PRAY FOR CHUCK!
With fresh perspectives about the size and scope of Kansas
Government, I'm asking tough questions on your behalf.
These are most certainly challenging times at the Kansas Statehouse. Since the Session began in January I've been part of a dedicated group of legislators who are fighting to stop a tax and spend free-for-all while protecting core services and functions. Raising taxes is the easiest vote any legislator can make. We have so far been successful in preventing huge spending increases and new, higher taxes.
It hasn't been easy and it's going to get even more difficult when the 2017 Session resumes on May 1. Explore the ISSUES tab on this site to learn where I stand.
With a large turnover of seats in the Kansas House of Representatives after last November's elections, I have been placed in leadership roles that are both challenging and exciting. It's an opportunity to make an even greater impact for my constituents.
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that Public School funding across the state is "inadequate." More importantly--and largely ignored in press reports--is the fact that the Court also declared one-quarter of the students in our classrooms are failing. This means they are not getting the basic education tools of reading, writing and math that they deserve. We can and should do better for all students.
Despite what you have heard, a better education does not necessarily mean we need to spend massive new amounts of money. We are blessed in the 85th District to have many top shelf educators. I've reached out to get their ideas. Based on these conversations it is my contention--and that of many of my colleagues in Topeka--that the answer is getting more dollars to the classroom instead of spending it on more administration, bricks and mortar.
THE BUDGET, TAXES, MEDICAID EXPANSION AND MORE
Nearly all of the new legislators campaigned on increased funding for education, roads, Medicaid expansion and much more. This means more money from your family paycheck to government. Now, reality is setting in. All of these promises come with a price tag. Who pays for all these promises? We do. You do.
In my many discussions with constituents I hear a common theme:
"I don't mind paying taxes, but I abhor government waste."
I couldn't agree more.
As a husband, father and head of a large household, my wife and I work hard to provide a quality of life for our family while staying within
a budget. We are both challenged and blessed to have a son with a disability and my widowed mother under our care relies on Medicaid assistance. We must work hard to find the right balance between taking care of the truly needy and making sure taxpayers get what they pay for. It's not easy.
A KANSAS CULTURE OF LIFE
Protecting the lives of the unborn, securing parental rights and making sure our children will enjoy this unique way of life is a key part of my legislative platform. This includes securing the safety net for those who truly need government assistance. The passage of "Simon's Law" which I co-sponsored means infants born with life-threatening diseases or conditions will get the medical assistance their parents desire. In short, their life will be valued as any other. New regulations on the Kansas abortion industry means mothers in crisis will be better informed about what is going to happen to them--and by whom.
The resolution I championed and carried on the House floor (HR 6016, passed 124-1) acknowledging pornography as a public hazard is a step forward toward doing what we can to protect society from human trafficking, sexual abuse and other crimes. Government cannot be the answer to these and many other challenges, but Government can and should play a role when it can and when it is appropriate.
RENEWING MY PLEDGE TO YOU
Before I took my oath of office and stepped foot onto the House floor last year as your State Representative, I pledged to bring with me the same common sense values my wife and I have used with our family at home. I promise to stay in tune with citizens of the 85th District. I trust you and ask that you let me know when you feel I'm not listening.
We may not always agree on every issue, but I will always listen.
Among the many things I've learned in this short time is that things are not always what that appear to be based on the perceptions of special interest groups, media reports and other agendas. I ask that you explore the facts. I want to be a resource for you. Test and challenge what I have to say. There is much to be done, and I am working hard each day on your behalf and for all citizens of Kansas.
I invite you to explore this web site and see where I stand on the issues. Let me know what you think. My email address is:
It is an honor to serve you.