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Michigan Representative District 13

Choose one candidate. Representatives in the Michigan State House serve two-year terms and receive an annual salary of $71,685.

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  • Candidate picture

    Frank Liberati
    (Dem)

  • Annie L. Spencer
    (Rep)

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Biographical Information

How should the state assist other municipalities and school districts whose solvency is threatened by its financial obligations to current and future retirees?

Is the way the state funds our cities adequate to ensure safety and service delivery? If not, what changes would you support to our municipal finance model?

When cities are struggling, what is the appropriate way for the state to intervene? Should state intervention – through the emergency manager law or some other avenue – come with dollars attached? Why or why not?

How would you rate the state’s response to the Flint water crisis?

Explain your answer and what you would do, if anything, to improve the state’s response.

How would you rate the federal government’s response to the Flint water crisis?

Explain your answer and what you would do, if anything, to improve the federal government’s response.

Have you ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor? If so, explain.

Have you ever filed for personal bankruptcy? If so, explain.

Do you believe Michigan’s tax system is generally fair? If not, what changes do you support?

Would you support the establishment of a Detroit Educational Commission that would have authority to site, open and close traditional public and charter schools?

What changes, if any, would you support in the way Michigan authorizes and regulates charter schools?

Do you favor amending the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity?

Do you support state-level laws modeled on the federal Restoration of Religious Freedom Act?

Have you signed any public pledge to support or oppose any organization’s public policy objectives, such as outlawing abortion or barring any increase in taxes?

Do you support legislation to minimize or eliminate the influence of political parties on drawing lines for legislative districts?

Do you support decriminalization of recreational marijuana?

Do you support and will you appear at campaign events with your party’s presidential nominee?

Do you support the renewal and/or expansion of renewable energy mandates for Michigan energy producers?

Do we incarcerate too many people in Michigan? What would you change in the criminal justice system?

