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Kansas State House District 23

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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  • Candidate picture

    Matthew Clark
    (Lib)

  • Candidate picture

    Susan Ruiz
    (Dem)

  • Jeff Shull
    (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 My career is in aviation where I have been employed as an airline pilot for the past nine years. I would happily take some time away from flying to make a positive impact in the Kansas Legislature. I am thrilled to offer the residents of KS House District 23 with a Libertarian option for the first time.
Campaign Web Site http://MattClarkKansas.com
Education BS in Aviation with a minor in History from the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Community/Public Service Formerly Habitat for Humanity in Des Moines and Omaha. Union volunteer. Volunteer driver for senior citizens through the Jewish Family Service program JetExpress
My first priority would be protecting our prison population from covid. We have completely failed the keep this population safe throughout the pandemic.
Yes, I would support its repeal. Voting is a right and should be as easy possibly.
Kansas should not expand Medicaid. Ninety percent of Medicaid expansion is paid for by the federal government which is currently $27,000,000,000,0000 in debt. Medicaid expansion does nothing to address the reasons healthcare is so expensive, it merely borrows more money from our future generations to put a bandaid on the problem. Kansas can not “lose” federal funds we never had. For decades, federal and state governments have continued to overregulate and otherwise interfere with the health care and health insurance markets. The burden of this regulatory compliance is so great that only massive corporations have the ability to comply with this insane web of bureaucracy. This severely limits competition, limits new entrants into the market, has led to large scale consolidation in the industry, limits transparency and has led to skyrocketing price increases. The problem with the healthcare industry is too much government meddling. The solution is not more government, but less government
Kansas has some of the best gun laws in the country and I would not change much. So much gun violence is a direct result of the War on Drugs and the sooner we end that war the sooner our communities can live more peacefully.
If I become the first Libertarian elected to the legislature, there will be an abundance of rules that I will try to change or at least bring publicity to. I'm sure many of these rules will make even less sense with a new party in Topeka.
Yes, the more transparent the better. Increased transparency can lead to more grandstanding but is better for the people overall.
I would support funding directly for updating these horribly out of date systems. There are many problems with these departments that go way deeper than just funding. These issues are being researched and I hope these are addressed next session instead of just throwing money at a broken department.
Making sure the government leaves everyone alone equally.
When Reps and Senators work across the 2 party lines, it is almost certainly going to be used in a primary attack ad the next election. As a Libertarian, I hope to be able to advance Libertarian causes that have support from the old two parties by being that bridge to work on issues that have agreement. If they work with the Libertarian instead of the other old party it may seem less offensive to the primary base.
Probably not because I don't believe an impartial committee could be made. We all like to pretend judges and other "non-political" positions can be impartial. While there are exceptions, in general there is bias in selecting these positions that ultimate favor one view point over another. Impartial redistricting sounds great, but i don't think it can happen so creating an amendment would just be a waste of time.
Personal Biography Representative Susan Ruiz was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 2018. A native of Houston, Texas, Ruiz is the daughter of a Mexican born immigrant father and a Texas born mother, giving her a unique perspective on multicultural issues. A licensed clinical social worker, she holds Master Degree in Social Work from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. Ruiz represents District 23 in Johnson County Kansas, including Lenexa, Overland Park and Shawnee.
Campaign Phone (913) 221-7687
Campaign Web Site http://susanruizks.com
Education Master of Social Work
Community/Public Service State Representative
Address 7306 Bond St Shawnee, KS 66203
My first priority as a member of the state legislature, will be to address the state revenue shortfall from the COVID-19 pandemic. Certainly, our Governor will be communicating with the legislature during the interim. We will also have to address any vetoes made by our Governor during the interim.
In 2011, Kris Kobach, Sec of State enacted the KS Secure and Fair Elections act. Later in 2016 he required proof of citizenship in order to register to vote. What’s worse is that your original signature on the voter registration card had to be verified in order to vote absentee. In 2012, Kobach created Voter ID ads that blasted the airwaves. It is now believed that those ads created confusion and fear which lead to a decrease in voting that year. So, YES I will support efforts to overturn the SAFE Act. I will support the use of paper ballots and will support same day voter registration. Any efforts to create barriers to voting is not acceptable. I would also like to see a state or federal law giving workers paid day off for the purpose of voting.
