Heath Hansen is running for the Republican nomination in Iowa Senate District 6. Hansen filled out the survey via email. You can find more information on his candidacy here.
- What is the proper role of government:
The preamble to the Constitution puts it well. “To establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity” In my own words I’d say it’s to protect our God-given rights from being trampled by any foreign power or domestic tyranny. Government’s role is to facilitate the prosperity of the people. Not decide winners and losers, but to guard our life, liberty, and property that we may prosper.
- What issues do you consider non-negotiable:
I’ve run on “Pro-Life, Pro-Gun” for a reason.
Life begins at conception and the value of that life is not negotiable. I will work hard with other Senators in their continuing efforts to move Iowa towards being a Pro-Life state.
Our right to keep and bear arms is vital to our nation. Not only does the 2nd amendment guard all the others, but the culture of responsible gun ownership in Iowa is a staple of what it means to be Iowan.
- What concerns do you have about how the COVID-19 situation was handled by the government, if any:
I’m concerned that many of our state governments have overreached in shutting down Churches and businesses both. While I do believe there is wisdom in social distancing and protecting those most vulnerable it is a hard sell for me that freedom of assembly can be so easily quashed. It’s not within the mandate of government to determine that one job is essential and another is not, that is the job of the consumer and the owner of the business.
- 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 believe that life begins at conception. We do not have the right to take away someone else’s life. I would continue the valiant push the Iowa legislature has been making to protect the rights of the unborn.
- Would you support a religious freedom and restoration act in the state of Iowa?
Yes. I think it is healthy for both the Church and the State. Guarding religious liberty is necessary!
- Would you support mandatory E-Verify in Iowa?
Yes. It would encourage jobs for American workers and discourage illegal immigration. We are a nation that loves immigrants, but we should no incentivize illegal immigration by turning a blind eye to those breaking the law.
- Would you support banning traffic cameras, why or why not?
We will have to be more specific. Do I want to ban cameras that ticket and have citizens cited and fined without the ability to face their accuser? Yes. The 1984 cameras should go.
- What, if any, measures would you support to curb gun violence?
Education and family culture. First I would like to see expanded opportunities for firearm education to our youth. If not in schools through other programs. A healthy gun culture is good for a healthy Iowa. Secondly, a healthy family culture can help curb gun violence. Anyone can see that as families break down it becomes more and more difficult to help the young men (and it is almost always men) who eventually commit these heinous acts. There are those who would foolishly like to blame the guns, but we must take a hard look at the role of family breakdown and fatherlessness in gun violence. It is not the job of the government to tell you how to run your family or live your life, but we can remove perverse incentives within our welfare system that push our culture in such an unhealthy and irresponsible direction.
- What percent of the state’s budget do you believe should go toward education?
Iowa has always had a great deal of pride in our schools and highly valued education. We have many excellent public and private schools! Despite what many believe, school funding has been increasing. Public education as of 2019 took about 55% of the general fund and almost 45% of local property tax dollars go to local schools. My time on the Audubon School Board has convinced me we are right about where we ought to be. If individual schools need more money for projects that is what bonds are for and they are directly accountable to their locals in such situations instead of increasing the state-wide burden.
- Would you support education savings accounts?
This is a tough one. I support ESA’s because I believe in parental choice and competition. The difficulty is we also don’t want to see small schools suffer, but I believe in the resilience of our educators and the quality of Iowa’s teachers both public and private therefore I am convinced that choice and competition will produce even more excellence. Parents will choose the schooling route that they believe benefits their kids most, in some cases that will be our public schools, in other cases private.
- What do you think of Iowa’s current tax structure?
There’s room for improvement. Although we do some things right. I was generally in favor of Governor Reynold’s plan to decrease income tax and I agree with her sentiment that I have no interest in raising the overall tax burden on the people of Iowa. Furthermore, if you ask anyone running a business they’ll tell you that the burden on them could absolutely stand to be lessened if we want our Iowa to be more competitive.
- Are there any state regulations you would like to see removed?
Generally, I like regulations to be few and far between. I think it would be helpful to put in a review program on regulations re-assess from time to time if specific regulations should still be in the books. If pressed to be more specific on the spot, I’d say in some fields, occupational licensing seems an unnecessary burden… but every regulation should be open to scrutiny to determine if it is good for the state, or simply bad for businesses and workers.
- What are your views on climate change and what, if anything, should the government’s role be in addressing climate change?
Climate Change is an ambiguous and double-speak term for what was once called global cooling, then global warming, now climate change as that cannot be easily pinned down with metrics. Much damage has been done to the nation and the world simply by not using precise language in order to push an amorphous agenda at ever-moving targets. With that said, I’m sure that humanity has had an effect on the earth’s climate and that we need to be good stewards of the planet God gave us. The government’s role in this should be to offer unadulterated facts, not filtering all data through the ideological lens of the far left. Then we can decide what measures, if any, are wise and prudent for the protection of our ecosystem.
I am in favor of pulling out of the Paris Climate accords as they were unfairly biased against the United States while giving China and other countries carte blanche to act as they do now until some future date when they decide to ignore their commitments. The United States has been doing a good job of reducing its emissions and helping to protect our nation’s environment without a multinational cabal breathing down our neck. Actions can and should be taken to be better stewards of our land, but of our own accord.
Furthermore, sending teenagers from Sweden to yell at us is not helpful or productive.
- Do you support expanding the use of medical marijuana? Would you support the recreational use of marijuana?
This topic has cost me sleep in the past. I’ve seen people’s lives improved by cannabis oil and would need to see more information about any expansions of medical marijuana as it seems to have promising benefits. As far as recreational, the more libertarian part of my nature wants to say “personal choices, personal responsibility” but the time I’ve spent teaching at a homeless shelter and as a chaplain to those in jail has given me the exact opposite impression of its effects on society and individuals. As of right now, I cannot in good conscience support recreational marijuana. Perhaps more data would convince me I’m wrong on this. I’ll continue talking to doctors, patients, law enforcement officials, and other citizens about this topic.
Senate District 6: