- Small Business Owner
- Attended Kansas State University, Wichita State University, and Butler Community College
- Kansas Senate District 16
- Kansas House of Representatives District 99
- Andover City Council
Happily married to Marlo for 22+ years, 6 children ages 9 to 21
What is your plan to deal with the Kansas Budget?
The first thing we need to do is to establish a revenue estimating procedure based on hard data that accurately reflects the fiscal condition of Kansas and all the factors that affect the Kansas economy. Secondly, we need to account properly and transparently for all the revenues collected and appropriated. Thirdly, we need to “right-size” government by implementing many of the achievable recommendations from the legislative efficiency study. And we need to look hard at the current tax structure to make certain it produces fair and adequate results.
What kind of changes do you support in rewriting the school funding formula? Do you support additional funding for Kansas schools?
We must develop a school funding formula that reduces the volatile swings and inaccurate results that the previous formula created and which gives school districts more local control with increased budgeting flexibility by removing revenue silos.
Kansas’ students, teachers and parents deserve the best education we can provide. The Kansas State General Fund is a roughly $6 billion budget, of which K12 Education now receives $4.1 billion. We have worked hard to ensure that schools stay open and that districts have the flexibility they need. Local districts have been working hard to implement efficiencies while meeting the needs of students. We need to have a productive discussion about how much IS enough and what measurable outcomes are produced. Kansas’ schools and students rank well nationally and when compared to regional neighbors. We need to increase graduation rates and decrease the number of students who require remediation once they enter the higher education system as well as concentrate on those technical certification pathways that produce the work skills that employers are seeking.
What is your number one priority for the upcoming legislative session and how do you plan to address it?
We need to build and pass a balanced state budget that includes a new school finance formula. In order to accomplish that, we must stabilize revenue estimates and create a fair tax structure. Every slice of the state budget pie has constituency groups with urgent needs (law enforcement/public safety, social services, senior care, transportation, K12, higher education, public employees, etc). The taxpayers in Kansas also have urgent budget needs. They are millennials with overwhelming student loan debt, seniors on fixed incomes, struggling young families, veterans, small business owners working hard to get ahead, as well as other businesses that are taking risks to create jobs that create taxpayers and broaden the tax base. We need to keep government spending within its means while providing the best public safety, education, infrastructure and social services we can afford. Kansas taxpayers deserve an affordable, responsible and responsive government focused on customer service.
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