Archive for Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tom Holland discusses campaign issues

October 30, 2008

Tom Holland

Age: 47

Residence: Baldwin City

Occupation: owner and president of Holland Technologies; state representative.

Party affiliation: Democrat

1. Should there be a statewide ban on smoking in indoor public places, such as restaurants and bars?

I would consider supporting such a proposal provided it contained some element of local control. A potential statewide smoking ban will likely be one of the major issues studied by the Legislature next session.

2. Would you support an increase in the cigarette tax to help pay for health coverage for low-income Kansans?

No. Providing affordable health care options to Kansans has always been important to me, and throughout my legislative career I have introduced a number of legislative initiatives that would control rising premium costs.

Still, I don’t believe that increasing the cigarette tax is the best way to improve our current health care system. As a member of the Senate, I will look for alternative ways to ensure that all working Kansans can afford health insurance for themselves and their families.

3. Where do you think the state budget can be cut?

I would first focus on curtailing increases in spending and rooting out inefficiencies and waste in current government operations and practices. Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has realized significant savings by introducing the Budget Efficiency Savings Teams initiative when she was first elected, and I believe we should continue those efforts. Furthermore, as a co-sponsor of the Kansas Taxpayer Transparency Act, I believe it is imperative that Kansas citizens have a solid understanding of how their tax dollars are being spent so that they can provide informative feedback to their legislative representatives on state spending decisions.

4. Would you support an increase in the age for Kansans to get a driver's license?

I am not inclined to support an increase in the age for Kansans to get a driver's license at the present time as I am concerned about the adverse impact this could have on families who rely on a teen to drive.

5. Should Lawrence be allowed to keep its same-sex registry without interference from the state?

As a proponent of local control, I believe this issue should be left up to local municipalities to decide whether or not this is in the best interest of their communities.

6. Do you support Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' opposition to the two coal-fired plants in western Kansas?

Yes. The Sunflower Electric proposals debated and voted on in the Kansas Legislature came with too much financial risk, both to Sunflower Electric ratepayers and the state. We need a clearer direction from the federal government regarding its intentions to regulate CO2 emissions so that everyone understands the true costs of coal-fired electricity generation before embarkinh on building coal-fired plants that would primarily be generating power for out-of-state interests.

Our state has a tremendous opportunity to boost our local economy, provide new markets for agricultural products and grow jobs for hard-working Kansans by leading the nation in renewable energy development. We must explore new energy alternatives, such as wind, while looking for new ways to conserve our resources. As state senator, I will continue working to develop a responsible energy policy that promotes the development of renewable energy while maintaining our state’s base-load energy needs.

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