Stacy Crosslin | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Stacy Crosslin

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?

I envision a Kentucky where all its citizens feel they have a fair shot at the American Dream. I believe that every Kentuckian, in every part of our state, must have access to a free, quality public education and that affordable post-secondary education and training has to be a priority for our state. By creating a highly skilled and educated workforce, we will attract more industries to our state and provide more high-paying jobs for our citizens. I will work to both protect public education and to attract industries to bring stability to our region. I want Kentucky to be a state where every citizen has access to quality, affordable healthcare and where we ensure families do not lose coverage based on pre-existing conditions. If elected, I will support legislation that supports working families, provides upward mobility for the working poor, and grows and strengthens the middle class. I am ready and willing to be the voice that faithfully represents and advocates in Frankfort for the needs of our citizens.

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.

Our democracy works best when all citizens have a voice and they have the opportunity to express those voices at the ballot box. I believe that once people serve their time and pay their debt to society, their voting rights should be restored. Restoring a felon’s right to vote encourages that individual to become a part of the community again and reinforces the belief that people are not defined by the mistakes they have made in the past. The more Kentuckians who participate in our democracy, the stronger our commonwealth will be.

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?

Access to the ballot is one of the most sacred rights citizens possess, a right that has been the subject of campaigns, movements, and fights as it has been slowly expanded over the years. Yet in Kentucky primary elections, 30% is considered a good turnout. In our last gubernatorial contest, we blew past expectations with 40%. And even in 2016’s presidential contest, only 60% of eligible Kentuckians voted. Initiatives to make it easier to cast a ballot while at the same time not compromising our election security just make sense. Many of these initiatives like early voting, expanding the hours polls are open, and no-excuse absentee voting are used in a majority of other states with no problems. They would work to get more Kentuckians voting as well.

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?

For far too long, tax policies have sought to benefit corporate interests and the wealthiest individuals in our state. While Kentucky collects 11 billion dollars in taxes, it grants 13 billion dollars in tax breaks. It’s obvious why our state is strapped for cash. First, we need to address our revenue shortages by examining each tax exemption to determine if it makes sense. Secondly, we need to be open to new ways to generate revenue. Finally, our tax policies need to be fair and not regressive in nature. When working families have more disposable income, they will immediately turn around and spend this money and stimulate our economy. Ultimately, our tax policy should benefit all Kentucky citizens.

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?

We know that the most effective police forces are those who are able to build relationships within the communities they are charged with serving. When those relationships exist, community members are more likely to partner with law enforcement officers to help keep communities safe. Enacting policies that would force local police to involve themselves in immigration issues limits the ability of local departments to build meaningful relationships within their communities. Such policies create an environment of fear among all immigrant communities, including immigrants with full citizenship status. To support our law enforcement officers and empower them to build the kinds of relationships that we know are essential to good policing and safe communities, I would oppose these types of policies.

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?

That climate change is occurring and having an impact in our world is both the general consensus of the scientific community and perhaps the greatest challenge future generations will face. To not take carefully considered and measured steps to address that reality is to neglect our responsibilities to those future generations. At the same time we seek to lower our carbon footprint, however, we must also balance the economic needs of Kentuckians by introducing more clean-energy jobs and opportunities to our communities hardest hit by this transition. Implementing a comprehensive response to the challenge of climate change will ultimately be a benefit to our communities both now and in the years to come.

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.

Oppression, while part of our nation’s past, cannot have any role in our future. Every Kentucky life matters; therefore, it is important to act in solidarity with organizations working tirelessly to ensure all members of our Commonwealth receive fair and equal treatment. It is also vital to promote educational opportunities to recognize racial inequalities in practice and policy. As an elected member of the Kentucky State House, I will work to guarantee that everyone — regardless of their race, ethnicity, or background — feels they have a representative in Frankfort who values them. I will fight against discriminatory practices to ensure safety for all people of color in our Commonwealth.

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?

It is hard to believe that Kentucky has a higher percentage of criminals than 80% of the other states in our nation. I refuse to believe that our communities, our neighbors, are more violent than the vast majority of communities in America. Why then, does Kentucky have the 9th highest incarceration rate? Our criminal justice policies need to shift the focus from punishing nonviolent crimes to treatment and rehabilitation. Such a shift will save our state millions of dollars and significantly reduce the number of children who grow up with incarcerated parents.

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?

I will fight to protect the rights of all Kentuckians. No person living in our state should be denied access to housing, employment, or other public accommodations on the basis of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic of their identity. Prejudice and discrimination have no place in our state.

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: 

All Kentuckians depend on having stable, affordable healthcare. I am committed to fighting against insurers who want to take advantage of vulnerable families in our Commonwealth, especially those with pre-existing conditions. I am committed to protecting our Medicaid expansion and oppose any legislation that looks to repeal this life-saving resource that families depend upon.