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Kansas State Senate District 7

The Kansas Senate is the upper house of the Kansas Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. State of Kansas. It is composed of 40 senators representing an equal amount of districts, each with a population of at least 60,000 inhabitants. Members of the Senate are elected to a four-year term. There is no limit to the number of terms that a senator may serve.

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    Ethan Corson

  • Laura McConwell

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 Raised in Johnson County, Ethan graduated from Shawnee Mission South. He then earned an associate degree from Garden City Community College and bachelor’s and law degrees from Washington University in St. Louis. Ethan served in two senior leadership positions at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Additionally, he was a Fellow at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at KU and practiced law for seven years at one of the country’s top law firms. Ethan lives in Fairway with his wife and their son.
Campaign Phone (785) 414-9215
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Education -- Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, Juris Doctor, cum laude -- Washington University in St. Louis, Bachelor of Science with Honors -- Garden City Community College, Associate of Arts
Community/Public Service -- Mainstream Coalition, Member -- Missouri-Kansas Women’s Leadership Forum, Advisory Committee -- Kansas Democratic Party, Precinct Committeeperson -- Sierra Club, Member -- Congregation Kol Ami, Congregant
My first priority would be to make sure that we establish a robust system of testing and contact tracing, so we can track and slow the spread of the virus, including asymptomatic spread, and make sure that those who need medical treatment are able to get treatment before symptoms become severe. We also need to make sure that our state has an adequate supply of personal protective equipment, ventilators, and hospital beds.
I support overturning the SAFE Act. In its place, we should make the following changes to make it easier to vote: (1) enacting same day voter registration; (2) enacting automatic voter registration, so Kansans can register to vote when they get their driver’s license and be automatically registered to vote when they turn 18; (3) allowing Kansans to complete the application for advance ballot form once and, if the voter indicates it is their preference, to receive their ballot in the mail for every election thereafter, instead of having to complete a new application for every election; (4) removing from the secretary of state the authority to appoint election commissioners in Kansas’s four largest counties -- this should be an elected position, just as county clerks are elected in the other 101 counties; and (5) fully implement the Vote Anywhere legislation, passed in 2019, which empowers county election officials to allow voters to cast a ballot at any polling location in their county.
Medicaid Expansion is a moral and economic imperative. Expansion would provide access to health care for 130,000 Kansans, including 40,000 children, strengthen our rural health care system, and create jobs. To not pass expansion during a global health crisis that is increasing the number of people without employer-sponsored health care coverage is unconscionable.

Medicaid Expansion is the most immediate action we can take to ensure healthcare availability in rural areas. One-third of rural hospitals are financially vulnerable and in danger of closing, in part because of the failure to expand Medicaid. We have already lost four rural hospitals, dramatically reducing access to care in those communities. The legislature should also look at programs to attract and retain health care professionals in rural communities, increasing telemedicine, and review statutes that reduce the practice authority of nurse practitioners to see if they are outdated and need to be revised or repealed.
Gun control is an urgent public health crisis and needs to be treated as such. I support the following changes to current laws: (1) impose background checks on all gun sales and close the gun show loophole; (2) ban bump stocks used to convert semi-automatic weapons into automatics; (3) limit access to assault weapons designed for military combat; (4) keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers by requiring them to turn in the guns they may already have; (5) pass a red flag law that would permit the temporary removal of firearms from a person who presents a danger to themselves or others; (6) ban concealed guns from our state’s public hospitals, mental health centers, and college campuses; (7) reinstate the law that required a permit and training in order to carry a concealed weapon.
Committee chairs should be elected by a vote of each party’s full membership and not appointed by a party’s House and Senate leaders.
Our agencies have only recently been adequately funded after years of being starved of resources. Accordingly, rebuilding our state agencies will take time and will not happen overnight. In addition to funding, it will take time to rebuild our state work force and overcome the loss of institutional knowledge that took place over the last decade. I also believe that as a state, we can do more to incentivize government service and attract the best and brightest our state has to offer to the noble mission of working on behalf of Kansas.
As an initial matter, I support Governor Kelly’s establishment of the Governor’s Commission on Racial Equity and Justice and look forward to receiving its recommendations of specific policy actions the Legislature can take on issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Kansas. The Legislature must tackle systemic racism and bias through meaningful change to our laws, including reforming our criminal justice system and updating our non-discrimination laws to include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. As a member of the Legislature, I am committed to finding ways to advance equity through modernizing our housing policy, improving access to quality education, increasing the availability of affordable healthcare, and ending voter suppression.
Our Legislature can work together to govern Kansas by endeavoring to remember that we are not elected to do the bidding of a particular political party, or to serve a narrow set of special interests, but to represent our districts to the best of our ability. Furthermore, we should recall that there is so much more that unites us than divides us. While we may not agree on the details of every issue, if we presume that all of us, even those with whom we disagree, are acting in good faith, strong working relationships are possible. Because at the end of the day, while we may not agree which turn in the road is the best way to get there, we all agree on the destination – a Kansas that is an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.
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