Steven Koonse | Libertarian | District 4
- How would you go about addressing health disparities and similar healthcare needs among Missouri’s women, where the maternal mortality rate exceeds the national average and disproportionally impacts women of color?
When I’m in Congress, I will review the mandate Congress has given to the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resource and Services Administration. I will assess its performance and determine whether the mandate addresses sufficient access to healthy food, safe drinking water, safe neighborhoods , good schools, decent jobs, and reliable transportation.
- What policies would you support to increase the availability of mental health personnel and services in rural and underserved parts of the state where COVID-19 has exacerbated widespread stress and anxiety?
I would enhance policies and funding for rural broadband. I would inform my constituents of the availability and accessibility of tele Behavorial health.
- How do you propose supporting efforts to equitably combat opioid use and fatalities?
I would assess the effectiveness of Federal funding for State and local action to prevent Opioid abuse. I would have the CDC evaluate the effectiveness of HR.6 “SUPPORT” and the “PDOP” Acts. I will initiate legislation to correct deficiencies Ive identified.
- What policies would you support to enable agricultural producers to provide a healthy, affordable, and sustainable food supply while mitigating negative environmental or health impacts?
I will have the USDA provide an assessment of the effectiveness of the 15 grant programs relevant to local and regional food systems development. I would have EPA assess its effectiveness in mitigating the environmental and health impacts of industrial farming. Of both reviews, I will initiate legislation to attempt to correct the shortcomings identified.
- How would you make programs and funding in the next Farm Bill science-based?
I will work with AFRI to identify funding priorities. I will seek to elevate USDA’s top scientist to a near Cabinet-level position.
- What is the federal government’s role in protecting farmers and landowners from extreme weather events?
I will improve the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to 0ptimize climate smart agricultural practices, while also identifying specific environmental actions. I will promulgate allowing donor contributions to RCPP to be used for collaborative projects.
Environment & Energy
- How will you ensure that science and research play a critical role in monitoring and remediating water quality in Missouri’s impaired streams, rivers, and lakes?
I will task EPA’s Office of Research Development scientists to assess the effectiveness of the Cyanobacteria Assessment Network mobile applications that are employed as an early warning indicator system for harmful algae blooms in freshwater systems. I will ask for a report on the EPA scientists’ research (1) into New Approach methods for alternative toxicity testing; (2) into implementing approaches for chemical pre-prioritization; (3) into improving exposure assessment for new and existing chemicals; and (4) into their support for ongoing chemical assessments.
- What role should renewable sources of energy play for energy consumption in Missouri?
Solar power generation should play a crucial role. The Constitution’s Commerce clause gives Congress exclusive power over trade activities between the states and with foreign countries. So I will work to eliminate trade barriers between the US and China to ensure free trading of solar panels from China and of the agricultural products from the 4th Congressional District.
STEM Education and Workforce Development
- In an age dominated by complex science and technology, how can we ensure that students receive adequate STEM education?
I’d have High Schools designate some courses as STEM. If a student took all STEM designated courses, then the graduate’s diploma should state, “Graduated with STEM honors.”