Meet the candidate.
Name: Lisa Stortstrom
Why are you running for office?
I am running for office to better represent people and the needs of our state’s fragile ecosystems. Because of the Republican trifecta here in Florida, balance of power, credibility and representation have faltered. Only the industries and politicians’ self interests have been served as of late. I will change that.
What are three priorities you hope to accomplish if elected?
- I would move to complete the full implementation of the Florida Forever Program at full funding;
- I would move to update and expand all infrastructure and filtration of sewage and water; and
- I would move to inspect yearly each automobile. Clean air and noise ordinances will be detailed for passage of each inspection.
With Florida revenues expected to finish the year at $1.6 billion below expectations:
What budget cuts would you propose? / What would be your position on raising taxes to close any gap?
The Florida budget needs to be looked at after the onset of COVID-19 and after the Republican corruption affects. Florida Forever never received the benefit of full funding, and funds need to be redirected to it. The treasurers for various funds are now under criminal investigation. Funds have gone to the whims of large corporations and not the service of the taxpayers. Therefore, social services, rather than being slandered, must be funded and implemented.
What’s your position on calls for the state to expand its Medicaid spending?
Medicaid must be allotted and distributed to people in need.
How would you rate Florida’s public education funding: too little, just right, too much? What would you change?
The budgets of schools have been cut every single year, despite greater variation of students’ needs. This must change.
Gov. Ron DeSantis made the environment a top priority when elected, committing to spend/invest $2.5 billion during his term to help clean up and protect Florida’s water systems. How would you describe your position toward this spending?
Gov. Ron DeSantis did say that he would spend that money on improving the environment. However, he went on to ineffectively spend the money on a small fraction of the total needs of the environment to improve. Further, he gave money to research that did not fully explore the needs of each natural area and its inhabitants. As a result, the environment has only worsened in quality of all water, land and air areas. The water has several toxins and harmful algaes not tested, recorded and mitigated appropriately and safely.
Visit Florida’s budget went from $76 million to $50 million in the last legislative session. Given the pandemic and its effects on Florida tourism, what would you propose in the next session?
Tourism is at an all time high in Florida. Also, residency is greatly increasing every year. At this time, we must look at tourism in a sustainable way for our environment.
The November ballot will have an amendment to require a $15 minimum wage by 2026, increasing by inflation every year after. What’s your position on the minimum wage?
The minimum wage should be expanded to $15. Teachers’ salaries should also be increased to a living wage.
For the past three years, the issue of who should regulate short-term residential rentals has come before the Legislature. What’s your position: Should the state or local governments regulate them? Why?
Local governments should regulate short-term rentals, so that they can meet the needs of all residents. Each community is different. State government is too far removed to regulate accordingly.
State funding for the arts increased from $2.6 million two years ago to $21.2 million in the most recent session. Arts groups requested $62 million. What’s your position on state taxpayers funding the arts? And if you support it, how much should they get?
Funding for the arts should come from private organizations.
Florida’s unemployment insurance compensation system was roundly criticized during the pandemic. It pays one of the lowest amounts in the nation — a maximum of $275 per week for 12 weeks. Should that be changed, and if so, to what? Why?
When a person is out of work for a stretch of time, he or she needs to pay various bills just the same as before. The government needs to provide these taxpayers comparable wages during this time period. Further, the government needs to update and improve its online programs to meet the size of each population.
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