Sunday, May 22, 2016

State House Candidates Hilton and Lowe Answer the PCBC's Questions

The Peachtree Corners Ballot Committee submitted questions to the candidates for state
Jay Lowe
Scott Hilton
house district 95 Scott Hilton and Jay Lowe.  The unedited responses to each question are listed below exactly as the candidates submitted them.  The election is Tuesday May 24th.

1. What is your position on Campus Carry laws?

Hilton - When elected, I will support the campus carry bill passed this past session. I do not believe that our Constitutional rights end once you step foot on a college campus. The legislation which passed last session addressed many concerns that opponents had of the bill.  Only those who were over 21 years old with a weapons carry permit would be allowed to carry on campus, and firearms would be banned from fraternities and sororities, dorms, sporting events, etc. I would join with legislative leaders and the Governor in reaching a compromise that would keep students safe on campus and maintain our Constitutional rights.

Lowe - I support it. I am disappointed in Governor Deal's veto and he is wrong. Our students have 2nd amendment rights just as any of us and it should not end on campus. Students (over 21) who have concealed weapons permits should be allowed to protect themselves and others.  As a father I feel my children should have that right.

2. What is your position on Religious Freedom laws (i.e., the Christian baker refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding, etc)

Lowe - I do not believe the government should be used as a tool to discriminate against people of faith. 

Hilton - My position has been consistent since the beginning of this race - I would have supported the religious liberty legislation passed by the General Assembly this year. I believe religious liberties must be protected while ensuring that absolutely no one is a victim of discrimination. I would be supportive of taking up the Pastor Protection legislation that was originally proposed that would prevent pastors and religious organizations from being forced to perform services and religious ceremonies when it compromises their faith. This piece of legislation enjoyed wide public support and likely would receive the Governor’s signature.  While religious liberty is a very important issue.  My focus as your State Representative will be on growing our economy, improving education and addressing transportation.

3. What is your position on transgender bathroom laws?

Hilton - First, the recent mandate from the Obama Administration is an example of federal overreach at its worst. The federal government has no place in this issue and should not be forcing our schools to allow members of the opposite sex to use a bathroom or locker room if they claim to be transgender.  Second, as a public servant my role would be to create an environment that enhances the safety of all Georgians.  This is a common sense public safety issue. The world is dangerous enough for our children already, and the government should not be creating yet another way to put our children at risk.

Lowe - The government should not force any private company or organization to change its bathrooms to fit its policy.  It is the duty of the government to provide safe public bathrooms for boys and girls.

4. What should the State of Georgia's response be to recent threats from the Federal govt to withhold education funds from states that refuse to allow transgender students in 'opposite' gender bathrooms, locker rooms and showers?

Lowe - It is none of the Federal Governments business and they should stay out of it.

Hilton - The state needs to stand firm against federal overreach and exercise our 10th Amendment right.  The Federal Government possesses only those powers delegated to it by the United States Constitution.   All remaining powers are reserved for the states or the people.  We need to join with other states in drawing a hard-line on this issue. 

5. What should the role of State Government be in our current political climate?

Hilton - My vision for State Government is that we collaborate with other states on policies that have enjoyed success in communities across the U.S.  We should then implement those policies in an effort to make Georgia the #1 state for families and business. In this process, I believe that the role of our state government should absolutely be limited and adhere to its Constitutional functions—education, transportation and public safety.  Additionally, the state should continue to stand up to federal overreach and radical policies coming out of D.C.; it is the state’s role to hold the federal government accountable. The state must also continue to find ways to reduce taxes and regulations to encourage business to flourish in Georgia.

Lowe - Simply put to actually get things done.  I am an entrepreneur that has started, owned and operated numerous companies locally.  Knowing how to make decisions and how to handle mistakes is paramount to running a company.

6. What issues should the State House take up in the coming session?

Lowe - The Georgia Fair Tax. I believe it is time we fix our state tax code and let working families keep more of their money. 

Hilton - After knocking on over a thousand doors across our community, I have a clear understanding of the issues on the minds of voters.  I have presented a vision for our District that will address three important issues which include:
1.) Growing the Economy - I will use my experience in the private sector working with small businesses owners to push free-market reforms to encourage innovation and attract jobs to our District. 
2.) Education - we are blessed to have excellent schools and educational options in our community. From a statewide standpoint, I believe we need to remove testing and bureaucracy from the classrooms and allow teachers to teach.  Spending more money is not the answer to improving educational opportunities.  Any education reform package should include school choice where parents are allowed to choose the educational path that is best for their child whether it is a public school, a charter school, home school, private school or a virtual school.
3.)   Transportation - I believe we need a conservative transportation plan that considers all options from traditional roads to other alternatives, including rail.  As a fiscal conservative, transportation plans should not place an additional tax burden on Georgians.

7. What should the State government stop doing or cease to be involved in that it is involved in now?

Hilton - In the State House, I would support legislation that was passed a few years ago that would set up a Sunset Review Committee that would be responsible for reviewing every function and budget item in state government and identify programs to eliminate. This would allow us to identify duplicate or unneeded programs to reduce the size of government and further cut wasteful spending.

Lowe - We as state need to learn to be independent.  Our state depends on the federal government financially – This needs to stop.

8. What actions will you take as a State representative that will directly impact the welfare of District 95 residents?

Lowe - I will work to bring jobs to the community and help Georgians save money by passing the Georgia Fair Tax.  I will also work to rid ourselves of the Ad Valorem tax.

Hilton - Our District has all the tools and resources we need to be one of the central job hubs in Georgia.  My vision for District 95 is to bring high-paying, quality jobs to our area – truly creating a live, work, play community.  This is accomplished through supporting Mayor Mason’s Business Incubator for Peachtree Corners.  In Norcross and Duluth we have wonderful small business districts in downtown areas.  We should remove regulations, red-tape, and lower taxes, allowing those businesses the opportunity to succeed.  In Berkeley Lake and Johns Creek we have dozens of entrepreneurs who live in those communities and take advantage of all that Georgia has to offer from the Atlanta airport, technical colleges, and coastal ports.  Better jobs translate to improved educational opportunities at home – a true win-win.

The election will be held Tuesday May 24th.  Go to your regular polling place to vote!