Glenn Hammond | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Glenn Hammond

Political party: 
Question 1: 
What’s your vision for Kentucky? How will the lives of Kentuckians be improved as a result of your time in office?

Kentuckians deserve better from their elected representatives. We’ve been lied to by Frankfort. When I’m elected, I will fight tirelessly for good paying jobs, access to affordable health care,public education, much needed infrastructure and continue to fight the opioid epidemic and get funding for treatment. People are worried sick that they cannot keep up with skyrocketing cost of living increases. Power bills are astronomical, the water is unclean, internet is only available in parts of my district, and trash and sewer bills are doubling. It’s time to fight back and give our people the tools they need to succeed.

Question 2: 
Even after Governor Beshear's December 2019 executive order, over 170,000 Kentuckians with felonies in their past are still ineligible to vote. Do you support a constitutional amendment to automatically restore voting rights to all Kentuckians with felonies in their past once they've served their time, probation, and parole? Please explain.

Without a doubt. Once somebody has paid their debt to society they should have their rights restored. Kentucky is one of the very few states that does this and it should not happen.Did not respond.

Question 3: 

What is your view on modernizing state election laws? Specifically, do you support allowing early voting, mail-in ballots, same-day voter registration, extended hours at polling locations, offering ballots in multiple languages, and other election reforms? Do you support legislation requiring that Kentucky voters present a photo ID on election day even though many Kentuckians do not have that kind of ID? Why or why not?

We need more people participating in Democracy not less. I am all for early voting, mail-in ballots (Oregon does this very well), same day registration and other positive voting reforms. Many of these are already in use in other states. In that same vein, photo id to vote is a solution to a problem that does not exist. Our current ID laws are fine.

Question 4: 

Kentucky has a tax code that does not raise enough revenue to meet the Commonwealth’s budgetary needs – a problem that was made worse by the legislature's tax shift of 2018. After years of budget cuts, the funding for pensions, public education, infrastructure, and other essential programs have reached dangerous levels of disinvestment. How would you work to create a more equitable state tax structure – where everyone pays their fair share – that raises adequate revenue, fights poverty, and invests in Kentucky’s under-resourced communities and the services we all need?

What the Legislature did a few years ago by moving the tax burden from wealthy individuals and corporations to services such as gym memberships, dry cleaning, and others is terrible policy. It’s time to stop kicking the can down the road. We need to review the tax incentives that we give to businesses for low paying jobs and make a salary/hourly threshold requirements in order to get incentives. We need to equip small S corporations who depend on these incentives to purchase new and improved equipment to provide their services or develop and deliver products. We need to keep these contracts local providing a priority to awarding contracts of Kentucky taxes go to Kentuckians first provided that they are qualified and utilizing our resources first to carry out the contracts rather than outsoursing the resources and manpower to out of state companies. We need to look at the top tax bracket both individual and corporate and make sure everybody is paying their fair share.

Question 5: 

Many Kentucky’s local governments have a policy that people will not be questioned about immigration status by local authorities, and that local police will only assist federal agents in enforcing immigration laws when there is a warrant signed by a judge or a risk of violence. What is your view of these types of policies and what would you do to expand support and resources toward our immigrant population, undocumented or otherwise?

I am not for asking our already strapped public agencies to take on another burden of determining people’s citizenship status. This is a Federal Government issue and the Feds should do their jobs without asking our underpaid understaff local police and sheriffs do their job for them.

Question 6: 

Is acting to address the climate crisis a priority for you? What policies do you support to ensure that solutions – such as clean energy jobs and reducing high energy bills – benefit all Kentuckians, including low-income communities, communities of color, and those who are most impacted by the changing climate? And what policies would you support to ensure that all Kentuckians have clean air and water, no matter the color of our skin, income, or zip code?

