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Meet the candidates: Senate District 10

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Posted at 1:36 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 15:36:59-04

Colorado ballots have been mailed out and Election Day is coming up real soon.

News5 is helping you prepare for Election 2020 with guides to find out what's on the ballot, what it means to you, and where to deliver your ballot across the region. Click here for our Election Guide.

Senate District 10 is currently represented by Owen Hill (R-Colorado) for northern El Paso County. Hill is term-limited, having served for two, 4-year terms, and cannot seek reelection.

Senate District 10 area

The candidates in this upcoming General Election for Senate District 10 are Larry G. Liston (Republican), Randi McCallian (Democratic), and Heather Johnson (Libertarian).

We sent out a questionnaire to the candidates regarding the recovery of COVID-19 economic impacts, legislation they hope to introduce and what they think should be done to help fund our schools. Here are the responses:

Larry G. Liston

Q: How should the General Assembly work to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19?

A: The General Assembly should keep taxes and fee increases to a minimum. We should be business friendly and NOT put more rules and regulations on businesses and let the Free market economy work the way it is intended.in this day and age of increased scrutiny on our men and women in blue.

Q: If elected, what is one piece of legislation you hope to introduce and why?

A: I think it would be a good idea for all sheriff’s in our counties to be P.O.S.T. Certified before they are elected. Currently sheriffs in Colorado do NOT have to be POST certified when elected. This will raise the standards for law enforcement and our people will have better trained and highly qualified sheriff’s in Colorado.

Q: School funding has become a topic of discussion in recent years- what do you think needs to be done to fund our schools?

A: It needs to be less reliant on property taxes and devise a better and new funding mechanism. Also reduce the administrative staff throughout school districts. Also consider combing some school districts, we have way too many school districts in our state; currently at 170 or more.

Randi McCallian

Q: How should the General Assembly work to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19?

A: We must address the pitfalls and inadequacies of our tax codes in Colorado. The Gallagher Amendment, TABOR, and our flat income tax rate have created a situation where Colorado has no emergency savings and is unable to invest in our people in a crisis. We need to keep people in their homes, because having a safe place to live is critical for our health and ability to work. We also need to protect worker's rights to care for themselves or family members when ill, without fear of losing their job. This year's troubles, the Pandemic, our record-setting year of fires, need to be taken very seriously. I strongly believe we need to invest in careers in renewable energy, green infrastructure (such as high-speed rail), and protecting and regenerating Colorado's forests and agricultural land; careers in these areas will help Coloradans make the economy strong, again.

Q: If elected, what is one piece of legislation you hope to introduce and why?

A: Our maternal and infant mortality rates in Colorado, and the nation, are far too high - especially when there's plenty that can be done to prevent many of these deaths. Black mothers and infants die 2-4x more than their white peers, and this is due to factors from systemic and institutionalized racism. Midwives provide excellent prenatal, birth, and postpartum care, and they cost significantly less. I will introduce policy to increase access to midwives and birth centers in Colorado, to improve birth outcomes and safely decrease the cost burden on families and the healthcare system.

Q: School funding has become a topic of discussion in recent years- what do you think needs to be done to fund our schools?

A: We need to address where the money that funds our schools, comes from. At this time, residential property taxes fund schools, but due to the Gallagher Amendment, funding for education has decreased as the residential property tax rate has been forced down, (commercial property taxes have gone up because of this, making small businesses suffer). Additionally, archaic tax codes lead to differences in school funding across various districts, leaving some students without the resources and education they need to reach their full potential. I value every child's right to high quality public education and I believe our children are worth the fight. We also need Universal Broadband.

Heather Johnson

Q: How should the General Assembly work to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19?

A: The General Assembly needs to get out of the way in order for the economy to recover. Repeal unnecessary regulations and lower taxes that way businesses will have an easier time running.

Q: If elected, what is one piece of legislation you hope to introduce and why?

A: I would introduce legislation for civil asset forfeiture to include a conviction as well. Yes! We require clear and convincing evidence in this state but including a conviction of a crime would take it a step further.

Q: School funding has become a topic of discussion in recent years- what do you think needs to be done to fund our schools?

A: The current Marijuana Bill needs to be rewritten in a way that school districts can use the generated funds as needed instead of the current stipulations in the Bill.

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