Mike Bruner – Democrat for Kansas Senate, District 12

Candidates

(Photo courtesy Mike Bruner)

Responses are from the candidates and have not been edited.

Biographical Information:

I am a retired history teacher I earned my B.A. and M.A. in History from Emporia State University. I have been politically active through the Kansas National Education Association and am currently the Allen County, KS Democratic Chair.

Personal Information:

My wife Glenda and I have lived in our present home in Humboldt, KS since 1977. We have three grown children and three grandchildren.

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

MikeBrunerForKansas.com

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

I strongly support Medicaid Expansion. It will help hundreds of people in Senate District 12 acquire insurance, create jobs in our six counties, and shore up our rural hospitals.

What is your stance on the legalization of medical marijuana?

I believe the time has come. The evidence of its value in certain conditions is clear.

Do you support any changes to abortion laws in Kansas? If so, what changes?

At this time know. Unless Roe v. Wade is overturned their are no more restrictions that would be considered constitutional. If Roe is overturned I would still support the right to abortion in the early stages of pregnancy, especially the period of pre-fetal development.

I do, in accordance with Roe, support severe restrictions on abortion in the later stage of pregnancy with limited exceptions for medical reasons.

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

Farmers and Ranchers I have visited with are frustrated by the dominance of corporate agriculture, distributers, and processors. I would like to provide help through grants, tax incentives, and regulatory reform to help small producers producers and processors. The bid feedlots and meat packers have for too much market power. I would like to see the market place much more friendly toward smaller family operations and regenerative agriculture.

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

I would like to see our funding levels fully restored to pre-Great Recession levels. I am opposed to all attempts to shift public funds to private schools and consolidation schemes which would close viable small rural schools.

Are you satisfied with DCF? With the foster care system?

I support Governor Kelly’s efforts to clean up the mess at DCF. I would prefer to see the system de-privatized. The system need much more supervision.

What is your response to the Black Lives Matter movement?

I have sometimes been critical of its strategy, but very much support its goal of ending the incidents which have inspired the movement. We need to restructure our public safety infrastructure and significantly increase resources, including for police forces. I would like to see both the pay and required training of police officers increased. The low pay makes it very difficult to recruit and retain high quality officers in rural areas.

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

No response.

Are you in favor of police reform? If so, what should it look like?

No response.

Did you or do you support business shutdowns to control the spread of the coronavirus?

No response.

Would you support another statewide shutdown if coronavirus cases continued to rise? If so, what are the factors that would lead you to that decision?

I would if things got bad enough, infections and deaths began to grow exponentially, and hospital hospital capacity was overwhelmed. I don’t think that will happen. I do support the the recommended interventions of masking and social distancing. I strongly support a science and evidence based approach to this crisis.

What do you think should be done to help the Kansas economy recover?

The economy can only recover if the virus is kept under control, and that will require individuals comply with the recommended mitigation strategies. There is no magic bullet and it would be dishonest to claim there is.

Would you cut money for social services if it means lower taxes? Would you favor higher taxes for more social services?

I would be more inclined to increase assistance for children, the elderly, and the disabled than to reduce it.

What should Kansas do to balance its budget? Will you support budget cuts for schools?

Under normal circumstances I would not. Should we face a severe recession it could be necessary. The most likely thing to make that happen is if the Federal Government fails to pass an aid package for state and local governments to deal with the revenue shortfall related to the pandemic. At that point, we might have to make some very hard choices. Education would be high on my priority list for programs to protect.

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