Independent Candidate for Governor David Singletary talks policy issues and what he sees as the most important move the state can make if elected.
When it comes to Medicaid expansion Singletary said he would be open to taking a look at it.
In the past, he said he was opposed to Medicaid.
“I was raised where the family takes care of the family and you don’t depend on the government so much,” said Singletary. He said the way healthcare is handled has turned the “government into the family.” Singletary said family units should be responsible for their own and aiming to keep children in the state and home.
He said that healthcare didn’t take the turn it has until the Clinton administration. Now we see such a reliance on the government for the cost of healthcare.
“From my understanding is the Federal Government gives you the money up front and then a few years later the state has to pick up the expenses,” said Singletary. “But anything that will create jobs and create state revenue I’d have to look at it.”
It seems one of Singletary’s go to solutions to increase revenue for things like infrastructure needs, is to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
He said the money appropriated from the lottery won’t be enough.
“That’s only predicted to be about $80 million a year,” said Singletary. “He (David Baria) projects that its $400 million a year to keep up with current infrastructure improvements and repairs. The $80 million is just going to put a dent in that it’s not going to address the issue.”
Singletary said the state will have to prioritize what roads and bridges will be addressed and shared concern for further maintenance and upkeep on these and new roads.
He said his main source of additional revenue would be the cannabis industry. He said roads and bridges are just one point in the state that was neglected over the years and he said he would rather be on the road of preventative maintenance.
“I believe you have to educate your way out of poverty,” said Singletary.
He said that due to low incomes the state as a whole suffers and the only way to get ahead of that is through education.
“I think we need to start putting a high priority on kindergarten,” said Singletary. “We need to instill values and character into them before they’re six years old….To do that you need to fund education.”
Singletary said funding education is more important to him than roads and bridges.
With poor education he says it effects the hospitals and healthcare opportunities especially for rural communities.
Singletary recognized that there is a teacher shortage in the state. He said raising the income levels of teachers to at least what surrounding states are doing is a start.
“Everybody wants the money but these guys in office, running for office, don’t have a clue where the revenue is going to come from,” said Singletary.
Singletary circled back to one of his major platform points and that is legalizing marijuana in order to use that revenue to get the state out of ‘poverty.’ He said if that revenue source was implemented here, than there would be less questions on where the money would come from for needs like teacher pay.
When asked what the first issue he would tackle if elected, Singletary said “Single issue Singletary, of course cannibis legalization. I would expect a full complete competitive recreational cannabis legalization bill out of the Legislature within the first month of meeting and on the floor for debate.”
Singletary said the state has been hypocritical when it comes to cannabis, since having marijuana grow in Oxford at Ole Miss for over 50 years as part of a scientific study.
He also stressed the importance of term limits.
“Politicians were never meant to lay up in office for 40 years and get rich off the back of tax payers,” said Singletary.
He recommended 12 years for the Senate, 8 years for the House, leaving 8 years for Lt. Governor and Governor. He said we should also be holding federal offices should be held to the same standards.