Our public schools are the shining stars and highlight a key aspect of what makes Johnson County so great. Not only do they bring families into our community, but talented teachers to educate at some of the finest schools in the nation. Education is the key to a successful community and a flourishing society. Classroom sizes are getting bigger, schools are closing and programs are getting cut. Tom has worked hard to adequately fund our schools to reverse these trends by developing a school finance plan to restore proper funding to Kansas education. Strong public schools, in turn attract businesses, creating jobs for our future generations. A well-educated workforce builds a strong economy and a strong community, increasing the likelihood of our children staying in Kansas.
Tom is the product of the Kansas public school system. His teachers taught him not just the value of his education, but of civic duty as well. Tom has voted consistently to support our local schools, including adding nearly $1 Billion in new K-12 funding.
In both his first and second term, Tom sponsored and pushed for legislation that would provide increases in accountability under the dome and in our communities. Tom and his colleagues successfully passed legislation ensuring increased accessibility for the open records act, adding live streaming to committee rooms so Kansans can stay informed from anywhere and decreased the likelihood of government boards to meet in secret. These initial steps toward larger reforms will ensure that our government is completely visible and accountable to its citizens. We will continue to take steps in the right direction and Tom will continue to fight for increased transparency and accountability under the dome and in our communities. Tom sponsored legislation calling for all legislation introduced to include who introduced the bill in the first place.
SUPPORTING LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Our local governments are vital to maintaining the quality of life our communities currently hold, attracting families and businesses alike. Many members of the legislature want to strip local government of their autonomy and authority, directly affecting our community’s ability to grow and prosper. Representatives from different parts of the state do not understand the needs of our local communities, yet want to make decisions regarding key issues for us. This would put our public safety and reliable infrastructure, which in turn create a strong sense of community, at risk. We elect our city councilmembers, mayors, and other public servants because they understand our community’s strengths and our opportunities for growth and improvement. Tom will continue to work to ensure that our local government is able to successfully lead and further improve our community.
ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE
A key to a productive society is a healthy one. People need access to affordable healthcare options in order to contribute to our economy and communities. Access comes in many different forms. As a State Representative Tom has fought to expand Medicaid in Kansas, which would help provide insurance to more than 100,000 Kansans, while bringing in more than $700 million in new funding from the Federal Government. That funding would help add more than 1,300 new jobs and significantly reduce local hospital write-offs that are passed onto those with insurance as higher medical services cost. Tom has also fought as a member of the Insurance Committee to create a regulatory environment that both ensures high quality insurance products in the state, while keeping premiums below the national average.