It is ridiculous that in 2020 there is a large population in my district that pay for drinking water that they can’t drink, This is an outrage and should never happen in the United States of America. I will never stop working until all families in my district have clean drinking water. I am excited about the solar panel installation going up on the top of a reclaimed strip mine site in Pike County and others in Eastern Kentucky. We should also address a mandate for solar panels on all government buildings and incentavies local businesses to install them over the coming years. We need more of these! We need to mandate the enforcement of regulations on water company agencies on the equipment used, the techniques used to develop clean water and the certifications of individuals who are operating and working on the water systems. Water companies are not being held accountable for producing and providing water with elevated chemicals that are causing birth defects, cancer and other diseases.

Question 7: 

What is the role of the Kentucky legislature in opposing white supremacy, addressing racial inequality and supporting racial justice for Black people, Indigenous people, Latinx people, immigrants, those who are undocumented, and all people of color in our state? Please identify at least two policy initiatives you would propose while in office to address racial and systemic inequalities.

The General Assembly assumes the role of representing ALL Kentuckians. Our legislature must make a greater commitment to condemning the recent surge of white supremacy. Kentucky's standing as the state with the second highest rate of white supremacist propaganda is despicable, and must be treated as such. As your State Senator, I will always stand with black, Latinx, indigenous and immigrant Kentuckians. Two policy initiatives I'll favor as State Senator to tear down systemic realism are the movements to Ban the Box, which disproportionately and unfairly impacts workers of color, and work to continue criminal justice reform.

Question 8: 

Kentucky has the ninth highest incarceration rate in the nation, is second in the nation for incarcerating women, and has the second-highest rate in the country of children separated from a parent due to incarceration. In addition, Black Kentuckians make up 8.3 percent of the state population but 21 percent of the state’s incarcerated population. Are you committed to ending mass incarceration in Kentucky? Why or why not? If elected, what will you do to make strides toward ending mass incarceration and reinvesting resources into the communities most impacted by this system?

All across my district local jails are way past capacity due to the opioid crisis. I am committed to ending mass incarceration and using those funds to reinvest in job training to help reduce recidivism and to reinvest in more treatment beds. We literally can’t afford to put people in jail like we have been. We see that inequality in our educational system more and more with the funding of resources and a growing divide in the pay scale for teachers and administrators for poorer counties and districts. So a balancing of funds to offset these inequalities is one important way. Another way would be to strengthen and improved criminal codes that specifically address hate crimes and bullying statutes and defining who all should be subject to prosecution while minimizing prosecutors discretion in these types of crimes.

Question 9: 

Do you support a statewide Fairness law to protect LGBTQ people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer) from discrimination in housing, employment, financial transactions, and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity? What will you do to support LGBTQ Kentuckians?

Our region has been labeled negatively by outsiders for years with little or no help or defense but from our own. President John F Kennedy said if the law doesn't apply to all it applies to no one. I do not support discrimination of any kind.

Question 10: 

Nearly 400,000 low-income Kentuckians qualified for health care – including vision, dental and mental health – for the first time under the Affordable Care Act. But there are major challenges here in Kentucky. The Bevin administration failed to respond to Kentucky’s Hepatitis A outbreak, local health departments are underfunded and are slated to lose about a third of their workers, and the legislature has recently passed a bill restricting access to reproductive health. The legislature has a role in getting Kentucky on track for better health. What would you to build on the progress of Medicaid expansion and to ensure that all Kentuckians have access to quality, affordable health care?

Answer 10: 

We have one of the sickest populations in the entire country. I will fight night and day for affordable access to healthcare for all of the people in my district. Rural hospitals are the lifeblood of Appalachian counties and I will do everything I can to make sure they stay open and are able to provide mobile services to get to people that have no means to get to the hospital. We have got to make sure that the reimbursement rates are increased to allow more physicians to be able to afford to accept Medicaid recipients all the while making sure that the fraud is constantly being monitored and investigated to eliminate the abuses within the system. We need to help small businesses, which makeup 80+% of our workforce be able to afford to purchase health insurance for its employees.