The Kansas budget as passed by the Governor and extremist legislators in Topeka is structurally imbalanced. We have no steady stream of revenue to pay our bills. The Brownback administration and the legislative branches have created the largest debt in the history of our state by allowing over 300,000 Kansans to pay NO state income taxes. We have reduced others' income tax and increased sales tax (the largest tax increase in State history), and yet we STILL cannot pay the states' bills.
We need a source of revenue that keep us from “borrowing” from other sources, such as money already earmarked for schools, public universities, roads, airports, rail lines, state departments, and the Early Children's Education fund. If you elect me to represent you in Topeka, we will fund our K-12 schools, stop sweeping from the transportation fund, pay KPERS, and have an adequate reserve fund for emergencies, all by FIXING THE BUDGET FIRST!
If elected, I will work to see that all Kansans pay for the government services they use, and that those services are of the caliber that we have all come to expect. It starts with a revenue stream to fix our budget with more than one-time money.
As outlined by the Kansas Constitution, the Legislature MUST adequately fund education services. Since 2012, there has been a steady stream of assaults on this basic function of the Kansas government by extremist legislators and the governor. As someone who holds a degree in education from Emporia State University and has grandchildren in public schools, this is unacceptable. The Brownback tax cuts have led to freezes in funding, supply shortages in classrooms, and bigger class sizes, which mean more difficult learning environments for students and teachers. Through it all, however, the Blue Valley and Shawnee Mission districts’ students continue to excel. Why are we making it more difficult for them to do so? Teacher and parents know more about what their child needs in order to be successful, not legislators. This is why I am a firm believer in local control of schools.
Not only do we have the obligation to fund K-12 education, but our state is blessed with seven excellent public universities. These universities and the graduates they produce add millions of dollars annually to our state’s economy. For example, according to the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR), it is estimated the KBOR system produced approximately $7.3 billion in overall impacts, $3.4 billion in wages and salary impact, 95,327 additional jobs, and $485 million in state and local tax collections in the year 2010. In terms of the rate of return, $1 in state tax support resulted in $11.94 in economic activity. If we invest in higher education, aspiring entrepreneurs, engineers, teachers, agronomists and professionals will flock to Kansas schools from neighboring states, all because of the lower tuition that can be afforded with more public funding.
If you give me your vote on August 2nd, I will work to protect the funding of our schools and universities!
1 million dollars a day. This is the amount of money contractors lose when the legislature sweeps funding from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT). Those 1 million dollars represent jobs lost, revenue wasted, roads deteriorated and lives less safe. As a Business Development Officer for Kaw Valley Engineering, one of the questions I get asked most frequently when talking with investors is whether or not our roads and services are quality enough to safely transport their product. I am increasingly worried I may have to start telling them “no”.
When talking with constituents, they often comment on the difference between the east side of State Line Road versus the west side. If you elect me, I hope to serve on the Senate Transportation Committee, where I will introduce legislation to prohibit sweeping transportation funds to fill budget gaps.
Having been elected to the Overland Park City Council three times, I know keeping government accountable starts with keeping government local. We need legislators in Topeka who understand that.
While Sam Brownback and the extremist legislators failed economic experiment has left Kansas in ruins, I have stood for you on the Overland Park City Council as we work to maintain our AAA bond rating, grow jobs, and maintain quality of life amenities that keep people moving here.
Johnson County remains the only county in the state to have a net increase in jobs, thanks to local leaders and the voters who elected us to do just that! Studies have shown city governments to be the most efficient governments, not to mention the most accessible. I have been accessible as a city councilman, and I will continue to make myself available via electronic communications and in person listening sessions when elected to the Kansas Senate. Tell Topeka to listen to Kansas Common Sense, which knows local government is the best government!