Bruce Adams is a Republican running for the GOP nomination in Iowa Senate District 38.
- What is the proper role of government?
To lead but be responsive to the people that they represent. The State needs to maintain our infrastructure, such as roads and bridges; consumer protection and investigation; take actions to protect us during natural disasters such as floods, or the current pandemic; maintain civil order in support of law enforcement and the courts; and maintain our rights and freedoms.
I’m concerned that government shouldn’t overstep their bounds and try to regulate every aspect of our lives- respect individual choices as much as possible.
2. What issues do you consider non-negotiable?
Personal, political, and religious freedom; rights that are spelled out in the Constitution and Bill of Rights- such as the second amendment, freedom of the press, our rights to free speech and the right to assemble and redress our grievances.
3. What concerns do you have about how the Covid-19 situation was handled by the government, if any?
Actions to prevent the rapid spread of the pandemic were necessary, but I’m concerned about the long term impacts on Iowa businesses and families. Already it’s estimated that ten percent of Iowa businesses will never reopen, and that percentage could increase. A high percentage of deaths have been associated with nursing homes, so it seems unfair to punish the smallest businesses. It hasn’t made any sense to me that Walmart, which has tens of thousands of customers every day in Iowa, is allowed to be open, while a very small hair salon or barbershop that might have one or two customers has to be closed- the argument is that Walmart sells food, but that area could remain open while other areas of the store wouldn’t be- similar to what restaurants can and cannot do.
We need to get this State back open. Some of the European countries are now finding that reopening businesses does not increase the rate of new Covid-19 cases, as people are still maintaining social distancing and other precautions.
4. At what point do you believe a human life is guaranteed the legal protections of being an American citizen and what would you do to ensure those protections are provided.
I don’t believe that citizenship is a function of State government, but of the Federal. The problem is Federal immigration laws that are often not enforced. I agree with a legal path to citizenship for many immigrants that are already here, but my feeling is that Democrats, who say they want changes to related laws, often hold future actions hostage to other unrelated issues that they try to attach to every bill.
This needs to be handled at the Federal level, as we can’t afford to have 50 states that try to implement different laws and policies.
5. Would you support a Religious Freedom and Restoration act in the State of Iowa?
Yes I would. It seems like very small businesses are often deliberately targeted by groups that are trying to generate a court case. Some of these businesses are forced out of business. Let’s maintain our individual religious freedoms.
It’s often argued that a law like this will cause a State to suffer economically through the loss of conventions and tourism, but the States that already have similar laws aren’t finding this to be true. I like a quote I heard on this- “Are our religious freedoms and rights for sale?”
6. Would you support mandatory E-verify in Iowa?
Yes, I would, and it ties in with Federal immigration laws that need to be enforced.
7. Would you support banning traffic cameras, why or why not?
I think that the people of Cedar Rapids are being unnecessarily harassed for monetary gain. I would ban cameras that result in automatic traffic tickets but allow cameras that are used for reporting traffic conditions to law enforcement and the media.
There is a danger that “regulating our behavior” cameras could also be used for other purposes in the future. The progressing electronic age that we live in has some advantages, but there is also the danger of interfering with our individual freedoms.
8. What, if any, measures would you support to curb gun violence?
I disagree with politically motivated actions that are intended to circumvent second amendment rights, such as areas of the country that are trying to require a Police Chief’s approval to own a gun.
Second Amendment rights need to be protected, but I would support restrictions on gun ownership for felons that have a history of violence, and restrictions based on serious mental health concerns. It would depend on the details of any proposed legislation.
9. What percentage of the State’s budget do you think should go to education?
Right now education is around 44 percent of the State budget, with the other biggest expense being Medicaid and other healthcare.
We’re not the Federal Government- we can’t print money and we need to budget with available money.
The current proposal, if approved by the Governor after a delayed legislative session, is for a 2.3 percent increase for education.
I don’t think a percentage is the key, but what the needs are. It’s recognized that there are problems in recruiting needed teachers, and young people aren’t choosing teaching as a career like they used to.
I think the inflation rate is a reasonable benchmark to look at in increasing the education budget.
Let’s not forget. We’re doing a good job. Iowa is tied with two other States for the highest graduation rate, and Iowa consistently does well on average ACT scores when compared with other states
10. Would you support education savings accounts?
Yes I would. There is no necessity for education to be limited to public schools. I believe in choices, if parents want their children to attend private schools or have homeschooling. If a student isn’t attending public schools, the school doesn’t have the expense of educating that child.
11. What do you think of Iowa’s current tax structure?
We’re on the high side and I think the Governor is right to consider reductions in our tax rates. Our highest individual tax rate is second to only Minnesota among many midwestern states. I believe that reductions and consolidation of State functions are always something that can be looked at in reducing costs.
12. Are there any State regulations that you would like to see removed?
That’s a huge question, and my approach would be to get input from constituents about what laws aren’t working or are impractical. That’s the starting point for examining what’s really necessary.
I do support the review of requirements for face-to-face medical appointments, which recognizes advancement in telemedicine, and we need to continue to examine ways that healthcare professionals can work across state lines- and eliminate unnecessary restrictions on that.
13. What are your reviews on climate change, and what, if anything, should the government’s role be in addressing climate change.
I don’t think the verdict on climate change is in yet. The founder of the Weather Channel doesn’t believe in it, and thinks that it’s based on false and manipulated data. Scientific researchers in England and other countries have been caught falsifying climate data, in efforts to preserve government funding for their research. Cruises to see the effects of global warming near the South Pole have had to be canceled because there was too much ice.
Remember, the experts said we were on the verge of climate cooling a few years ago, and they were completely wrong.
I don’t see a necessity for any action at this time.
14. Do you support the expanding use of medical marijuana and would you support the recreational use of marijuana?
I’m for allowing medical uses for marijuana if it’s properly controlled, just like any other prescriptive drug. But I know this process can be greatly abused. In California, students shared information on where, how, and which physicians would give them medical marijuana cards for a fee- it became a big business. For the most part, many of those that received a marijuana card were very healthy.
I don’t support the recreational use of marijuana. There are societal, law enforcement, and medical costs involved. Just look at the additional problems that have been created in Colorado, with additional medical and mental health impacts