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Kansas State House District 46

The Kansas House of Representatives is the lower house of the legislature of the U.S. state of Kansas. Composed of 125 state representatives from districts with roughly equal populations of at least 19,000, its members are responsible for crafting and voting on legislation, helping to create a state budget, and legislative oversight over state agencies.

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    Dennis "Boog" Highberger
    (Dem)

  • Dante Javaheri
    (Lib)

Biographical Information

With all of the issues facing Kansas brought about by the COVID-19 virus, what would be your first priority?

Would you support overturning the SAFE Act that was put into place creating barriers to voting by Kansans? What changes to Kansas election laws and voting systems would you support? Please explain why you would support those changes.

What is your position on expanding Medicaid? Why? What would you propose to ensure health care availability in rural areas?

What is your position on gun control and the issue of gun violence? What, if any, changes would you propose to current laws?

How can changes be made to current House and Senate rules that allow for Chamber Leaders to control Committee leadership?

Will you support changing the House and Senate rules to allow a transparent system for determining which proposed bills are heard, debated and voted on? If not, why not?

Issues with DCF and foster care, plus antiquated computer systems in the Departments of Labor and Education have made news. Do you feel that our current agencies are funded at a level that they can carry out their missions? If yes, what is the problem? If no, how can it be addressed?

How can Legislators address the issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Kansas?

In the current politically-polarized environment, how can Senators and Representatives work together to govern Kansas?

New legislative districts are drawn by the Legislature during the second year following the Census (2012, 2022, etc.) Would you vote in favor of an amendment that would create an impartial committee to draw the new legislative districts in Kansas?

Personal Biography I was born in Garnett, Kansas, and I have lived in Lawrence since 1977.
Campaign Phone (785) 424-3262
Campaign Email boog@boog46.com
Campaign Web Site http://www.boog46.com
Education Garnett High School, diploma BS, Electrical Engineering, KU JD, KU School of Law
Community/Public Service State Representative, Kansas House, 2015-present Lawrence City Commission, 2003-2009; Mayor, City of Lawrence, 2005/6 many state and local boards and commissions
Address 1024 New York, Lawrence, KS 66044
The most important thing right now is to protect the public health, but that must be balanced against limiting harm to our economy. I think that Governor Kelly has done a good job of finding a balance between these two goals.
Yes, I would support overturning the SAFE Act. In addition, I would support same-day registration and expanded opportunities for advance voting and voting by mail. I think that making sure that every citizen has an opportunity to participate in our elections is critical for the proper functioning of our democracy.
I have supported expanding Medicaid during my entire 6 years in the legislature. In addition to helping rural hospitals survive and thrive, it would be the largest and most cost-effective economic development program in state history.
I am a supporter of the Second Amendment, but the Second Amendment as interpreted by the US Supreme Court, not the National Rifle Association. I support requiring a permit and meaningful training for concealed carry, a red flag law, and a prohibition on assault weapons, and banning concealed carry on college campuses and in the state capitol. I am considering introducing a bill to ban open carry by persons other than law enforcement officers on state property.
I have been working on this issue for several years. I would prefer that committee chairs be elected by their members, as is done in at least one other state, but achieving that in the Kansas legislature is unlikely. Next year I will again seek adoption of a rule that would require a bill to heard or voted on in a committee if 2/3 of the committee members vote to do so.
Again, I have been working on this for several years. The only rule change that we achieved during the last legislature was to require a notation on any bill if all of its contents were transferred to another bill or if all the contents of another bill were inserted in it, as soon as legislative IT can make it happen. It looks like IT is on track to make this possible in the 2021 session. I also support a rule change to require recording of committee votes.
I support increased funding of DCF, but that will be extremely difficult next year, and impossible without new revenue. At this point I do not support a raise in any tax rates, because I think the middle of an economic crisis is the wrong time for a tax increase, but I will probably re-introduce my revenue-neutral bill to eliminate the state portion of the food sales tax and replace the revenue with three new upper tax brackets.
We can make sure that we practice inclusion in our daily lives, we can make sure the state’s hiring policies are inclusive, and we can add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories under the state’s laws against discrimination. Furthermore, we can adopt policies that help reduce income inequality in our society (for example, the food sales bill I mentioned above). In addition, myself, Rep. Victors, Rep.-elect Haswood and others will be re-introducing a bill to change the state Columbus Day holiday to Indigenous Peoples Day.
I think the best way to do that is to build relationships with legislators with different political view, and to refrain from using insulting and partisan language. One intriguing idea I have heard, and I believe that at least one other state has done this, is to assign seating in the House and Senate chambers at random, rather than segregated by party.
I absolutely support an independent redistricting commission making sure that legislative districts are drawn objectively is critical to making sure that every person’s vote counts equally.
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