State Representative Mike Sparks (49th District, R) recently conducted a survey to get opinions on pertinent issues.
1. Should it be up to a county to decide whether their School Superintendent is elected or appointed? An overwhelming majority (74%) wanted the ability to elect the School Superintendent, while 18% said "no", and 8% are "unsure".
2. Should medical marijuana be legalized? Opinions were very close on this issue with 46% of respondents believng that medical marijuana should not be legalized, and 40% giving a "thumbs up", while 14% are unsure.
3. Should Tennessee parents have the ability to choose what they feel is the best school for their child to attend (public and private)? 78% believe in education choice for parents, 12% did not believe this is necessary, and 12% were unsure.
4. A key component of Obamacare is the expansion of Medicaid. Should Medicaid be expanded in Tennessee? 59% felt expansion was not the best option, 14% felt it should be, and 27% were unsure. The issue of expanding healthcare for Tennesseans is certainly one that will be revisited by lawmakers in the upcoming Session.
5. Tennessee experienced a tragic shooting at a military recruiting site in Chattanooga last year. Should we pass a law allowing military recruiters to carry weapons while on duty? Overwhelmingly, 92% felt that military recruiters should be allowed to carry weapons while on duty, 5% said "no", while 3% were unsure.
6. Do you believe there needs to be a gas tax to use the money to maintain and improve our roads and highways? 55% do not believe there should be an increase in the gas tax to help improve roads, 33% are in favor of the tax, and 12% were unsure.
7. 81% of Tennesseans voted to define in our State Constitution that marriage is to be between a man and a woman. Five members of the Supreme Court ruled that it is not. Do you agree with the Supreme Court's Ruling? 83% disagree with the Supreme Court's ruling, 9% agreed, while 7% were unsure.
8. Some parents have complained that Islamic religious doctrine is being taught in schools. Should the legislature eliminate the teaching of all religious doctrines in the classroom? 64% believe religious doctrine should be left out of the classroom, 27% said it should be included, 9% were unsure.
9. Should the Tennessee General Assembly help find ways to encourage more affordable housing? As middle Tennessee continues to grow and expand, the housing question has become a hot topic. 55% believe the General Assembly should help encourage more affordable housing, 32% did not, and 24% were unsure.
10. Do you think the media (local and national) portray Christianity and family values negatively? 86% believe media has portrayed Christians and family negatively, while 7% say "no", and 7% are unsure.
11. Should Tennessee pass legislation for "constitutional carry of firearms"? This is defined as "any person without a felony may openly carry their weapon without a permit process." 46% believe lawmakers should pass legislation for "constitutional carry of firearms, 40% said "no", and 14% are unsure if people should be allowed to openly carry firearms.
Finally, the question asking you which issues you feel are the most pressing issues facing Tennesseans today. Representative Sparks' survey showed:
3. Gun Rights