I am proud to say that we passed Medicaid Expansion in the House of Representatives. We all know that it was killed when the bill went to the Senate. The next legislature will once again try to pass Medicaid expansion. The 130,000 to 150,000 people that will be eligible for Medicaid are our working poor Kansans. They often have two or more part-time jobs which don’t provide health coverage. Some, will be people who are under insured through the ACA market. Medicaid pays for preventative care and will decrease the need to seek urgent and costly medical care through local hospital ERs. Our Kansas rural hospitals and medical centers will need to re-focus. Far western Kansas towns have decreasing populations. Their populations are getting older and younger people are moving out of the area. Continued partnerships with larger urban hospitals such as KU Med has and will continue to will continue to be vital to that region.
I support Moms Demand Action and their efforts to pass sensible gun laws. I hope to introduce a bill that would require gun owners to keep liability insurance for their weapons. I see gun ownership the same as owning a vehicle. Accidental deaths or injuries caused by gun owners are on the rise. Children in particular find unlocked guns and often kill or seriously injure another child.
This is not a change to the rules, but the use of an existing rule. House Rule 1309: Motion to Withdraw a Bill or Resolution from a Committee could be used more often. If a committee does not report on a bill or resolution within 10 legislative days after its reference to the committee, the bill or resolution may be withdrawn from the committee by an affirmative vote of 70 members of the House. So when a bill is stuck in a committee a legislator could try to use Rule 1309 in order to move it to General Orders for house debate. We also need Chamber leadership that are not overly influenced by money, status, political aspirations and political affiliations. We also need committee chairs who will stand up to leadership and work to allow bill hearings and recommend bills go to the floor. We have an opportunity to change not only leadership, but elect representatives and senators who have the best interest of Kansans.
Absolutely! At the beginning of the session is the time to make it known to leadership that we want a transparent system. We must be ready to hold up the process until we are satisfied that we have a system in place that will not hold up bills; arbitrarily trash a bill simply because it comes from the minority party; structure voting so that we only have a few minutes in order to read an 80 page bill and expect us to vote. Kansans should demand and expect transparency from the legislature. I would also like to see more citizens at the Capitol and watch the legislative process. Too many legislators take our citizens for granted and don’t seem to want to be accountable for their actions. The more citizens that are present, the more house leadership will stay accountable.
No, the Departments of Labor and DCF are not funded at a level that they can upgrade their computer systems. I believe that money should be set aside from their budgets in order to pay the millions it will take to upgrade their systems. It is unethical to continue to use a system that does not follow the child as they go from out of their home to foster home(s), school(s) and return home or adoption. It is unbelievable that a child in need of care’s records have to be re-created and thus valuable information is lost that could mean the court makes an adverse decision about reunification. This isn’t going to be the last pandemic we experience in our county and the state must be better prepared to work with a complicated system regarding pay out of unemployment benefits. The previous administration just kicked the can down the road when it came to making upgrades to the DOL computer system. I think we will be fortunate to just maintain department budgets.
Require the Department of Commerce when issuing loans or grants focus on attracting small business owners from diverse communities. Small business owners from diverse communities should be at the table when developing policies or rules within the state or local municipalities. Legislators should co-sponsor the amendment to the State’s Anti-discrimination Act to include sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression – of which I was one of the legislators that introduced the bill. Legislators could recruit more women, people of color and LGBT people to run for office at all levels of government. Representation matters and the state legislature should look like the people of Kansas.
There is no reason why legislators from both sides of the aisle and within their own counties can’t come together after the November election and work toward developing priorities for the next legislative session. We can find common ground and show some unity and backbone. This would send a strong message to the next majority leadership that we are here to work for the people of Kansas. In years past, majority leadership have brought together the freshmen class so that they can learn the legislative process and form working relationships. This practice ended with the 2018 class. I hope this will start up again with the 2021 class.
This is a very complicated question and system. There is mistrust from both sides of the aisle. If the current majority leadership is still in place it will make it even more difficult to trust them. Both parties have in the past across the country used redistricting to favor one party. I would be in favor of an amendment, but only if there is full transparency and open redistricting meetings. My support of an impartial committee will also depend on who is putting the committee together and who is selected.
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