Tom Sawyer (D-Kansas House District 95)

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Bio:

  • Education: Wichita State graduate, BBA in Accounting, cum laude. 1984
  • Political experience:
    • Sedgwick County Clerk 1984, Kansas House Majority Leader 1991-92, Kansas House Minority Leader 1993-1999, Democratic Party Nominee for Governor 1998, Chair, Kansas Democratic Party 1999-2003, Sedgwick County Legislative Delegation Chair 2005, Member of the Kansas Parole Board 2009-2011, Member of the Kansas Legislature 1987-1999, 2003-2009, 2013-present
  • Community involvement:
    • City of Wichita Human Resources Board 1980-81, CPO Council Member 1979-1987, CPO Coordinating Board President 1982, American Diabetes Assoc. Legislative Committee 1992-93, Visioneering Wichita Committee Task Force 2004, Wichita State University Presidential Selection Committee 2012, Member of West Side United Methodist Church- Admin Council chair 2002, Youth Group Co-Leader 1999-2005

Personal:

58 years old, Accountant, small business owner, Democrat.

What is your plan to deal with the Kansas Budget?

The state needs to budget like a family. A family lives within its means while taking care of its children and seniors. We need to go on a low fat diet, cut waste & improve efficiency. But the first thing we need to do is end the reckless Brownback tax plan and put the 330,000 business owners (many of which make over $100,000) that currently pay no Kansas income tax back on the tax rolls. We need all Kansans to pay their fair share.

What kind of changes do you support in rewriting the school funding formula? Do you support additional funding for Kansas schools?

Yes I do support additional funding, Our schools have been slowly starved to death over the last 6 years. Our Wichita Teachers haven’t had a raise in years. Improving our children’s education needs to be our top priority. I feel we should fund schools first instead of waiting until the end of the session. We need to direct funding to reduce class sizes to 17 kids or less in the early grades, so that every child can leave the 3rd grade being able to read, write and do basic math. We need to increase pay for our teachers. We need to pool resources to help our schools save money & cut administrative waste where possible.

What is your number one priority for the upcoming legislative session and how do you plan to address it?

We need to put a stop to the Brownback agenda. We need to restore fiscal sanity to our state budget. The first week of the session we need to eliminate the tax loophole that allows 330,000 business owners to pay no income taxes. We then need to balance our budget and restore the cuts that have been made to our children’s education, medicaid, and programs for our seniors and the disabled. Finally we need to focus on improving job creation in Kansas. I have a 5 point plan to increase jobs in Kansas.

WEBSITE | Tom Sawyer

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