|Job description||There are 150 representatives in the state House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Texas state legislature. Term is two years.|
|Duties||Writes and votes on state laws.
Proposes state constitutional amendments that are voted on by statewide ballot.
Votes to uphold or overturn a Governor’s veto.
All bills to increase taxes, appropriate funds, or raise revenue must start in the House.
The House can bring impeachment charges against statewide office holders (charges are tried in the Senate).
|Annual salary||$7,200/yr; $190/day when legislature in session|
PO Box 77266, Fort Worth, TX 76177
|Matt Krause (incumbent)|
Note: Candidate answers are shown alphabetically by last name.
What is your current occupation? Educational background?
Nancy Bean: Counselor for Special Needs Students with Arlington ISD.
Master of Arts in Counseling, West Texas A&M, Canyon, TX
Master of Divinity with emphasis in Pastoral Care, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY
Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Relations with majors in Early Childhood Education, Psychology, and Sociology
Nisha Mathews: Business Consultant/Radio Jockey
MBA, Univ of Dallas and Bachelor’s in Economics, Univ of Texas at Arlington
What experience makes you the best-qualified candidate for this office?
Nancy Bean: I have devoted my life to fighting for justice for my neighbor: as an educator and as a community organizer through organizations such as Faith in Texas, Friends of Justice (for which I am a founding board member), Amnesty International, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Mobilization for Survival, and local congregations. And I have the scars to prove it.
Nisha Mathews: I bring a diverse background and a new perspective on solving issues to create positive change.
What percentage of your campaign donations comes from individuals? What percentage comes from PACs?
Nancy Bean: To date I have received a single donation of $3400 from a local Democratic Club PAC. The remainder is from individuals. Currently this makes approximately 25% from that PAC and 75% from individuals. I expect the percentage of PAC to individuals to remain about the same or become lower in the coming months.
Nisha Mathews: 100 % Individual / 0% PAC
If elected, what would be the first piece of legislation you would propose?
Nancy Bean: I will sponsor or co-sponsor legislation to accept Federal monies for the expansion of Medicaid. Other legislation I will immediately sponsor or co-sponsor include equitable funding of public education and increase of minimum wages.
Nisha Mathews: While there are many issues that concern HD93 voters such as lack of equal opportunity in education and work, lack of affordable healthcare, need for a robust public transit system, and a much-needed property tax reform, we need to work to ensure that our elected officials are accountable to their constituents. One of my immediate areas of focus will be Campaign Finance Reform. I’m tired of the corruption and the mockery the current officials have made of us.
SB4, the sanctuary cities bill that targets our immigrant communities, is the law in Texas but is currently in the courts. If elected, how would you deal with this complex issue?
Nancy Bean: I will join with other legislators of good faith to overturn the bills that target our immigrant communities and introduce legislation that creates safe spaces for immigrants such as schools, WIC offices, medical establishments, etc.
Nisha Mathews: SB4 asks that local law enforcement take actions against immigrants which is out of scope for local law enforcement regular duties. SB4 places an undue burden on our local law enforcement agency and restricts them from providing full service to people in emergency situations. This bill creates nothing but distrust and anxiety for everyone.
Over half of the average property tax bill goes towards funding our public schools, which are already suffering from a lack of funding. How do you approach property tax relief vs. public education needs?
Nancy Bean: Rising property taxes are directly related to the legislature’s refusal to fund public education in the state budget. I will work to make full and equitable funding of education a priority in the legislature. Equitable funding would fund districts with fewer resources and higher needs at a higher rate and those with high property values and rich resources at a lower rate. I will also work to introduce progressive property taxation rates so that low and middle income property owners are protected from high rates. And finally I would attempt to discourage the unnecessary and ineffective use of tax abatements for luring industry.
Nisha Mathews: We need proper allocation of property taxes to ensure that our public schools are funded before funds are diverted to other areas. Lowering property taxes can be very tricky as it provides funding for our schools and at the same time, we are witnessing a deteriorating education system. Higher property taxes are detrimental to our residential areas. We need to reassess both residential and commercial taxes to create a balanced and fair system. Neither individuals nor businesses should have to carry the entire burden of providing adequate funding for programs and services. Currently, our funds aren’t properly allocated to satisfy their educational needs. I will work to ensure that we have adequate funding for our schools while also keeping our property taxes from rising. This is extremely important that we immediately sort this out as our children’s futures are affected by this every day.
In recent years, scores of women’s health clinics have been closed throughout the state, resulting in millions of Texans lacking access to health care and a shamefully high maternal mortality rate. How would you address the problem of access to healthcare that now confronts Texans, especially women?
Nancy Bean: Healthcare access is most effectively and efficiently addressed in a universal system–where ALL Texans were covered in a single-payer plan. Expanding Medicaid would immediately put many of the floundering rural hospitals and clinics back in business and would eventually reopen many already closed due to funding. The targeting of women’s healthcare requires an overhaul of the legislature in order to reverse the ideological trend back towards a patriarchal misogyny. Removing the profit motive from illness combined with changing the legislative balance with more women, will allow Texas to provide increased access, especially to women. Medical decisions should be made by Texans and their physicians and NOT by politicians and CEOs.
Nisha Mathews: Healthcare is a right not just for privileged few. Universal healthcare would be the way to go but given our political landscape, implementing universal healthcare is a long-term goal. We need to focus on improving our current healthcare system to address the immediate needs of our community. We need to partner with our medical community to open more clinics and also make sure that we provide access to maternal care, mental health, and treatments for other illnesses. I come from a family of educators, nurses, and doctors and have heard many sad stories that individuals face because of the cost of healthcare services and medical supply. My mother has worked as a Registered Nurse for over 40 years and witnessed the lack the efficiency in medical services. Our current healthcare system needs to be revamped because healthy people with minor illnesses go to get treatment and come out with infections. I will work with the medical community to ensure access to quality affordable healthcare for everyone.
Should Texas participate in the Medicaid expansion system and why?
Nancy Bean: Texas should participate in any expansion of Medicaid and that will be my first legislative priority. This would immediately provide more than a million Texans with health care in a state with over five million uninsured. However, my ultimate goal in Health Care Expansion is a universal, single-payer system accomplished most efficiently by expanding and improving Medicare as a universal health plan with infrastructure already intact and already operating at the low 3% overhead price.
Nisha Mathews: Yes, because healthy individuals are productive and contribute to our society. In a country where cost of living is rapidly increasing whiles wages are stagnant, we have to tailor our services to support everyone. People get sick and need treatment regardless of their level of income. Healthcare is a right not a privilege.