- Current occupation: Community mobilizer for Drug Free Osage County and Healthier Lyon County
- Education: Attended Ft. Hays Kansas State College 1971-1974; did not complete my degree
- Previous Political position: Lyon County Commissioner 2009-2013
I am married to John M. Briggs; between us, we have 4 adult children and 6 grandchildren.
What is your plan to deal with the Kansas Budget?
The current tax plan needs to be repealed as a first step so that tax brackets are returned to what they were prior to Brownback’s “live experiment”. That should start to bring in increased revenue. Unfortunately, the drastic way that the experiment was implemented, any change will make the repeal feel like a tax increase, no more so than to the 330,000 corporate heads currently paying no income tax. Everyone should be paying their fair share, though, and many corporate heads admit that they would rather pay taxes for the benefit of all.
I would like to see more caution used in budgeting for efficiency studies conducted by outside entities, usually cronies of Brownback’s. If Legislators are not able to discern this information less expensively and, especially, if results are not going to be considered or implemented anyway, then these are just a waste of money. As a taxpayer, I resent having my tax dollars spent to help defend lawsuits against Kobach, for instance.
While I admit that there may be some ways to reduce spending, the mess that Kansas is in right now is not just a spending problem, it’s a revenue problem!!!
What kind of changes do you support in rewriting the school funding formula? Do you support additional funding for Kansas schools?
I would like to see more educator and administrator involvement and input as to whether the 1992 plan could be used as is or modified. Each district is so different in their students’ needs, property value, etc., that I would like to explore how other states may have already dealt with these disparities to create a more level playing field. Our Kansas schools have done very well in regards to student achievement given the funding they have received. Our public education system is a huge economic driver in our state and should be one of our largest investments. I would support additional funding for Kansas schools.
What is your number one priority for the upcoming legislative session and how do you plan to address it?
While we have to endure another two years of the Governor, legislators need to be able to work together for the common good, rather than the current ‘we’ against ‘them’ mentality. I will do all I can to encourage collaboration and transparency to help create a less hostile atmosphere. This year all focus needs to be on helping Kansas and Kansans!
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