ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Matt Heinz on Crime

Democrat Matt Heinz is running for House of Representatives in Legislative District 29. We asked him some questions about crime policy.

Should we increase state funding for prison construction?

Incarceration is an important part of the judicial system but I would like to see as much money funneled into prevention and rehabilitation as possible. We keep filling up our prisons and building more. Take people who are addicted to meth, that is a medical problem, that’s not just a crime and it should be treated as such. It should be treated with both the disciplinary approach and people need to be actively rehabilitated and that is not happening. So I would say no to increasing funding to prisons unless they are also increasing funding for prevention and rehabilitation first.

Should we have more contracts with private prisons?

I don’t want to make a decision without all of the information in front of me which is what I think any responsible legislaturer should do and I’ll certainly look into that. But as a response I think that should be in control of the state.

Should we spend more on programs that provide prisoners with vocational education while they are behind bars?

Absolutely. That goes back to Continue reading

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Matt Heinz on Taxes

Democrat Matt Heinz is running for House of Representatives in LD29. We asked him some questions about tax policy.

Do you support the repeal of the state property tax?

No, I think that we need that $250 million. At this point we can’t really afford to lose any of it. The state depends on these three legs, state income tax, stat sales tax and state property tax. I don’t think we can afford to lose it and we also can’t afford to continue implementing the taxes that were put into effect in 2005-2006.

Do you support borrowing for school construction?

Yes. I think it needs to be approved on an as-needed basis and under very specific circumstances but in a deficit economy, like we have we really need to address advancing public education and that’s one of the ways to do it.

Any other quick thoughts on tax or budget reform you’d like to share?

In general, I’m pragmatic. I understand that we have a fee for service, we tax people for services. And right now the services we provide as a state like health care is not sufficient, education is not sufficient. And in many of these areas like transportation we’re way behind. We need to catch up. We need to pay attention to these things and we need to spend in a very targeted manner on the issues that are really important.

Legislative District 29: Elections Happen

With 97 percent of the precinct votes and 4,600 early ballots counted, only 3,000 provisional ballots and roughly 10,000 late-arriving vote-by-mail ballots remain. It looks like the surprises are over for Legislative District 29.

The big surprises last night in LD29 included Patricia Puig and Eric Carbajal Bustamante practically tying for the fourth slot of this Seven-Way Super-Slam, while Ephriam Cruz came in sixth place, ahead of only Gil Guerra.

Matt Heinz and Daniel Patterson seem to have locked down seats in Legislative District 29, while Rep. Tom Prezelski appears to be on his way out.

Although more than 30,000 registered Democrats live in LD29, voter turnout is at about 24 percent, with roughly 7,400 ballots having been counted so far.

Matt Heinz: 25.4 percent

Daniel Patterson: 17.6 percent

Tom Prezelski: 15.4 percent

Eric Carbajal Bustamante: 12.3 percent

Patricia Puig: 12.3 percent

Ephraim Cruz: 9.9 percent

Gil Guerra 6.9 percent

LD29 Speed-Dating: No Love at First Sight

Several of the candidates for House of Representatives in LD29 met at a bar on Thursday night to talk over their differences.

The meeting, organized by Tucson Drinking Liberally, was originally marketed on the website as an “LD29 Candidate ‘Speed Dating’ Forum” but since most of the candidates got cold feet, it was just another night drinking and talking politics at The Shanty.

The three candidates who did make the date each gave a short speech and took questions from the rowdy crowd of a few dozen political junkies.

Representative Tom Prezelski started off the event and, though he didn’t appear tipsy, his tongue was definitely loose. His relaxed performance included calling a Republican lawmaker a dick and one candidate from another district “full of shit.”

Besides bashing the Legislature, he called for reform of Health Care Group and explained the benefits of bonding for school construction, invoking his experience as a tribal planner and the example of Sunnyside High School, which he says was built cheaply, piece by piece as the money became available, and now needs Continue reading

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Matt Heinz on Crime

Democrat Matt Heinz is running for House of Representatives in Legislative District 29.  We asked him some questions about crime policy.

Should we increase state funding for prison construction?

Incarceration is an important part of the judicial system, but I would like to see as much money funneled into prevention and rehabilitation as possible. We keep filling up our prisons and building more. Take people who are addicted to meth–that is a medical problem, that’s not just a crime and it should be treated as such. It should be treated with both the disciplinary approach and people need to be actively rehabilitated and that is not happening. So I would say no to increasing funding to prisons unless they are also increasing funding for prevention and rehabilitation first.

Should we have more contracts with private prisons?

I don’t want to make a decision without all of the information in front of me, which is what I think any responsible legislator should do, and I’ll certainly Continue reading

Scramblewatch Q&A: Democrat Matt Heinz on the State Budget

Democrat Matt Heinz is running for House of Representatives in Legislative District 29.   We asked him some questions about the state budget.

Is state spending to high, too low or just right in these areas?

Education (k-12)

Too low.

English Language Learning Program

I think at this point it’s still too low.

Emergency preparedness

Way too low.

Environment

Also too low.

Health Care

Way too low.

Law enforcement

Continue reading

ScrambleWatch Q&A: Democrat Matt Heinz on Taxes

Democrat Matt Heinz is running for House of Representatives in the Legislative District 29. We asked him some questions about tax policy.

Do you support the repeal of the state property tax?

No, I think that we need that $250 million. At this point we can’t really afford to lose any of it. The state depends on these three legs: state income tax, state sales tax and state property tax. I don’t think we can afford to lose it and we also can’t afford to continue implementing the taxes that were put into effect in 2005-2006.

Do you support borrowing for school construction?

Yes. I think it needs to be approved on an as-needed basis and under very specific circumstances but in a deficit economy like we have, we really need to address advancing public education and that’s one of the ways to do it.

Would you vote for the TIME initiative, which would increase the sales tax by a penny per dollar to fund highway, rail and local transportation projects?

Yes. The reason I would support this is there are very few ways the Continue reading