Priorities & Results
As a father and a fourth-generation Kansan, Jeff is committed to getting our state back to basics – including resolving the state’s financial problems, implementing a fairer tax code, standing up for our schools and military families, and fighting to restore Kansas common sense in Topeka.
Common Sense Results
Jeff’s work has included:
Education. Jeff helped craft a fix earlier this year that addressed the court’s concerns and kept Kansas schools open. The plan held our local schools harmless on funding and also resolved the long-standing court case over equity in school finance. The next step is to develop a new school finance formula that will ensure all Kansas kids have access to a good education.
Budget Reform. Jeff worked this past year to pass stricter budget reform, including the creation of a Rainy Day Fund to protect funding for our schools and essential services in the wake of an economic emergency, stronger oversight in the state budgeting process, and debt controls to prohibit state agencies from taking out additional debt without legislative oversight. Jeff also voted to override the Governor, blocking the administration from taking on a $20 million financing deal without legislative approval.
Tax Fairness. Jeff supported a plan to phase out the sales tax on groceries in Kansas in order to help reduce the tax burden on families and seniors. Jeff also voted against the Governor’s sales tax increase, which shifted the burden onto some taxpayers while others continued to receive tax breaks.
Military Protections. Jeff passed a resolution urging President Obama to keep GITMO detainees out of Kansas. He also helped close the loophole on job protections for deployed troops and he spearheaded efforts to reinstate in-state college tuition rates, making it more affordable for our veterans and active duty military to pursue a college education.
Transparency & Accountability. Jeff voted for the Kansas Transparency Act, which is designed to increase accountability in the legislature and require the live-streaming of legislative committee hearings so that taxpayers have access to the debate and decision-making process. Jeff also voted to prohibit government officials in Kansas from hiding public business through the use of private email accounts.
Limiting Legislative Pay. Jeff supports a plan that requires legislators to balance the budget before they can get paid. In the Senate, he has consistently refused overtime pay when the legislature didn’t get its work done on time.
Protecting our Ag Economy. Jeff has successfully fought off efforts to increase property taxes on Kansas farmers and ranchers, and he helped pass a bill that implements roll-over options for water usage so that farmers have more flexibility under the multi-year flex program.
Welfare Reform. Jeff helped pass stronger welfare reform, which requires drug testing for welfare recipients, incentivizes job training for those who are able to work, and limits benefits to 36 months to ensure the program remains a temporary resource for those transitioning back to work.
Priorities for our Future
Jeff's plan to address key issues:
Balanced Budget & Fair Taxes. As a former city commissioner and mayor, Jeff has tackled budget issues head on. In the Senate, Jeff will fight for real revenue reform, which includes: closing the loopholes in the Governor’s tax plan, which have allowed certain corporations to avoid income taxes while other businesses and our families pay more; conducting a top-to-bottom review of the state’s spending; funding the Rainy Day Fund to protect schools and essential services in an economic emergency; and rolling back the sales and income tax increases passed by the Governor’s allies.
Good Schools. As a father, Jeff knows how critical good schools are for our children and our economy. Jeff helped develop the Jones Tuition program, which helps high school students in the district pay tuition at Emporia State University and Flint Hills Technical College. In the Senate, Jeff opposed Brownback’s block grant system – instead fighting to protect funding for our local schools and higher education. Jeff supports rewriting the school finance formula to ensure a fair distribution of funds and local control for school districts across the state, as well as a stabilized budget to adequate fund our schools.
Resources for our Military Families. Jeff has worked tirelessly to protect our state’s military interests and provide opportunities for our families who serve. Jeff helped pass a plan to grant in-state tuition to active duty military and veterans, he helped improve voting access for our soldiers serving overseas, and he has fought successfully to protect the federal impact aid and second count for schools serving our military families.
Jobs and Economic Growth. As a small business owner, Jeff knows what it takes to create jobs and improve our economy. He helped bring almost 1,500 new jobs to our region through his work as chairman of the Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas. And, Jeff has worked with several employers to spark additional job growth and development in our region, including Caterpillar, Camoplast, Tyson, Menu Foods, Simmons Foods, Westar, REG and Hills Pet Nutrition. Jeff understands that the keys for successfully recruiting companies to our region are: fair tax policies, reasonable regulation, quality transportation for the delivery of goods and materials, a trained and qualified workforce, and a community in which employees will want to live and raise their families – all of which relies on a stable and balanced state budget.