Q. If elected, what will be your top three priorities for this office?
A. 1. Government, bureaucracy and inefficiency need not be synonymous. I am supportive of Nestor Weigand's task force on governmental waste, and will act on the results as a legislator.
2. I am an advocate of education from preschool to post graduate and will work for its support across the state. Educational theory must be balanced with practical application in all systems.
3. Jobs. Kansas ranks 44th of all states in job diversity. We need vocational technology training. We need to serve existing businesses as they grow and promote new industry to expand our job diversity.
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. Reappraisal and reclassification were very poorly implemented resulting in an unfair and inequitable system that needs re-evaluation.
If we reduce property taxes rather than just reapportion the burden, where is the revenue going to come from? The simple short-term answer is to add a 1 percent increase to the sales tax. Reinstating tax-exempt items IS a sales tax increase on those specific items, however, there is an administrative cost involved in putting the items back. They were exempted in the first place for good reason.
In the long run the desirable solution is to broaden tax revenues through job diversity and job creation.
Q. What restrictions, if any, should be placed on abortion in Kansas?
A. Legislation of abortion is not the answer. The question of abortion is an intensely personal decision and should be left to the individual to have the freedom to follow their moral principles and religious beliefs.
Abortion is neither the problem nor the solution. In the United States: 50 percent of all pregnancies are unplanned; we have the highest teen-age pregnancy rate of any industrialized western country; 50 percent of all teen-age pregnancies end in abortion.
I encourage effective education programs to reduce the problem of unwanted pregnancies.
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 look forward to the blue chip SRS task force report. There is no doubt SRS is facing increased demands. They are barely able to manage now, and there are pitiful stories of shortcomings. While an influx of capital help may seem to solve the problems, the root of the problems needs to be addressed. Kansas does not have extra money.
Kansas needs to emphasize children's services, we need less middle management, and we need reward and incentive to get people off public assistance.
I am a people's advocate, but I believe in personal responsibility. SRS needs our assistance, support and input. The end result must be one that cares for people and works toward an efficient use of state money.
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 legislators is that some of them think of education as an expense rather than as a resource. When it comes to budget cutting, legislators from other areas will tend to look at education first.
Funding for faculty salaries must be increased and maintained. We are sliding in our attempt to keep up with other institutions and other states. We are losing quality faculty and students. We must fund the faculty, our leaders in the educational system that is the base of the future for Kansas.