State Senate candidate Tom Holland to chat
October 28, 2008
This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.
Democrat Tom Holland, candidate for the State Senate's Third District, will chat online at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 28.
Hello and welcome to this LJWorld.com Election 2008 chat with Tom Holland. Tom is running for the 3rd State Senate district. Welcome Tom and thanks for joining us.
Good morning, Jonathan! Thank you for having me online this morning to answer questions!
We've got several questions here already but we're still taking more. On to the first question.
Given your six years in the Kansas Legislature, what have you done and what do you hope to accomplish to improve Kansas' public schools?
Thank you for your interest in Kansas public schools. Public education was the primary reason that I decided to run for the legislature six years ago. I advocated for putting more dollars into our classrooms as well as for bi-ennial funding so that districts could better plan their budgets. I supported the landmark $466 million 3 year school finance plan which was passed during the 2006 legislative session. I am particularly concerned about bringing new teachers into the field as well as providing affordable healthcare insurance for our teachers. Education is vital for our children and the future of the state of Kansas.
Since you have voted against the coal plants (which would have been a good transitionary step)...do you have an energy plan? Please don't give me the same D arguments about solar and wind...give me something more comprehensive. Thanks.
Thank you for your question. I voted against the Sunflower proposals because they came with too much financial risk for Sunflower ratepayers and the state of Kansas given the uncertainly of possible federal implementation of a tax on CO2 emissions. I believe that coal, nuclear, wind and solar all figure into our long-term energy strategy. While I do not have a specific energy plan to offer, I believe the state must focus on putting together such a plan (i.e. -something similar to a 10 year transportation plan) that provides a roadmap for building out the state's energy infrastructure.
What do you see as the most pressing issue in Kansas politics, and how do you intend to respond to this issue?
I believe that the most pressing issue in Kansas politics is the necessity for all politicians, regardless of political affiliation, to work together in a bipartisan fashion especially as we deal with the economy and work to promote job creation in our state. During my six years of work in the Kansas Statehouse, I have repeatedly introduced legislation and have worked with Republicans across the aisle to get that legislation passed. I plan to continue those efforts if I am elected to the State Senate.
Mr. Holland, I received a mail piece from you that says that you work in a bi-partisan manner in Topeka; however, I have noticed that you have voted party line and with the governor over 90% of the time. So, my question is, have you voted with the governor over 90% of the time. Yes or no would suffice.
I can't answer "Yes" or "No" to your question because I have never taken the time to figure out how often I have voted "party line and with the governor".
What can we do to stimulate the economy here in Kansas?
I believe that the state of Kansas is already doing many of the right things to grow quality jobs in our state. For example, the Legislature passing the Kansas Economic Growth Act in 2004 has been particularly beneficial for our bioscience industry. Also, small business owners are now enjoying less taxation thanks to the phaseout of the corporate franchise tax.
Renewal energy offers huge opportunities for new job development. Also, there are many vocational trade opportunities that, when filled, would help stimulate the economy.
That's the last question we'll have time for today. Thanks Tom for joining us. If you'd like to post a question in any of our other upcoming chats, or read transcripts of previous chats - including with Tom's opponents Roger Pine and Patrick Wilbur - visit LJWorld.com/chats.
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to respond to voters' questions. I invite anyone who is interested to visit my website at tomhollandforkansas.org. Thank you for your time, and I ask for your support on November 4th.