The TomorrowToday staff asked each candidate the same three questions. Read their responses below:
How could Alabama’s education system benefit from a state lottery?
Ryan Barranco: Alabama’s education system could benefit enormously from a state lottery. As governor it would be important to me that while money from a state lottery is being put into Alabama’s education system, current funding must continue as well. As seen in states like Florida and Georgia, the state lottery cannot completely fund an education system and should still be backed by current funding. By instituting a state lottery, parents will have the opportunity to place their children in a better public education system, which is crucial to educating the next generation of Alabamians.
Vincent Indovina: Alabama’s education system could benefit from a state lottery, but it would not solve all educational issues. Our school systems, especially the schools in impoverished areas, could benefit greatly from extra funding from the lottery, but in order to prevent Alabama from hovering between 49th in 50th in the nation in education, we have to get to the root of the problem instead of piling more funds into the budget. Alabama will see a record education budget of $7.1 billion in October of this year. For our education system to improve, we must rewrite our state’s curriculum and gear it towards essential knowledge rather than test-based facts and mandate frequent evaluations of all teachers in the state of Alabama to ensure that our state’s students are being adequately educated.
As governor, how would you deal with the current racial controversies surrounding Confederate monuments and flags in our state?
Vincent Indovina: As Alabamians, we have to recognize that our nation and state have taken part in dark and horrific events in history. We cannot grow as a society if we attempt to remove remnants of our past. Confederate monuments should not stand just because they were a part of history, they should stand as a reminder of what our society was compared to what it is now. We must constantly remind our state that we are all one people, and we must continue to strive for a more equal society, but we cannot accomplish equality without recognizing the horrific mistakes of our past.
Ryan Barranco: It’s not a secret that Alabama, although a great state, has a checkered past. Today, Alabama has a diverse racial demographic. In the past, Alabama was primarily a caucasian state; we now support a growing diversity of non-caucasian residents that increases yearly. There are currently 107 public confederate monuments throughout the state. Through current legislation, these monuments are protected at the state level. While I agree with the current legislation that requires local governments to obtain permission to remove Confederate monuments, I believe the views and opinions of the people of Alabama must be respected. That is why as governor, I would agree with the evaluation of Confederate monuments on a case-by-case basis, and only if deemed so by state government, the removal of said offensive monuments.
How will application-based Supreme Court positions benefit the overall Youth Legislature experience and how would you utilize the Supreme Court part of the program more?
Ryan Barranco: One of my favorite things about ALYIG is the insane amount of opportunities you have in the program. With applications to be on the Supreme Court, delegates can now get appointed to a Supreme Court position purely off of their qualifications and longing to get involved. Applications present a unique chance for delegates to obtain an officer position without the stress of an election. My goal is to thoroughly explain the positions available in the Supreme Court and explain the importance of the Supreme Court at the conference.
Vincent Indovina: The Supreme Court application process ensures that our current chief justice and the many who come after will be able to appoint the strongest candidates in order to make the debate from the court as energetic and as engaging as possible. As youth governor, I want to promote the Supreme Court and make it more accessible to every delegate so we can make the court just as popular as the House or the Senate by creating a calendar for Supreme Court hearings so all delegates can attend hearings that interest them.