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Georgia District 122 Runoff Candidates Q&A

Posted: November 29, 2015 - 12:04am
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Jodi Lott, canditate for Georgia House District 122.
Jodi Lott, canditate for Georgia House District 122.

Two candidates are facing off in Tuesday’s runoff election for the State House District 122 seat. Jodi Lott and Mack Taylor answered a few questions about issues facing Georgia residents.

Q: Should the Georgia reduce or eliminate the state income tax, and if so, how do you propose that should be done?

Lott: Yes. Georgia should work towards the total elimination of the state income tax to be replaced by a FairTax. A FairTax will allow for Georgians to keep more money in their paychecks by eliminating the 6 percent Georgia income tax and replacing the state’s revenue with a consumption-based tax system. The consumption-based tax allows the consumer to choose their level of tax burden through their purchases.

Taylor: In the state House, I will vote to eliminate or reduce the state income tax if the reform measure does not create a deficit or cause burdensome taxation elsewhere. We must keep Georgia competitive but need to be on guard against government shell games that cut here and tax there.

Q: In your view, what is the most important issue facing Georgia residents, and what, specifically, can the state legislature do to address it?

Lott: As I go door to door, people are openly frustrated with our state tax system. They would like to see us move toward a FairTax system that taxes consumption not productivity. As a state representative, I will work with other legislators on this issue and help bring legislation forward to address this concern.

I have also heard many people expressing their outrage over exploding health insurance premiums. As a registered nurse and owner of a healthcare-related business, I understand what it takes to lower our healthcare premiums. With my experience, I can help fellow legislators understand this enormous problem and address ways to fix it.

Taylor: Under President Obama, the federal government continues to grow. Even worse, the federal government continues to usurp the 10th Amendment by forcing states to participate in their costly, big-government schemes. In the state House, I will fight to keep Georgia sovereign. Our elected officials should determine how and where we spend tax dollars – not unelected paper pushers in Washington, D.C.

Q: Do you support the proposed Religious Freedom Restoration Act bill? Why or why not?

Lott: As a mother raising two boys in a Christian household I do support the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Our country was founded on the freedom of religion and we need to have our religious liberties protected. As your representative, I will work hard to educate others that this bill is to protect the rights and freedoms of all Georgians.

Taylor: Our religious freedoms are under attack and we need the Religious Freedom Restoration Act before our Constitutional rights erode right before our eyes. My support for this legislation has special interests in Atlanta irked. Frankly, I don’t care. We need this legislation and I will fight tooth and nail for your right to practice your faith at work and home.

Q: The current system for funding state public schools is under review. Should public schools receive more state funding and if so, how would you propose to implement that?

Lott: As Georgia continues to recover from the great recession the state will see a natural surplus in receivables and a portion of those should be used for education so that our students are given the best possible chances for success. Education reform will be an important issue during this upcoming legislative session and the recommendations by the Governor’s Education Reform Commission propose greater freedoms for the local school districts in regards to their utilization of funding. Freedoms in fiscal management will allow each school district to prioritize expenses, as they see fit, to the benefit of our students.

Taylor: Money is not always the answer to every problem, especially when it comes to education in Georgia. We need educational decisions to be made by parents, teachers and administrators at the local level. Common Core and big government programs don’t improve outcomes for our students. We need to enhance educational opportunities like charter schools while keeping our local school system strong.

Q: What can state lawmakers do to improve the quality of health care and make it more affordable?

Lott: Develop wellness-incentive programs that reward effort by lowering the costs of premiums and/or deductibles. Wellness programs encourage regular check-ups, smoking cessation, body weight/nutrition maintenance, and exercise. Require consistency in payment (same payment for same service) to allow patients access to the medical providers of their choice, increasing accessibility of care. Address tort reform to reduce the costs associated with frivolous lawsuits. Fear of litigation forces physicians to provide defensive medicine, driving up the cost of care. Require insurance companies to be accountable for benefit quotes so that patients are not held responsible for payment when insurance carriers have misquoted health benefits.

Taylor: Increased market competition has always proven to bring competitive pricing. Government regulations slow competitiveness and keep prices high. As a business owner, if my prices are higher than that of my competition, I will lose business. Laws like our certificate-of need-law stymie competitiveness. We need less government regulation, not more.

DISTRICT 122 CANDIDATES

JODI LOTT

Age: 44

Occupation: Co-owner and fnance manager at Evans Rehabilitation Services, registered
nurse

Family information: Married with two sons, ages 14 and 7

Years in Columbia County: 12

Relevant experience: Government Affairs Committee Member of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce; volunteer at Heritage Academy of Augusta, an independent school offering a Christ-centered education; past volunteer at Greenbrier Elementary School, a Columbia County public school; Delegate to the Republican Party state convention

MACK TAYLOR

Age: 42

Occupation: Attorney

Family: Wife, Kim, of 15 years; two children ages 7 and 9

Years in Columbia County: 5 (CSRA since I was 3 years old)

Relevant experience: Active member of Curtis Baptist Church serving on personnel committee, the Sarah Watkins Land Trust committee, and in the children’s nursery and Sunday School. former Assistant Solicitor General for Richmond County and Former Assistant District Attorney for the Augusta Judicial Circuit; T-ball coach for Martinez-Evans Little League; County commissioner for District 3

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