Other Issues

1st October 2016

Education and Taxes are the top priorities for me if you send me to Topeka. But your fellow District 27 voters have asked about my thoughts on a number of other issues.  Here are a few below. If there is something you think is missing, send me a message!

Supreme Court Retention:

I recommend voting to retain all justices and judges. The Supreme Court is there to provide a check on the Legislature and the Governor. When two branches of government complain about the third branch, I take it as a sign of a well-functioning democracy.

Abortion:

Nine years of Catholic school at St. Elizabeth make me pro-life, personally. But I will never send a cop, a prosecutor and a judge into a conversation that requires a doctor, a priest and a social worker. The secret to ending abortion in this country is to provide an environment where women can make these brave, difficult decisions with confidence and hope.

Guns:

I support every individual American’s right to own a gun – or many guns – of the type they deem most appropriate for their needs. This right is found in both the Federal and State Constitutions. I am in favor of laws that prevent some guy at a high school graduation from sticking a loaded Kel-Tec P3AT in his sock with a round in the chamber and shooting himself and an innocent bystander on accident. It seems like we ought to be able to do something about those people.

Criminal Justice:

Wichita and Sedgwick County are blessed with a police chief and a county sheriff who are proactively and effectively addressing the racially divisive management, operational and training issues that plague many law enforcement agencies nationwide. The Legislature should help them by doing three more things: 1) Amending laws that turn our crime-fighters into fine-collectors; 2) Providing a statewide policy on handling police dishonesty; and 3) Reforming or eliminating civil asset forfeiture.

Health Care:

The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is a collection of nice ideas when considered separately, but are ruined when put together. Our homegrown version of ObamaCare (KanCare) is not doing much better. Both policies are mired in political gamesmanship and special interest horse-trading. But we have to start with the facts and tools as we find them now and work to change them later. We’ve missed out on over a billion dollars and thousands of good-paying, highly-skilled jobs by bickering over expanding Medicaid. We need to hire an Inspector General to tell us what’s going wrong with our State system. We need to expand Medicaid to provide jobs for our workers and care for our sick. Then we can work on fixing everything else.

Welfare:

One of the functions of welfare is to retain a trained, hard-working, and stable pool of people – who happen to be between jobs – in the state.  Businesses who are already here – or are considering moving here – can find them.  Families can stay in homes and keep kids in the same schools.  Grocery stores, barber shops, and gas stations don’t lose customers.  But that’s not how welfare is being used these days.  Students, retail workers, and fast-food employees need it to survive.  Over a quarter of the Kansans with manufacturing jobs in the state qualify for some kind of state assistance.  I understand that some people take advantage of the system.  But I don’t think they’re the majority.  I don’t even think they’re a significant percentage.  If your leaders are telling you I’m wrong, that means that they don’t think that jobs are coming back to this state.