Zach Hurwitz Responds to the Oct. 11th Gubernatorial Debate

Updated: Oct 14


Even though I wasn't invited to the October 11th Gubernatorial Debate, I still have many thoughts about the questions asked and the responses by Kalus and McKee.


Energy Costs


Ashley Kalus states that Gov. McKee hasn't done enough to help curb the rising Energy Costs. I disagree with Ashley on many things, but I agree with her on this point. With the impending rise of approximately 47% in energy costs for Rhode Island households, we need to move quickly in helping reduce these costs and even stop these from being implemented. We need to stop the monopoly of RI Energy. We need to regulate this sector much better than we have done. I will help lower income RI residents now, before the winter hits.


There was discussion about the high salaries in Gov. McKee’s administration. He should start focusing on the people of RI, not on giving raises and bonuses to those in your administration. People shouldn't get involved in Government if their objective is to become a high wage earner. They should get involved in Government because they want to serve the people of their State. As an outsider, I am not in it for the money or to build wealth. I am doing it for my love of RI and all of its citizens to make RI an even greater State to live in.


Abortion


Ashley Kalus is willing to hold the entire State budget hostage just to make her point that she doesn't want to allow people on medicaid and state workers access to the same benefits that Rhode Islanders receive from private insurers. We should be certain that there is equity among all Rhode Islanders, not just a select few.


As I shared several weeks ago through a position statement on Reproductive Rights, we must protect and be respectful of a women’s right to choose as well as protecting clinicians who provide care for women. Next, we can reduce the rate of unwanted pregnancies through mandating health plans to cover contraceptives and improving the quality of reproductive education for students. I will encourage and support education and the offering of counseling services to women and couples to explain all of their options if they are considering termination of a pregnancy. I believe that a women’s right to choose should be respected and a medical provider should be protected from unfair prosecution for providing patient care based on their training, licensing, and in accordance with State Laws.


Gun Control


We need common sense gun control. No one should be against sensible regulation. This means we should support background checks for everyone. As my position statement on Gun Control states, “Through a “Common Sense” approach and actions to vigorously support responsible gun ownership, I will do all that I can to protect the people of RI. Steps will include researching causation and prevention programs. Additionally, I will work toward supporting proper gun safety programs and thorough background checks. Through education and the support of community-based solutions, we can change attitudes and lower gun violence in our beautiful State.”


I would not support a ban on AR-15 Rifles, but would support raising the age for purchasing to 21.


Marijuana


There have been peer-reviewed clinical studies that show that marijuana does help patients who are in pain and also helps those who have other ailments. I also support marijuana shops opening, and would look to other states to see how they regulate distribution and manufacturing to ensure the safety of the product.


Education


We know that RICAS scores went down over the past couple of years. But Gov. McKee hasn't done anything to get these scores back up. I also call on Gov. McKee to release the RICAS scores before the election. He knows they will still be low, he even said it during the debate. He is afraid of sharing the information with the public for fear that it will impact his polling numbers. The position statement on Education that I posted in August focuses on increasing RICAS Scores during my term as Governor. In fact, if they don't increase, I have committed to being a one term Governor. I applaud Helena Foulkes for also taking that position of accountability during the primary which I will also follow.


I understand public schools more than McKee and Kalus – I was just in it! And most of us do not have the same privileges as Kalus to send our kids to private schools.


My position statement also focuses on ensuring that our RI educators are satisfied with their job quality, their compensation, their safety, and that we are providing them access to important mental health resources and support services. We need to make sure we give them the proper tools to allow them to excel.


Housing Crisis


Kalus mentioned she would work with cities and towns- But first, she will have to get to know them as she is new here!!


McKee still lives with his mother— When I am not living on campus, I also live with my parents— – at least we have that in common!


I don’t support overriding zoning laws, and I will work with towns to see how we can get affordable housing back on track. I am in support of multifamily housing. We need to address affordable housing. As I mentioned previously, over $36MM of the $60MM Gov. McKee gave to Pawtucket for the Soccer Stadium was earmarked for affordable housing. Let’s get our priorities in order before we give tens of millions of dollars to big developers.


TRUMP and BIDEN


Kalus deflected the question if she would support Trump. Of course she deflected– she doesn't want to lose the Republicans who are for Trump or those Republicans who are against Trump. Talk about being on both sides of the fence!!


For me, Trump is old news. I don’t support him nor would support his run for President again.


Mckee supports Biden, a person who is turning 82 next election year and will be the oldest living President if re-elected and if he manages to serve his full term. Is age an issue or isn't it? They bring up my age all the time....


Truck Tolls


Mckee is still in support of Truck Tolls. I am opposed to it. The Courts said it was unconstitutional. Let’s stop wasting money on trying to reimplement the truck tolls and move on. The millions that Gov. McKee will spend to appeal the verdict is money best spent elsewhere– like for our seniors or for affordable housing initiatives.


There are better ways to fix infrastructure than through an unconstitutional truck toll.


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See Zachary Hurwitz chat with the Rhode Show on WPRI! They talk about hobbies, likes, dislikes, and why Rhode Island is one of the best states in the country! Link Below! https://www.wpri.com/video/co