Q. If elected, what will be your top three priorities for this office?
A. Many issues confront Kansas as we swing into full gear in the 1990s: the environment, social spending, education and the crime and drug problem.
Each of these would be priorities for my next administration, as well as continuing the momentum on the state highway program. However, our top priority after November will be property tax relief.
A. Do you support action on the part of the state to reduce property taxes? How would you propose to make up lost revenues if property taxes are reduced?
A. There is no doubt that Kansans want and deserve property tax relief. The question on this issue is really who has proposed the most fair solution to this problem. My opponent has proposed to put a sales tax on feed, seed, fertilizer, fuel and livestock, just to name a few. She would use this money to provide property tax relief. The Kansas Farm Bureau estimates these new taxes would cost Kansas agriculture more than $300 million, essentially a 20 percent tax increase.
I believe this is irresponsible, and would have an adverse impact on our farmers and producers.
I believe the most fair solution is an across the board decrease in property taxes with a 1 cent increase in the state sales tax. The revenue generated from the sales tax increase would be returned to school districts in the form of increased state aid. In turn, the school districts would have to reduce their mill levies, resulting in a reduction in property taxes.
Q. What restrictions, if any, should be placed on abortion in Kansas?
A. I believe the question of women's choice on the issue of abortion is one that should be left to the individual and not the government. I do favor a parental notification bill for minor children, 15 and under. This would include notification of just one parent and would have a judicial bypass mechanism.
Q. The Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services is facing increased demands on its resources. How will the state be able to handle those demands? Do you think added tax revenues are needed, do you think eligibility requirements for some services need to be tightened, do you think some programs need to be eliminated or do you think no changes are needed?
A. I hope that the 1990 Legislative Interim Committee which is currently studying the increasing demands on the Department of SRS, will be able to make recommendations in more than one area. The area where the greatest financial problem exists is rising health care costs. If they can make significant recommendations in how to deal with these costs, that would be very significant.
Q. What do you think is the most pressing problem facing state universities? Do you think state universities are adequately funded, particularly in regard to faculty salaries?
A. I am proud to have increased higher education funding by more than $100 million during my administration. I am equally proud to have strongly supported the funding of the first two years of the Margin of Excellence program. I am committed to funding the third year of the Margin and believe we should look at various revenue sources that would fund the third year of this important program, including increasing the cigarette tax.
I also realize that we must look beyond the final year of the Margin of Excellence to address future needs of our state's universities and will continue to provide the necessary leadership to ensure a brighter future for our universities.