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Kansas State House District 64

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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  • Suzi Carlson
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Jim Vathauer
    (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 I have been a proud Kansas farmer for 50 years. I also own my own small business. I work as an Auctioneer and Real Estate Salesman as well. My wife, Arlyss, and I have three children and three grandchildren.
Campaign Phone (785) 630-0849
Campaign Email Jim@JimForKS64.com
Campaign Web Site http://JimForKS64.com/
Education Valley Heights High School, Blue Rapids, KS Worldwide College of Auctioneering, Mason City, IA 50 years as a farmer and livestock producer 40 years a a parent and grandfather
Community/Public Service I am a member of the Clay Center Elks and the Clay Center Chamber of Commerce. My catering company does a lot of donations for local fundraisers. We do discounted meals for community event fundraisers, we have done the Randolph Independence Day meal for over 20 years. I volunteer time for handing our commodities and food aid, especially during the coronavirus shutdown. I have volunteered to do countless auction fundraisers for people across the community in dealing with health issues.
Address 515 Arthur Street Clay Center, KS 67432
We need to be addressing the spread of this virus and working to implement all best practices in environments that cannot continue to shut down. This ranges from the schools and colleges that need to be re-opened safely to continue educating future generations of Kansans to succeed in the global marketplace; to the packing plants whose recent shutdowns devastated farmers and livestock producers across the state. Businesses and School Boards need to stop playing politics and start working to safely continue their necessary work, protecting employees, students, and consumers.
I 100% support changing the current Act concerning voting rights and processes. When someone signed a voter registration card 30 years ago, and now doing it on computer screen with a stylus, the signatures will never match. While I understand the position of those wanting to require a photo ID, we need to ensure alternatives are available for those too poor, too old, or not holding a drivers’ license. Get rid of hoops for a free id or get rid of the id requirement. There are people in urban areas that do not drive, and in my district, we have countless individuals in nursing homes that do not renew their licenses any longer. Registration must be simple as possible to encourage EVERYONE to have their voices heard. While new electronic, touch screen voting systems easy, cheaper and simpler for counties to run elections, we need to ensure paper backups for transparency. Anytime a voter is denied a provisional ballot; the official ignoringneeds to put 200% effort to notifying the voter.
Medicaid is priority #1 for me. I live in a district represented by someone who claimed to support Expansion, but in the 2020 session voted against it, in the exact same manner she supported it in 2019. This flip-flop has only fueled my desire for running. 69%+ of Kansans support it. It would bring nearly $1 billion in healthcare dollars into the state, at a time we desperately need them. It would help rural hospitals and those serving low-income persons. No person should be driven into bankruptcy because of a health emergency. I will always be a vote for the Denning-Kelly Expansion compromise. If the leadership will not give it a fair up or down vote, I will use gut-and-go (which I would normally oppose) and attach it as an amendment/replacement to everything that moves through the House if I am elected. I will never vote for a budget or adjournment until Expansion is passed in 2021.
We need to close the internet loophole for gun purchases. As a matter of basic economic fairness, these people need to follow the same rules and process as local gunshops that are across Kansas. I am an avid hunter, but I do not believe we need to have “weapons of war” on the street. The rights of legitimate hunters and sportsmen need to be understood and respected, but if you need a gun immediately and cannot go through a background check, there is probably a reason you should not have one.
We need to elect a more moderate Legislature as a whole, willing to buck special interests and leadership and do what is in the best interest of the people of Kansas. The rules on chair selection, I believe is the wrong debate to have, though that can all be changed in the rules of the respective chambers at the beginning of each biennium. What I will be pushing for and looking at in leaders when I am elected, is changing the committee rules. They need to have mandatory recorded votes, and there needs to be a mechanism for committee members to overrule the chair and force an up or down vote on any issue. I would like to see this be a simple majority, but if it needs to be 2/3 votes so be it, I am not sure what will be possible with the new members. We also need changes to rules that allow one chamber’s leader to halt all legislation because they are seeking a vote to further their political future. This session has one potential amendment it was rejected, despite the threats.
See above, and there ought to be a better way to do this. Or we need to hold something similar to cloture votes in the US Senate when selected bills for hearing or general orders debates. Record who is for and against hearing them, and let their constituents see what they vote for. There are numerous transparency issues I will be looking at.
These are really two separate questions. DCF and foster care were ignored for nearly a decade, in hopes a ideologically led tax experiment would work. We should not be subjected the most vulnerable of Kansans to these kind of whims. As far as funding levels, probably not, but I cannot promise there is any new money for anything, given the impact of the COVID pandemic. For the computer systems, this was absolutely ridiculous. Everyone in office now should be held accountable for not updating a decades old mainframe. I know the changes in technology have been dramatic. Some are costly. However, we should not have Kansans waiting months for earned benefits, especially those who lost their jobs through no fault of their own.
One, they could update the statewide Non-Discrimination Act. Two, they can repeal the “religious freedom” laws, especially when it comes to public officials and healthcare workers. When you are paid by the public or can provide lifesaving treatment, politics and religion should have no role in choosing whether you act or not. Three, they can repeal the SAFE Act, which actively promotes pushing people off the voter rolls.
There was a push for civil discourse education this session. I think that was a good start. However, when they say one thing, but then strip moderate people from committee assignments as punishment, it lacked believability. Stop looking at who introduced a particular bill and realize that all legislators are elected by people with difference needs and concerns. Too many were refused even a hearing. They could also stop blaming the Governor (regardless of party) and try to work with the Executive to accomplish some change for Kansas.
Absolutely 100% yes. Redistricting should be done on a non-partisan, impartial basis. If you look at some districts across the state, no one can tell me partisan politics was not the main factor in the drawing of some boundaries. On the US House level, they have specifically broken apart minority areas, so dilute the power of their vote. I hope this will change in the coming process and will be an active voice of support to do so.