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Michigan Representative District 41

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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  • Martin Howrylak
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Cyndi Peltonen
    (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?

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City of residence Clawson
Mailing Address PO Box 180
Clawson, MI 48017
Age 62
Family Husband Bill, children Rebecca, Meredith, Will, Mikey, daughter in law Heather, grandson Rhuland
Education Central Michigan University, Master of Science in Public Administration, in progress; Wayne State University, Bachelor of Music, Music Education K-12
Vehicles owned 2013 Chevy Cruz, 2008 Saturn Sky, 2002 Chevy S-10 Pickup
Professional Experience A unique blend of professional experience - 8 years in the corporate world, 15 years as a small business owner, and 28 years in the education community - lets me look at issues through a multi-faceted lens.
Political Experience I was elected to the Clawson Board of Education five times, serving over 20 years, as President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer. I ran for State Senate in 2014 and won the primary against a well-funded opponent.
Race/ethnicity Caucasian
Campaign Website http://www.cyndipeltonen.com
Incumbent? false
The State should give back to municipalities and schools the money it's been diverting over the years. Instead of making the difficult choices necessary to balance their budgets, legislators simply reduced the amount returned to communities and schools. According to the Michigan Municipal League, since 2003, the City of Clawson has lost $4,005,247 and Troy has lost $23, 511,977! That would go a long way in meeting financial obligations to retirees. Likewise, the state has shifted taxes revenues away from our locally controlled public schools. In 2011 legislators slashed school funding by $1.4 billion for corporate tax breaks, but the promised jobs never materialized.
No. Over the past twelve years, the legislature has reduced revenue sharing to local communities, including counties, so much that payments are now $6.2 billion below full funding, even as sales tax collections have increased. These losses have resulted in cuts to public services, including public safety. According to the Michigan Municipal League, in 2014, there are nearly 2,315 fewer police officers and 1,800 fewer firefighters on Michigan streets since the September 11, 2001 tragedy. Restoring revenue sharing programs would be a good place to start.

The emergency financial manager law is undemocratic, because it takes local control away from a community’s residents. We need to return decision-making in our communities to the elected officials that residents voted into office. Emergency financial managers have failed our communities and our school districts. We should look at adequately funding revenue sharing and repeal the emergency manager law.

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Because the City of Flint was under emergency management before, during and after the City’s water source was switched to the Flint River, concerns of residents over the quality and safety of the water were ignored. I support creating an independent Water Ombudsman, to hear complaints from residents, investigate as necessary, publicize their findings and advocate for water customers.

We need to create clear guidelines for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Michigan State Police (MSP), along with other state agencies, to mobilize and work together in the event of a water crisis.

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At the direction of President Obama, there has been an all-of-government response to this crisis: from the over 9 million liters of water and 50,000 filters distributed by FEMA, to the expansion of Medicaid, funding for Head Start and local health centers by HHS, to water testing and technical expertise by EPA, and helping to provide help for the local economy to recover by SBA, HUD and others.President Obama issued an emergency declaration for the State of Michigan and ordered Federal aid to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions in Flint, Michigan, affected by contaminated water.

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No, our tax system is out of date and needs reform. Many Michigan families are losing ground. We must make amends for the massive tax shift orchestrated by Gov. Snyder and the republican controlled legislature, which increased taxes on the middle class, seniors and working families by $1.6 billion, while cutting taxes for corporations by nearly $2 billion dollars. We should reinstate the senior income tax exemption and the $600 child deduction, increase the Earned Income Credit and expand the Homestead property tax credit, create refundable child tax credits, and create an income tax credit of 50% of the amount paid on student loan debt. In addition, everyone must pay their fair share.

No, that is the job of the elected members of the Board of Education.
Michigan has the most lax charter school laws in the nation. This has attracted profiteer management companies that funnel our tax dollars to themselves. First, we must not open any more charter schools until we have a better plan for oversight and accountability on this use of our tax dollars. Next, we must hold charter and virtual schools accountable to the same standards of transparency, reporting and treatment of employees, as we do our community governed schools. Third, we need to revise per pupil funding. K-8 charter schools and virtual schools with a high student teacher ratio and no brick and mortar costs, do not need the same amount per pupil as a comprehensive K-12 school.

Yes. It's time the state catches up with the 40 local communities who already offer this protection. Discrimination in any form violates our core American values of fairness and equality. To think you could lose your job, or be denied housing because of how you look or who you love is unconscionable. In addition, to attract and keep top talent we must be welcoming to all.
While the original intent of the Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act seemed necessary, it seems some state level laws are perverting the original intent. It should not be used as a defense for discrimination.
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Yes. Michigan has a chance to be proactive on this issue by joining a handful of other progressive states in regulating and taxing the use of the plant. A 2015 Gallup poll reported that 58% of Americans believe the use of marijuana should be made legal. Making it legal would be an additional source of tax revenue and help keep it out of the hands of minors. By helping eliminate the illegal production, processing, and sale we could reduce crime and save on enforcement and incarceration. Many Michigan adults already use marijuana, regulating it would help ensure safe consumption. The argument that marijuana is a "gateway" drug has been widely discredited by numerous studies.
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Yes. Continuing to increase Michigan’s clean energy targets creates jobs, controls energy costs and protects the health of Michigan kids, families and seniors - and continues our path to energy independence. Michigan’s successful energy laws have spurred more than $3 billion in investment since 2008 and support over 87,000 jobs in the clean energy sector. Besides lower utility bills for everyone, renewable energy and energy efficiency policies are tools for economic growth.
Yes. We spend $35,000 annually on someone in prison, and around $8,000 on a public school student. Our tax dollars could be put to better use. Prison should be a last resort for criminals who are a danger to the public. We need to find alternatives for non-violent offenders - those who are in for shoplifting, writing bad checks, failure to pay child support, or drug possession, for example.

The Pew Center on States found Michigan prison stays are far longer than the national norm. We need shorter sentences and more alternatives for special populations - children under 21, people in their 70s and 80s using walkers and wheel chairs, and those with brain damage and dementia.

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