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.
Stephen Owens and his wife Rose live in Hesston Kansas where they raised 2 beautiful daughters and one ornery son. We have since added two son’s to the mix as both daughters were married in 2020 and we welcomed Oaklynn to our family in April 2022 as our first grandchild. We will be adding Kinsley in January 2023.. Stephen graduated with Bachelors of Science degrees in Accounting and Business Administration from Bethel College and went on to earn his Masters of Business Administration from Southwestern College in 2003. He spent the next 20+ years building multiple companies that currently operate in various industry sectors.
Stephen is currently honored to serve as the State Representative for the 74th House District in Kansas since 2018. His experience working in the criminal justice system allows him to currently serve as the Chairman of the Corrections / Juvenile Justice Committee, Chairman of the Joint Corrections / Juvenile Justice Oversight Committee as well as serving as a member of both the Judiciary and Appropriations committee.
Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:
What do you think should be done to help Kansans dealing with high costs?
There is no question that Kansan’s need tax relief. We have a record surplus of taxpayer funds and we need to ensure that more of Kansan’s paychecks remain in their pocket. It is time to undue the enormous tax increases of 2017 and reduce government spending!
Share your thoughts on abortion rights and restrictions.
Kansas remains a pro-life state. I speak with folks regularly who feared an outright ban on abortion but certainly don’t support unrestricted, late-term dismemberment abortions. They don’t want to return to the Dr. George Tiller days of years past. They don’t want Kansas to become the abortion destination of the midwest. We must continue to protect life and ensure our common sense restrictions in Kansas remain the law of the land.
Do you think KanCare should be expanded? Why or why not?
No. We have a waiting list of thousands of disabled Kansan’s who have waited years for services through KanCare and still aren’t receiving them. Until we take care of our most vulnerable Kansans, I will not consider expanding free health care benefits to adults without dependents who are capable of working.
What is your stance on the legalization of medical marijuana? Recreational marijuana?
Medical marijuana in Kansas prescribed through licensed Kansas physicians and dispensed through registered and licensed pharmacies in Kansas is the only path I believe it should be legalized. The Federal Government needs to remove it from being a Schedule 1 drug to ensure this can happen.
Share your thoughts about transgender athletes in sports.
Girls in Kansas should compete with Girls in Sports.
What are your thoughts on election integrity in Kansas? Across the United States? Would you change the election process and how?
Kansas has some of the most secure elections in the nation. While there is still some work to do to ensure ballot harvesting does not occur, Kansans should be proud of the work done to ensure their vote counts. I think other states aren’t as secure and have work to do. I think the US Government should stay out of the state election process.
What are the issues you would address for farmers and ranchers?
We must lower their tax burden to ensure they can remain in operation. We don’t have control over inflation, but we can control the amount of taxes they pay and the amount of regulatory burden they bear. We must do all we can to support our Kansas farmers and ranchers.
What are the key education issues in Kansas for K-12? For universities?
Less than 35% of our Kansas children graduate college and career ready. We MUST do better. It has been proven that money alone doesn’t accomplish this. We must provide more opportunities for our children to find the best educational path for their future success.
Universities in Kansas are very important but they must reinvent themselves. With declining enrollment which will continue to occur as the birth rate decreases, Universities must consider doing things differently. The old model simply doesn’t work and the majority of Kansas taxpayers shouldn’t bear the financial burden of keeping the old system operating.
What do you think needs to be done to promote social and racial justice?
Racism needs to be eliminated. Everyone must be accountable for their own actions regardless of their race.
Social justice is a concept rooted in the belief that everything should be equal for everyone. The idea that all things are fair and equal equates to nothing more than Socialism. America is an amazing country that provides more opportunity for more people than any other country in the world. We should all be proud to be in America where opportunity abounds and hard work is rewarded. I will do all that I can to ensure socialism never takes hold in Kansas or the United States of America.