Kansas Senate, Fifth District
What are the top three issues facing the state of Kansas and how would you address them, if elected?
Proper funding for the education of our children grades K-12. I sit on the education sub-committee and I see statistics year after year on how we do not measure up to surrounding states on base aid per pupil dollars. We had a bill in the 2000 Legislature that would create $50 million ear marked for education, it was slot machines at the three dog tracks. We had 19 votes with 21 needed to pass in the Senate.
The second issue would be economic development in the state of Kansas. Getting businesses to want to locate here. We were able to get the Kansas International Speedway, which created many jobs. This alone will put Kansas on the map but now we need to be prepared on how this will enhance the area and surrounding communities and how we will deal with it, i.e., more economic development initiative funding.
The third issue is how to properly fund our frail and elderly. Everyone knows it is less expensive to care for our aging and disabled at home instead of nursing homes. I believe that a portion of the $42 million excess revenue should be used in this area.
Should additional state funds be earmarked for the education of Kansas children in K-12?
I addressed this in question one.
What unique qualifications would you bring to the job of state senator?
I have finished my first term as a Kansas senator from the Fifth District. My background as an accounting major from Rockhurst College allowed me to be put on the prestigious Ways and Means Committee and allowed me to understand budget issues that were brought before me and to ask the tough budget questions.
Being the ranking Democrat on the Transportation Committee, I believe we are getting ever so close to getting an exit off I-70 into Leavenworth County.
What should be done at the state level to handle the effects of growth in northeast Kansas?
I also addressed this in question one.