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State House 67

1. Abortion: The 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court abortion decision.
Sandra Richter (Libertarian)
Oppose
While I realize this is a complex issue for many, I am firmly pro-life.
Stephen Meeks (Republican)
Oppose
2. Marriage: The 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision.
Sandra Richter (Libertarian)

I do not believe this is a political decision. Religiously I believe in a man and a woman are a couple. That being said.. I don't believe God wants me to judge. That's his job.
Stephen Meeks (Republican)
Oppose
I agree with the dissenting opinion that this was Justices, without precedent, overreaching. Marriage is between one man and one women. Contracts, including marriage, should and have been defined by the legislatures at the state level.
3. Marijuana: Prohibiting the smoking of medical marijuana.
Sandra Richter (Libertarian)
Oppose
I am firmly in favor of medical marijuana. I have seen it first hand calm the seizures of a child that had not had any kind of medical relief in 10 years of life. I believe God gave us this plant to be used to the betterment of society. Thank God he did.
Stephen Meeks (Republican)
Support
While I agree medical marijuana can be beneficial, there are those who will abuse it and I fear in the end it will damage more lives than it will help.
4. Conscience: Allowing healthcare professionals to opt out of non-emergency treatments that violate their deeply-held religious, moral, or ethical convictions.
Sandra Richter (Libertarian)
Support
Again, not a political decision but every person, regardless of their vocation should have the opportunity to follow their convictions, be they religious or moral.
Stephen Meeks (Republican)
Support
5. Assisted Suicide: Allowing doctors to prescribe lethal drugs to terminally-ill patients who wish to end their lives.
Sandra Richter (Libertarian)
Undecided
This is not such an easy decision. I don't believe in playing God. That being said, if I/we were in the position of living the limited life we had left in extreme pain that no amount of medication would help, who can say what we would want. To totally take that possibility off the table might be the biggest crime against humanity.
Stephen Meeks (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.
Sandra Richter (Libertarian)
Undecided
Stephen Meeks (Republican)
Support
7. Education: Allowing parents to enroll their child in the public school of their choice anywhere in Arkansas.
Sandra Richter (Libertarian)
Oppose
We all want our children to attend the best schools. This would turn into those who could afford to drive their children further would have all the advantages. Again, the rich against the poor. Instead we should strive to make all our schools the best. If any legislation is needed, that is what would count the most. Put the schools on a level playing field and there would be no need to move your child out of their neighborhoods.
Stephen Meeks (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.
Sandra Richter (Libertarian)
Oppose
Stephen Meeks (Republican)
Oppose
How can you put a price on a life? While I am concerned about frivolous lawsuits, damages should be determined by juries based on the circumstances of the case.
9. Civil Liberties: Amending the Arkansas Civil Rights Act of 1993 to add sexual orientation to the list of protected classes.
Sandra Richter (Libertarian)
Support
Stephen Meeks (Republican)
Oppose
Current protected classes are based on things we have no choice on (age, race, nationality, etc.). Orientation is a personal choice.
10. Lottery: Requiring the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery to increase the percentage of proceeds allocated for scholarships to a minimum of 25%.
Sandra Richter (Libertarian)
Support
Stephen Meeks (Republican)
Support
11. How should Arkansas address our illegal immigrant population?
Sandra Richter (Libertarian)
I believe we should follow the Federal laws. I know our immigration policies are daunting, the paperwork alone is horrendous, and hiring an attorney to do it for you is expensive. However, it is still illegal to be in our country without the proper documentation.
Stephen Meeks (Republican)
Illegal immigration is primarily a federal issue; however the state needs to partner where we can to support federal efforts. During my time in the General Assembly, we have taken steps to try to prohibit “sanctuary cities”, looked at requiring e-verify systems and taken steps to protect American workers.
12. How can Arkansas prevent mass shootings?
Sandra Richter (Libertarian)
By addressing bullying and child services in our schools. Give our children the support they need before they feel their only choice is suicide or murder.
Stephen Meeks (Republican)
First, we must understand the problem is not the weapon (whatever it may be), but a problem with the human “heart” as we have drifted away from our moral and religious foundations. I unfortunately believe we’ve come to the place where we need to add Security as a new line item to the public school fund. The state is in the process of putting resources together for local school districts to call upon. I believe each district and school building is unique and a “one size fits all plan” won’t work. Local schools need to work with the resources we create, local law enforcement, and their community to develop the plan that best meets their situation and then apply for funding we make available to help implement that plan.
13. What specific legislation will you work to enact?
Sandra Richter (Libertarian)
This is something I'm still thinking about. I'm very concerned that people in our country feel so disenfranchised. We are all Americans first. Right now, the thing that concerns me the most is our children. I don't think taking our 2nd amendment rights away helps our children. We need to find ways to fund mental health in our schools.
Stephen Meeks (Republican)
As Chair of the IT Committee I focus on technology and how the state uses data. A few areas I’m working on include:

1) CyberSecurity. State and local governments are stewards of a large amount of citizen data. I'm working with our Dept. of Information Tech. to give them the resources to make sure state/local entities have the proper security systems.

2) Employee Protections: While still primarily experimental, human microchip implants are coming. Can employees be forced into accepting them to continue or be considered for employment? I’m looking to take advantage of a rare opportunity to lay the ground rules for this new technology and to protect employees before they come into widespread use.

3) Rural Broadband: I am continuing my work to find ways to promote rural broadband in our state. While we have made gains, there is still much work to be done.