- Kansas House of Representatives, 2013 – 2016
- Retired Veterinarian
- B.S., D.V.M., Ph.D. from KSU
- Wabaunsee County Republican Party Chair
- U.S. Army, Infantry Platoon Leader, 1966 – 1969
- U.S. Army Veterinary Corp, 1977 – 1980
- Private practice, international corporate experience developing pharmaceuticals for animals
Married for 47 years to Linda. We have two children and two grandsons.
What is your plan to deal with the Kansas Budget?
The Kansas Budget is a very complex issue that is being adversely affected by the current world and national economy. The stagnant revenues because of the declining sales of goods in our state, lower gas and oil revenues, and the downturn in the agriculture markets are all issues to be considered when contemplating any changes to the tax code. I believe the LLC portion of the tax code will be addressed during the next session as a matter of fairness to all, while still offering some incentives to businesses that grow as demonstrated by hiring more employees. The tax base shrunk by 388,000 Kansas taxpayers being taken off the rolls. This also must be evaluated for everyone paying their fair share. The state revenues have increased each of the last three years, but not sufficiently to meet the demands of the various agencies. A close examination of the recommendations made by the A&M study on ways to find inefficiencies in government needs to be made, and then implement those changes that make the most fiscal sense.
What kind of changes do you support in rewriting the school funding formula? Do you support additional funding for Kansas schools?
As with the total state budget, the school funding must be based upon reliable and quantifiable information. I led the Special Committee on K-12 Student Success, plus I have requested Legislative Research to study this issue in depth. With good information from both of these resources, the decision process will go more smoothly. The process also must have input from all parties, to include parents, teachers, the public, and school administration. With that input, the Kansas State Board of Education and the Legislature will be able to formulate a fair and equitable funding mechanism.
What is your number one priority for the upcoming legislative session and how do you plan to address it?
The overall state budget is the primary priority for the upcoming session. First, the legislature will need to quit relying on the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group for budgeting advise. After three years of being wrong with estimates, we need to develop a more realistic budget. That may mean lowering expectations keeping in line with the current economic situation in our state. Other priorities include the K-12 funding and the foster care program. As stated earlier our decisions must be based on accurate information. Because of my research background, I will be involved in the information gathering. After four years in the legislature, I now know who to ask and where to find information to base decisions.
WEBSITE | Ron Highland