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Peter Rudy Wallace

Q What experience and qualifications make you the candidate best suited for this office?

A I ran for office to give something back to my hometown _ and I have. As a champion of environmental issues, I sponsored Preservation 2000, safeguarding sensitive land, and created SWIM to clean up Tampa Bay. To strengthen public education, I advocated returning education decisions to parents and teachers. To empower Floridians to make their own health care decisions, I wrote the "Living Will" law. I am committed to keeping our community a great place to live!

Q Which services to children and families would you support with federal funding (Head Start; preschool programs; parenting education; early intervention programs; adolescent employment/training; Guardian ad Litem)?

A I have enthusiastically supported children's issues. I passed laws broadening health insurance coverage for newborn children and requiring coverage for periodic checkups and immunizations. I supported creation of the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation and Healthy Start. I voted for the supplemental budget to fund foster care and children's health initiatives, and avoid teacher layoffs. I believe that Head Start, preschool programs and early intervention can make a critical difference in the lives of children.

Q What is your position in regard to reproductive choice and access to voluntary family planning?

A I support a woman's right to reproductive choice, as protected by the Florida Constitution and the U.S. Constitution. As the pro-choice candidate in this race, I will resist efforts to interfere with this fundamental right of privacy. I also support access to voluntary family planning advice.

Q Are you in favor of increasing taxes or creating new taxes to fund education?

A I have voted to restore lottery funds so that they will be used for the enhancement of public education. I supported the supplemental budget, and the revenues necessary to fund it, to avoid teacher layoffs and further damaging cutbacks to Pinellas County schools this year. If additional revenues are needed in the years ahead, they should be raised by closing special interest loopholes in the sales tax laws.

Peter Rudy Wallace, Democrat, of St. Petersburg, has been a state representative since 1982.

Republican candidate Robert J. Lonergan did not respond.