REBUILDING OUR ECONOMY | SUPPORTING SMALL BUSINESSES
Because of China, the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a devastating blow to our economy and changed the way all of us are currently living our lives. While the health, safety and well-being of our community will always remain paramount, we must help our economy rebuild and strengthen our local businesses. Our small businesses and entrepreneurs have been dealt unnecessary hardships and incredible stress due to the inconsistent collaboration between our local and state government officials. The management of the unemployment insurance benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) by the Kansas Department of Labor’s is unacceptable. This cannot happen again. Kansans expect and deserve better. Protecting Kansans right to provide for themselves and their families is essential. Giving our small business owners concise public safety guidelines and protection from unwarranted lawsuits is imperative. Ensuring our local economy gets back on its feet will be my #1 priority.
In addition to focusing on existing businesses within our state lines, incentivizing businesses who start, stay and relocate back to Kansas will be a priority. Revising and removing outdated and burdensome regulations and inconsistent occupational licensing laws will also contribute to a recovering economy by creating a more favorable business environment in many industries.
VALUE THEM BOTH AMENDMENT
In early 2019 the Kansas Supreme Court removed Kansans voices in a landmark decision, stating women have a right to abortion under our state constitution. This decision forced the removal of bans on tragic late-term abortions and violent "live dismemberment". The decision will lead us down a road of little to no regulation including removal of basic best practices required in any surgical or medical procedural setting, removal of minors being required (with some exceptions) to notify a parent/guardian, removal of informed consent, alerting women to potential health risks and is likely to lead to taxpayer-funded abortions. Most of these regulations have already passed in Kansas by large, bipartisan majorities. The vast majority of Kansans value both mother and children and believe there should, at the very least, be basic common-sense regulations and requirements during the process. The Value Them Both Amendment does not ban abortion, it simply puts this issue back in the hands of the people through their elected legislators.
As a mother of three and nearly lifelong Lenexan living within Shawnee Mission School District, I know quality education is imperative for our children's future as well as the livelihood of teachers and staff. As a Realtor, I understand the impact schools have on property values and which districts are sought after due to higher ratings. There's no doubt providing quality facilities, a variety of programs, qualified teachers and respectable wages are top priority. I also believe there must be financial accountability and transparency within our schools. I’m committed to continuing the efforts in the legislature to develop long-term, sustainable solutions which provide stability and put as much control as possible into the hands of our local districts, school boards, teachers and parents.
TAXES |HOME OWNERSHIP
For too many of us, especially the middle class and our senior population, taxes are breaking the bank. Many are forced to cut personal budgets while others are left with no choice but to move elsewhere. While the government needs adequate funding for vital services, continuously raising taxes isn't the answer. We must insist on transparency and responsible spending to reduce the high tax burden Kansans face.
Our seniors should be slowing down and enjoying their retirement, not stressed over ever increasing cost of living and rising taxes. Now, with the Covid pandemic causing more stress to their lives, it's time we eliminate income tax on social security.
For all of us, it's time to reduce or eliminate tax on essentials.
Home ownership is an earmark of the American Dream. However, a key advantage of home ownership is the financial tax benefit which was limited in 2012 and even more restricted with the 2017 change regarding the Federal standard deduction. Kansans can only itemize on State taxes if they itemize on their Federal return as well. This needs to be changed. Without itemizing, Kansans, especially middle class and seniors, are unable to deduct 100% of their mortgage interest or property tax. Ensuring itemized deductions on state taxes allows Kansans to keep more of their paychecks in their pockets.
HEALTH CARE | PRESCRIPTION MEDICATION | MENTAL HEALTH
Healthcare reform is imperative. Many of us are paying high premiums, with subpar insurance coverage. And many Kansans don't have medical insurance at all. We need balance between high-quality care, quality coverage and lower out of pocket expenses for all. We need to stop surprise medical bills and ensure patient responsibility is concise.
My own family has faced the rising cost of healthcare due to the exorbitant out of pocket expense of a daily prescription injection a family member must take. We must continue to push for fair and affordable prescription drugs.
Mental health is something I'm very concerned about. Our daily lives are becoming increasingly stressful, yet timely and affordable mental health support lags. We must make changes. We need affordable and quicker access for those in need, especially for our most susceptible including prenatal and postpartum mothers and children and teens. We need strong advocates within our provider's offices and schools to help identify individuals who are facing struggles.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am an avid recycler and I care deeply about protecting and preserving our amazing environment. I believe we can do so much more to help encourage Kansans to be better stewards by seeking out sustainability, continue investing in alternative energy programs, promoting recycling and implementing reasonable environmental reforms. Changing the way we look at energy and waste will reduce our carbon footprint and help us all be better stewards of our state.