Candidate Questionnaire: Babette Josephs, 190th District (Democrat)

Posted on May 6, 2010 by

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Name: Babette Josephs
Office Sought: State Representative – 182nd District
Party Affiliation: Democrat

• If elected, what are the top 2 issues you would focus on in the next term and why?

Making legal abortion accessible in Pennsylvania is of utmost importance. Currently Pennsylvania’s law, violence against providers, harassment at clinics, and bureaucratic Medicaid road blocks make it very difficult if not impossible for women who are younger, rural, and limited income women to receive the service.

Pennsylvanians for Choice (a statewide coalition of pro-choice groups) is dedicating the next several sessions to ensuring that every Pennsylvania woman who choices it can obtain a medically safe, legal abortion in her own community. I have already taken a leadership role in their efforts.

I have been endorsed by state and Philadelphia NOW and Planned Parenthood.

I will work for the passage of a statewide bill protecting LGBT citizens in the workplace, public accommodations, and housing. At present, although these Pennsylvanians are protected in Philadelphia and some 14 other localities, about 75% of our citizens can be fired from a job or refused an apartment based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation.

The bill to end this sorry situation has been in my committee for two sessions. Last session I held the first ever official state committee hearings on a positive LGBT issue; this session we reported the bill to the floor. I want to see it become law.

I will also continue to battle against any constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman. I do not want to see marriage inequity enshrined in Pennsylvania law.

I have been endorsed by Liberty City Gay and Lesbian Democratic Club.

• What is your position on the Marcellus Shale?

I will vote in the next few weeks for a moratorium. I favor a stiff, but fair, gas extraction tax, most which ought to go to making sure that drilling, is properly monitored by the state’s environmental authorities.

I am a member of the Green Dogs Caucus; the fact that more of the forest has not been opened to the international oil and gas conglomerates is because of our advocacy.

I won recognition last session as one of 13 House members with a perfect environmental record according to Penn Environment.

• What is your position on campaign finance reform?

My committee has the campaign finance reform bills. I intend to report one of them to the floor in the next month.

We are one of the few states in the country that does not have contribution and spending limits. This should end.

• What is your position on gun control?

I support reporting lost and stolen handguns to the police; limiting the numbers of guns an individual can purchase in a given time period, a ban on assault weapons, closing the “Florida” loophole in carry concealed reciprocity agreements, making background checks for gun dealers employees mandatory, restoring state funding for the Gun Violence Task Force and expanding it, applying gun purchase standards to the purchase of ammunition, and allowing Pennsylvania municipalities to enact and enforce local gun safety ordinances.

I work closely with Cease Fire and expect to receive their endorsement.

• What is your view on how the state should support public education? Should vouchers play a role?

I support the Good Schools funding formula, which concentrates on providing local districts with an amount needed to successfully educate each child. I believe that we ought to impose a gas extraction tax, tax other tobacco products besides cigarettes, and close the Delaware loophole; these measures would give us the budget we need to fund public education so as to ensure the future of the commonwealth.

I oppose tuition vouchers. I work closely with Education Voters Pennsylvania.

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Posted in: Endorsements