Pansing Brooks has served as a leader on community boards, civic organizations and public projects, including the 2006 Lincoln Public Schools $250 million bond campaign, the $5 million Union Plaza campaign and the $9.6 million Centennial Mall campaign. She has collaborated with people all around the city and state, and hopes to continue to advocate and work on behalf of all Nebraskans.
What would be three priorities you would have if elected to the Nebraska Legislature?
* First, enhanced investment in public education, particularly early childhood education and K-12.
* Second, Medicaid Expansion, as structured in LB887, not to be confused with merely supporting “affordable and accessible health care,” which is what the opponents of LB887 espouse.
* Third, renewable energy development (wind, solar power), which promotes jobs, while working to protect our precious water resources, our liquid gold.
What is the biggest problem facing the state and how would you fix it?
I believe that the failure to provide affordable health care to all residents of our state is now our biggest problem and a true crisis. Failure to pass LB887 puts 54,000 Nebraska residents at huge economic and health risk. All our communities and rural hospitals will suffer, and the state loses $2.3 billion in federal support. Pass Medicaid expansion!
In order to address prison overpopulation in the state, would you prefer diversion of more lawbreakers into supervised release and community programs or construction of new prisons, and why?
I support recently passed legislation which provides more intensive supervised release after prison time and helps inmates re-enter the community when they leave prison, which is part of a national initiative called “justice reinvestment.” I also support criminal justice reform, which will reduce the number of nonviolent offenders sent to prison. New prisons are too expensive and provide limited remedies.
Do you support expansion of Medicaid coverage in Nebraska and, if not, do you believe some other form of health care coverage or assistance should be made available to low-income working Nebraskans who cannot afford health care insurance and do not qualify for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, and why?
I support Medicaid Expansion in Nebraska, as in LB887. While many opponents criticized LB887, I have heard no comprehensive proposal to structure a better solution and none has yet been offered in the Legislature. It is disingenuous to espouse “expanding affordable health care to all,” but not be for Medicaid expansion or say “not this way” without offering an alternate solution.
How should the Legislature go about addressing tax reform in future years?
Property taxes are high. The Legislature must resist the temptation to believe in a silver bullet for tax reform, i.e., just reducing income tax rates or just reducing property taxes. The tax code is incredibly intertwined, as are the effects of changing any one component. A fair and balanced approach is critical, as stated by the Nebraska Tax Modernization Committee.