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Michigan Representative District 68

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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  • Randy Pilon
    (Rep)

  • Robert Powell
    (L)

  • Candidate picture

    Andy Schor
    (Dem)

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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?

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?

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?

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

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?

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 support decriminalization of recreational marijuana?

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

The Lansing region is home to nearly 15,000 state workers. What protections should those workers have from lawsuits filed against them for their actions in the performance of their job duties?

The Lansing region for many years had a Capitol Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of a dozen or so legislators from the region’s districts, which focused on solutions to local and regional issues, support for the FRIB being among them. It was disbanded in recent years. Do you support this type of caucus? If not, why? If yes, what specifically would you do to revive it?

Should Michigan’s Right to Work laws be expanded, repealed, or modified? Explain your position.

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City of residence Lansing
Age 41
Family My wife (Erin Schor) and I have been married for 15 years and are the proud parents of two children, Ryan (12) and Hannah (10).
Education I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, both from the University of Michigan. I earned those degrees in May of 1997.
Vehicles owned Chevy Volt Ford Freestyle
Professional Experience Before beginning my service the House, I served as Assistant Director for State Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League, where I represented the interests of urban communities throughout the state. Before that, I worked for State Senator Gary Peters (now US Senator Peters) for five years and for State Representative Paul Condino for two years. I also served in Governor Granholm's administration.
Political Experience I am in my second term in the Michigan House of Representatives. Before coming to the House, I served for ten years as an Ingham County Commissioner. During my time on the Commission, I served as the Vice Chair of the Board of Commissioners, Chair of the Finance Committee, Chair of the Law Enforcement Committee, Chair of the County Services Committee, Chair of the Human Services Committee, and as a member of the Judiciary Committee. I had many successes as a Commissioner, including passing a budget as Finance Chair during tough economic times that didn't include cuts to programs and managed to put more police officers back in the community.
Race/ethnicity Jewish
Campaign Website http://www.andyschor.com
Incumbent? true
We can start by adequately funding them. In addition to greatly decreased property values resulting in less revenues, state funding for education at all levels has been cut dramatically and is now close to being back to where it was in 2010, yet there have been significant cost of living increases each year (especially in health care). In order for Michigan to be competitive, we need to have a strong and vibrant education system in place, and that cannot happen when our students see continuous cuts to the support they need to succeed. We also need to provide municipalities and schools with tools and options to assist with legacy costs instead of mandates.
The state has not honored its commitment to cities in about 15 years. Revenue sharing, which are dollars promised to the communities when local taxes started being collected by the state, has been taken for state needs. Upwards of $700 million per year since the early 2000’s has been redirected. We can start to solve the municipal finance problems by restoring revenue sharing. We can also provide more options for municipalities to fund themselves. Voters should be able to decide how much they want to tax themselves, and artificial limits are barriers to local decisions. We need to talk to our local officials about what the needs are in their community.
After the Snyder Administration ignored the problem and criticized those raising concerns, the state’s damage control response was decent. After acknowledging the problem exists, the Legislature quickly passed money to move the city back to Detroit water and passed appropriations for assistance to the community. We need to do more, though. The state needs an effective lead pipe replacement plan and a plan to re-coat the pipes so Flint residents can use water out of their taps and showers without needing filters. I am also concerned that future legislatures will lose the political will to continue to invest in Flint to address the long term effects of the crisis after the spotlight has faded.
Clearly, we need more dollars to go towards replacing lead service lines. Lansing’s own BWL has almost finished their multi-year process of line replacement, and in the course of their program developed a faster, far less expensive method for replacing these lines. I would like to see that further replicated in Flint, who is working with the BWL currently. The community, rightly so, has become untrusting of government at all levels. I believe a step in rebuilding that trust would be the visible progress of lead line replacement across Flint. I think we need more comprehensive long term plans for reinvestment in our infrastructure to help make sure this type of thing doesn’t happen again.
The allocation of money, declaration of a state of emergency, and use of the national guard have been helpful. While they were deficient in their response as well, the resignation of the EPA administrator that was dismissive of the EPA employee’s concerns was a step in the right direction. Additionally, allowing Medicaid dollars to be expanded for use in Flint has been helpful.
It might be worth revisiting the lead and copper standards, which are clearly too low and should have detected the problem earlier or prevented the problem entirely. As with the state response, I’d like to see a long term commitment to pipe removal and permanent solutions that continue after the headlines disappear. I’d like to see continued investment in the community that helps ameliorate the potential effects of lead exposure.
No
No
