As your representative, I'll work tirelessly to accomplish the following:
Minimum Wage Increase
Every Kansan deserves a minimum wage of $15 an hour, including gig workers, service industry employees and agricultural workers. The pandemic has shown that these essential workers are the backbone of our state economy, and it’s time they are treated as such.
While increasing our state’s minimum wage is vital, we also want to make sure those jobs are not only well paying, but safe as well. This means creating more reasonable work regulations to ensure employees are safe at their workplaces, including work-rest regulations during the summer months and minimum staffing regulations. Kansans are overworked with little free-time, we need to work to mandate overtime pay after 8 hours.
We should be doing more as a state to promote co-ops as a way to support our rural neighbors and to help bring more fresh, affordable produce to our community. For too long Wyandotte County residents have suffered from food deserts and expensive groceries and it’s time we change that.
Promoting farmers’ and ranchers’ cooperatives will help lower the cost of food by breaking the power of the food processing monopolies. We should also work to bring more grocery co-ops to Wyandotte county that focus on affordable, Kansas grown food. Cooperative agriculture is a win-win for Kansas farmers and consumers.
After more than two years of hardships brought on by the pandemic, we need to use every tool in our belt to protect the health of our workforce. Rural hospitals keep closing throughout the state and just recently my hometown hospital closed their ICU due to being financially insolvent. Getting 165,000 Kansans health care, injecting billions of dollars and thousands of jobs into our local economies, and protecting our rural hospitals will be critical to Kansas’ recovery from the pandemic. We must expand Medicaid as soon as possible.
High Quality, Affordable Education
I will advocate to increase the minimum salary for Kansas’ teachers to ensure we continue to attract talented education professionals. After two years of living through a pandemic that continues to put a burden on our education system, it's important than ever to make sure teachers are paid fairly, guidance counselors are available for all of our students, and Special Education programs are available to all students who need them.
I will advocate to increase funding to Universities in the state to reduce the necessity of tuition to bridge budgets. Oftentimes a degree from a state university can set students back over $100,000 which creates challenges for young adults and a strain on our economy. The debt burden created by high tuitions forces Kansas graduates to take better paying jobs out of state. Affordable tuition will make sure our best and brightest stay here providing economic development throughout the state.
We can and must protect Kansans from the worst effects of climate change by continuing to promote sustainability and using the tremendous renewable resources our state has to offer. That means putting Kansas on a plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
Ending the prohibition on cannabis in Kansas is the right thing to do morally and for our economy. Everyday we continue to see our neighbors locked up over simple possession of cannabis which creates a strain on our criminal justice system. Kansans have also grown accustomed to watching neighboring states like Colorado and Missouri legalize cannabis which has generated millions in tax revenue for those states. Legalizing cannabis will begin to reform our criminal justice system and create a huge boost for our economy.