In the Fourth installment of the 2014 Texas Leftist Candidate Questionnaire, we hear from Rita Lucido, candidate for the Texas State Senate, District 17. She is a Democrat.
Please note: Responses have been received directly from the candidate, and have been posted ver batim from the email received. This is done out of fairness to all candidates. Publishing these responses does not constitute an endorsement, but will be considered during the endorsement process.
TL: What is your name, as it will appear on the ballot?
RL: Rita Lucido
TL: Are you a current or former elected official? If so what office(s)?
TL: As a political candidate, you clearly care about what happens in certain levels of government. In your own words, why is government important?
RL: I have witnessed how deeply the actions of the Texas legislature can impact the life of every-day Texans. Funding for programs for at-risk high school students get cut and a family suffers when their 15 year old can’t make it any more. Restrictions are put on certain health care providers, and a woman loses her family doctor and affordable birth control. These are just a couple of examples how the Texas legislature is really where “the rubber meets the road” for all of us.
TL: If elected, name your top 3 priorities you hope to accomplish for 2015 legislative session. Describe how you plan to accomplish them.
RL: Strategic transportation planning and funding, accessing funds to expand health coverage for the huge number of uninsured Texans, improving the quality of our public schools. By working with smart, responsible legislators from both parties, I think I can accomplish a great deal on all of these goals. We will have more resources in the State treasury next session and our Texas Legislature must set priorities and do the hard work our communities sent us to Austin to do.
TL: A 2013 survey found that 54 percent of Texas voters support Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Expansion is also supported by the Texas Hospital Association. Without Medicaid Expansion or an alternate solution, Texas Hospitals are having to provide over $5 billion dollars annually in uncompensated care to patients who lack insurance. This leaves Texas taxpayers paying not only for the uncompensated care of our residents, but also paying for expanded healthcare benefits in other states. If elected, would you support Medicaid Expansion or an alternate solution for the state of Texas, so we can bring our tax dollars back where they belong? If not, please explain why. If so, please explain how you would work to pass such a measure.
TL: In the coming years, the state of Texas is projected to have a population boom of historic proportions. But with more people and more opportunities comes an ever-increasing strain on Texas roads and infrastructure. Describe your thoughts on what needs to be done to improve Texas infrastructure now so we can plan for a bright future for the state.
We need to look strategically at our transportation system and how we fund transportation and infrastructure. Currently TxDOT pays $1.3B per year in debt service on over $15B in bonds that have been issued since 2006. This is unsustainable for a state as prosperous as ours. I’m committed to working on transportation issues and bringing solutions from all sectors to the table for consideration.
TL: What makes you the best candidate for this office?
RL: I am a person who experienced what the power of people of good will coming together can have when they decide to fix a problem or make change for the better. My experience in leadership for several non-profit boards in the Houston area has given me a good understanding of the importance of appropriate and strategic policy. My experience as a family lawyer for 31 years has honed my ability to work with people in the most polarizing situations. Additionally, I believe that my intellectual curiosity to find the best answer and best practices when faced with a problem suit me well for the Texas Senate.
I have run my own business for 31 years, met payroll and prospered in the Houston area. My opponent is a life-long government employee who doesn’t seem to appreciate the benefits the government can provide for others.
TL: When not on the campaign trail, how do you like to spend your free time?
RL: When not at my desk at my law-firm I like to travel, cook, sew and read.
Thanks to Ms. Lucido for her participation.