- Coffey County Deputy Sheriff since 1994
- U.S. Air Force missile electronics technician from 1988 to 1992 and a Gulf War veteran
- I have been a chief union steward for a 100-member security group and participated in several years of labor negotiations and benefits negotiations
- My security and law enforcement background includes extensive terrorism training, coordinating with local, state, and federal agencies in contingency plans and exercises and testing nuclear facilities against terrorist attacks.
I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Becky, for over five years and we have 6 kids together. All have graduated from high school but one.
What is your plan to deal with the Kansas Budget?
As a freshman representative, my main goal will be to find a like-minded coalition that is willing to tackle reasonable spending in coordination with budget revenue growth. The performance-based budget analysis that is already in place should provide a better assessment of our ability to improve along these lines. Seeking out legislation to support that which will encourage long-term solutions, such as attracting new businesses to our state that provide quality jobs with quality incomes, reinforcing infrastructure such as medical, schools and roads so that notable businesses will be encouraged to bring in growth facilities and existing businesses will feel more secure in a state with a long-term business growth environment. Increasing jobs increases taxpayers which increases and sustains revenue.
What kind of changes do you support in rewriting the school funding formula? Do you support additional funding for Kansas schools?
Funding has to be focused on classrooms instead of buildings and administrators. Rural Kansas has relied upon urban districts to provide the formula mechanisms and this has resulted in a lopsided funding picture where smaller rural districts are struggling to pay utilities while large districts build sports complexes and build up funds in capital outlay in excess of what many of our districts have for annual budgets.
What is your number one priority for the upcoming legislative session and how do you plan to address it?
Find those who I can depend on to be honest and dedicated to the improvement of Kansas, not their political careers. As a freshman legislator, I will have little clout to make individual goals happen, but if I can identify those in positions of legislative influence who have the integrity to pursue and make things happen for the right reasons, I will consider my first legislative session a success.
WEBSITE | EricLSmith4House76.com