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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Kansas State House District 17

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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    Jo Ella Hoye
    (Dem)

  • Michael Kerner
    (Lib)

  • Kristine Sapp
    (Rep)

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 have seen firsthand what can be accomplished when moms make their voices heard in Topeka. I am running for the Kansas House of Representatives to elevate the voices of Kansans and continue to fight for the health and safety of our families.
Campaign Phone (816) 248-2601
Campaign Email joellaforkansas@gmail.com
Campaign Web Site http://joellaforkansas.com
Education I’m a graduate from Nebraska City High School and Cornell College. I earned my Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Kansas.
Community/Public Service o City of Lenexa, Vice Chair of the Planning Commission 2015-present o Vice President of Ways and Means, Rising Star Elementary PTA 2019-present o Shawnee Mission School District, My Volunteer Pal Classroom Volunteer 2017-present o City of Lenexa, Complete Streets Advisory Committee 2019 o Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Kansas Chapter Leader 2016-2019 o City of Mission, KS: i. Parks and Recreation Commission 2012-2014 ii. Swimming Pool Task Force, Chair 2012-2013 iii. Downtown Visioning Committee, Chair 2010-2011
Address 8517 Alden Lane Lenexa, KS 66215
The health and safety of Kansans is the first priority. We need leaders who take the pandemic seriously and listen to our public health specialists. We need effective testing, then we must monitor the number of cases and respond accordingly. I wear a mask in public, and I will continue encouraging Kansans to follow mask orders. Starting July 31, 2020, Kansans may opt out of contact tracing until May 2021. We need contact tracing to be able to avoid more clusters and keep our businesses and schools operating. Kansans are resilient. We will not let our communities and businesses fall behind.
I believe that the SAFE Act goes too far and places an undue burden on voters by requiring proof-of-citizenship documentation to register to vote. I think that Kansans should be able to register to vote on Election Day. I believe in fair maps. Politicians shouldn't choose their voters; the voter should choose their elected leaders.
Kansas must close the coverage gap and make sure that all Kansans have access to healthcare. The Medicaid rate was finally increased in 2019, but it was only increased to where the state was ten years ago. Our lawmakers failed to pass Medicaid Expansion again in 2020. Kansans need access to affordable healthcare and prescription drugs now more than ever. I will be an advocate for Medicaid Expansion when I take office in 2021.

We need lawmakers who will make sure that we utilize the services that the Federal Government offers such as the Excellence in Mental Health Centers Act. Kansas currently receives zero dollars, because we chose not to participate. We are missing out on federal dollars for healthcare that should be used right here in Kansas. Medicaid Expansion would boost our economy and create more than 4,000 jobs.
As the former Kansas Chapter Leader for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, gun violence prevention is a priority issue for me. Kansas is not immune to the gun violence crisis. As a parent and a gun owner, I've had enough. We must pass sensible gun laws such as background checks on all gun sales, bills that keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, and red flag laws. Kansas lawmakers should promote safe and responsible gun ownership by reinstating training and permits.

We must also defeat dangerous bills such as lowering the age to carry hidden, loaded guns from 21 to 18; and I would like Kansas Lawmakers to put in the work to repeal our state’s dangerous Stand Your Ground Law that disproportionately impacts communities of color.
I would be open to hearing more ideas about how to improve the Committee leadership selection process. The Speaker of the House, House Minority Leader, and the Rules Committee could form a committee to select Committee Chairs and Ranking members. The same process could translate to the Senate with their leadership working with a selection committee. I am not opposed to considering seniority as a factor for Committee leadership.
Transparency in government is essential to earning the trust of our constituents. Currently, Committee chairs select which bills come before committee. This can create a process that is arbitrary or subjective. There are good bills that die in committee without a hearing. I believe that the people deserve the opportunity to have a public hearing before a Committee.
Many state departments were in crisis when Governor Kelly took office. I will help Governor Kelly and the Kansas Legislature continue to restore the core functions of our state government. Our agencies are not funded at a level that helps them carry out their missions. It will take time to get our state agencies to the appropriate level of funding. I believe that education must be our funding priority in 2021. We should not go back on our commitment to adequately fund schools by 2023. Our students and teachers need support now more than ever as we begin a school year unprecedented to anything I have experienced in my lifetime.
The Kansans Legislature should take meaningful action to advance nondiscrimination in our state, and I suggest that our lawmakers should do comprehensive implicit bias training as a team.

Governor Kelly took swift action to restore LGBTQ+ protections for state employees and to allow for Kansans to change genders on their birth certificates. I will be an ally for equality.

This is a crucial moment in the fight for racial justice in America, and I believe that Black Lives Matter. We must take a serious look at police reform and make our criminal justice system fairer. We ask our police officers to do too much. We must support local law enforcement by helping them fund de-escalation training and staff such as mental health first responders or social workers. As a nation, we must hold police accountable for disproportionate use of force. There is room for reform without putting our communities at risk.
The 2020 Legislative Session started with an opportunity for Civil Discourse training. I would be eager to participate to build relationships with all of my colleagues. I hope that this will be offered again, and I would be supportive of this training being a requirement. I will work hard to bolster bipartisan coalitions and will continue fighting for Kansans in a professional, respectful manner.
Yes. I support fair maps. Partisan lawmakers should not draw the redistricting maps-the process must be nonpartisan. I think that an impartial committee would be a good way to prevent gerrymandering.
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