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Kansas State House District 21

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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  • Bob Reese
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Jerry Stogsdill
    (Dem)

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?

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Personal Biography My complete biography, issues positions, work history, educational background, family information and contact information can be found on my web site; JerryForKansas.com. In a nutshell I am a 4th generation Kansan, longtime resident of Prairie Village, happily married and proud father of a SME graduate and PhD candidate at the University of Arkansas. Over the course of my career I have served as a Naval Officer, teacher, tech association President, entrepreneur and Kansas Legislator
Campaign Phone (913) 579-9208
Campaign Email jws4414@aol.com
Campaign Web Site http://jerryforkansas.com
Education Three degrees from Kansas State: Bachelor of Science in History Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction
Community/Public Service My complete list of public service can be found on my website listed above. Most recently I served on the Board of Directors at the InterUrban ArtHouse in downtown Overland Park.
Address 4414 Tomahawk Road Prairie Village, Kansas, 66208
The first priority has to be taking every step that is necessary to make sure Kansans are kept safe from the virus, have access to their livelihoods and making sure that the state is in a position to help our citizens remain healthy and to help fully restore our economy as we finally recover from this unprecedented pandemic.
I will support any legislation that is designed to make voting easy, honest and accessible to every eligible Kansan. I am in favor of registration being available up to and including the day of the election. I am in favor of mail in ballots being easily obtainable for Kansans who wish to vote by mail and to make the request for those ballots permanent if so desired by the voter. I will support legislation that mandates polling places must be easily accessible to every Kansan. The lack of polling places and their placement in Dodge City in 2018 was reprehensible and should never be allowed to happen anywhere in Kansas. Proving eligibility to vote should be simple and a Kansas Drivers License should be considered adequate proof. Following each election the Secretary of State should make voting statistics and information easily available and open to the public for inspection. Voting is the very cornerstone of our democracy and needs to be easily accessible to all citizens.
I am a solid supporter of Medicaid expansion and have voted for expansion every time it has come up for a vote during my time in the Legislature. Expanding Medicaid is critical to the health and well being of our rural citizens and the hospitals that serve those populations. It can also serve to stimulate our economy and create thousands of new and good paying jobs in the healthcare industry. We also need to support the availability of telemedicine in the rural areas and the broadband infrastructure necessary to allow for the implementation of that service. We also need to work with the major healthcare providers in Kansas to make sure that rural Kansas can attract medical professionals such as nurse practitioners who, through telemedicine networks, can work remotely to provide medical services under the supervision of physicians located in other parts of the state.
I am a former Naval Weapons Officer, a gun owner and I grew up in a family that enjoyed hunting and target shooting. I also strongly believe that we need more common sense gun laws to reduce gun violence in our state and country . We make available some types of guns that should only be available to our military. I support "red flag" laws and I personally introduced two pieces of legislation in the 2020 session that addressed gun violence reduction. The first bill would have outlawed high capacity magazines in handguns. No one needs a magazine that extends below the grip of a handgun. The second bill would have added a five percent excise tax onto the sale of all guns and ammunition. ALL of the money from that tax would have been earmarked for upgrading our mental health programs and facilities. Unfortunately, the Republican leadership in the House made sure that neither one of these bills even received a hearing. I will be reintroducing them in the next session if I return.
This has been a major problem in getting good legislation our of committee and onto the floor of the House for debate and votes. Leadership in the House and Senate has gone out of their way to find committee chairs that will put the wishes of leadership over the purpose of the committees which is to examine bills, impartially debate their merits and vote up or down to send them on to the full House. On way too many occasions, bills with topics unfavorable to leadership are not even given a hearing let alone an opportunity for the committee to discuss the bill and vote on passing it out of committee. One way to address this is to have the committee members themselves elect the Chair of their committee. Another method would be to allow a majority vote of the committee to override the Chair's ability to deny a hearing on a bill. Until some of these changes can be made getting good legislation out of committee will be problematic to say the least..
Absolutely. One of the first things that should be changed is the "bundling" of bills. Often time at the end of a session bills will be "bundled" together in order to get a bad piece of legislation passed by inserting it into a bundle of good bills and forcing a vote on the entire package of bundled bills. Bills should not be bundled, they should be debated and voted on individually. There is plenty of time for every bill to come before committees and those deemed worthy sent to the full House for debate and a vote., Unfortunately, the recent leadership in the House has, for most of the session, hindered the work of the House with the goal of jamming everything into the last few days and "bundling" bills that include bills they want but know would not pass the House on their own., This is simply bad leadership, bad legislative process and it needs to stop.,
We are making progress in rebuilding many of the departments that were severely underfunded and badly managed under the previous administration. We are making good progress under Governor Kelly but we still have a ways to go to get these departments fully operational at the level necessary to provide proper services to all Kansans. It is certainly going to take more money to replace aging and out of date computer equipment and to provide the salaries necessary to attract and retain the excellent staff we have and will need in the future. In my opinion a more fair and balanced system of taxation in Kansas, with the tax burden spread across ALL sectors of the economy, could provide the funding necessary to rebuild these departments and the critical services they provide to our constituents. Present leadership in the House and Senate seem more willing to support an unfair system of taxation rather than support the needs of the state to provide these critical services.,
The basic foundation for addressing these issues is to elect Legislators that actually believe in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion., Passing legislation supporting these issues is impossible if the majority of those serving in the Legislature do not support those issues. It is imperative that people understand how candidates feel about these issues and what they are going to do to support them. I am very proud to live in Prairie Village which was one of the first cities in Kansas to pass a Non Discrimination Ordinance stating that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion were valued and practiced in our city and that efforts to undermine those values would not be tolerated. It would be nice if the House and Senate declared that same position and made sure that each piece of legislation that came through the Legislature did not violate any of those values. If we elect legislators who do not have a moral commitment to these values it will be hard to pass legislation that reflect those values.
It all has to start with electing people to leadership in the House and Senate who are committed to supporting a process that encourages cooperation across the aisle, open discussion, fair presentation and processing of bills in committee and for providing opportunities for Legislators to get to know each other better and to work cooperatively. That has certainly NOT been the attitude of leadership in the four years I have been a member of the House. I have gone out of my way to meet and get to know members from across the aisle. That started, in 2016 shortly after the election I and many of the other 51 new members of the Legislature attended a nonpartisan training session in Wichita. I made friendships in both parties during that time, most of which have continued to this day. If has been very beneficial in being able to discuss issues with them on a civil and nonpartisan basis, That is a process that produces good legislation and should be supported not hindered by leadership
I will support any process or legislation that can guarantee that new legislative districts are drawn up on an impartial and nonpartisan basis. A basis that represent the demographics, location and best interests of the people of Kansas. Gerrymandering districts for political advantage should not be allowed on behalf of any one party. Gerrymandering is a threat to our democracy, the implementation of good legislative process and a threat to the political will of the people of Kansas. If an impartial committee can be formed that will guarantee an honest, nonpartisan and population appropriate redistricting plan I will be all for it. I would hope the Legislature would be able to formulate the new districts on a fair and non partisan basis. If not, then I would support the formation of an impartial committee to guarantee that districts are redrawn fairly and in the best interests of the people of Kansas.