I support a fair taxation system where all pay their fair share. We should not ask the most vulnerable members of our population to make the most significant sacrifice for the good of our state. At this point, I believe that we need stability in the tax system and do not want to see drastic changes in our system. I would support, though, reinstatement of the many tax credits that Michigan taxpayers lost when the new tax system was put into place (i.e. homestead credits, reduced EITC, home heating credits, etc.). I remain concerned that those updates to our business tax structure were realized at the expense of too many of Michigan’s vulnerable residents.
Ideally we would adequately fund cities with revenue sharing so we wouldn’t have cities struggling with the sort of structural disinvestment that we know can’t truly be solved by an emergency manager simply coming in and cutting services to the point that a city no longer functions State intervention should be through assistance and options offered by Treasury of local officials to consider. Any takeover, which I still oppose, should come with dollars if an emergency manager does things to lower the property values of a community. Emergency managers reduce the quality of life causing property values to drop and causing future problems.
Yes. It’s clear that the LGBT community suffers from discrimination and threats in a variety of settings including basic needs like housing and employment. It’s past time that we extend the protection of the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act to our friends and loved ones in the LGBT community and help make Michigan a safe place for them.
No. I fully support people exercising their freedom of religion, but it’s clear that right is not limitless. People simply cannot pick and choose which laws they don’t want to follow and claim a religious exemption in order to discriminate against others. Our laws should protect us from discrimination, not allow for it.
I generally don’t sign these. I make a few rare exceptions when something is absolute but I don’t generally sign something agreeing to an organization’s public policy objectives. Signing public pledges can inhibit my ability to react to new developments.
Yes. I have co-sponsored a constitutional amendment that would have the lines be drawn by a non-partisan commission. I am also looking into legislation that would create other options to draw the lines by a non-partisan or bi-partisan committee. I agree with the current Apol standards, but they can still be manipulated when being drawn by a partisan body (especially when all three branches of government are controlled by one party, as has happened in the last two redistricting efforts).
Yes. I supported the bi-partisan Senate package pushed by Detroiters and Gov. Snyder, that included the DEC. Many of the stakeholders, importantly community based ones, have made it clear that a properly structured DEC would right-size the schools in Detroit and help reduce the current “wild west” situation.
Charter schools need to be on a level playing field with traditional public schools. They need to be compensated for the services they provide (i.e. if they provide transportation then they should receive more funding and if not, they should not). I also have concerns about the creation of charter schools without any planning. Communities should be able to decide the number of traditional and charter schools. Additionally, charter schools adhere to quality standards, have sufficient oversight, and commit to full financial disclosure.
My constituents have voted to decriminalize small amounts of recreational marijuana in Lansing. We also have a big problem with a proliferation of marijuana dispensaries, though, due to interpretations of the medical marihuana law. If a statewide proposal to fully decriminalize recreational marijuana came across my desk, I would be open to consideration. I would want to see the interaction with federal law, though. I would not want to decriminalize this then have federal authorities make arrests for usage.
Yes, I support Secretary Clinton, and I would be happy to appear at events with her.
I support the renewal of renewable energy mandates, and would support expansion as long as it does not result in large increases in rates to Michigan residents. We know we need to replace Michigan’s aging energy infrastructure in the coming years. Replacing that generating capacity is crucial, and renewables continues to make sense as the prices of new wind and solar generation continue to drop.
When we spend more on corrections than we do on higher education I think we need to take a step back and ask ourselves some very honest questions about who we’re incarcerating and for how long. I am concerned about the length of sentences for non-violent crimes, and have supported measures like presumptive parole and other cost savings measures where non-violent offenders are released and put in programs to correct their behaviors instead of further punish. I think we also need to reconsider mandatory sentencing that take away a judge’s ability to consider the circumstances of a crime when sentencing.
Our state workers need to continue to be protected for taking actions required by their jobs in protecting the state. The state should pay the legal fees of employees sued for doing their job and following the law. Our hardworking state employees should not be afraid to do their jobs because they fear abandonment by the state if they get sued. That being said, any state worker breaking the law or failing to perform their job due to negligence can and should be held liable and fired. This has happened many times and the system is working.
The Capitol Caucus was re-created by Reps. Joan Bauer and Paul Opsommer. I chaired the Capitol Caucus during my first term and we met often. We took positions on issues important for the region, toured facilities in the Lansing area, responded to crises (including the ice storm and blackout), and quarterly met with business interests through the Capitol Area Michigan Works! Organization. . We generally work towards common, bipartisan goals that foster growth and development in the Greater Lansing area. The caucus discussions help us reach across party lines and between chambers to work more effectively on issues that affect Lansing. This session, the Caucus is chaired by Sen. Rick Jones.

I oppose so-called ‘Right to Work’ initiatives, policies, and legislation. Federal laws require that all workers receive the benefits of those in a union. As such, under the so-called Right to Work law, workers can leave the union yet still demand union representation if they have a grievance. And demand the same pay and benefits of a union worker. So these workers receive all the benefits of being in the union without actually paying the union dues. Passage of this law has done nothing to help in Michigan’s economic recovery. It was solely done to weaken the unions that have fought so hard for important worker protections. I would be supportive of repealing this law.

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