Currently the state representative for District 107. Graduated from Bethany College with a BA in Psychology. Previously served on Beloit City Council. Previously appointed by the Kansas Supreme Court to the Client Protection Commission – served 2 terms.
Position on the Kansas Budget:
A balanced budget is the most basic act of a legislature. We know there will be some change working with a new governor in the budget process. We should continue to find and implement efficiencies, while funding core services. Education and Human Services (which are required funding), together make up 89% of the budget, leaving less than 11% in discretionary funds for Administration, Transportation, Ag & Natural Resources, Public Safety, etc. We will need to continue run a tight ship and good stewards of the Kansas tax dollars. We should balance the budget without using accounting gimmicks used by the past administration, giving an opportunity to plan for the future.
Position on School Funding:
I believe the Kansas Supreme Court, in their opinion, recognized the good work done by the legislature in the 2018 session. This session we will find the dollars to fulfill the requested funding for inflation, and I believe we will have appeased the Court. I believe if we fully fund the current formula, we will not face further litigation.
Position on Economy & Taxes:
The Kansas Economy is improving. Unemployment is well below the national average. Our S&P rating has gone up since passing a new tax plan. State revenues, following the repeal of the Brownback tax plan, have come in over expectations; helping to stabilize the Kansas economy. I support rural economic development incentives and transparency of how these incentives are used.
I will oppose further tax increases, and would like to see the elimination of sales tax on food in the very near future. The United States Supreme Court has opened the door for Kansas to collect taxes on internet sales, giving a level playing field to our downtown brick and mortar small businesses.
Position on Health Care:
Access to healthcare in the rural areas of Kansas are of utmost importance. We have seen 2 rural hospitals close, with more experiencing financial difficulties. Rural Kansans are finding it necessary to drive long distances for healthcare. There are a combination of reasons for this. We need to stop pointing fingers and making healthcare political to find the best solutions for the people of Kansas. Our rural hospitals need to remain open. KanCare needs continued oversight and improvements made. We need to continue funding the Senior Care Act, making it possible for the elderly to have in-home services rather than moving to a nursing facility.
Position on Immigration:
I have expressed concern with our Kansas Congressional Delegation with the immigration process. This process must be streamlined and simplified so that people who want to come to Kansas to work and raise their families can do so legally.
Highest Priority Issue in Office:
My highest priority in office is rural Kansas, more specifically the people of my district. I want to see it continue as a great place to live, work and raise a family. I have been involved in numerous rural issues including: ag, small business, healthcare, prisons, education, infrastructure, and more.
What needs to change in our state government?
In one word…civility. The Kansas Legislature is so polarized, which I do not believe is representative of the people of Kansas. It is shocking at how people treat each other when they disagree. It makes it especially difficult for our leadership to put together a coalition to pass a bill. We could get much more done for the people of Kansas if people didn’t see the world in black and white, and learn to compromise.