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Michigan Representative District 89

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

    Mary Buzuma
    (L)

  • Jim Lilly
    (Rep)

  • Tim Meyer
    (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?

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 Grand Haven
Age 59
Family Single
Education B.A. Political Science Kalamazoo College
Vehicles owned Chevrolet Cavalier
Professional Experience 26 years in the US Navy as an Intelligence Specialist.
Political Experience Libertarian candidate: US Congress 2012 Governor 2014
Race/ethnicity White
Campaign Website http://electmarybuzuma.com
Incumbent? false
Years of under funding pensions has led to large liabilities that in the near future will require severe cuts to public services. The easiest way for municipalities/school districts to ensure they can pay employees what was promised is to get out of the defined benefit pension business by closing the system to newly hired employees. I would support legislation that helps cities level the playing field by making a defined benefit pension no longer a subject of collective bargaining and also to close the MSPERS to new employees.
Yes. The question is not the funding but what are cities doing with the money? Constitutional revenue sharing payments have increased along with property tax revenue. If cities are still struggling to fund basic services then they need to re-prioritize their spending.
Review the books and decide whether there is a financial emergency. If there is, a consent agreement allows the state to prescribe conditions and actions to deal with the financial problem. It allows the local officials to remain in power which is better than emergency management and better than bankruptcy. City officials have to follow through and do what’s right to rebalance the books. No dollars should be attached. No bailouts.
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In spite of all the red flags no one acted until it was too late. State agencies responsible for the public health (MDEQ and DHHS) made poor decisions and never backed off from these decisions despite information to the contrary. There is a total lack of accountability and transparency in Michigan government. Michigan’s lax laws enable legislators and the governor to dodge scrutiny by exempting them from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). But bills to remove the governor and other legislators from exemption have gone nowhere. New legislation needs to be passed and if it’s vetoed, the House and Senate should vote to override the veto.
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The EPA didn’t follow their rules concerning the Safe Drinking Water Act. They had the authority to step in to aid in the water crisis much earlier. If contamination was known in June 2015 it shouldn’t have taken until Jan 2016 to issue an emergency order. The director of the EPA needs to ensure the regional directors know the rules and correct procedures to carry out their responsibilities.
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A better question would be: Is what Michigan taxpayer’s pay for fair? It’s not fair that hard earned taxpayer’s money should continue to fund corporate welfare. It’s not fair that that hard earned taxpayer’s money continue to fund failing schools. It’s not fair that defined benefit pension plans will rob future generations of their hard earned taxpayer money. I could go on, but you get the picture.
No. Let the Advisory Council that was part of the DPS bailout package do its work. Many families are choosing charter schools over the poor performing schools in their district. Continue allowing parents to choose the school that’s best for their children and bureaucrats should butt out.
Authorizers do a good job in approving charter schools and they also close poor performers when they need to. However, all district and charter schools should be graded on a consistent basis. Adopt a statewide A-to-F school grading system that meaningfully measures student academic achievement and growth to provide parents with accurate, easy-to-understand pictures of performance.
People have a right to freedom of association, and the government should not have the right to discriminate. While I agree with the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act as it applies to public services, the first section of the 14th Amendment to the Federal Constitution does a much better job of this without the need to enumerate specific groups. The rest of the act violates a person’s right of freedom of voluntary relationships with another person against his or her will.
No. I have no issue if the discrimination in question is the work of the government. When Kim Davis tried to use the power of her office to deny marriage licenses to gay couples she was rightly ordered to desist. Private discrimination is a different matter. Different people hold different beliefs about morality. Government should not "significantly infringe upon" religion and "the free exercise thereof”. Freedom of religion becomes you’re free to believe something privately inside your head as long it has absolutely no public implication for your actions. I don’t think that’s what the founders had in mind.
As of this date I have not received any requests of this nature.
Yes. People have the right to choose their representatives rather than vice versa. I would support the legislation if it involved an independent commission. The devil would be in the details.
No. I support full legalization. Decriminalization is only half the answer. As long as supplying drugs remains illegal, the business will remain a criminal monopoly. By legalizing cannabis from cultivation to retail, you snatch the industry away from criminals and give it to law-abiding entrepreneurs. The state should refrain from overtaxing and over-regulating it.
I am an enthusiastic supporter of Gary Johnson and if given the opportunity I would appear with him.
No. The renewable energy mandate is “green” corporate welfare. If renewable energy was such a great deal for consumers and businesses, the state wouldn’t have to mandate it.
Yes. Criminal laws should be limited in their application to violations of the rights of others through force or fraud, or to deliberate actions that place others involuntarily at significant risk of harm. Laws that create crimes without victims should be repealed.
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