Election 2017 Candidates for 62nd District Delegate seat
Oct 13, 2017, 08:04
Sheila Bynum-Coleman Why are you running for office? I am running for office because Virginia canít afford more politics as usual. Here in Hopewell, many members of our community are struggling to make ends meet. Others lack adequate access to healthcare. Our children are sitting in classrooms with thirty or forty students. I want to tackle these serious issues, while my opponent has failed to do so during his 25-year career. Itís time for a change. What experience do you have that qualifies you for this office? Whether itís public safety, our schools, or our small businesses, I know what itís like to fight for the American dream in this district. Iíve lived in Chesterfield all of my life. I am the daughter of a retired police officer and a mother of five. My husband and I run a construction business, which we have grown to operate in more than 15 states, and I sit on the Virginia Board of Contractors. I know what it takes to create jobs, expand access to health care and improve our education system. What do you feel is the most pressing issue affecting the state today, and how would you address it? Too many in our community are without access to adequate health care. I feel that the state should expand its Medicaid program. Over 400,000 Virginians, who would otherwise be covered through the Affordable Care Actís Medicaid Expansion, are without adequate access to healthcare. And yet Riley Ingram has opposed this expansion that would help so many of his constituents, so that he can fall in line with his party leaders. How would you prioritize the spending vs. revenues and where do you feel the tax rate should be to meet the needs of the state? As a small business owner and mother of five, Iím not looking to raise taxes on the middle class and I believe strongly that hard work should pay off. I do however believe that our state government can look to spend its revenues more efficiently, and that it is vital that we make important investments in education and health care so that all Virginians have a fair shot at the American Dream. What would be your plan to fund aging schools, and please explain why districts across Virginia are short on funds while the lottery revenues rise? Since 2008, per student funding for Hopewell City Public Schools has dropped 7.8%. Our current General Assembly, including Riley Ingram, has fallen asleep at the wheel when it comes to fully and fairly funding our schools. Our representatives need to increase the share of state funds being given to education. Thereís simply no excuse for the recent lack of funding for education, even as lottery revenues rise. What are ways you feel you could bring in new businesses and jobs? As a small business owner myself, I know the needs of local small businesses. There needs to be more access to capital and a lower tax burden for small businesses. I also see the need for more job training and apprenticeships by adequately funding community colleges and workforce development centers, as well as taking efforts to make college more affordable so we have a more educated workforce. What are your three top goals if elected? 1. Create more jobs 2. Fully and fairly fund our schools 3. Expand access to adequate health care Please provide any biographical information you feel is important. Sheila Bynum-Coleman is a native of Chesterfield County, where she graduated from Monacan High School and was a member of the track and basketball teams. Sheila attended Virginia Commonwealth University, where she received her B.A. from the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, with a major in Political Science and a minor in International Studies. Sheila Bynum-Coleman is a wife and mother of five. Her children attend Chesterfield County Public Schools, with her oldest child received her B.A. from Virginia Wesleyan College and will be attending Eastern Virginia Medical School in the fall. On February 28th, 2017, Sheila was sworn in as a member of the Board of Contractors the first African American woman to hold a position on the board. Sheila began her career as a licensed real estate agent. She expanded her real estate services and founded R.H. Coleman Enterprises LLC, headquartered in Chesterfield County, which operates in fifteen states. Sheila has volunteered as a mentor with at risk youth along with providing counseling services as well as with Veterans Helping Veterans and Guardians. Sheila is an active member of a number of civic and community organizations and volunteers her time teaching classes for first time homebuyers, entrepreneurial development workshops, contracting with the Federal Government and fiscal management. She has also worked as a childrenís advocate for over ten years and has partnered with several organizations to improve the conditions in local area schools.
