Growing up, I remember hearing adults complain about where their taxes were going. I was assured that I would understand when it was my tax dollars on the line.
My tax dollars have been on the line for 14 years, and they were right. I understand so much better now.
I understand that the schools my children attend no longer have the resources available to foster the kind of individual attention that students need in order to thrive. Programs that help to challenge gifted students, nurture artistic and theatrical and musical creativity helping young minds expand and explore in ways that not only benefit them creatively but also academically…these are being slashed and cut and disposed of, turning what was once a hugely fulfilling environment into little more than a factory designed to churn out students who all perform to a standard set by politicians who seem to have neither the knowledge nor the motivation to see our children succeed. That my friends and family who devote so much of their hearts to trying to reach our students with what limited resources they have are facing the possibility of the schools they love failing to open their doors in August.
I understand that the salary my mother receives from the state has been slashed again and again, the retirement fund she has paid into nearly her entire adult life has been so thoroughly abused and decimated by the state that she now has to worry whether or not it will even be available to her.
I understand that in order to make up for the revenue shortfalls created by eliminating the income tax of hundreds of thousands of businesses and dropping the top income tax rate, the burden has been shifted to my family – and families like mine – who already live paycheck to paycheck, and now have to spend more of our limited budgets on sales and property taxes. A shift which has not solved the income deficit. A shift which has been accompanied by continued cuts to education, KPERS, and the highway fund.
I understand that even after our Governor’s plan has failed again and again to promote growth and income stability in Kansas, our legislators continue to support it. To support him. To abdicate their responsibilities entirely so they can take time off while the Governor simply makes deeper cuts that have been proven futile to his overall agenda.
I understand that if any of this is going to change, we have to make sure that none of the people who have supported this man remain in office.
I understand that we have the power to enact change with our votes.
I understand that Patsy Terrell, who is devoting her campaign to strong, constitutionally-funded schools; a fair, predictable, responsible and equitable tax system; expansion of Medicaid; and an independent judiciary is absolutely the right choice for my district. The right choice to replace Jan Pauls in the 102nd District. The right choice for Kansas.
I’m voting for Patsy.