Our questions for the area statehouse candidates

The Kansas House of Representatives.

Last month, we asked readers what issues they wanted to hear the area candidates running for the Kansas House of Representatives address. Based on reader input, we’ve developed the following five-item questionnaire for the primaries.

Here are the questions:

  • Question 1: In 2017, the legislature largely rolled back the income tax cuts signed by Gov. Sam Brownback. That move came in response to years of below-estimate revenues that prompted several budget cuts. But there’s been a push by some legislators to again introduce new tax cutting measures. What’s your view on the current state of Kansas tax policy? Should the state be looking to cut taxes?
  • Question 2: The Kansas Supreme Court’s latest ruling in the Gannon case suggests the legislature could come into compliance with the constitution’s K-12 funding “adequacy” provision by accounting for inflation in the formula it used in the plan approved last session. Making that adjustment could require the addition of around $100 million in annual funding for K-12 schools. Would you support updating the current K-12 formula per the court’s guidance? If so, where should that additional money come from?
  • Question 3: Should Kansas expand Medicaid eligibility, a move that would make health insurance coverage through the program open to about 150,000 additional Kansans? Why or why not?
  • Question 4: The Kansas Department of Children and Families has been under fire in recent months after reports about widespread dysfunction, including lax oversight that led to the extreme abuse and neglect of kids in state custody. What needs to be done to improve DCF?
  • Question 5: Last session, the legislature approved a bill that allows religion-based adoption agencies to refuse placing children with LGBT couples. Do you support this legislation? Why or why not?

We’ll be running the candidates’ responses to one question a day for five days starting Monday, July 16.

These are the candidates whose names will be on the primary ballot that we’re sending the questionnaires:

  • Kansas House District 17 (Republicans Tom Cox and Jim Eschrich)
  • Kansas House District 18 (Democrats Cindy Neighbor and Andy Hurla; and Republicans Eric Jenkins and Cathy Gordon)
  • Kansas House District 29 (Republicans Peggy Galvin and James Todd)
  • Kansas House District 22 (Democrats Nancy Lusk and Michael Coleman)
  • Kansas House District 30 (Democrats Matt Calcara and Brandon Woodard; and Republicans Colleen Webster and Wendy Bingesser)

Election Day is Tuesday, August 7. Advance voting in person begins July 23.