believe the state should increase the minimum wage and index it to inflation to keep the issue from becoming a hot-button issue every few years. I am OK with a phase-in of both the increase and the indexing, but it needs to be done.
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Would you vote to roll back the state income tax cuts passed last session? Would you expand them?
State revenue should be used to help seniors stay in their homes longer, keeping property taxes low, expanding access to preschool, K-12 and higher education, funding infrastructure improvements and apprenticeship programs to create opportunities for jobs that pay a decent wage. The tax cuts passed last session take money away from these priorities, so yes, I would roll them back to address the priorities of Iowans, and no, I would not expand them.
Would you vote to end or phase out the property tax “backfill” for local governments?
No. Ending the backfill only forces local governments to raise property taxes that particularly hurt the elderly and those on fixed and limited incomes. The backfill was promised and it needs to be fulfilled. The giant commercial property tax cuts were given to companies that didn’t ask for it, didn’t need it and in some cases didn’t want it. The result was cuts in other areas with the promise of a backfill. It was a tax shift that hurts people and promotes corporations that didn’t even ask for the cut.
Would you vote to ban automated traffic cameras/enforcement devices? If no, would you favor bringing them under state regulation?
I support bringing them under state regulation. Reasonable rules governing their placement and their use must be established. People should have the right to petition their local government to disallow one at one location or to have one, through their petition, public hearing and comment at another location. Additionally, the fines should not be vastly different in Davenport than they are in Council Bluffs, for example.
Would you vote to expand Iowa’s current medical cannabis law? Legalize marijuana?
Yes. The tinkering around the edges that the Legislature has done in the late night hours of the final two legislative sessions serves no good purpose. We need to expand the content of the chemical that soothes the person and expand access under reasonable rules. This is a bipartisan issues that we should be able to succeed with. I am in favor of legalization of medical marijuana.
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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?
I support the Second amendment of the U.S. Constitution and its counterpart in the Iowa Constitution, governing the right to bear arms — we already have this protection. “Constitutional carry” usually implies no further gun regulations can be made, I do not support having “no further gun regulations.” People who have been deemed mentally incompetent or felons who have lost their gun rights would be allowed to possess guns under a constitutional carry law.
Would you support giving counties local control to regulate livestock facilities? Would you favor a moratorium on new large CAFO construction?
A. I am in favor of having statewide standards for regulation of livestock facilities with local control over citing. For example, for protection of the livestock industry and for the health and well-being of our citizens, we can and should have sensible regulations on the size of the operation and waste and waste runoff to protect air quality and water quality. When we do that and neglect the local decision making over specifically “where” a facility can be made, we are doing a disservice. B. Yes
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?
Funding of public education should be a state priority. The lack of adequate funding over the past several years has caused Iowa to slip in national rankings. Our lack of funding has had the effect of increasing class size and cuts into graduation rates and the success of our teachers efforts. I strongly support SAVE sales tax for school infrastructure. If we promise to use the money for school infrastructure, people understand and support that idea. Yes.
Would you expand or repeal Iowa’s law barring doctors from performing an abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected?