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Tony Exum, Democrat (Incumbent)

Campaign Website: tonyexum.com

Twitter: @tonyexum

Education: Palmer High School; University of Southern Colorado, BS in Social Science

Experience: Current State House Representative, HD 17; Retired Battalion Chief, Colorado Springs FD; Youth Basketball Official for over 40 years

What are your priorities for the state budget for 2019-20?

It’s critical that the legislature balances the state budget as required by the Colorado Constitution. Funding can then be divided among our various priorities, including education, infrastructure, and healthcare.

Do you support the so-called “red flag bill,” which was proposed in the 2018 session and will likely be re-introduced in the 2019 session? Why or why not? (The bill, which will likely be introduced again in the next session, would have allowed law enforcement or family members to legally remove firearms from mentally ill people deemed a threat to themselves or others.)

In order to protect the rights provided to us by the Second Amendment, we need to find responsible ways of addressing the issue of gun violence. This was a bi-partisan bill supported by Republicans such as Attorney General candidate George Brauchler and Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock. The best way we can address gun violence, including violence against our police officers, while honoring the rights of responsible gun owners, is through bills such as this that address mental health. The bill also protects the right to due process, requiring a court order before any action is taken.

Do you think there’s a need to increase state funding for transportation projects? If so, how would you propose accomplishing this?

Last session, I was a cosponsor of the bipartisan transportation bill that goes beyond fixing roads and bridges, to expand transportation choices for people in Colorado Springs. I think it’s important to see how that comes to fruition, and from there we can reevaluate on what infrastructure sectors need more funding.

Kit Roupe, Republican

Campaign Website: kitroupe.com

Twitter: @KitRoupe

Campaign Facebook Page: facebook.com/kitroupehd17

Education: Masters, Public Administration; BSBA, Organization Management; specialized education in environment assessments, land use planning, and historic preservation (1991 – 2011)

Experience: State representative 2015 – 2016; Rocky Mountain Health Cares Board of Directors, 2017; Eastlake High School Charter School, 2018 project; Citizens Advisory Committees with PPACG and PPRTA

What are your priorities for the state budget for 2019-20?

Transportation and infrastructure

Education

Health Care

At risk adults, seniors and developmentally disabled

Workforce development

Do you support the so-called “red flag bill,” which was proposed in the 2018 session and will likely be re-introduced in the 2019 session? Why or why not?

I did not support the original, 2018 bill simply because it violated the US Constitution, 4th Amendment and the right for due process. Mental health concerns are among my priorities, but it is unclear how the person’s mental fitness is determined based on the brief synopsis provided herein. I will remain open minded as to what the bill contains, its intent and hope to work with the bill authors. I will oppose any violation of the Constitution.

Do you think there’s a need to increase state funding for transportation projects? If so, how would you propose accomplishing this?

Yes. Infrastructure, which includes transportation, is a fundamental responsibility of government. With more efficient cars, our gasoline tax is not cutting it, nor is the 2010 FASTER taxes on vehicle registrations. The infrastructure backlog and concerns have been growing ever since. Except for FASTER, the State Legislature has been unable to effectively address our transportation funding crisis. Hence, we have the ballot initiatives. At the legislature, the challenge has been finding common ground. We often get into the details that are addressed in our community processes. I believe we should dedicate a percentage of the state budget for transportation projects and let the transportation planning process, which is a grassroots and up process, address the details. The outcome of the ballot initiatives will likely affect the seriousness the legislature puts on transportation funding. As I said, transportation is a fundamental responsibility of government, and I will work to uphold that responsibility.

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