WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — KSN News sent a questionnaire to each candidate facing a challenger in the November general election. We have not made any edits to the candidate’s answers.


Biographical Information:

Jo Ann Roth married November 10, 1979, adopted two (2) children, now adults. The Married Couple reside in the Roth family home located in Ellinwood which was built by Kent’s parents, Walter and June Roth, in 1939.

Jo Ann Roth was employed by the federal government in the United States Department of Agriculture, Agriculture Stabilization and Conservation Service (ASCS), then renamed the Farm Service Agency (FSA), for a dozen years in Barton County, Kansas. She was then elected three (3) terms to the three (3) person Barton County Committee that oversees the local FSA Office and rules upon any farmer appeals. Following 9/11, Jo Ann Roth became employed by the Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration, (TSA), until her federal retirement.

Jo Ann Roth was a member of Kansas Agriculture & Rural Leadership (KARL IV) 1998-99, touring Kansas Industries and traveling to Washington DC and South America, Chili & Argentina.

Jo Ann Roth is a member of Kansas Farm Bureau and grew up on a farm near Cheyenne Bottoms, the daughter of Bob and Bonnie Wirth.

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

JoAnnRothForStateRepresentative.cm

What do you think should be done to help Kansans dealing with high costs?

We CAN Lower Property Taxes!!

The Republican Party of Kansas is largely responsible for our rising property taxes. And you can’t convince me otherwise.

The GOP has controlled both chambers of the legislature since 1993. (When Bill Clinton was inaugurated!) And in that 29-year period, Kansas Republicans controlled the trifecta for 16 years.

In other words, the “Party of No Taxes” has had unilateral power to reduce property tax burdens on both local governments and households – but they have chosen NOT TO. Have you heard of the LAVTRF? Ok, I’ll help you out with that acronym. It stands for Local Ad Valorem Tax Relief Fund. Those letters are the key to reduce every Kansas property owner’s property taxes. Perhaps you’re new to Kansas and didn’t know of this fund. Perhaps it’s because it’s been so long (20 years!) since you’ve heard those letters that they fell out of your memory altogether.

The state of Kansas is required by statute to take 3.63% of the state’s sales tax revenues and transfer those monies into this fund for the purpose of aiding counties and cities.

The floor of this bucket of money is set at $54 million dollars. In other words, the state must hand out a minimum of $54 million, spread out to local governments based on population and assessed valuation. But given there’ve been zero distributions in 20 years, the state has effectively accumulated a few billion dollars of money that should have been lowering property taxes. The governor and legislature initially suspended the funding the

property tax relief fund in 2002 because the state was strapped for cash due to the recession that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

And in every subsequent year, the funding of the LAVTRF just got, well, overlooked. Each year, the Republican-controlled legislature would pass a budget without that line item, failing to provide local units with much needed property tax relief – funding that we all deserve coming back to our communities since we all pay sales tax.

Per the statute, local entities are required to use the funding to reduce mill levies on properties. Here’s the bottom line, folks. Don’t let the GOP-controlled legislature get away with this ongoing sweeping of our property tax relief dollars. Don’t let any elected Republican backpedal as to why restoration of this program never seems to be on the table when property taxes are discussed in Topeka. They’ve had full control for nearly three decades now, and their incompetence or malfeasance –take your pick– is inexcusable.

I support funding the local property tax relief fund as mandated by existing law.

Share your thoughts on abortion rights and restrictions.

I opposed the August 2 constitutional amendment and I support the right to privacy as currently guaranteed in the Kansas Constitutions.

Do you think KanCare should be expanded? Why or why not?

Six (6) Billion Federal dollars which would have been paid to Kansas Hospitals and Healthcare Providers have been lost since January 1, 2014, due to the failure of the Legislature to expand KanCare. I support expansion of KanCare in Kansas. This Obstruction by Republicans in the Legislature including my Opponent have cost lives. Truly the image of a death panel comes to mind as Kansas remains one of the few States failing to accept the Federal dollars to provide health care to the less fortunate.

What is your stance on the legalization of medical marijuana? Recreational marijuana?

For it and for it. Should have happened a long time ago.

Share your thoughts about transgender athletes in sports.

Teenage suicide is at a crisis point. Suicide among children dealing with gender issues is four (4) times as high. Politicians who would turn such children into political pawns to gain a vote here or there are not worthy of a single vote. The Swimmer who complains about coming in second in an event supervised by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) should complain to that organization if she believes there was an unfair advantage.

What are your thoughts on election integrity in Kansas? Across the United States? Would you change the election process and how?

Republicans in the State Legislature recently created the crime of impersonating an election official as part of a voter suppression effort. The League of Women Voters in my area decided to not do voter registration this year due to uncertainty created by this law. This is a shame. The law should be clarified to encourage the greatest registration and participation in our free, democratic elections.

What are the issues you would address for farmers and ranchers?

We CAN Lower Property Taxes!!

The Republican Party of Kansas is largely responsible for our rising property taxes. And you can’t convince me otherwise.

The GOP has controlled both chambers of the legislature since 1993. (When Bill Clinton was inaugurated!) And in that 29-year period, Kansas Republicans controlled the trifecta for 16 years.

In other words, the “Party of No Taxes” has had unilateral power to reduce property tax burdens on both local governments and households – but they have chosen NOT TO. Have you heard of the LAVTRF? Ok, I’ll help you out with that acronym. It stands for Local Ad Valorem Tax Relief Fund. Those letters are the key to reduce every Kansas property owner’s property taxes. Perhaps you’re new to Kansas and didn’t know of this fund. Perhaps it’s because it’s been so long (20 years!) since you’ve heard those letters that they fell out of your memory altogether.

The state of Kansas is required by statute to take 3.63% of the state’s sales tax revenues and transfer those monies into this fund for the purpose of aiding counties and cities.

The floor of this bucket of money is set at $54 million dollars. In other words, the state must hand out a minimum of $54 million, spread out to local governments based on population and assessed valuation. But given there’ve been zero distributions in 20 years, the state has effectively accumulated a few billion dollars of money that should have been lowering property taxes. The governor and legislature initially suspended the funding the property tax relief fund in 2002 because the state was strapped for cash due to the recession that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

And in every subsequent year, the funding of the LAVTRF just got, well, overlooked. Each year, the Republican-controlled legislature would pass a budget without that line item, failing to provide local units with much needed property tax relief – funding that we all deserve coming back to our communities since we all pay sales tax.

Per the statute, local entities are required to use the funding to reduce mill levies on properties. Here’s the bottom line, folks. Don’t let the GOP-controlled legislature get away with this ongoing sweeping of our property tax relief dollars. Don’t let any elected Republican backpedal as to why restoration of this program never seems to be on the table when property taxes are discussed in Topeka. They’ve had full control for nearly three decades now, and their incompetence or malfeasance –take your pick– is inexcusable.

I support funding the local property tax relief fund as mandated by existing law.

What are the key education issues in Kansas for K-12? For universities?

Republican Legislators have adopted the attitude that the funding of K-12 education mandated by the Kansas Supreme Court in the Cannon decision will be provided, but not a penny more. This is a bad attitude.

Special Education should be fully funded as this is a mandate the local School Boards have no control over. Higher Education Costs had increased dramatically over the years, making many Students so deep in debt that one has to wonder if training on the job or other alternatives are a better option for many. This high cost of higher education must be addressed.

What do you think needs to be done to promote social and racial justice?

The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees equal treatment under the law and every citizen should be treated with the same dignity and respect when dealing with government. One of my core issues is Larned State Hospital is understaffed. While community-based programs are essential, we must not neglect Larned State Hospital for employee, patient and public safety.