Term: Four years, no term limits
Who can vote: Only voters living within Senate District 10.
Salary: $150 per day of work
Benefits: Travel reimbursements
Others serving: Two of Wyoming’s 30 Senators represent Albany County. Terms are staggered; one is elected every two years. Senator Chris Rothfuss (D-SD 9) is serving a term that expires in 2018.
What are your qualifications for office? Include two specific reasons that motivate you to run.
Glenn Moniz (R-SD 10): With 26+ years in the fire service and 14 years running a successful business, and 4 terms being your representative, I can bring common sense, dedication, respect and leadership as your senator. My public career has given me a deep appreciation for the problems inherent in providing emergency services at the local level. My life as a business owner has provided me with a perspective on the problems dealing with government regulations and all the issues of providing a living wage, health care benefits and a decent work environment. I know what it takes to meet a payroll.
Narina Nunez (D-SD 10): I’m a UW professor and part owner of TNT Motorsports, and have lived in Laramie since 1987. I’m running to bring a different voice to the legislature. Most people agree that budget decisions in the last session were fiscally irresponsible. We knew that Wyoming was facing a crisis. Yet, money from Medicaid expansion was left on the table. Legislators pumped more money than required into the Permanent Mineral Trust Fund. They funded more than $400 million in new construction. Then they made deep cuts in other programs, costing hundreds of jobs. That made no sense. So I decided to run.
What are your plans for assuring necessary and affordable health care coverage for all people living in Wyoming?
Glenn Moniz (R-SD 10): I believe we are all concerned about health care, but at whose expense? With the rollout of the ACA less than desirable, and the cost of insurance continually increasing, we must leave the government out of the business. We are a rural frontier state & we must utilize innovative approaches. Medicaid could benefit from a voucher-style provider choice. The problem is the reimbursement rate in the current system. I would recommend a combination of vouchers to buy health plans through Medicaid and vouchers to use those plans to go to any doctor of the patient's choice.
Narina Nunez (D-SD 10): The solution is simple. We need to pass Medicaid expansion in our state. The money for expansion has already been collected from taxpayers. And by saying no to expansion, we have left more than $600 million in Washington that should rightfully come to Wyoming. We’ve also left 20,000 Wyoming citizens with no insurance and hospitals to foot the bill for people who need medical care but have no way to pay. It’s time to stop dragging our feet and pass Medicaid expansion.
What approach would you take to make sure that Wyoming still has opportunities to diversify income streams and recruit new businesses?
Glenn Moniz (R-SD 10): We must capitalize on what makes Wyoming great. The great outdoors with hunting, fishing and recreation. A low tax rate with no personal income tax, and an educated work force. A Hathaway scholarship for resident students that exceeds the expectations of most any other state. Tax and financial incentives are not the only factors considered in business-location decisions. In reality, business incentives may have a minimal effect on business-location decisions. We should engage in strategic planning to improve the overall business climate. Review regulatory barriers; business permits; transportation facilities and infrastructure; heath care; housing; water and energy; banking and crime rates.
Narina Nunez (D-SD 10): As a business person, I understand how important the well-being of our citizens is to the success of our business. If people are out of work or having trouble making ends meet, they can spend less money in local businesses. It’s bad for them and it’s bad for us. Short term, we need to weather this current budget crisis without doing too much damage to the businesses already in Wyoming. Cutting 677 medical jobs will hurt us in the long run. We should try to avoid these massive layoffs. Long term, we need to attract new industries to the state.