GLEN ROSE – During the question and answer forum held at the Somervell County Citizen’s Center on Tuesday, citizens did not hold back when posing the tough questions to Brent Graves, challenger for state representative district 59.
Originally the Q&A forum was planned to be between incumbent State Rep. J.D. Sheffield (R-Gatesville) and challenger Brent Graves. Unfortunately, Rep. Sheffield was ill and unable to attend, so challenger Graves fielded all questions.
One issue that has been on the minds of the citizens of Somervell County is the one of the “unaccompanied minors” that were recently housed at Camp Arrowhead. During the forum, Graves was asked what he would do to give counties more control in regulating facilities that house refugees.
He stated that he didn’t understand why the state or a county for that mattered had to take the refugees in and that it was a federal government issue.
“I have a big problem with that and I think that the federal government is encroaching on our state’s rights and they’re pushing it down our throats," he added. "And we as state have to figure out legally how to put a stop to it, because I don’t believe these are the most needy individuals in the world that we need to be bringing into our country.”
Graves, was also asked if he would create a legislation that would address the issue of the open carry law pertaining to government owned facilities that are not involved with the courts. Currently, these facilities aren’t allowed to ban open carry.
He was against creating any legislation that would prohibit open carry in these facilities.
“If a government owned facility is not within the courts, then we should allow the liberties of those who want to carry their firearms for self-protection and self-preservation,” Graves said.
There were several questions posed regarding the Robin Hood plan, the court-mandated equitable school financing plan that was passed in 1993. Graves stated that he’s not the guy to tell you he has the fix for schools finances, but he said a lot of the school finance problems could be stopped with parental choice on choosing the schools their children attend.
During the evening, voters also learned that Graves does support the right for states to hold a constitutional convention, that he believes some occupational licenses can be done away with in order to ease the burden on small business owners, and that the state needs to abide by the promised cost of living adjustment for retired teachers who receive income through the state’s retirement plan.