Linda Stewart wants to focus on bills for the environment, mental health during her first session in Senate

Linda Stewart

Linda Stewart is headed to the state Senate this week representing District 13, and her agenda going forward is mostly focused on liberal issues like the environment — but she also wants to do something to curb gun violence, even if only by tackling the mental health aspect.

Talking to Sunday, Stewart said some of her first priorities in terms of passing bills would be to protect the environment by conserving quality water and stopping fracking.

“I don’t think an unelected body should be making decisions to increase carcinology allowed in our water supply,” she said, “as it happened over the summer. I want to restrict that from happening. The benzine was increased significantly more than even the federal government approved.”

She said she was also against fracking, and hoped to come up with a consensus bill with other legislators to help curb it.

Another priority, she said, was helping the mentally unstable.

“We are 49th in the nation on mental health,” she said. “With the tragedy at Pulse, we need to identify those who are mentally unstable and get them into treatment centers before they take the actions like they have taken.”

Then she added: “I’d like to see a gun regulation bill go forward, but I’m not sure what the appetite is for that.”

Stewart isn’t expecting to be fazed by much of what lies ahead in the Senate, what with her experience in the House and in local government.

“I’ve been around for 10 years,” she said. “I’m a consensus builder. I’ve worked bipartisan my entire life. Some of these things are not partisan — they’re just not. I’m hoping to explain why. The battle of minds will probably be over on the House side — I don’t expect the Senate to have as many issues.”

Larry Griffin


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