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Kansas State House District 59

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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  • Blaine Finch

  • Candidate picture

    Caren Rugg

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 After decades of community service and working at a not for profit I left the workforce in 2010 to be a full-time caregiver to my husband. I was born a military brat and have a degree from KU in Political Science. We have 4 children, and 7 grandchildren. I believe the role of govt is to make life less burdensome for Americans, and that we have a way to go to realize our ideals. I would like to be part of that realization.
Campaign Phone (785) 242-8365
Campaign Email
Campaign Web Site
Education Associate's Degree in Marketing Allen County Community College, Bachelor's degree in Political Science with a minor in History University of Kansas, Post graduate work in Conflict and Dispute Resolution, KU.
Community/Public Service PTO President Lincoln Elementary, Family Selection Committee Habitat for Humanity, Co-Founder of Franklin County Emergency Temporary Shelter Association, Home Delivered Meals, Creator of Prescription Drug Program to obtain prescription drugs for low income and disabled in Kansas, Developed caregiver programs, Polling Place Election Judge.
Address 2170 Sand Creek Road Ottawa, KS 66067
Getting a handle on the spread of the virus. Passing Medicaid expansion and comprehensive healthcare so coverage is not tied to jobs. Increase access to free testing in all communities. Compliance with masks and limited openings statewide for any county that has observed active and positive cases should be enforced. Schools that open should have amended and shorter hours, possibly looking at splitting classes in half and doing morning and afternoon sessions. For teachers, school staff, and others forced back into the workplace, provisions should be taken to ensure that anyone at higher risk have a lower exposure to the public. Protective equipment, including sanitizer and adequate hand washing opportunities, shall be standard workplace protections. Restaurants continue with delivery and take out options, but bars and other enclosed businesses where people gather and spend significant time inside be closed. There are no easy answers. Doing nothing is not an option.
I would support overturning the SAFE Act. In order to register to vote you must prove your identity and eligibility as a voter. When you vote, you sign either the ballot book or ballot, verifying it is you voting. It's already against the law to vote more than once. Enforce current law as issues arise. I support full mail in ballots. First time voters (for the experience) or for those whom in person voting is important can deliver personally to the clerk's office. It is more cost efficient than opening multiple polling places, it increases voter participation, and is already done in other states at a higher level than in Kansas. We can do it, too.
I endorse the expansion of Medicaid 110%. With the state of Kansas picking up only 10% of the cost, the money saved by law enforcement and other community entities that currently attempt to deal with those medically underserved will be significant. Not only does Medicaid get expanded, but healthcare in general gets expanded. Once healthcare exchanges are established, choice and competitive premiums are available to those who don't qualify for Medicaid and don't have employer sponsored healthcare. Medical providers, hospitals, and the entire state benefit from the expanded options and increased coverage across Kansas.
I am required to have insurance on my car because it can cause damage to property and death to others. Guns are no different. People who want them should be required to have insurance, gun safes and or locks, and be held accountable for accidents caused by unattended guns. They should also be registered with the state for hand gun ownership.
Bipartisan committee votes on whether to advance a bill would be a good start. When the power is concentrated in the hands of one political party across all House and Senate committees, there is no opportunity for the minority party to play a role. This could be a way to change that.
I absolutely support a transparent system for proposed bills, at all stages of the life of the bill. People have become suspicious, critical, and disillusioned with the legislative bodies at the state and federal levels. Allowing them access to knowing what bills have been presented, and what's been attached to them as they move through the system would be very educational for the people of Kansas.
No, our current agencies are not funded adequately. I believe DCF should be separated again with aging services split from family and children's services. When target populations compete within an agency for limited funds, someone always loses. There is also a level of expertise in dealing with one demographic. Part of reducing funds to law enforcement should include increases to social service agencies. They DEFINITELY need upgraded operating systems that allow transfer and sharing of information. Our focus as a state should be to have safe and healthy communities. When that happens, the rest of it works much easier.
I believe each session should begin with diversity training as a reminder of our differences. Legislators can also stop being responsible for enacting laws that lead to problems of diversity, equity, or inclusion by allowing twisted interpretations that discriminate. This may not be taken in the spirit in which it is offered, but I also truly believe more women in more positions of power help to diffuse those issues. We see the big picture, and we get stuff done.
While there are extremes in each of the two major political parties, the reality is that the bulk of legislation should be aimed at benefiting the majority of Kansans, and not just the minority from one party. Compromise cannot continue to be considered a bad word, and expect that both parties will work together without it. It's time to work together at all levels of government and society. This is a test for the state and the nation. If we can't work together to further an agenda that slows the loss of jobs and income to working Kansas families, it will not get done. It won't. It's time to come together.
Impartial committees MUST be responsible for drawing legislative districts to avoid the blatant political advantages currently exhibited. The right to vote should be not be diminished by artificial boundaries that provide a desired outcome. I would fully support an amendment assuring an impartial committee.