Economic development, discrepancy top senate race topics
Candidates vying to represent the 3rd District, which includes Eudora, in the Kansas Senate spoke Oct. 21 in Tonganoxie. Roger Pine, R-Lawrence, and Jan Justice, D-Bonner Springs, are running for the seat.
Pine, who grows crops and sod turf grass, said economic development was key to the future of Kansas and this area.
"I believe we have to have a better environment than we have for small businesses and for industries and farmers to grow and prosper," Pine said. "... We need to have an environment for new businesses to look at Kansas and be attracted."
Young people tend to look out of state for jobs, Pine said.
"Our young people after they get an education they go some place else, and I think we need to keep these people in Kansas," Pine said. "Economic development is the way to do that."
And, Pine said, legislators had a fiscal responsibility.
"It's key to stretch those dollars that we do receive at the state level as much as we can," Pine added.
Jan Justice, who has a background in upper managerial work, said: "It's time for the voice of common people and hard working Kansans to be heard."
Justice said people had to have enough money for the essentials -- food and health care. She used anecdotes from people she's met, talking about Henry, "who goes to bed hungry at night," and Jennifer, "who has no access to health care."
This is not what Kansas is meant to be, Justice said.
"We have to stop being reactive," Justice said, "We have to be a proactive government."
She said it was important to teach children lifelong learning skills, to work to save businesses -- especially in small towns -- and to lower the cost of health care. That means helping senior citizens by reducing the cost of prescription drugs.
Justice said it was important to create jobs and to find new sources of revenue for small farms.
"Look at ways to blend the rural and urban economy," she said.
And, she said, it was important to limit tax increases for the farmers and the elderly.
The candidates agreed on answers to some questions posed to them. For instance, when asked whether they would sponsor legislation to take away college tuition assistance for undocumented immigrants, both Pine and Justice said yes.
And when asked if they were for or against the establishment of a casino near Kansas Speedway, both Pine and Justice said they thought the people who lived in the area would have the opportunity to vote on it.supportive of that revenue system."
In response to a question about education, Justice said if elected she would make an effort to put together an education bill that would support Kansas public schools.
Pine said legislators had a responsibility to take a look at the school funding formula.
And Justice added, "If there is a viable income stream and if it protects small businesses, I would be