Democrat Ray Baker makes his case for 10th District Assembly Seat
Democratic candidates Ray Baker and Michael Cooke continue making their case for the 10th district assembly seats in the race against Republicans Greg McGuckin and Dave Wolfe. This week Baker made his case for the seat.
Baker, whose received an endorsement from the American Federation of Teachers in New Jersey believes all kids should get free education through college.
"The public education system should run from pre-k to sixteen, that's really what we need," Baker said.
If elected he says education would be a top priority on his agenda.
"I would campaign all over the state and talk to anybody that would listen about why we need the public education system that we've had for hundreds of years and how important it is for us to keep it," Baker said.
According to his page on votesmart.org, Baker says he doesn't support the National Common Core State Standards Initiative, he doesn't support state funding for charter schools but says he support immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally and who graduate from NJ High Schools be eligible for in-state tuition at public universities in New Jersey.
"I think that all children should be provided free education from pre-k though grade sixteen(16) - stopping education at grade 12 puts USA students at a great disadvantage compared to the rest of the world (which is not a problem if we only plan to grow tomatoes & sell baskets)," Baker said on the site.
His plan to make that a reality is unclear at this point.
Baker, a retired pharmacist, says there needs to be reform on how insurance is offered for full and part-time employees in the U.S.
"There is no rational for doing what we're doing with insurance, there's no moral rational for it, there's no medical rational for it and there's no economic rational for it," Baker said.
He argues that employers focus more on what it'll cost them from their budget to give employees health insurance.
"It doesn't really matter whether your employer writes a check to the government for your insurance policy or whether your employer sends the money to Aetna or to Horizon Blue-Cross Blue Shield, what matters is, 'what does it cost'?," Baker said.
"Your employer didn't get that money by gift," Baker said. " Your employer got that money from the work that you did and that work provided some money which is now sent to the insurance company."
According to his page on votesmart.org, Baker supports a universally-accessible, publicly-administered health insurance option, medicaid expansion under Obamacare, requiring individuals to but health care insurance and allowing doctors to prescribed marijuana to their patients for medical purposes.
Another chief concern for Baker is making sure the children are well fed.
"Shouldn't every child have some food in their tummy?," Baker asked. "If we waste our money by bad planning, we're not going to have the small amount of money that we need to buy a meal for the hungry child."
Baker says the government shouldn't be raising taxes unfairly on residents just to meet their budget goals.
"The percent of the money that is for taxes...we need to tray and make it not be a larger percent of...just try to take and spend the money wisely," Baker said.
He says there needs to be taxes so the government has enough to function but allocating funds should be done more efficiently.
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