Shea Backus

Shea Backus

Shea Backus 

Democrat for Nevada State Assembly District 37

 

Candidate contact information:

Email address: backusfornevada@icloud.com

Phone number: 702-466-5495

Facebook: @BackusForNevada

Twitter: @SheaBackusEsq

Website: www.backusfornevada.com 

 

 

CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE RESPONSES

 

Please share briefly what inspired you to run for this office and why you feel you’re qualified for the position.:

 

Throughout my life, I believe in giving back to my community. Deciding to run was premised on making a positive impact for Nevadans. As an attorney, I’m able to provide pro bono representation to children subject to abuse and neglect, as well as those that cannot typically afford counsel. Being an attorney for over 16 years has also provided a solid foundation in reviewing proposed legislation, being inquisitive about the impact of proposed bills, and allowing for negotiations over issues presented in a bill.

 

What policies would you pursue to diversify the state’s economy and create new jobs that pay a living wage?

 

With COVID-19 impact on our community, I am open to the discussion of any and all policies to diversify our economy. I am concern about the ripple impact of closing non-essential businesses; thus, I am definitely available to discuss any innovative policy ideas.

 

The 2019 Nevada Legislature passed Assembly Joint Resolution 10 (AJR 10) to amend the Nevada Constitution to remove the two-tiered minimum wage system and ensure a set minimum wage of $12. What are your views on passing AJR 10 in the 2021 Nevada Legislative Session to put it on the ballot in 2022?:

 

While we are representatives of Nevadans implementing laws impacting wages, a ballot measure is left to the people to ultimately determine whether such minimum wage shall be amended in our state constitution. With AJR 10, it is pertinent for voters to understand that by removing the two-tiered minimum wage, there will no longer be any offset for those employers providing health insurance to their employees.

 

In 2019, Nevada joined the US Climate Alliance and took aggressive steps to address climate change by increasing our Renewable Portfolio Standard and encourage a shift to clean energy sources such as solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and wind. What policies do you support to continue this effort, particularly in the transportation sector?

 

I stand with Nevadans in support of implementing policy to address climate change. With COVID-19's impact on our state budget, some policies may be restrained due to fiscal restraints in 2021. With that being said, I am definitely open to furthering our efforts in clean, public transportation.

 

How can the State work with localities to address the housing and homelessness crisis we are currently facing? Specifically, what measures or policies can we enact to make housing more affordable for all Nevadans?

 

While I understand the impact that COVID-19 is going to have on our state budget in 2021, I do support policies that incentivize the development of affordable housing. One bill that I liked from 2021 provided state tax credits to assist with filling the gap for the development of affordable housing when other resources (e.g. federal tax credits) do not cover 100% of development costs. Since it is anticipated that our state revenue will be extremely tight next session, I am open to any innovative policy ideas to increase the development of affordable housing in our community.

 

If elected, do you support bold enhancements to the existing paid sick days law?

 

As a small business owner, I don't believe in isolating paid time off to sick days only. I have learned over the years that some employees don't just need sick days, but really need paid time off to make appointments or take care of family or friends. This issue became personal for me when I became a care giver to my father-in-law. While I am a shareholder in a small business, it was nice to know that my employees also could have taken the time off to ensure that their family member made it to necessary appointments.

 

With the possibility of the Affordable Care Act being repealed by the Supreme Court, including the Medicaid expansion and protections on coverage for preexisting conditions, what should be done to address the way in which Nevadans get access to affordable health care?

 

 

This past session, we did pass legislation to prevent insurance carriers from barring coverage for preexisting coverage. Nevada stepped up to make sure that preexisting conditions are covered should the ACA be repealed. I am excited to have voted for SCR10, which will yield a study on the feasibility, viability and design of a public healthcare insurance plan offered to all residents of the state.

 

 

The United States has become the most dangerous place in the world for a woman to give birth, especially black women. For every 100,000 live births, 42 women die. What policies would you support to protect pregnant mothers?

