Time for Real Advocacy
District 111 Debate
Expanding Medicaid would bring $17.5 million into the Ellis County economy each year. HaysMed loses $5 million, and the First Care Clinic loses $ 2.5 million. In addition, we do not qualify for prescription drug discounts averaging around 40%. Just in the HaysMed budget that’s over $10 million of additional cost that we pay for each year.
Medicaid expansion would adjust the eligibility limits and make them more equitable. The current income limit to qualify today is $8,500 a year for a family of three, which is less than four dollars an hour. Expanding KanCare would raise the income eligibility limits so that more hard-working Kansas families who contribute to the economy can get the healthcare they need for themselves and their families.
Expanding KanCare – Medicaid would strengthen the rural health care system and help ensure that more Kansans get healthcare they need while giving them a boost in their economies. Expanding KanCare will increase the state economic output by $17 billion and increase the personal income of Kansans by 6.3 billion over the next three years. Expanding that program would also produce $700 million of additional state taxes income. Mike Pence, when the governor of Indiana said that expanding Medicaid was the best economic development initiative of his gubernatorial term.
My opponent has not advocated for this important expansion. In fact, she has worked with others to block its introduction in the Kansas legislature after it passed in both the House and the Senate with clear majorities 5 years ago.
Fully Fund Our School Districts
Legislative gamesmanship with educational money, and the $1.6 million weight that puts on our local property taxes each year is the reason why I have made this a priority. The Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that the legislature should fully fund public education. And in fact, the operational budgets of our USD’s where fully funded including special education. But at the end of the session my opponent and others in the Legislature decided to cut special education as a way to cut the operational budgets of the USD’s.
Cutting Special Education requires the school districts to transfer funds to meet the legal requirements of both state and federal law. USD 489 transfers $1.5 million out of its budget to meet the needs required by special education mandates. The same thing took place in Victoria with USD 432 which had to Transfer $105,000. These cuts in our operational budget were equivalent to 22 teaching positions in Hayes and 1.5 teaching positions in Victoria.
These cuts in Special Education negatively impact hundreds of gifted students as well as disadvantage and high-risk students at TMP, Holy Family and USD’s 489 plus 432. Most citizens don’t realize that special education funding is important and vital for private schools as well as our public institutions.
Fully Fund Fort Hays State University
A stronger Fort Hays State University mean students are better prepared for the workforce; businesses are attracted to District 111 and our economy grows and prospers. But the state funded Block Grant FHSU receives is not fair or equitable. We are being disadvantaged by a lack of advocacy.
For example, in the last budget year FHSU serviced 18,827 individual students that equated to 10,432 full-time equivalent students. At the same time Wichita State University served 19,010 students that equated to 11,898 FTE students. That shows that the two universities were serving about the same number of students, WSU served 183 more. But FHSU got a block grant of $39.4 million while WSU received a block grant of $84 million.
On top of that our advocate accused the FHSU of “cannibalizing” students when we recruit statewide to bring young people to Hays. Suggesting that our university only services students from Western Kansas. If that were the case the enrollments would be astronomically low.
My opponent also opposed duplication of academic programs at our universities. She suggested that program duplication was a problem and needed to be eliminated. While all of the Regent’s universities in Kansas have Colleges of Education, Programs of Nursing etc our State’s Employment needs in these areas continue to grow. Plus, if we were only to serve students in a limited geographical area program duplication is a necessity.
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Hammond For Kansas
4604 Hoover Dr.
Hays, KS 67601
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