Election Guide: Blake Carpenter (R-Kansas House District 81)

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Website: carpenterforkansas.com

Biographical Information: 

Current Occupation: I work for Dassault Systèmes as a Knowledge Consultant working with software called CATIA and ENOVIA. I use to work for Rockwell Collins as a Contract Electrical Engineer at Beechcraft.

Education: I graduated from Halstead High School in 2009. In 2014 I graduated from Wichita State University with a bachelors degree in Business Administration – Entrepreneurship.

Previous Political Positions: Republican Precinct Committeeman in Derby. Currently serving as State Representative for District 81. While serving in the House I have been the Chairman of the Joint Information Technology Committee and Vice-Chairman of the Elections committee.

Position on the Kansas Budget:

The legislature has gone on a major spending spree in the last few years. I think it is time for us to take a step back and put some of the excess money into our rainy day fund which has a balance of zero. This rainy day fund will come in handy once the state is broke again around year 2021. In 2016 the legislature’s budget was $6.1 Billion now the approved numbers for 2019 are $7.1 Billion. That is a $1 Billion increase in just a three year period. Unfortunately, some current elected officials do not think taxpayers have paid enough, and they want more.

Position on School Funding:

50% of the entire state budget goes to just K-12 education. How much more should go to K-12? We need to fix the waste in the system and make sure more money goes to the classrooms and students. The superintendent for Wichita 259 got almost a $15,000 raise after only five months of being on the job in 2017 raising her total compensation to $297,460. This year she received another pay increase of $12,344 raising her total compensation to over $300,000 a year. We need to do better with the money currently being spent and give better support to the students, families, and teachers.

Position on Economy & Taxes: 

In 2017, the legislature passed a massive $1.2 billion retroactive income tax increase. I did not support this increase for several reasons; it raised taxes on the poorest of Kansans, the middle class, and a vast majority of my district said they did not want their income taxes raised. Our food sales tax is one of the highest in the nation and this needs to be changed. We also need to make Kansas more affordable for retired folks.

Our state economy was one of only three in the nation that shrank in 2017. Kansas has started on the right path this year, but we can still do better. This year Kansas hit a record for the most Kansans ever employed, 1.4 million. Also, Kansas saw the lowest unemployment rate since the year 2000. We need to keep this kind of growth going, and the legislature needs to look at what regulations we can reduce to make our business environment more friendly.

Position on Health Care:

My Democratic opponent supports Obamacare whereas I do not. Obamacare is being sold as “Medicaid Expansion” in Kansas. Medicaid is intended to serve the most vulnerable among us; the disabled, the elderly, children and pregnant women. To put those who are most needy at the back of the line, behind able-bodied adults is unconscionable. A public safety net is necessary for those truly in need. But Obamacare puts a greater emphasis on covering able-bodied adults than the disabled.

Position on Immigration:

Legal immigration is fine and is not the issue, the issue is Illegal immigration. Immigration is a federal issue and the state has a very limited amount of control on this topic, but I believe that if people come to this country they should wait in line and do so legally. Additionally, illegal aliens should not be allowed to vote in U.S. elections. Being able to vote is a privilege that should be reserved only for the citizenry of this nation.

Highest Priority Issue in Office:

With the most recent domestic violence situation that happened in the Derby area, I am going to work on ways we can better help victims in these abusive situations. The legislative process needs more transparency I will be proposing that all bills must have a legislator’s names on them, so people know who is introducing legislation. I will protect and advance our Second Amendment rights.

What needs to change in our state government?

We should have an archive set up where people can access past committee hearings in an easy to find location. I sponsored the committee live-streaming legislation in 2016, and it has grown since then to almost all of the committee rooms. Politicians names need to be placed at the top of the bills so everyone can see who introduced the legislation. Overall the entire process needs more transparency.

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

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