City of residence Allen Park, MI
Age 52
Family Nina (wife), Nick (son), Angelo (son), and Antonio (son)
Education B.A. Michigan State University; Allen Park High School
Vehicles owned Ford F-150, Ford Fusion
Professional Experience Fruehauf Trailers 1987-1991, East Manufacturing 1992 - 2002
Political Experience Allen Park Public Schools Board of Education, 2004-2012, Board President from 2006-2012; State Representative 2014-present.
Race/ethnicity Caucasian
Campaign Website http://www.voteliberati.com
Twitter http://None
YouTube http://None
Incumbent? true
The state could assist school districts by lowering the MPSERS cap. This would level the playing field between charters and traditional public schools by taking away what is a significant (sometimes over $1,000 per pupil) disparity in our school funding system. Additionally, Republicans have passed legislation that privatizes education by expanding charter and cyber schools and by outsourcing non-instructional services. Every time the state privatizes a piece of our education system, it lessens contributions to the pension system. If we are serious about the long-term pension liabilities and rising cost of MPSERS, we should look at the whole problem in our education funding system.
The funds provided to our local governments are wholly inadequate to effectively deliver services, especially public safety, to our communities. In the last 14 years, state revenue sharing has decreased nearly 61%, and in 2016 alone revenue sharing is being underfunded by $585 million statewide. This is strangling our already struggling local governments and has resulted in cuts to municipal workforces and employee wages, especially for police and fire services. As such, I support fully funding Michigan’s revenue sharing program to provide our cities with the resources they need to rebuild their crumbling infrastructure and provide effective public services.
After the mismanagement of the Detroit Public School system under years of emergency manager control, the Flint Water Crisis, and the many other examples from across the state, it is clear that emergency managers have failed to significantly improve the stature of the communities they serve. The law currently vests too much absolute power in the hands of an unelected bureaucrat and was rejected by the voters in 2012 for infringing upon their local control. We must repeal the current emergency manager law and focus on strategies for helping our communities stay out of financial distress.
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For over a year the residents of Flint were poisoned, while our Republican controlled state government refused to take action in response to the worst man-made crisis in our state’s history. As a result of this pitiful response, and the decision to place cost savings over the livelihood of Flint residents in the first place, I believe we must do whatever we can to provide the children of Flint with the resources to help overcome the neurological damage caused by lead poisoning and that all residents have access to clean water. The funds provided by the legislature are a step in the right direction, but we must continue to work together to address any further needs as they arise.
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Directly following the emergency declaration, the federal government quickly moved into action to help the people of Flint. In fact, within days FEMA advisors were sent to the community and emergency funds were allocated to relief efforts. Additionally, while the EPA could have done more to advocate for the people of Flint, they continuously challenged the false claims about the condition of Flint’s water coming from Snyder’s Dept. of Environmental Quality. While I believe more could have been done, Snyder’s Flint Water Advisory Task Force placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of our Republican controlled state government for allowing this crisis to happen.
No
No
Since 2010, Michigan Republicans have continuously shifted the tax burden directly on the backs of working families, while giving corporations billions of dollars in tax credits. It is clear that working families are the economic engines of our economy and we cannot sustain economic growth under the unfair tax system we currently have. This is why I will continue to fight for a tax system that makes sense by restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit and Homestead Property Tax Credit to the levels that previously supported Michigan families. Additionally, a centerpiece of my campaign is fighting for wide-ranging tax reform that will lead to tax cuts for 95% of Michigan families.
I absolutely support the creation of the Detroit Education Commission. The more than 48,000 Detroit students deserve a stable and effective education system that provides them with the opportunities to grow and be successful in life. To achieve this, we must establish a commission to regulate the chaotic opening and closing of schools and bring structural stability to the district. Without this provision we cannot guarantee the long-term viability of the new DPS district, nor will we be able to garner strong buy-in from the many stakeholders, from parents to teachers and businesses, which are essential to any successful reform plan.
While there are some successful charter schools in Michigan, I do not believe the unaccountable proliferation of charter schools improves our education system. In Michigan, wealthy special interests protect failing charter schools—many of whom generate profits for private companies—without regard for student achievement, and it must end. We must place real accountability and oversight over charter schools through reinstating a cap on charter schools and developing strong regulations over school operators. Additionally, we must ban for-profit companies from siphoning public funds away from our schools and our student’s futures.
I fully support amending the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to provide legal protections based on gender identity and sexual orientation. I am a staunch believer in the fact that every person—regardless of age, gender, race, or sexual orientation—has equal rights under the law. If we want to become the state I know we can be, we must treat every person with the respect and dignity they deserve.
I fully support an individual’s right to practice whatever religion they wish, in any manner they wish, just as long as it does not infringe upon anyone else’s personal rights. This is why I will not support any law like the so called Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which gives people a license to discriminate against anyone who does not hold the same religious values. We must come together to fix our state’s greatest challenges, and bills such as RFRA only seek to drive people apart.
No
Today, our democracy is plagued by partisanship and special interest influence over the political process—and this couldn’t be any clearer than with the redrawing of legislative districts. Politicians should not be allowed to pick and choose who their voters are, like they have been for decades. As we have clearly seen, the process of redrawing district lines based on political party or special interest needs is destroying our democracy and has created a dysfunctional government that only works for a wealthy few. We must establish an independent re-districting commission to remove partisan influence over the re-drawing of district borders.
I agree with many critics that the prohibition on marijuana has actually hurt our communities more than it ever helped. However, I have reservations against moving too swiftly with any decriminalization reforms. I believe we must come to a common sense solution that ensures minors cannot gain access to marijuana while moving towards a decriminalized system.
Yes
I’ve supported the “Powering Michigan’s Future” legislative package, which focuses on investing in Michigan’s growing renewable energy industry while also ensuring we manage rising energy costs in a cost effective and clean way. I will continue to support increasing energy optimization requirements and doubling renewable energy standards—which together have fostered a growing $3.5 billion renewable energy industry in Michigan. Our goal must be to keep energy production in Michigan while promoting the cleanest methods available that ensures our energy is both reliable and affordable.
Michigan’s incarceration rate is below the national average, but reducing the number of Michigan prisons should be one of our state’s top priorities in an effort to reduce state-wide spending on corrections. I have supported presumptive parole legislation that would let non-violent prisoners out of jail at their earliest parole date, which will net an estimated $80 million state savings while also providing inmates with the opportunity to become productive members of our communities. I will continue to support legislation that takes a proactive approach to limiting the number of Michigan prisoners by improving education and providing greater opportunities for our young people.
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