I am a firm advocate of Kansas public education. Having received a public education in Wichita, I understand and respect the hard work and professionalism of Kansas teachers. Public Education is a state constitutional requirement, however, private education provides for choices and competition to thrive in places like Wichita. I will support the expansion of public/private partnerships for both Early Education and Higher Education. Access to high quality public, private, or home-based education is the difference between a good student and a great scholar. We need more great scholars.
By 2020, over 71% of Kansas Jobs will require a post-secondary degree. This means we need to continue to prepare students to be college-ready by the time they graduate high school. We also need to respect that not everyone is going to be ready or willing to go to college. It is expensive. Public education must prepare students for the workforce and their careers. Employers are seeking applicants with “soft skills” like integrity, respect, and selfless service. We can develop incentives for schools to re-imagine the classroom by seeking out businesses and nonprofits to work with public schools to expand internships, shadow programs, required community service, and to invest in vocational programs for the workforce of tomorrow. The value of hard work is something that every generation needs to experience to understand it is key to the American Dream.
I believe creating a pro-job growth environment entails a three prong common sense approach.
First, we have to push to have a well-educated and well-trained workforce in Kansas. By investing in education and vocational options such as WSUTECH, we can help accomplish this. We need cooperation between public education and business to make sure we're developing a workforce in Wichita and Kansas ready to compete in a global economy.
Second, we must review and make sure no business is unable to grow due to an burdensome and unnecessary government regulation. While some regulation can be a good thing, too much or unneeded regulation can have a negative effect on job growth. Many regulations are outdated and need to be revised.
Third, We must focus on keeping our best and brightest young talent right here in Wichita. Millennials are fleeing this state at an alarming rate, and we must work to reverse this trend. We need to value vocational training as much as we do a college degree. We need policies that attract workers and business to Kansas, not deter them from making Kansas their home.
I believe government is at its best when decisions are made closer to home. We should promote local control throughout all government.
I am pro-life and believe that we need to do a better job facilitating a culture of life in our community. We need to invest in more adoption programs, extend tax credits to those families who choose to adopt, as well as working with churches and local nonprofits on ways we can further help those thinking of turning to abortion. We must not only be pro-life until birth, but we must be pro-life after birth as well.
I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, Concealed Carry, and responsible gun ownership and training. A gun owner myself, I enjoy sport shooting with my family on the weekends. I will work every day to make sure our rights as gun owners are protected.
In 2015, the largest sales tax increase in Kansas history passed the Legislature by ONE VOTE. This increase shifted the tax burden onto thousands of hard-working Kansans and retirees. I believe we need a tax system that is fair for all Kansans, a system that allows the state to provide the services we expect, while at the same time keeping taxes low for hard-working families.
I will also work to eliminate the sales tax on food. Kansas currently has the highest sales tax in the nation on food. This is unacceptable, a high sales tax disproportionately hurts working families and retirees.
I believe in a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. From private email use for public business to lack of access to committee hearings, our government has become increasingly closed off to the average Kansan. I want to change that. I believe that no government business should be done in the dark. I favor live-streaming of all state committee hearings, along with an archive of votes, hearings, and debates for the people of Kansas to easily access. I believe any law introduced should be submitted with the name of the author, no more anonymous bills!