Election Guide: Barbara K. Wasinger (R-Kansas House District 111)

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Website: Barb for Kansas

Biographical Information:

Barb has been a resident of Hays for 36 years. She is currently the Ellis County Commissioner for the 2nd District and is the first woman to serve in the position of Commissioner in the history of Ellis County. She is in her second 4-year term and currently running for State Representative for the 111th District.

As Ellis County Commissioner she serves as the Rural Representative for the Kansas Association of Counties Board, is on the Northwest Community Corrections Board, Northwest Juvenile Community Corrections Board and she also served on the Ellis County Economic Development Board. 

Barb previously served 8 years as a Hays City Commissioner from April 2005 to December 2012, which included serving in the position of Mayor of the City of Hays from April 2008 to April 2009 and again from October 2010 to April 2012. She represented the city on the Hays Public Library Board while she served as Mayor. 

Personal Information:

Barb is married to Thomas (Tom) Wasinger and they have four children and one grandchild: Matt (wife Victoria), Drew, Anne Marie Hager (husband Garrett and son Gentry) and Mark. They own Ellis County Abstract & Title, LLC in Hays as well as W.T.C. Enterprises, LC. She is an active member of St. Joseph Church and currently serves as a member of the Kansas University Midwest Cancer Alliance.  

Barb is a graduate of St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota and holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts Degree with a concentration in Journalism and Theology. She is an alumna of Leadership Hays and the Leadership Kansas Class of 2012 and formerly served as a founding Board Member of the Hays Community Theater, Inc.  She is a member of the 2019 Class of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Excellence in Public Service Series.

Position on the Kansas Budget:

The most important issue facing the state of Kansas is the budget. Kansas needs to stop taking money from KDOT and KPERS without the promise of returning funds and needs to start the repayment process. It has to stop speculative spending and start living within its actual revenue figures. A commonsense approach to spending taxpayer dollars needs to be employed. More government isn’t always the answer.

Position on School Funding:

The legislature has increased school funding by $500 million or 10% since 2017. It is vital and must be a priority to make sure that it goes to classrooms and teacher salaries. We should not be raising salaries of administrators 13% like Shawnee did or spending $1.5 million on a sports complex in Russell. Accountability must accompany additional funding. If adequate means raising reading comprehension, test scores and raising teacher salaries, then I’m in.

Position on Economy & Taxes:

This is a complex answer – With a low unemployment rate of 3.4% in the state we need to deal with workforce issues, promotion of quality of life issues and housing issues – or lack of housing – issues. We need to think outside the box to find solutions for this to address these needs. An example is Osborne building houses with the support of grants and local banks to provide homes for employees. No NEW taxes for individuals or businesses and less burdensome regulations on small businesses to allow for ease of entry into the marketplace. We need to concentrate on our Vo-Tech system to train the workforce need now and in the future.

Position on Health Care:

We should repair KanCare before we should expand Medicaid. Work requirements are essential to any expansion which would also ease the unemployment issues within the state. Currently the cost to expand Medicaid with a small estimate of 150,000 people is $56 million and that’s assuming the federal government maintains its 90% reimbursement rate forever – which seems very doubtful to me. Patients needs come first. Kansans need to have a choice of doctors and health care insurance. No one policy fits everyone’s needs.

Position on Immigration:

Immigration is an important issue for Kansas with its low unemployment rate. We need the migrant workforce to help our farmers and companies who have trouble finding workforce to fill positions. I support legal immigration and work visas for immigrants. 

Highest Priority Issue in Office:

The financial security of Kansas. Getting control of state spending and to stop taking money from KDOT and KPERS without the promise of returning funds and needs to start the repayment process. It has to stop speculative spending and start living within its actual revenue figures.  

What needs to change in our state government?

A commonsense approach to spending tax dollars. More government isn’t always the answer to the problems that people face.  

Encourage economic growth and jobs by not raising individual or business taxes and reducing burdensome regulations on business.  

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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