Schools need the freedom to set their educational curriculum and expectations to meet the needs of the people most directly affected by the institution. This is especially true for students in their final two years of primary education.
We would end traditional education upon completion of the tenth grade, and give students and parents the opportunity to choose the best path for the next two years and beyond, based on the talents and desires of the individual. That could mean spending the last two years preparing for college, exploring a trade or apprenticeship program, or perhaps preparing to enter directly into the workforce.
Another component of this plan is to allow educators to teach and innovate based on what’s best for their students. The methods used in one district may not work for another- this is why unfunded education mandates from the state do more harm than good.
A significant reduction in the number of administrators per student is necessary. The previously mentioned points would assist with this, as more control in the hands of local school boards, parents and students would not require as much oversight or paper-pushing to respond to federal and state level restrictions.
One of the most important changes that we would make to the current system is a reduction in standardized testing. Standardized testing has not proven beneficial for students or educators.
Voter confidence in the election system and its legitimacy is vital to the longevity of the system.
Problems and Solutions:
Poorly maintained election lists (list hygiene) that result from outdated information and can allow for possible exploitation and fraud. A solution to this would be verifying information through the National Change of Address database. This can also help military and students who may be eligible to vote for one state and live in another.
Sensible Drug Policies
The epidemic of substance abuse has been on a rising trajectory for quite some time.
Our first step in reducing this trend is to reduce, and one day eliminate, the practice of prosecution and imprisonment for non-violent drug crimes. By treating addiction as a health concern rather than a criminal matter, we address the root of the problem and reduce the growing rates of recidivism and crime.
We will promote drug education that is wholly rooted in fact, and created in combination with other sensible policy programs including Drug Policy Alliance, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and Families for Sensible Drug Policy.
We will establish overdose protection sites (OPS) and other low-threshold facilities that will ensure the public has access to the resources necessary to fight addiction, and circumvent the crime and other problems that arise from substance abuse.
We will lower priority for law enforcement programs and initiatives focused on continuation of arrest or prosecution of non-violent drug related crimes. Individuals would instead be redirected to options for treatment, which may include the previously mentioned OPS programs.
Legalization Of Marijuana
The time to legalize cannabis and hemp farming is now. Florida should have just as much opportunity to reap the economic rewards of these two policies as any other state in the U.S.
Why it's necessary:
Legalization of cannabis at a recreational level is necessary, if for no other reason than we are wasting too much of the taxpayers’ money on prosecuting and housing non-violent drug offenders. Nearly half of the drug-related arrests across the U.S. stem from cannabis and, of that portion, almost 90% were due to simple-possession.
Growing, processing and distributing both marijuana and hemp should be not regulated any more than other agricultural crops.
Funding and resources should be available to companies wanting to research and develop these crops.
Criminal Justice Reform
Changes towards the criminal justice system aiming to decrease recidivism rates, lower taxpayer burden, and reduce stress for our correction officers is extremely important to ensuring a more efficient and effective criminal justice system.
Mandate that a minimum of 4 methods of bail payment be made available by the courts, including the option to pay by debit or credit card.
Reduce bail amounts for low level non-violent offenders.
Provide low level non-violent offenders with GPS enabled ankle bracelets in lieu of jail.
Create CRUs (Community Reform Units) to help reduce recidivism, rehabilitate inmates, and give them a second chance at life. These CRUs will be operated by a combination of correctional officers and volunteers, including former inmates who are productive members of society. These CRUs are modeled after a Massachusetts initiative referred to as the HUMV program, which reduced recidivism rates from around 75% to around 5%. Input from corrections officers, former inmates, and current inmates will be essential making this objective clearly a team effort. Inmates will be screened to ensure that those with psychopathic tendencies, who present the lowest chances for successful completion, are not brought into the program. Upon completion, qualified inmates will be granted an early release. Over time, CRUs will generate savings for taxpayers as recidivism rates plummet and less people need to be imprisoned. The savings will be used to pay for both de-escalation training for guards and the hiring of new guards. The CRUs will also work alongside the newly created Office of Pardon in determining which prisoners are eligible for pardon or commutation of their sentence.
Correctional officers are overworked and understaffed which amplifies the incredibly stressful environment they work within. This is not conducive to proper treatment of those in state custody and It is very detrimental to the well-being of the corrections officers who have to experience these conditions. We will ensure that correctional officers get their contracts in a timely manner and will work hard to improve their overall working conditions. Some of this improvement will stem from decreased inmate populations which will result from legalization of marijuana/hemp and pardoning marijuana and SAFE Act offenders.
Incidences of wrong doing on the part of corrections officers and prisoners alike present a special problem in providing evidence for the prosecution of crimes committed behind prison walls. Greater consideration must be given to the placement and addition of cameras in prisons so that witness testimony is not so paramount to investigations.This necessarily reduces the impact of false accusations brought forth by inmates and offers a higher degree of protection for corrections officers. Inmates will also be protected from false allegations that correctional officers might make against them. Officers will be able to rely more upon surveillance to aid in the resolution of disputes between prisoners instead of eyewitness statements in which minor mistakes may lead to possibly losing their jobs. Ultimately, such measures will save the state a lot on the wasted funding commonly sunk into defending prison lawsuits.
Eliminate unnecessary restrictions on small businesses that increase the cost of operation and hurt our local businesses instead of allowing them to grow and prosper in the current economy.
One of our top priorities is to lower the cost of healthcare which will help keep small businesses’ employment expenses down. They will be able to improve the economy through increased hiring and also have greater potential to grow and thrive alongside larger businesses and corporations.
Worker’s compensation laws must be overhauled. While it is critical that these protections for workers not be diminished in any way, we are introducing a plan that integrates elements of worker’s compensation programs from around the country in order to lower the costs associated with this program. We will also allow a high-deductible workers compensation plan which allows the employer to pay out of pocket until their deductible is reached. Any business choosing this option must still provide proof of their ability to pay. We will make it impossible for an employer to neglect their accident and injury compensation responsibilities.
Repeal the scaffold law which stifles construction companies. These outdated laws were put in place prior to the worker’s compensation program which has provided an alternative option for managing these types of regulations.
We must quit placing so many restrictions on new and developing industries including vape shops, hemp / marijuana businesses and cryptocurrency and instead allow them to innovate and flourish.
To encourage small businesses to help with rehabilitation of felons after they’ve been released from prison, employers will receive payroll tax waivers for these individuals during the first two years of their employment. The returns to taxpayers are two fold because we are encouraging economic growth for this population of individuals, as well as reducing the likelihood of them returning to prison (recidivism).
Many of the occupational licenses required by the government do very little to actually improve the quality or safety of the work being performed. Any licensing requirements for goods and services people would generally be comfortable asking someone they know to provide or perform should be repealed. This will make it easier for small businesses to hire capable people, which will in turn make it easier for these individuals to climb out of poverty without having to pay to simply to feed their family.
The Plan To Address The Top 7 Issues Facing Winter Haven