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Beth Hart, Democrat

Campaign Facebook Page: facebook.com/Hart4SD2

Education: community college and courses with emphasis on HTML and web design

Experience: electrician and small-business owner since 1999; past president and executive director of Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association; collaborated and administrated the Governor’s Energy Office solar program

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

Keeping the budget balanced, cutting out waste, trimming administration and spend dollars effectively. The budget pie is healthcare 31 percent, education 26 percent, pensions 18 percent, welfare/transportation/other spending 5 percent, protection 4 percent, and finally general Gov/interest 3 percent. I am concerned in regards to TABOR and Gallagher amendment, both tax limits passed more than 20 years ago. These old laws, among many others, need to be reviewed. I believe thoughtful and fiscally responsible ideas need to be presented to Colorado voters.

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.)

Yes, and I believe it will likely be re-introduced. The poll by Keating Research with 81% in favor, gives a strong indication this is not the end of the debate. Whether rural or urban, constituents see this type of oversight as a positive step towards abating the violence before it starts. Colorado has heavily felt the aftermath of shootings. When a person is suicidal, an involuntary commitment can be placed on an individuals in a psychiatric ward (or similar facility) without their consent. It is sometimes necessary in order to prevent imminent danger of the person harming themselves or others. It ensures appropriate treatment is administered. I believe this is the intention of Red Flag Bill.

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

Yes. According to CDOT 2016 annual report, there is an estimated deficit of $25 billion over the next 25 years from the low 22 cent per gallon gas tax, which helps fund projects and has not been increased since 1991. SB1 Transportation Funding bill in the 2018 session passed with bond offerings. Colorado is spending less on roads today than 10 years ago when adjusted for inflation. To increase funding the measure will to go to the voters. I support a fiscally responsible referendum to voters. I also support maximizing federal funding and grants, creating eligible projects to attract private investment, public-private partnerships and building on innovative financing, including a pilot “vehicle miles travel fee” replacing the motor vehicle fuel tax and weight mile tax replacing fuel tax.

Dennis Hisey, Republican

Campaign Website: dennishisey.com

Email: Dennis Hisey2@gmail.com

Education: Oral Roberts University; Oregon State University

Experience: El Paso County Commissioner from 2005 to 2017, Chairman 6 years; Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments and Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority board member from 2005 to 2017; previously served on executive boards for organizations including Colorado Counties Inc. and Pikes Peak Regional Building Department

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

Transportation is my number one budget priority. Progress was made in 2018. The dependence on state highways in the five county Senate District 2 makes it both a local and state-wide issue. Education funding remains vital; again, progress was made in 2018, but rural schools face unique budget challenges including student transportation and teacher attraction/retention. Student safety will likely involve capital improvements requiring additional funding to assure a safe and secure learning environment. Increased enforcement on eradicating illegal drug activity will need supplemental funding, and the time has come to fund long range planning for increased water storage in Colorado.

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 do not support the “red flag bill” (HB18-1436). The 4th Amendment guarantees our right against unreasonable search and seizure, it guarantees due process. The red flag bill would just continue the long list of erosions of our constitutional rights which we must be diligent to protect. We don’t want to wake up one morning and wonder what happened to our unalienable rights. In addition, in speaking to law enforcement, there are existing laws and procedures in place to deal with much of what HB 1436 was trying to accomplish.

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

Emphatic Yes. State roads are a state responsibility, CDOT cannot expect rural counties and towns to bring millions of dollars to the table the way urban areas have to move up the time table or kick start a state transportation project. Senate Bill 1 made progress in transportation funding this past year, but ensuring additional and continued funding for transportation will require a long-term commitment. Payment on new bonds and additional transportation funds need to come from prioritizing additional general fund money, not by moving existing maintenance money to capital projects. — If you build it you have to maintain it.

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