Senator Reginald L. Thomas 2017 Legislative Session Questionnaire

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Dear Friend,

When the Kentucky General Assembly convenes on January 3, 2017, legislators will be making decisions about public policy that affects you and your family. As your State Senator, I value your opinion and want your input on some issues that may be addressed in the 2017 Session. Please take a few minutes to answer these questions and share your concerns. To help me prepare for the upcoming session, I would like to have your responses by Tuesday, December 27, 2016.

To answer the questionnaire by e-mail, click “reply.”  To select your answers, place an “X” next to your choice. To submit your answers, click “send.” (You may also mail or fax the completed questionnaire to the addresses located at the bottom of this questionnaire.)

Thank you.

1. During the 2016 Regular Session, the Kentucky General Assembly passed legislation to allow Kentuckians convicted of low-level non-violent felonies to ask the court to permanently expunge their records five years after they have completed their sentence or probation. The filing fee for an application to have records expunged was set at $500. Do you support legislation to reduce the filing fee for felony expungement from $500 to $200?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

2. Do you support creating a Crime Victim’s Bill of Rights through a constitutional amendment? The projections for crime victims would include the right to be notified of court hearings, the punishment, and the release date for the perpetrator.

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

3. Do you support bringing Kentucky drivers’ licenses and other identity cards into compliance with the federal REAL ID initiative? Without compliant IDs or an alternative ID, such as a passport or military ID, Kentuckians will have future trouble flying on commercial airlines or may face other restrictions after a federally mandated deadline passes.?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

4. Should a person be found guilty of unlawful storage of a firearm when he or she recklessly stores a firearm in a manner that allows a minor to have access to a firearm that is not secured by a trigger lock, and the minor, without legal justification, accesses the firearm?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

5. Kentucky does not require voters to show photo ID. Identification can be proven by personal acquaintance with a poll worker, a social security card, or credit card.  All voters sign the precinct list of voters. Should Kentuckians also be required to show photo ID to vote?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

6. Do you support re-establishing a program for kinship care to provide a more permanent placement with a qualified relative for a child who would otherwise be placed in foster care due to abuse, neglect, or death of both parents?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

7. Currently nurse practitioners are allowed to prescribe controlled substances but physician assistants are not. Do you support allowing physician assistants to prescribe controlled substances?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

8. Should killing a police officer be a hate crime?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

9. Currently, the State Medical Examiner is keeping records of all arrest-related deaths voluntarily but the office is not required to do so. Do you support requiring record keeping on all arrest-related deaths?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

10. Breastfeeding has many benefits to infants and families, including providing the ideal nutrients needed by infants. Should the General Assembly require employers to provide time and space for mothers to express their milk?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

11. Do you support establishing an independent panel of medical experts to review claims of medical malpractice before a lawsuit can be brought in circuit court?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

12. Do you favor requiring doctors to show a woman an ultrasound image of her fetus and explain how it is developing before performing an abortion?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

13. Should students be required to use the restroom and other facilities, such as locker rooms and shower rooms, based on their “biological sex”?

       Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

14. Should students be permitted to use the restroom and other facilities, such as locker rooms and shower rooms, based on the gender with which they identify?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

15. There has been research showing that marijuana has positive medical benefits for patients dealing with illnesses like cancer, multiple sclerosis, and AIDS. Do you support legislation that would make marijuana a Schedule II drug thus legal for doctors to prescribe?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

16. As other states legalize and realize the benefits of taxation and licensure, should Kentucky consider legalizing marijuana as a source of income?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

17. Do you support raising the state minimum wage

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

18. Do you support participation in a public school interscholastic extracurricular activity by a home school student?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

19. Despite many changes in our revenue needs and the fundamentals of our economy, our current tax system has been mostly unchanged since the 1950s. Would you support reforms to modernize our tax code if it also generated additional revenue?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

20. If tax modernization requires a change in the state’s sales or income taxes, would you support expanding the base to include services (such as dry cleaning and physician fees) rather than increasing sales or income tax rates?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

21. Should the General Assembly enact legislation amending the Kentucky Constitution to allow local governments to impose a local option sales tax?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

22. To improve access to the polls by members of our military, do you favor allowing military voters to return their completed ballots via e-mail?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

23. Do you support a statewide smoking ban in public places?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

24. Do you support drug screening or testing for public assistance applicants and/or recipients?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

25. Would you support legislation that would set a cap on the amount you could receive for non-economic damages (pain and suffering) for injuries incurred due to the negligence of a healthcare provider?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

26. Do you favor allowing the people of Kentucky to vote on a constitutional amendment concerning expanded gaming in Kentucky?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

27. Do you support legislation that would permit public money to be used for public charter schools that would be granted special permits to operate outside usual state regulations?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

28. Do you support legislation that would permit public money to be used for private and parochial charter schools?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

29. Kentucky government entities, including schools, are required to pay a “prevailing wage” for major construction projects. This usually equates to workers being paid at or near union-level wages. Opponents say it just increases costs; supporters say it guarantees both union and non-union workers a living wage. Should the General Assembly abolish the prevailing wage law?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

30. Once a majority of a group of workers votes to join a labor union, all are granted union wages and benefits.  Under “Right to Work” legislation, all members of the group continue to receive union benefits and wages, but none are required to pay dues or an agency fee for their fair representation by the union.  Should the General Assembly address “Right to Work” legislation during the upcoming legislative session?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

31. Many Kentuckians get into a debt trap by misusing payday lending services.  Do you support capping the interest rates these lenders can charge and imposing penalties for violating the caps?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

32. Do you support legislation that bans talking on a cell phone while driving?

Yes ______              No ______              Unsure ______

34. What do you feel is the most pressing issue facing the Commonwealth?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

35. How should the Kentucky General Assembly address this issue?   ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for taking your time to complete this questionnaire. Please feel free to share a copy with other constituents in the 13th senatorial district who would like to share their thoughts. I am always grateful for input from the citizens I serve in Frankfort. If you are not already receiving my legislative updates, please share your e-mail address below so we can stay in touch.

Best Wishes, Reggie

Name: _____________________________________________________________________

Email: _____________________________________________________________________ 

To submit your answers:

Fax:      (502) 564-9536

Mail:    255 Capitol Annex Building

702 Capitol Avenue, Frankfort, KY 40601

E-mail: reginald.thomas@lrc.ky.gov

In the photo above, I am shown receiving the Citizen of the Year Award from the Kentucky Nurses Association (KNA) for my consistent effort to make it a requirement that all elementary and secondary public schools in Kentucky have a school nurse. I was especially honored to accept the award because this was the first time in several years that KNA has given the award. I appreciate the honor and thank all the nurses across Kentucky for the work that they do.

*****

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