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Kansas State House District 26

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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    W. Michael Shimeall
    (Dem)

  • Adam T. Thomas
    (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 am a former public school superintendent with over four decades of education experience. I am also a retired university professor in Educational Leadership and a Vietnam veteran where I served as a medic with the 101st Airborne. In 2009, my wife Carol and I moved to Olathe, KS to be near family. We have two grown children and eight grandchildren.
Campaign Phone (913) 267-8759
Campaign Email mike@shimeall4kansas.com
Campaign Web Site http://www.shimeall4kansas.com
Education Highland Park High School - Topeka, KS Bachelors - Sterling College, Sterling, KS Master of Arts - Emporia State University (KS) Doctorate of Education - University of Nebraska - Lincoln, NE Educational Specialist in School Administration - University of Nebraska - Lincoln, NE
Community/Public Service Boy Scout Citizenship Merit Badge Counselor, Homeless Shelter Volunteer, Church Care Team
Address 17705 W. 155th Terrace Olathe, KS 66062
There are two issues that bear directly on COVID-19 pandemic. It is essential the Medicaid be expanded in Kansas. The number of Kansans that expanded Medicaid would benefit has been said to be 130,000+, but that was prior to COVID-19 and given the loss of job related insurance in the current climate, the number of beneficiaries from Medicaid expansion could be doubled. The second issue is to support our governor as she works to protect all Kansans from the COVID-19 pandemic. On every turn, the legislative leadership's antics have been political to hinder the governor's efforts in dealing with not only a public health crisis
The SAFE Act should be repealed. It was enacted in 2011 to suppress voting in Kansas under a faulty premise of widespread voter fraud in Kansas. The 2018 trial court found "no credible evidence of the massive fraud claimed' and that instead it had erected substantial obstacles to voter registration by people eligible to vote. Furthermore, the judge found it violated the National Voter Registration Act (1993) and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution; therefore making it invalid. The SAFE Act is still 'on the books' in Kansas, as it gives the Secretary of State the right to prosecute alleged voter fraud. Prosecution of crime is the job of district and county attorneys. The role of the Secretary of State is to facilitate and promote the election process, not to suppress voting.
I am firmly in favor Medicaid expansion in Kansas. In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis it is needed now more than ever. Prior to this crisis Medicaid expansion would have benefited 130,000 Kansans, now with rising unemployment and the loss of job related insurance, that number is even greater. Medicaid expansion for all of Kansas, and in particular rural Kansas, is both a health and an economic issue. Rural health care is becoming more difficult to obtain, due to the closing of hospitals and health centers. Medicaid expansion would provide needed financial support for rural medical care. It seems ridiculous and poor policy to send money allotted to for Kansas to other states and back to the federal government when we people without health care here. Statewide broadband infrastructure will also benefit rural health care through the expanded use of telemedicine.
Gun violence is a public health issue that costs everyone in terms of dollars for more law enforcement, increased health care costs, lost wages, trauma and cost of court incarceration. Common sense gun laws such as universal background checks on sales, licensing required with training and red flag laws are essential. I served as a medic with the 101st Airborne in Vietnam and saw first hand what the weapons of war can do to an individual. I seriously question the need for such weapons by individuals in our society. The limiting the size of clips would have saved lives in mass shoortings. I believe that if we treat gun violence as a matter of public health, much like we did automobile safety, where we tried something and built of that, we reduced auto fatalities by 80%. Our country will find ways to enhance our health, instead of laws that merely promote more gun violence.
The rules of the current House and Senate provide for semi-dictatorial power in the hands of the Speaker of the House and Senate President. Those leaders are elected by a simple majority of the majority party and require fidelity from their fellow majority party members. Such is anti-democratic in there is little transparency or accountability to the electorate. Committee chairs are awarded to individuals based on their loyalty to the leader of their respective House. Those chairs can and or removed if they fail to follow the dictates of their leader. Election of leadership should be open and non-partisan. Currently, a majority of a committee might wish to hear a particular bill, but if the chair objects such is not heard. If a committee passes out a bill and the leader of the House or Senate does not approve, it is not brought up in that chamber. Committee chairs should be elected by the members of their committee and not by the House or Senate leader.
Definitely, I believe the current rules are corrupt in that they are anti-democratic. They place ultimate power in the hands of a few, that can and have denied discussion and consideration of proposed legislation. All committee and floor votes should be published for the sake of transparency. In addition, I am opposed to holding off legislation and then bundling of bills in the last hours of a session.
Foster care in Kansas has been and continues to be in a crisis. There has been a spike in the number of foster care children who run away from their assigned homes since the legislature passed the Hope Act under the Brownback administration. The intent of the act was to encourage families to work and be less dependent on government support. The result was taking what little safety net vulnerable families had away, and drastically increasing the number of children in an underfunded foster care system. There is a correlation between the state's denial of basic assistance for families and the increase in foster care. I am a supporter of Governor Kelley's proposed formation of a new Department of Human Services to streamline services for children and families by combining DCF, the Department for Aging and Disability Services and the juvenile services division of the Department of Corrections.
First and foremost the legislature should pass a state-wide pro-equality, non discrimination statute. Although many local municipalities have recently passed ordinances that includes protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens for employment, housing and public services, there is a need for such to be state-wide so that Kansas is a truly welcoming environment for all. Recently, there was a U.S. Supreme Court decision pertaining to LGBT, but it protects citizens only for employment discrimination. Legislators must recognize the humanity of everyone as they consider proposed legislation.
The current rules of the House of Representative promote a politically-polarized environment. For legislators to work together the House and the Senate need a more democratic process and rules that promote cooperation across the isle. To work in a non-polarized environment legislators must believe in win-win; rather than win-lose. Efforts must be made to develop trust and conversations that promote open discussion and honest engagement of ideas.
I am strongly in favor of a non-partisan, impartial, independent commission that would determine the boundaries of not only legislative districts but all electoral districts. In a democracy voters chose their representatives and in gerrymandered districts legislators chose their voters.
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