- Graduated Ark City High School
- Bachelor’s and Master’s from ESU
- Special education administrator with Butler County Special Education Interlocal
- Special education administrator for 30 years and served on many Governor-appointed task forces
My wife (Sue) and I have been married for 39 years. We have one daughter and two grandchildren. We live in El Dorado. Prior to that, we lived in Pratt, Kansas for 17 years.
What is your plan to deal with the Kansas Budget?
We have to make adjustments to the tax cuts of 2012. Fixing the revenue portion of our state’s budget is a priority. However, this first session, budget cuts will be necessary to survive until the revenues are restored to an acceptable level. Therefore, we will need some tax increases (maybe temporary) and budget cuts (again maybe temporary) to make the 2017 Fiscal year work for Kansas. There is not an easy solution for this session.
What kind of changes do you support in rewriting the school funding formula? Do you support additional funding for Kansas schools?
I do support additional funding for schools, as do most Kansans. The question will be what will be the distribution formula and how much is enough?
The “block grant” implemented by the Brownback administration was never fair and it had no real basis on why and how much schools got funded.
I believe in per pupil funding and a weighting system for students who require more services than others. Again, there is not a perfect funding system in the United States. Therefore, we must come up with a plan that meets the Constitutional requirement and one that we can fund.
What is your number one priority for the upcoming legislative session and how do you plan to address it?
A fair tax plan! We have too much reliance on property tax and sales tax. The income tax issue where over 330,000 people who once paid income taxes and are not now is the biggest issue. What should these people be paying (as far as income tax)? That will be the question and issue that we can work out in the session.
We cannot do anything until our state’s revenue is balanced. We can’t fund schools, repair roads or address Medicaid until we get this issue right.
WEBSITE | Bruce Givens – A New Voice