 

I was proud to serve as a co-sponsor of AB169 to establish a Maternal Mortality Review Committee, which is to look at each incident of maternal mortality in our state. I am looking forward to seeing the findings of this Committee as I believe it is important to understand the cause for each incident prior to implementing policies that may or not resolve the problem.

 

In 2019, Nevada state family planning grant funding was increased by way of legislation. What additional measures do you believe are still needed to ensure families have equitable access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care?

 

 

I fully support ensuring families have equitable access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care. Prior to COVID-19, I was hoping to co-sponsor a bill to support Medicaid coverage for non-invasive pre-natal screening. Being faced with drastic cuts to our state budget, it is going to be difficult to implement policies that would result in increased funding.

 

 

What do you believe is the best approach to ensure all of Nevada’s children have equal access to a quality public education? How do we address the significant education funding shortfall?

 

 

In light of the impact that COVID-19 is going to have on our state’s revenue, it is pertinent for everyone to come to the table to discuss the best options to address the shortfall of revenue and how to best allocate that revenue to the state’s expenses, including education. I was so proud of my colleagues in securing record amounts of funding to be allocated to education last session. I am open to discuss any creative funding for education in our state next session.

 

 

The majority of Nevada’s children are children of color, and many families have been affected by current immigration policies, incarceration, and criminal sentencing policies. How would you work to address these issues to provide opportunities to all Nevadans?

 

 

Sitting on Judiciary Committee last session and looking at various policies, it seemed clear that there are policies for criminal sentencing that were slanted against those of color and economic status. I am quite interested in finding ways to secure federal funding under the Family First Prevention Act to start helping families who could become susceptible to the child welfare system and criminal justice system by getting them early resources for success.

 

 

What are your views on the use of Nevada’s financial resources to support the deportation efforts of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency?

 

 

We should not have to use state resources to do the work for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

 

 

In 2019, Nevada significantly expanded voting rights and accessibility to voting locations. What additional measures, if any, are needed to improve the efficiency, accessibility, and integrity of elections?

 

 

Like all laws that get passed, I am sure that may be issues that could go wrong. It is important to see whether there are ways that hinder one’s access to the polls in order to find policies to make sure that no one does not have efficient and accessible access to the polls. With COVID-19 potentially impacting our elections, we definitely need to make sure that it does not hinder the laws we did pass last session, such as same day registration. Individuals should have ease to access a way to same day registration and be able to cast their vote.

 

 

What are your positions on legislation to address gun violence prevention?

 

 

One of my biggest concerns with respect to gun violence is those with mental health and a history of domestic violence and violent offenders having access to firearms. While our state implemented various laws last session, I do believe we need to find a way to make sure that background checks adequately include those who are more than likely to commit violence with a firearm.

 

 

What are your views on regulating marijuana within the state of Nevada?

 

Last session, I believe we took a step in the right direction by not having the Department of Taxation regulate Cannabis, rather treat it similar to the gaming industry. I am sure with the implementation of Cannabis Compliance Board and Cannabis Advisory Commission, we will gain insight in issues regarding cannabis that may require implementation of laws. This could range from anything from addressing addiction, collection of revenue, transparency in licensing, and safe operation of motor vehicles.

 

Nevada has one of the largest shares of public land of any state in the country, providing access for a variety of recreational and commercial uses. How would you address the issues related to public lands and their continued future uses?

 

I am beyond excited that we now have a Division of Outdoor Recreation, which was also established during last session. I am looking forward to how this division can assist with diversifying our economy, especially at a time we are facing with COVID-19 and restrictions on people gathering in large groups in confined areas. This new division could amplify Nevada’s greatness of its public lands, while benefitting from it already being a tourist destination.

 

Nevada is experiencing a more than a decade long drought. What is your position on addressing climate change and protecting Nevada’s water supply?

 

 

I stand with Nevadans in support of implementing policy to address climate change. With COVID-19's impact on our state budget, some policies may be restrained due to fiscal restraints in 2021. With that being said, I am definitely open to furthering our efforts in clean, public transportation.

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