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Archive for Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Campaign Notebook: Holland unveils policy proposals

August 17, 2010, 12:00 a.m. Updated August 18, 2010, 8:24 a.m.

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— Creating jobs and improving education, public safety, social services and government efficiency were the top goals laid out Tuesday by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Holland.

Democrat Tom Holland on Tuesday unveiled his agenda if elected governor. His goals focused on jobs, education, public safety, social services and government efficiency. He faces Republican U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback in the election. Holland, a state senator from Baldwin City, spoke at a news conference in the Statehouse. He also had events planned in Kansas City and Wichita.

Democrat Tom Holland on Tuesday unveiled his agenda if elected governor. His goals focused on jobs, education, public safety, social services and government efficiency. He faces Republican U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback in the election. Holland, a state senator from Baldwin City, spoke at a news conference in the Statehouse. He also had events planned in Kansas City and Wichita.

Creating jobs and improving education, public safety, social services and government efficiency were the top goals laid out Tuesday by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Holland.

“By accomplishing these goals, by following these steps, our economy will improve, our students will succeed, government will be held more accountable and all Kansans will prosper,” said Holland, a state senator from Baldwin City.

The election features a match-up between Holland and Republican Sam Brownback, a U.S. senator.

Holland said that if elected he would create jobs by continuing to invest in education and work force training; manage the budget to ensure public safety and services for vulnerable Kansans; and make government more responsive.

To achieve these goals, Holland proposed a series of actions.

They include using a portion of Kansas Lottery sales to provide training programs for Kansans in growing industries such as renewable energy, biosciences and health care.

Holland said the state will continue to invest in education “with increased revenues that are generated by a recovering economy and repealing ineffective tax exemptions.”

He also said he would support allowing school districts to raise more money locally for education, and that he would oppose a voucher system.

Holland said he would push for creation of a “rainy day fund” to protect public safety and social service programs from revenue shortfalls that have plagued state government over the past two years. He said he supported the “rainy day” proposal pushed earlier this year by state Sens. John Vratil, R-Leawood, and Laura Kelly, D-Topeka.

And Holland proposed consolidating state computer services in a way to make it easier for Kansans to find out how the government is spending tax dollars.

In laying out his agenda, Holland criticized Brownback, saying the Republican’s policy proposals unveiled last week had “no details, no specifics, no commitments.”

“Since first arriving in Washington 16 years ago, Sam Brownback has attempted to abolish the Department of Education, been a champion of private school vouchers and voted for the most significant unfunded mandate of our time: No Child Left Behind,” Holland said.

In his “Road Map for Kansas,” Brownback has said he wants to increase net personal income, private sector employment, reading scores of fourth-graders, and the percentage of high school graduates who are college ready. He also said he wants to decrease the number of children living in poverty.

On public schools, Brownback has repeatedly said the current school finance system is flawed and needs to be overhauled, but he has refused to say what is wrong with it. Holland said, “That sort of ambiguity should raise some red flags.”

In Emporia on Tuesday, Brownback announced his “Road Map for Kansas Education.” He said he would support mentoring of teachers, higher salaries for master teachers, alternative teacher certification programs, and promote technical education programs in high schools.

Comments

getreal 4 years, 4 months ago

Well lets hope for the voters sake it is more than a feel good statement of bullet points like Brownback gave us. He says he wants more 4th graders reading, while freezing school funding. That's not a plan Mr. Brownback, HOW you intend to accomplish that is a plan. Holland better give Kansans some details............we are thinkers not blind followers. At least we used to be.

BigDog 4 years, 4 months ago

It seems that Tom Holland can't make it past the Capitol in his campaign efforts. It also appears that press conferences is his campaign style.

Tom, how about getting out on the road and taking your proposals to the people and having discussion about them? The press will still cover you outside of the Capitol.

