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State Senate 3

1. Abortion: The 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court abortion decision.
Jon Comstock (Democrat)

I have always opposed abortion as a matter of personal conscience. As a former Circuit Court Judge, I do feel bound to respect and follow the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. I believe the most effective way to reduce this is to provide appropriate education and assistance for young teens and expectant mothers that often put them in untenable circumstances. We need to care for the unborn and born.
Cecile Bledsoe (Republican)
Oppose
2. Marriage: The 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision.
Jon Comstock (Democrat)

As a former Circuit Court Judge, I feel bound to respect and follow the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. On personal matters, I am a strong believer of liberty. I think we are better off to allow all persons an equal space in our society.
Cecile Bledsoe (Republican)
Oppose
3. Marijuana: Prohibiting the smoking of medical marijuana.
Jon Comstock (Democrat)
Oppose
I feel that the citizens of Arkansas have asked their lawmakers to provide this option. We need to respect the will of the people.
Cecile Bledsoe (Republican)
Support
4. Conscience: Allowing healthcare professionals to opt out of non-emergency treatments that violate their deeply-held religious, moral, or ethical convictions.
Jon Comstock (Democrat)
Support
Generally support, as long as the interests of the patient are not adversely affected.
Cecile Bledsoe (Republican)
Support
5. Assisted Suicide: Allowing doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally-ill patients who wish to end their lives.
Jon Comstock (Democrat)

As a matter of personal conscience, I want to respect and preserve life. However, I am not a doctor and would feel like medical professionals and patients should be able decisions they determine best for them. I like to avoid unnecessary government intrusion into one's personal decisions.
Cecile Bledsoe (Republican)
Oppose
6. Privacy: Requiring individuals who choose to use changing facilities, locker rooms, restrooms, and showers in public schools, colleges, and government buildings to use the facility designated for their biological sex.
Jon Comstock (Democrat)
Undecided
This is very complex issue and I don't feel like I have enough knowledge to evaluate. I would want to know the impact on all parties before forming an opinion on this. Such a rule would impose an incredible result in privacy invasion on the part of folks who try to monitor and likely very costly to enforce. How would such a rule be enforced? Seems more problems created than solved. For the most part, this works itself out with most individuals acting responsibly.
Cecile Bledsoe (Republican)
Support
7. Education: Allowing parents to enroll their child in the public school of their choice anywhere in Arkansas.
Jon Comstock (Democrat)
Undecided
I am not sure I understand the question. I agree parents should certainly decide where their kids go to school. But whether or not we make public school without any transfer parameters, I am not sure that is good policy and would want to understand much more before forming opinion. I would need more information on the financial and social impact on all parties involved.
Cecile Bledsoe (Republican)
Support
8. Tort Lawsuits: Limiting noneconomic damages awarded in lawsuits to $500,000 or less in cases of severe injury or death caused by negligence or misconduct.
Jon Comstock (Democrat)
Oppose
Seems absurd to let the legislature put an arbitrary dollar amount on the sanctity of one person's life. Rely on juries like we have always done. They act responsibly and if there is a case where jury is excessive, then trial judges and appeals courts in Arkansas can correct. A jury verdict is one of the rare opportunities (besides voting) when citizens get to speak directly to power.
Cecile Bledsoe (Republican)
Support
9. Civil Liberties: Amending the Arkansas Civil Rights Act of 1993 to add sexual orientation to the list of protected classes.
Jon Comstock (Democrat)

I generally support efforts to do what we can to avoid discrimination against any group of persons by reason of who they are.
Cecile Bledsoe (Republican)
Oppose
10. Lottery: Requiring the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery to increase the percentage of proceeds allocated for scholarships to a minimum of 25%.
Jon Comstock (Democrat)
Undecided
I don't know enough about this issue to know what makes sense for the lottery operators and the state. As a general matter, I don't like the idea of funding scholarships with a lottery in the first place.
Cecile Bledsoe (Republican)
Support
11. How should Arkansas address our illegal immigrant population?
Jon Comstock (Democrat)
This is primarily a federal status issue. But Arkansas can come up with strategies that allow people to participate in the workforce and pay their fair share of taxes.
Cecile Bledsoe (Republican)
While I have compassion for those who want to come to America, we are a nation of laws and it is not wise for Americans, or others outside of America who want to be part of this great country, to decide which laws they are going to obey. This is a federal issue but I would support creating a "Task Force on Illegal Immigration" to address this issue from a state perspective. A country with open borders, will not long remain a country!
12. How can Arkansas prevent mass shootings?
Jon Comstock (Democrat)
We need to expand our mental health outreach in the State which is dismal. Provide more education on early warning signs. Work to eliminate the social stigma that comes from seeking mental health assistance and make it more normative.
Cecile Bledsoe (Republican)
By recognizing and acting on the warning signs that are known to school authorities, law enforcement, families and friends. We also need to have armed, responsible adults such as law enforcement officers, retired veterans, or teachers who would volunteer, on the grounds and in the schools. I would suggest a redesign of the schools in the future with safety from an active shooter in mind, but for now, work on limiting the entrances to the school and monitor the buildings better.
13. What specific legislation will you work to enact?
Jon Comstock (Democrat)
The first bill I would introduce would require legislators to pre-file bills before the legislative session starts. Right now, too much gamesmanship is what goes on. This way, citizens would have a heads-up and could express their views on possible legislation in a timely manner.
Cecile Bledsoe (Republican)
As the lead sponsor in the legislative sessions of 2015 and 2017 on Telemedicine, I will continue to update and expand Telemedicine so that the people of Arkansas can have access to quality healthcare without concern as to whether they live in the urban or rural parts of the state.