I have lived in KS for 35 years, lived in the district for 14 years, married to Diana, 3 boys, 4 grand daughters, Graduated with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Business Education, and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration from Nebraska, Masters of Special Education degree from Southwestern College in Winfield. My work background is teaching Business and Computer class at the high school level, working as a computer system integrator traveling around the US, and teaching for several years then retiring as a Special Education teacher. We currently own 2 small businesses, a Bed & Breakfast in Wellington and a newspaper covering Belle Plaine and Oxford. I filed to offer our district principled conservative representation that focuses on improving government, not growing it. I am proud to be endorsed by Kansans for Life, the NRA, the KSRA and the Kansas Chamber of Commerce.
How do you propose to balance the Kansas State budget without borrowing from KDOT, KPERS, and other programs?
Government must improve it effectiveness. As with any organization, improvements can continuously be made to reduce costs and increase outcomes. I believe that government can improve and use the savings to fully fund our obligations.
What is your stance on the second amendment, in detail please. What regulations do you think would be appropriate regarding carrying rights for 18-21 year olds?
I am a very strong advocate of the second amendment and the right to self defense. I have been endorsed with an A rating from the Kansas NRA. If a 18-21 is registered to vote, and signed up at 18 to serve in the military, they are full filling the role of a citizen. They should have the same rights as all Kansas citizens to own and bear arms.
Should teachers be armed with firearms and what is your opinion of NRA training in schools?
Local School districts can allow teachers to carry firearms and can teach firearm safety. I support local control of our schools and, while on the topic of guns, you can absolutely assured that I will always vote to defend and protect our 2nd Amendment rights.
What are your proposals for making Kansas Government at the local, county, and State levels more transparent to the public?
As a newspaper Publisher and Editor, is seems that there has been a thick curtain between school boards, city councils, township boards, county commissioners, State Boards, Committees, and State Organizations. If there was no curtain between the media and the Boards and the media reported information that the public needed to support the Boards, we could have 100% transparency. If the professional media was part of the executive sessions, they could have a voice in deciding what was needed to be kept private based on Trade secrets, Employee privacy, and public welfare.
Describe your position on the present state of KanCare and how it has impacted local hospitals.
I am not in favor of expanding KanCare. I do support the current KanCare system as a safety net for those that are elderly and disabled. The medical industry has too much red tape and financial strings connected to the government which restrict ingenuity. Businesses either improve or they fail. The medical industry needs innovation, not more government involvement to allow stable services in the future so that people can afford health care and not rely on KanCare and other programs that continually over-promise and under-deliver.
Will you support Medicaid expansion?
No. More government is not the answer and, as seen in other states, expansion of Government Health Care causes more problems than it solves. Innovations in the medical industry continue to prove more efficient and affordable, and we must look that direction for solutions for a real sustainable future.
A recent study conducted by Truth in Accounting – a Chicago-based research organization- found that Kansas has the third-highest taxpayer burden in the Midwest. The firm attributes Kansas accumulation of long term liabilities as a reason for this. How should Kansas solve this issue?
Government has room for improvement. Innovation, technology, and a Legislature that wants to improve government can make government perform its duties better and for less. For example, Kansas has the 2nd highest number of government employees per capita. I believe we can match other State's efficiencies and even be one of the best. Let's start improving and then we can reduce our tax burden.
How would you propose encouraging entrepreneurship in Kansas? How would you propose encouraging residents to support small businesses that already exist in the state? What is the No. 1 economic development issue for Sumner County, Cowley County and the state of Kansas?
Businesses must have a stable and honest environment in order to grow. The government can help by keeping taxes low, reducing regulations, and providing a dependable infrastructure.
Do you believe oil companies are to be blamed for recent earthquake activity and should there be high standards of fracking activity?
If this topic gets a hearing in the Legislature, I will rely on real scientific data to make decisions and never let political pressures influence my decisions.
What is your opinion on the expansion of wind energy farms
Wind energy may have a significant place in our future energy marketplace and if the market allows, I think wind energy is a good option.
What changes, if any, would you make to the calculator used to determine funding amounts for Kansas schools?
I would make the education funding contract with the Local school districts easy enough that a 6th grader that “meets math standards” can explain the formula.
Do you agree with a new law that allows adoption agencies to refuse placements to gay and lesbian couples based on religious beliefs?
I absolutely support the Adoption Protection Bill. Religious organizations help children find great homes that they believe are in the child's best interest. Leftist organizations have attacked religious organizations in other states, forcing them to shut down. I will always protect and defend these organizations from any attacks from the leftist groups.
What is your No. 1 pet peeve when it comes to Kansas state politics?
My number one frustration is how the Legislature has allowed the Courts to assume too much control. The courts have delayed legislation that bans dismemberment abortions and other Pro-Life bills. The Courts have made school funding a political game rather than an appropriations issue. The legislature must be strong, and demand that the Courts respect the separation of powers in our government.
What would be the No. 1 question you would ask you opponent?
Why did she vote against the Adoption Protection Bill, voting against religious organizations who are helping children find homes?
Do you have anything else to add?
We have a choice in Kansas. Do we want better government, or more government? If elected, I will work to protect our culture, defend our rights, and make government work better for the people of Kansas. I would appreciate your vote on August 7th.
Paid for by Rhiley for Kansas: Steve Abrams Treasurer