Who is running this guy's campaign? A little campaign advice ........You have absolutely no shot at beating Brownback by just making policy announcements at the Capitol and making press releases in response to Brownback's proposals. You have to be travelling the state (which means more than Lawrence, Kansas City and Topeka) and talking to the people about your ideas for improving the state.

avoice 4 years, 4 months ago

He has had several campaign appearances around the state already. Problem is, you have to follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or seek out his website to find out about them. The folks running his campaign seem to think people will come to him, instead of doing the work to get their messages out to the people. Very frustrating, because he has a lot of good things to say and anyone who puts forth the great effort to follow him in the above-mentioned media would be duly impressed. But this is exactly why big advertising wins out over good platforms.

Ken Miller 4 years, 4 months ago

Maybe Bill Lacy is running Holland's campaign.

overthemoon 4 years, 4 months ago

He's been traveling all over the state. Check his website.

Centerville 4 years, 4 months ago

So he's too brilliant to actually, you know, get his message out to the public. That you need the magic passwords to find out why he's running?

avoice 4 years, 4 months ago

It said this article was updated at 12:16 p.m., so I came back to see what Holland actually said. Either this newspaper didn't actually cover the speech, or no actual information was delivered. This is what turns off the real voters who are trying to find the real candidates! Say something more than just pandering to Big Education. We all know that piling money into education in general and even into technical training (specifically, for what jobs/industries?) is not going to directly provide anyone a j-o-b. To achieve direct results, we must have direct employment goals with specific educational programs supported to further those goals. I.E. - if we want to promote cancer research in Kansas, we have to put the education money into scholarships and programs that provide the necessary education for that. If we want our non-college-educated citizens to have access to green energy jobs, we should aim our technical education specifically at those industries. If we can't get specific, we can't get anywhere.

overthemoon 4 years, 4 months ago

This seems more specific than you suggest. I'm not sure its comprehensively so, but then again, he doesn't want to give Brownback a chance to take over his agenda too early in the campaign, ya know?

BigDog 4 years, 4 months ago

From Tom Holland who has talked about Sam Brownback's plan being item that are already in place ...... Tom, lottery proceeds already flow into the Department of Commerce for economic development programs including renewable energy, health care and biosciences.

So neither of them have given us much but repackaged ideas. Of course I expected a bit more from Holland since he had commented about Brownback for being vague and talking up existing programs like they would be a new idea.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 4 months ago

Your eagerness to attack Holland has hampered your ability to read.

avoice 4 years, 4 months ago

Another update. More verbiage. Still non-specific. As for the "actions" stated here:

Whenever someone says we're going to use lottery revenue for something, that's an immediate red flag. It's practically code for "this-is-an-unfunded-program."

I like the idea of repealing ineffective tax exemptions. Can we truly find any? Some tax exemptions are, indeed, quite effective. Some actually provide businesses with incentive to hire all those well-educated, well-trained Kansans hoping to get jobs in Kansas instead of having to move to Texas (or India). Other tax exemptions keep costs down for non-profit entities so we don't have to pony up quite so much tax revenue to keep them going. So, as long as we're really examining the effectiveness of anything we're about to repeal, this is on the right track.

Increased revenues absolutely will be dependent on a recovering economy. Let's not count any presumed chickens before they hatch. That's a big part of what got us in the mess we're in: Basing budgets on projections of escalating revenues from unending growth. When a business creates a business plan with a ten-year financial trajectory, they are using (hopefully) reliable past market trends as a basis. Governments cannot follow this model. Tax revenues are a crap shoot at all times, with far too many parameters involved to be able to make reliable forecasts and predictions into the future.

That said, the rainy day proposal is excellent. Kudos to Holland for supporting it.

And kudos also for supporting the local fundraising efforts of school districts. Local patrons should be able to provide funding for their schools, period.

wastewatcher 4 years, 4 months ago

LIBERAL TOM HOLLAND wants to do the same things that LIBERAL SEBELIUS wanted to do, and that is simply to take more of our money and spread it around to make the LIBERAL AGENDA LOOK GOOD. In fact the LIBERAL DEMS have had eight years and look where we are today. Another eight years older with higher taxes and deeper in debt. It is time for a change and not the OBAMA LIBERAL TYPE.

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