SOCIETY / VALUES
THE RIGHT TO LIFE: is the first right mentioned in our Declaration of Independence . I oppose abortion, recognizing that Roe v Wade is the law of the land and that, therefore first trimester abortions will be readily available and state legislatures cannot change that. Late term abortion, however is under state control and I favor all measures to prohibit the destruction of viable babies except when the mother’s life is in imminent danger. The present Kansas law is satisfactory but it must be observed which has not been the case for years.
I favor the Woman’s Right to Know Law, Parental notification, in the case of minors, penalties for illegal abortions.
I oppose laws facilitating euthanasia, right to die provisions and embryonic stem cell research. ( I favor all adult stem cell research) I strongly oppose chimera cloning that is to say combining human and animal DNA. I also oppose the death penalty.
FAMILY VALUES: I believe the nuclear family consisting of one man and one woman is the optimal arrangement for the upbringing of children, It is also the foundation of a civilized society. Therefore I oppose homosexual “marriage”, civil unions and gay adoption. I will support any and all measures which strengthen the traditional marriage, including tax benefits for parents with children who choose to raise their kids by having one parent at home to do so.
THE DISABLED: Our society ought to be judged by how take care of those who through no fault of their own cannot take care of themselves. The current waiting list for Educationally and Developmentally disabled children is shameful and unacceptable. While I succeeded with the help of chairmen Mast and Yoder to make a dent in the number of children on the list we must eliminate it altogether and this will be my major battle next session.
THE POOR AND THE ELDERLY: require additional assistance, especially when older citizens are living in poverty. Programs such as meals on wheels, home care and a tax credit for home modification for disabled( a bill I introduced last session and intend re-introduce) elderly must be funded.Even with the huge increase in Medicaid enrollment mandated by the Obamacare law, and the great cost therefore, I cannot support cutting services to the poorest of the poor.
VETERANS: deserve all the support we can give. Often wounded veterans are discharged on the East Coast and given a choice to be treated there or come to Kansas for treatment. When they choose to come home they find that adequate facilities are not available. This practise must stop. I cannot support any cut in the veteran’s budget.
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: As a legal immigrant myself I understand that the world population is looking with longing to come here to a better life for themselves and their families. Legal Immigrants have been a boon and have made America what she is today and we should encourage selected and qualified immigrants to come to our shores. What is happening on our Southern border is not immigration it’s an invasion which must end or our way of life and standard of life will decline and we’ll leave our children with problems beyond their means to solve.
Unfortunately the Federal government is not doing it’s job in protecting our borders, in fact it is trying to stop Arizona from enforcing federal law. State legislatures are limited in what they can do in the absence of federal action but we can do some things. In the past six years I have co-sponsored and voted for the following bills addressing the problem:
1) elimination of all benefits except for emergency medical care.
2) elimination of in state tuition for children of illegals
3) requiring a picture ID for voting
4) requiring employers to use e-verify to check an applicants legal status
5) verification of citizenship for enrollment in medicaid
6) making English the only official language of the state
All of these bills failed to pass. The Democrats are considering the Latino vote as a new core constituency and a sufficient number of Republican join them so that we usually get 55 votes when 63 are needed. I will continue to support these measures. The expense to our economy is huge, the estimate is that an illegal family costs the taxpayer $ 24,00 per year. We have too many other needs to be able to bear this burden much longer.
ECONOMICS / TAXES
FREE COMPETITIVE MARKETS: have made this country the richest nation on earth with the highest standard of living for Americans. I support a lean efficient government which resists over regulation and interference with commerce.
Budgets should be transparent and sources and uses of funds readily available and understandable. The state government must learn to live within it’s means and not spend more than it takes in, by either borrowing or excessive taxation and I will oppose both. Spending cuts is what we need..
TAXATION: the main issue is not how and what we tax but what we get for the money we’re collecting and spending. Before any tax increase we must look for wasteful programs and attempt to reduce cost. High taxes are very detrimental to a state’s economy. They tend to retard growth , job creation and loss of revenue in the long run. Taxes on investments and income are particularly pernicious and damaging, and we must realize that we’re competing with neighboring states for business. Finally. it must be understood that businesses do not pay but collect taxes and the greater the burden on businesses the greater the increase in prices to compensate what the government takes.I have not voted for a tax increase in six years and do not expect to do so in the next two. We will be getting enough of a shock in January when Congress lets the Bush tax cuts expire and our taxes increase substantially.
EDUCATION FUNDING: is 68% of our total budget and should not be considered sacrosanct as far as potential cost savings are concerned . Hundreds of millions could be saved through consolidation, for example from 293 districts to 40, the re- working of the funding formula and other cost saving measures will also yield significant reductions as will reducing overhead and management expenses. We still only spend 60% of funds in the class rooom,our goal is 65% . I will support any bill which benefits teachers, nurses and librarians but look askance a laws which increase non instructional expenses.
THE SECOND AMENDMENT: I will continue to oppose the disarming of potential victims. By any measure the concealed carry law which I supported is a success. We ought to leave it alone.
THE TENTH AMENDMENT: IS short and to the point:” The powers not delegated to the United States by this Constitution,nor prohibited by it are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” It seems clear that the Federal Government, invoking the commerce clause is ever more encroaching on State’s rights. The Obamacare bill requires for the first time in our history that under the penalty of lawyou purchase a service , in this case an insurance policy whether you want to or not. There are additional attempts by the Feds to dictate to the states by ignoring this amendment. We introduced a bill last year which would have allowed you to vote whether to amend the Kansas constitution to prohibit the federal government to enforce this mandate on those of you who prefer to purchase your own plan . I supported this measure, which required a 2/3 majority ,84 votes., we got 79. Twenty states are challenging the administration in court. Our appointed AG refused to join the suit but his challenger Derek Schmidt filed an amicus curiae brief on Aug 10 along with Mike O’Neal, Speaker of the House. This bill will come up next year and I’ll vote aye again and hopefully you will have the final say on the outcome.
CHILDREN’S ISSUES: As Past Chairman of the Children’s Issues Committee I am passionate about several important issues affecting children. The disgraceful wait list for disabled kids has to be eliminated and I will remind my colleagues again and again. We did pass insurance limited coverage for autistic children which will need to expand coverage for all. This will cover medical expenses for these unfortunates but we must do more. Representative Kinzer and I co-sponsored a scholarship bill ( HB 2727 ) which will give parents control where their child goes to school and which program is best suited for this child. As expected there is fierce opposition by KNEA and the School Boards which believe that the child belongs to the state, not the parents and the state knows best what the optimal educational outcome should be. These people fear competition more than anything else . We’ll be holding hearings on this issue in the Fall and expect the battle to resume as we e re-introduce this bill.
SRS. FOSTER CARE , ADOPTION AND FAMILY RECONCILIATION: Hearings by my committee over the last three years and in particular six full days of hearings last session , have documented that this agency with it’s $ 1.6 billion budget is dysfunctional, wasteful and out of control. The Sebelius appointed Secretary will be gone come January and Senator Lynn and I expect to introduce legislation which will lead to major changes in the procedures and policies in the agency.