Morgan McGarvey and Attica Scott on legalizing marijuana and defunding the police
As a U.S. Representative. John Yarmuth retires from Congresstwo Democrats — Kentucky Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey and state Rep. Attica Scott — are vying for their party’s nomination to succeed him.
Two weeks before the May 17 primary, here is a brief overview of where McGarvey and Scott stand on 10 issues.
Embrace Medicare for All
Health insurance for all involves revamping American health care by instituting a single-payer system in which a government-run health insurance program covers costs for people nationwide, although the concrete details of how such a initiative depend on who you ask.
Cancel student loan debt
The US government suspended federal student loan payments for more than two years during the pandemic, giving borrowers a break. Many progressives are urging the cancellation of all outstanding debt, which they say would greatly help millions of cash-strapped Americans. President Joe Biden just reported it plans to cancel some, but not all, of the federal student loan debt.
Scott pledges on her campaign website to vote to “cancel all student loan debt” if elected.
McGarvey: Partially seconded.
When asked if he supports canceling all federal student loan debt, McGarvey said he favors the U.S. government forgiving some, but not all, student loans. He said the government “can and should step in and provide student debt relief“, including canceling loans “in some cases”.
Decriminalize, legalize marijuana
Marijuana is legal in some states (not Kentucky, of course), but it’s still federally illegal. Decriminalization policies may vary, but they essentially end the arrest and detention of people who possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use.
Defund the police
The notion of “defunding the police” is a hot topic, with many seeing its purpose as eliminating law enforcement budgets. However, “defunding the police” can also refer to the redirection of some (but not all) government money from police departments to other agencies, including those that focus on improving public health and safety in other ways.
Scott tweeted his support for funding the Louisville Metro Police Department in 2020. That same year, she post“You can’t make a bad settlement out of this mess. DEFINE policing. REALLOCATE those funds to meet the economic and social needs of our neighbours.”
When asked recently if she broadly supports funding for police departments across the country, she told the Courier Journal: “We should never condone police brutality, racial profiling or violent policing. We should expecting police to solve violent crimes. What we don’t need is a militarized police force that was born out of enslaving black people, patrolling communities and contributing to violence. We have need for more holistic approaches to community safety.
McGarvey: Not clear.
When asked if he supports or opposes defunding the police, generally speaking, McGarvey said, “I fully support defunding public safety…” He also said we need to tackle the “root causes of crime” and having more social workers on the job and better treatment programs.
When asked if he supports cutting police budgets and shifting that money to those sorts of priorities, he said: ‘You know, what I support is fully funding public safety …and uplift everyone.”
Embrace the Green New Deal
The Green New Deal is a congressional resolution, introduced in 2019 by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, DN.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., that calls for a broad, decade-long plan of action primarily aimed at achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and investing in job-creating renewable energy initiatives.
Include the right to abortion in federal law
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision this year that weakens, if not overturns, Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that legalized abortion. Codify Roe c. Wade would essentially involve Congress passing a bill to make abortion rights part of federal law, hoping to preserve that right if Roe is watered down or overthrown.
Introduce Federal Ban on No Knock Warrants
No-knock search warrants, which allow law enforcement to enter a property without knocking or announcing their presence first, drew national attention after Louisville police shot and killed Breonna Taylor in March 2020 while executing a no knock warrant in her apartment.
Abolition of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Some progressives say the federal government should get rid of ICE, which enforces immigration rules and detains and deports undocumented immigrants across the country. They cite various examples of the agency treating immigrants unfairly when explaining why it should be removed.
back in summer 2018 When Occupy ICE activists in Louisville called for the agency to be abolished, Scott was the only local elected official to publicly endorse the policy. And she’s been doing it ever since, Tweeter in November 2021: “ICE has no place in Louisville, or any city in this country.”
McGarvey: Not clear.
McGarvey did not explicitly support or oppose abolishing ICE when asked by the Courier Journal for his position on the matter.
“Look, immigration and customs shouldn’t be terrorizing the people living in this country, the families living in this country,” he said. “And we need Congress to do its job and deliver immigration reform that provides a broad path to citizenship.”
Provide universal pre-kindergarten
Bringing universal pre-K to the nation would typically involve providing access to free, government-funded pre-K education for children.
Ban “conversion therapy”
“Conversion therapy,” as these efforts are commonly called, aims to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. It’s a scientifically discredited practice that carries substantial risks of harm to those subjected to it, and Kentucky lawmakers are increasingly bipartisan. ban it at the state level even if the legislation that would do so has not been passed.
Morgan Watkins is the Courier Journal’s chief political reporter. Contact her at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter: @morganwatkins26.