I was reared on a farm purchased by my great grandmother in 1854, at Big Creek township in South East Kansas. I attended Big Creek grade school and Chanute High School and Neosho County Community College. I moved to Manhattan in 1972 so that my two children could one day graduate from KSU.
I ran for City Commission in 1993 and served until 1997. After completing my degree in 2000 at KSU I ran for State Representative of the 66th District. I’ve served nine terms and am running for my tenth.
Chanute High School, Chanute Kansas
Neosho County Community College, Chanute Kansas
Bachelor of Science, Kansas State University, 2000.
Post graduate hours toward MS in Adult Education in progress
Prior to being elected to the Manhattan City Commission, I was a member of the Park and Recreation Advisory Board, President of PTO of Manhattan Catholic Schools and co-founder of Jail CORP, an activist movement to relocate and build a new law enforcement center away from the school and church in the neighborhood.
The new facility was finally opened 12 years later in a suitable location. I have served on the Law Advisory Board, the Public Library Board, the Senior Center Board, the County Health Board, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and am active in my church.
1650 Sunny Slope Lane
Manhattan KS 66502
Following scientific recommendations to bring the virus into remission.
Yes. As a member of the Kansas House of Representatives, I voted against this legislation because it sets up unnecessary barriers to voting and limits access to the polls. I would particularly require a vote by mail option everywhere. Ballots could be mailed early or returned to the local voting location on election day.
I did offer the amendment that caused registration to be closed 5 days before the ballots are mailed out. I offered this amendment so that persons could not mail in a ballot and then move to a new community and vote in person during the same election. There were personal reports made to me that this was happening.
All voting would be done and counted by hand on paper ballots.
I have voted to expand Medicaid. I believe many people haven’t taken the time to understand what this is and who would qualify. Those who qualify have earnings at or below 130% of poverty. This is established by the Federal Government and many members of Congress do not have any idea what it would take to live on that amount of money. In order to pay for health insurance many of my constituents were working two or three jobs per person in a family- both parents doing this. Or the alternative is to not seek medical care or not pay the bills for medical care. It is a vicious cycle that keeps families in poverty and poor health.
Medicaid expansion would allow hospitals to recoup more of their losses and would help us keep health care available in rural areas.
I voted against concealed carry laws, stand your ground laws and the law to allow guns to be transported from state to state legally, and against the law that allows guns to be sold at garage sales. I believe at the very least gun owners must pass a background check and purchase guns from reputable businesses that keep records on the weapons and the owners. Persons who have committed crimes with weapons should not be allowed to own guns.
I oppose the sale of semi-automatic weapons and see no reason for the long clips.
I also see that hunting is a sport and that marksmanship is a skill.
The legislative body votes each session on “session rules”. These rules are I place so that there will be structure and points of order in the chambers.
There will always be the tendency for the majority party to seek power in the affairs of the state. We campaign on our ideas and goals and people vote for us based on how they feel about our ideas and goals. And if we are true to our campaign promises, then we should feel that what we do reflects a good portion of our electorate.
In my opinion, the only way to make real change is to elect members that will be fair and impartial with the constituents of Kansas.
When fair members are elected – as it was before 2010 – much of these issues either did not exist – or were negotiable.
We need to overturn Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court. The money in elections has skyrocketed since that time and some legislators reflect the will of the high dollar donors.
I would very much welcome the opportunity to do so. But the system will need a total overhaul in order to have that accomplished. The committees are chaired by the majority party and the majority party has more seats on the committees. Even when some members break ranks and vote the opinions expressed by their own district, the chair can break a tie vote. The membership is based on the percentage of the chamber’s party make up. If the legislature turns out to be more equally split, the chances go up accordingly. As is always the case in our representative democracy, the people ultimately make these decisions when they vote to elect their representatives.
The governor pushed through the biggest tax cut in the history of Kansas after the 2010 election. At the same time began to tax low income earners who had previously been exempt. Serving on the House Appropriations Committee, I voted in opposition to budget cuts in every agency. For the next five years the budget was cut at least $.5Billion/year and the administration used $1Million/day from the Highway Plan to keep the state running. Every fund was emptied to pay the bills. TANF benefits were reduced from 60 months to 24 months and food benefits were cut.Over 2000 agency positions were eliminated. It had been a systematic destruction of state government. When the public finally was able to elect a substantial number of new legislators who believed we needed to fix the tax problem, change happened. With a public mandate in hand we passed legislation repealing the 2012 tax experiment.
Individually we must be more patient, tolerant and willing to know and hear each other. As a body we need to pass legislation that addresses needs of all individuals. Much has been achieved by the younger members of our society and in order to make a positive impact we must refrain from passing laws that have a negative impact on any portion of society. I recommended, and the Joint Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice agreed, to begin reviewing the racial impact of legislation in criminal law prior to passage in the same way we look at the impact on the number of beds it will require. Again, the voters elect people to serve and should require this effort of us.
During the past session about 1/3 of the House and Senate membership began to meet in a formal setting to hear lectures and take training in Civility and Civil Discourse. It was an interesting group of mostly moderate legislators who are already working in this manner.
Legislators do what their constituents expect of them. Perhaps in larger communities there is less face to face contact with those they elect, but in rural Kansas that is not the case. I represent a progressive and involved community. I hear from those I represent. This is the answer, an informed and involved electorate.
Like with any other vote I take, I would need to review the entire document establishing an “impartial committee” makeup and orientation. I would really like to see that happen. But what may fit today would have to work for tomorrow. Political influence is always with us. I would need to be very sure of what we are getting.