Public funding of education is the top issue for people across the state. School funding should return to the constitutional formula embraced in the 1992 school finance law. The school finance formula must be a dynamic tool that ensures adequate and fair funding for all districts, regardless of their respective wealth. We cannot continue to gamble with our state’s economic and social future by undermining funding for public education.
Two key elements are the cornerstone of a successful state strategy to grow the Kansas economy. First is a workforce that is the envy of the nation. Supported by a quality education system that is responsive to a changing economy, our workforce is fundamental to any successful strategy.
Second is the global marketplace. More than 90 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States. Kansas needs to claim its rightful share of those dollars, bringing them home to provide the basis for a thriving domestic economy. Kansas agriculture, energy and manufacturing all must interact with a global marketplace.
The safety of our families, loved ones and our community is essential. Adequate staffing of our prisons is essential to the effectiveness of our criminal justice system. Our courts must have the resources to dispense justice in a fair and timely manner. Our Highway Patrol must be properly staffed to meet the expectations of our traveling public. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation needs critical resources to support local law enforcement in criminal investigations.
Current state fiscal policy has placed an unfair burden on local governments as they provide policing, correctional services and a responsive judicial system.
We have a humanitarian duty to assist and protect our most vulnerable citizens, whether they are disabled, impoverished, homeless, elderly or otherwise at the mercy of society. We need a basic foundation of support that protects the daily lives of these citizens, and not have them continue as victims of a failed tax policy that stripped the necessary funding from these programs.
I support a compassionate immigration policy that protects families and recognizes the positive contributions of the immigrant community to our society. As Wichita mayor, I led the effort to submit a letter to the Congressional delegation, signed by 32 Kansas mayors, urging responsible federal action to resolve the immigration issue.
I believe health care access is crucial to building and maintaining a productive and healthy Kansas. Health care must be affordable, accessible and comprehensive. It must include access to necessary specialists, prescription drugs and preventative care, and should not be contingent upon a person’s income or employment status. I will find new solutions that will help ensure physicians and hospitals stay in Kansas, and especially in rural areas.
Furthermore, I promise to protect and expand women and children’s health care access. This must include access to the full spectrum of women’s reproductive health care needs. We must reduce the teen pregnancy rate and tackle the extraordinary economic consequences of babies having babies. I will increase access to prenatal care and infant access to primary care, and prioritize reducing Kansas’ high infant mortality rate.
I do not believe it is up to me to judge another’s morality or to enact laws to limit or deny another’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Quite the contrary, it is my duty as your next Governor to work aggressively for the repeal of laws already limiting our civil rights, and to pass new laws to safeguard those rights. This includes the rights of Kansas women, minorities, the LGBT community and other historically-oppressed communities.
It is time to legalize and tax the production, sale, and personal use of medicinal and recreational marijuana in Kansas in order to create new revenue. Kansas could solve its budget problems if this were to become law. We could even eliminate the sales tax on food and prescription drugs and keep other traditional sources of tax revenue at modest levels. Kansas would have to be careful implementing such a policy. We need to study how other states have successfully drafted their laws. But we first need to learn how Kansans feel about legalization. It’s time to put it on the ballot and let the citizens of this state decide.
Our country has witnessed all too frequently the use of military-style weapons to maim, murder and destroy innocent life. This nation must have a national conversation now that objectively analyzes how to reduce the lethality of the weapons used, and the frequency of these massacres. Guns don’t kill people, but they make it real easy, especially when untrained and unvetted citizens can legally acquire them, buy large capacity, bullet-feeding devices such as banana clips and drum magazines, attach a bump stock, and commence fighting a war in our neighborhood schools, businesses (such as at Excel in Hesston), and places of worship.More about this issue