SPRINGFIELD – Ruth Linoz, running for a seat in the state House of Representatives, stressed fiscal accountability and personal responsibility during her appearance at the candidate rountable Tuesday, Sept. 29. 

The interactive session is the third this year, and is sponsored by the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and the Government Issues and Economic Development committees. 

Linoz (R, D-12) is challenging incumbent Democrat John Lively. 

She said the two most important issues the region faces are affordable housing and economic stability. She said they are related, with economic stability being the backbone of any society’s ability to support residents and infrastructure to support agencies. 

She said she’s interested in reforming the tax system, and cited how the state currently is struggling to sustain its budget and tax base.

Linoz said that with COVID-19 restrictions in place, the state should look at freeing up conditions to help drive the economy.  

For housing, Linoz said there needs to be a better alternative that would make housing affordable without costing property owners or setting up renters for a lose-lose situation. She said the rent limits are unrealistic because real estate values vary throughout the state. 

When it comes to bridging the cultural gap, Linoz said she is a listener who likes to engage with groups and believes in understanding all sides of an issue, “especially if we want a certain outcome.” 

Linoz acknowledged there are underfunded social programs, she said that while social services make life better for residents, there needs to be “some personal responsibilities and choice.” 

“How can we help people own more of how they live their lives?” she said, adding that it’s “self-destiny vs. handouts” and there’s a “culture of dependency” being built. 

She said the state needs to look at the economy, determine base needs, and cut back and align to what it can sustain. 

Linoz said her first objective would be focusing on the accountability of state agencies, especially fiscally. She also wants to speak out more when things aren’t in favor of her district, and would make sure to let the major party know “that something that works for Portland doesn’t work for Springfield,” she said. 

A chamber member asked how to alleviate the debt burden landlords are facing. Linoz said she doesn’t want to see people evicted from their homes, and the best way to help is to get industries back up and operating.

“We’ve got to look at how we make decisions of Covid lockdowns, and we’re being asked to take on more and more, and I’d be the voice of ‘let’s get back to work,’” she said. 

Linoz was also asked about wearing masks. She said that she supports the state mandate, but if she’s maintaining a six-foot distance, she won’t wear it. 

“It’s a personal choice on what we should be allowed to do for our person, but at the same time, until requirements in health and other industries change mandates we should comply,” she said.