Q. If elected, what will be your top three priorities for this office?
A. My top priority would be to truly represent the residents. I would do this by continually surveying the area with a questionnaire on issues that were of importance to them and their families.
I also feel strongly that the majority of the people who live in the 45th district are fiscally responsible by nature and they look to their representative to do everything possible to maintain a constant vigil over their tax money.
Finally, I am a strong believer in education. Elementary and secondary schools must provide the basic skills for our children so they can achieve their life's ambitions and successes. I support the Margin of Excellence for state universities.
Q. 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. Yes, I support action on the part of the state to reduce property taxes. The Legislature in the longest session in its history did nothing to alleviate the problem. We must help people become more informed about who spends their tax dollars and where they go. Ninety-nine percent of all property taxes are levied at the local level. Property taxes increase as the level of city, county and school board spending increases. The Legislature establishes a formula of taxation in hopes that taxes are levied in a fair and equal manner, but the state has very little control over how much local government will spend.
Q. What restrictions, if any, should be placed on abortion in Kansas?
A. I strongly hope that through education of our young people in programs such as the Parents as Teachers and other teen pregnancy courses, that the abortion rate can be diminished.
Personally, I wish that no child would be aborted, but in cases of rape, incest, significant evidence that the fetus is severely malformed, or for the health of the mother, abortions should be allowed. I support a ban on third trimester abortions.
I do not support public funding of abortions through Medicaid. I support the enactment of a parental or legal guardian notification law applicable to those under the age of 16.
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. Since 1982, total spending by the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services has doubled. We must control the continuing escalation of funding SRS, or other areas will be severely affected, such as education.
An SRS task force created to study the problems was told by Nancy Snyder, Wichita State University professor of economics, that "Kansas has a long history of chasing the maximum federal match. . .. If programs come down with regulations and restrictions that make the programs inefficient, maybe we should say no to them."
Many costs are mandated by the federal government and cannot be reduced, but overall, the continued increase is caused by more people wanting more and more services provided by the state.
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. The most pressing problem facing universities is to secure adequate funding in order to prevent or to quell the talent and brain drain from their campuses. Failure to fund the third year of the Margin of Excellence has placed state universities in a noncompetitive situation with their peers.
To confront these problems and to maintain our present high quality of university faculty, we must find new resources. The quality of education cannot be greater than the quality of instruction. We must decide how important quality education is to us. If we are going to have it, we have to pay for it.