Rick Kloos – Republican for Kansas Senate, District 19

Candidates

(Photo courtesy Rick Kloos)

Responses are from the candidates and have not been edited.

Biographical Information:

Founder / Director of God’s Storehouse, BA Bible & Theology / Chaplain

Personal Information:

Wife, four boys, and four grandbabies

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

KloosForKansas.com

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

The health and well being of all Kansans is important to me. While I have supported medicaid expansion in the past, as of right now I am neither for nor against. Due to COVID-19, we will have to first look at our budget. We don’t want to cut from our schools or other areas that would affect them in anyway. I’ve learned with our nonprofit that we have to a healthy balance between business and service. If it’s all about business we forget the people we serve, but if it’s all about service we run out of money.

What is your stance on the legalization of medical marijuana?

I am in support of marijuana in medical and end-of-life care. As a former hospice chaplain, I can see the benefit of alternatives to opioids.

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

I am pro-life and have been endorsed by Kansans for Life. I would not be in favor of anything that would expand abortion in the state. I am in favor of the ‘Value Them Both’ Amendment; and given the opportunity, I will vote yes regarding this legislation.

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

A huge issue out west is the Ogallala Aquifer. We need to continue to look into new technology and grants that help on water usage. I’d also like to promote hemp as an alternative crop for farmers.

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

Right now school funding is a big issue. We need to make sure we continue to fund our schools, so we stay out of court. Also with a teacher shortage across the state we need to make sure our money gets to our teachers to address this issue.

We also need to continue to work to get our schools safely open. With remote learning proving not to be near as effective as in person, it is important that we get our students back safely so they can get the education they need.

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

I believe over the past couple of years it has gotten better; however there’s still much work to be done to ensure the safety of our children. Having fostered children in the past, this is an area I want to make sure we do our best in.

What is your response to the Black Lives Matter movement?

Simply put, Black lives matter. I support our Black community. As a former police chaplain, I often worked in the community with all different ethnic backgrounds. With everything going on, communities need to sit and have a conversation with their fellow neighbors. Perception is reality, and though not everyone may agree with some aspects of the movement, we need to validate what they’re feeling. We all need to do better, realize we’re all human, and live peaceably for the sake of our future generation. It starts with each individual.

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

The focus of my campaign has been Unity in the Community. We have to start having safe events that bring us together and building each other up.

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

Life’s about adjustments if you don’t adjust along the way it’ll catch up to you, for the good or bad. I think there is always room for improvement and conversations. Working towards a national accreditation for local law enforcement would help bring greater training and accountability.

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

As a director of a nonprofit, we closed for nearly 45 days and had to lay off almost 58 employees. Now that we have a better understanding of the virus I do not believe it would be wise to close down businesses again. We must all do our part and do our best to slow the spread of this virus and continue to be educated, but I do not believe closing businesses again is the answer. Many small businesses did not make it through, and to do it again could end many more small businesses.

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?

No, I would not. I believe that should be decided at a local level by local leaders. They know their community best and the health of their community.

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

Continue working to find monies and grants for our small businesses to help them recover and get back on track and safely opening our businesses.

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

I support the three legged stool tax approach. Income, property, and sales if you take away one it puts pressure on the other. I’m for common sense taxes and if there is opportunity to lower taxes we should always look at lowering. However, raising or lowering taxes has to be done very carefully right now because of the coronavirus. We cannot over burden our businesses or individuals during this crisis.

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

We have to get the growth of our economy back on track so we can continue to properly fund our schools and balance our budget.

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