Riley Ingram Why are you running for office? I am running for re-election to continue to represent the people of the 62nd House district of Virginia. Over my tenure I have always been responsive to any and every constituent need. Going through every channel possible to try and help anyone that contacted my office. I am running for this seat because I want to make sure that Virginia is moving forward into the future with a fiscally conservative balanced budget and that we are creating jobs and a better life for our families. It is important to me that 2. What experience do you have that qualifies you for this office? In my lifetime I have served in many capacities of public service as a past Mayor and Councilman in the city of Hopewell I know this area and what it takes to get things done at the local level. It is very important to know how all aspects of government operate. As the current House of Delegates member for the 62nd District I have had the honor of serving the constituents in this area. I know what it takes and how to get results here in the Commonwealth and have always made sure the 62nd district is priority. 3. What do you feel is the most pressing issue affecting the state today, and how would you address it? Currently one of the most pressing issues affecting the state today is the Opioid addiction crisis.On average, nearly three people die every day from a drug overdose and in 2014 more people died from opioid overdoses than from car accidents. That is why in this past session I helped pass a series of bills that were aimed at tackling this important issue. † We passed HB 1453 which allows a person who is authorized by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services to train individuals on the administration of naloxone for use in opioid overdose reversal. We passed HB 1750 which allows a pharmacist to dispense naloxone in the absence of a patient-specific prescription. HB 1885 passed which requires a prescriber to request information about a patient from the Prescription Monitoring Program upon initiating a new course of treatment that includes prescribing of opioids. We passed HB 1845 which develops a model addiction recovery program that may be administered by sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, jail officers, administrators, or superintendents in any local or regional jail to combat the ongoing heroin and opioid addiction crisis. HB 2161 passed which creates a workgroup to develop educational standards and curricula for training health care providers in the safe and appropriate use of opioids to treat pain while minimizing the risk of addiction and substance abuse. HB 2162 creates a work group to study barriers to treatment of substance-exposed infants in the Commonwealth. We passed HB 2163 which requires products containing buprenorphine without naloxone shall be issued only for a patient who is pregnant. We passed HB 2164 which ddds any material, compound, mixture, or preparation containing any quantity of gabapentin, including any of its salts, to the list of drugs of concern. HB 2165 requires a prescription for any controlled substance containing an opiate to be issued as an electronic prescription and prohibits a pharmacist from dispensing a controlled substance that contains an opiate unless the prescription is issued as an electronic prescription. HB 2166 lists possession of certain controlled substances (buprenorphine, cocaine, codeine, fentanyl, heroin, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, methadone, methamphetamine; methylphenidate, morphine, and oxycodone) as separate offenses under the existing crime of possession of controlled substances. Finally, we passed HB 2167 which directs the Boards of Dentistry and Medicine to adopt regulations for the prescribing of opioids and products containing buprenorphine. 4.How would you prioritize the spending vs. revenues and where do you feel the tax rate should be to meet the needs of the state? As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I work diligently during session to ensure the Commonwealth passes a balanced budget that funds core governmental services, such as education, public safety, transportation, and our health safety net. †This has not always been easy, especially in recent years when Virginiaís revenue stream has been negatively impacted by federal actions like Sequestration and reduced federal spending. †Unlike Washington, D.C., Virginia is constitutionally required to pass a balanced budget and we have a triple-A bond rating that reflects our commitment to fiscal prudence and good management. †Every year I hear proposals to raise taxes on our citizens as a mechanism to generate revenue. †I do not support this approach. †Instead of raising taxes, I believe we should encourage more economic growth through lower taxes, business-friendly policies, and common sense regulations that make it easier for our small businesses to succeed. †By supporting growth-oriented strategies, we broaden our tax base and diversify our economy so that weíre less reliant on the federal government and more attractive to entrepreneurship and innovation. 5. What would be your plan to fund aging schools, and please explain why districts across Virginia are short on funds while the lottery revenues rise? Education has always been one of my top priorities in the Virginia General Assembly. Our kids are our future and as a proud father and now grandfather I want to see that all kids can have a fair and quality education. This rising trend is one that I am very aware of, that is why in 2016 we re-established the lottery proceeds distribution sending additional money back to schools with no strings attached. This year alone we sent back $191.3 million to localities to be used for education purposes. Also in 2013 I voted to invest $31 million in school security in the wake of the Newtown tragedy. This included a $1.3 million grant initiative to expand school resource officers and $30 million for infrastructure like automatic locks, buzz-in systems and additional cameras in aging schools that were not originally built with those capabilities so that we can keep out students safe. Investing in our future is something that I am very passionate about and that is why I helped fund four teacher pay raises in five years for a total of $106 million that is going to help fund our teachers so that they can better serve our children. 6. What are ways you feel you could bring in new businesses and jobs? As a proud small business owner and hardworking individual all my life. I know the meaning of a hard dayís work. With that being said jobs are one of my top priorities this is why since 2010 the General Assembly with myself included has invested over $500 million in economic development and has defeated 26 separate job-killing tax hikes since 2003 that would have cost families and taxpayers $30.2 billion dollars. I know what it takes to start and run a business from the ground up and that is why I helped to pass legislation to encourage entrepreneurs and innovators in this great state. So that we can make it easier for start-up companies to participate in crowdfunding and expand access to capital from angel investors. 7. What are your three top goals if elected? If I am re-elected to represent the 62nd district once again my three top goals in the upcoming years would be the following: 1. To continue serving the people of my district to the best of my abilities. I have always made myself available to any and every person that has reached out and contacted me or my office. The people of my district have always been priority number one. They have always come first and thatís the way it has and always should be. 2. Continue to work towards bettering our workforce and creating more jobs here in the 62nd district. 3. Lastly, I would like to make sure that we are continuing to be fiscally responsible here in the Commonwealth of Virginia. I have always prided our work in the Virginia House of Delegates under the Republican leadership to produce and enact a smart and responsible budget for Virginia. For the past three years the house and the senate have worked together and have produced a conservative, responsible and balanced amended budget ahead of schedule. I would like to help continue my work to make sure that virginia is making smart decisions for the future generations here in the Commonwealth.