The Times will be publishing candidate information over the next few weeks for contested races, which can be found at gainesvilletimes.com/election2020. The Times is also offering virtual forums for select races: state House District 29 and 30 and U.S. House District 9. The District 30 event was held 5:30 p.m. Oct. 1. Register online for others and learn more at gainesvilletimes.com/timestalks.
Times Talks | Forum with candidates for state House District 30Live discussion with Republican Emory Dunahoo and Democrat Leigh Miller on top state issues affecting Hall County.
Previous to the event, The Times gathered these thoughts from the candidates on a few key issues.
Dunahoo: He believes lawmakers could work in the next legislature to tweak laws concerning certificates of need that hospitals seek to expand services and facilities. “It needs to be where we don’t have the big guys controlling all the little guys around them.” Also, he would like to see more price transparency at doctor’s offices.
Miller: She favors expanding Medicaid. By not doing so, “Georgia has lost out on billions of dollars, and it’s reflected in rural hospitals closing and people’s insurance premiums going up. These are tax dollars we’ve already paid, and that the federal government has taken and given to other states for their health care systems.”
Dunahoo: He sees a stronger economy ahead, with businesses reopening under guidelines allowed by Gov. Brian Kemp. But keeping the state’s budget balanced will be key. He also would like to see more openness to “FairTax” legislation, replacing state income and sales tax rates “with a broad-based consumption tax.”
Miller: “There is no example where (cutting taxes) makes everything better. We need to ... think outside the box. One of the easiest things we can do is expand Medicaid,” which also could stimulate the economy. “It doesn’t make any senses that we have chosen to give that money to the federal government and not chosen to take it back."
COVID-19 pandemic response
Dunahoo: He would like to see Kemp’s emphasis on local control regarding the pandemic to continue, rather than have state mandates. “I believe the state always needs to be in the background, let local municipalities always handle themselves.” Otherwise, he opposes mask mandates. “If you don’t feel good, stay home. If you’re scared, stay home.”
Miller: “I would personally like to see more of a guiding hand from the state. I can say, as a small business owner, especially in March through June, it was really confusing. You want business owners to have freedom, but at the same time … if the state had just said at all businesses, you need to wear masks indoors, that would have been be so much easier for us.”
Law enforcement issues, reforms
Dunahoo: He believes legislators will propose more training for police but that it should be emphasized for new officers and as more of a “refresher” for veteran officers.
Miller: “Our police officers should get paid more, and they should have more training. We need to invest in them further — give them more help, more social workers to help them.”