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Issues

Rep. Owen Donohoe has always shown leadership on issues, and sponsored and co-sponsored common sense legislation when Shawnee citizens confidently sent him to Topeka to represent them.

Several key issues are detailed below. Rep. Donohoe prioritizes these issues of most concern to citizens of the 39th District and in Kansas: 

• Financial Responsibility

• Efficient and Effective Government

• Stimulate the Kansas Economy with Lower Taxes & Job Growth

• Values & Transparency

How to grow our economy without raising taxes

The Kansas economy is saddled with a $1.5 billion deficit -- we're spending more than we earn. You've seen your property, sales taxes, and income taxes rise. We must live within our means, and be fiscally responsible. And we need to fund disabled persons and those most in need first.

We rank #47 in economic growth, #46 in people leaving the state, and #44 in K-12 college readiness.

We need to grow the Kansas economy again. It can be done without raising taxes, without cutting education, and without missing scheduled pension payments. In the process, we’ll direct more school funds to the classroom for teachers and instruction. Here's how.

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Teachers and students deserve better

I support public education and believe the state needs to be efficient and accountable, just like every other area of government. Kansas school districts have $1 billion in unused cash reserves. If even a fraction of that is used, we could avoid cuts everywhere. With education taking 65% of the state budget – and huge increases in spending ordered by the court – we must demand accountability in education spending. Not enough of those dollars are reaching the classroom to help teachers and students. Here's how we can make sure classrooms come first. 

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Voters want courts to stop dictating spending

A newly released poll found that the majority of voters in all five Kansas Senate districts do not want appointed judges dictating spending amounts for Kansas public schools. Voters want elected legislators to determine spending levels within the state budget.

This new poll gives further credit to a previous survey revealing 60% of Kansans are willing to amend the constitution to take back control of education funding from the courts.

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School spending hasn't been reduced

The liberals and 'moderates' in the legislature erroneously claim there have been school funding reductions...but there simply aren't any. K-12 school funding has increased 88% in the last 20 years, and now takes 65% of the entire state budget. The Kansas Supreme Court makes matters worse with incessant mandates for more funding. Kansas taxpayers - who are represented by legislators - have lost their voice. 

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Values

When Rep. Donohoe talks about 'values,' he's talking about the ethics and values we hold dear as American citizens and as responsible citizens of Kansas.

The erosion of family values is having a profound effect on the legislature in Kansas, as the Kansas National Education Association wields more power over its subjects in the education lobby. Trouble is, the KNEA's values don't align with those of most Kansas residents -- and certainly not those in Shawnee or the 39th District.

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Financial Responsibility

Spending by Kansas legislators has outpaced revenue for the past several years, and we have more than $9 billion debt in the state KPERS program. The Kansas state budget is growing at an unsustainable pace, and little effort is being made to live within our means. It's time to change that.

Kansas citizens deserve an accountable government - in every department. As the people's representatives, we should ensure the highest quality of service at the best possible price and reduce the size and scope of government. 

Every state provides the same set of services (education, social services, etc.) but some states do so much more efficiently, which keeps taxes lower and promotes economic freedom for all citizens. It’s not an abundance of natural resources or other unusual circumstances that allow some states and local governments to have lower taxes; it’s efficient, effective government.

Let's look at the facts...

 

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Funding those with disabilities first

The budget process in the Kansas legislature should start with funding the most in need and disabled first. The waiting list for basic services for the intellectually and developmentally disabled has increased exponentially without any funding increase. This is shameful -- the 5,849 people who are waiting for these basic services have been overlooked for too long.

This year I supported the cause for these vulnerable and at-risk individuals, and we secured a relatively small $22 million increase -- but Gov. Kelly cut it out of the budget and put the money into the $4+ billion education budget. We should -- and can -- fund those with disabilities first, and we can do it without hurting the education budget.

 

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