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Kansas State Senate District 25

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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  • Vail Fruechting

  • Mary Ware

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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My first priority is the health of Kansans. We all want life to return to “normal” as quickly as possible. This requires a careful balance between our livelihoods and our lives, but first, it requires a healthy workforce. We’ve clearly seen that those who can least afford the effects of Covid are those who’re hit hardest. It’s government’s responsibility to work to level the playing field for those who need it most. For instance, I’d like to mandate safer work environments for essential workers and there should be some allowance for them to refuse to work, without fear of losing their jobs, until it’s shown to be safe.
How ironically named - the SAFE Act. I’d love to overturn it. I’d like to see election day registration, automatic voter registration at the DMV, for instance, or some other place that we all visit on an ordinary basis. Let’s do away with requiring ID to vote, too. The right to vote is an essential right. We must aim for 100% involvement, or as close as possible, and we need to keep contrarians from getting in the way of that goal.
I fully support expanding Medicaid. Not only would it provide critical healthcare for up to 150,000 Kansans, it’s a job creator and it would be quite helpful In keeping our rural and small town hospitals open. Besides expanding Medicaid, I’d like to see greater use of telemedicine. Also there is a bill that got gutted at the end of this session that would allow highly trained nurse practitioners to take on a larger role in keeping their rural communities healthy.
It’s simply not reasonable to allow military guns outside the military. While the mass shootings get the headlines, suicide by gun is one of the biggest problems we have. Tighter laws regarding gun storage in the home would go a long way to slowing this regrettable trend.
I certainly would like to wrest some control from the house and senate leadership. You’re right that committee chairpersons have an inordinate amount of power. Too often, decisions are made in leadership offices that should, instead, be made on the chamber floor.

The parliamentary procedure has us voting to accept each chamber’s rules on day one of each session. It’s typically a perfunctory vote. A vote to change those rules certainly would not be perfunctory.

Honestly, I don’t know what a proposal would need to include to be acceptable to the majority party. I can say that I’d carefully consider any changes proposed and would lean very much in favor of a more balanced make-up of committees.
Absolutely. Isn’t shining a bright light on an issue step one in being able to see it clearly so there can be a true solution made?

Each of these agencies have been left to crumble for decades. They need a wise infusion of funding. Our current administration had laid the groundwork for steady, careful revamping in each of these areas. Then came Covid. This next session it will be very difficult to make progress on these fronts because of budgetary constraints, especially if the hardships that so many of us have experienced continue to be turned into political fodder.

How to continue this progress in the face of monstrous needs from battling Covid is a tough question. So many Kansans now have vastly greater and more immediate needs and our government has vastly fewer resources for addressing those needs.
Honestly, it seems to me that we each, as individuals, need to “get our own houses in order” first. On an individual basis, we need to open ourselves up to learning what it is truly like to live in another persons skin (literally perhaps). We must be bold and fearless in looking inside ourselves, not for fault, but for gracious clarity. After we have done the research to gain real understanding of other’s lives, we’ll be in a position to create policy that truly helps.

Importantly, a basic tenet of grassroots efforts is to bring everyone who is impacted by a situation to the table, each with equal ability to bring forth input. This idea includes, most importantly, those who are often left out of the deliberations - those who actually live with the issue. Otherwise, I believe we risk creating nice sounding policies rather than true solutions.
There is a glimmer of light on the horizon that has the potential to create a space for dialog that could ultimately bridge the gulf. The new Civil Discourse caucus is bipartisan and bicameral. We have a Word of the Week, biweekly meetings over a casual dinner and arrange get togethers for small groups of divergent legislators with the goal of simply getting to know each other as human beings rather than members of the opposition. All this truly excites me with its long range potential.
I would welcome any effort to make our districts more reasonable and equitable. Your idea of an impartial committee is intriguing. I’d look at that very carefully to search for unintended consequences, but on the face of it, I like the idea.