In my last two newsletters I warned you of attempts to distort my record. Over the weekend, one of my former opponents (an ally of my current opponent) posted a misleading Facebook post and email about my record on gun safety. These are partisan lies meant to shake your confidence in me.
Fact vs. Fiction
In March of this year, two very different bills were introduced:
- HB 2773, the SAFE Act, which directs the State Board of Education to develop statewide standards for making all public schools safe and secure. I voted YES. This bill passed 119-5. It died in the Senate committee on Ways & Means, but was enacted through a proviso added to the final budget.
- HB 2789 the SAFER Act, which prohibited insurance companies from canceling insurance coverage or increasing rates on school districts who decide to arm teachers. This bill died in the House Insurance committee.
HB 2773 as introduced and debated by the House made no mention of arming teachers. An amendment was offered that would have prohibited any district from allowing employees to carry weapons inside buildings. I voted NO because it usurped local control. The Kansas Constitution confers decision-making authority over our public schools to our state and local boards of education.
Rest assured, I absolutely DO NOT support arming teachers.
The entirety of my legislative career has focused on unwavering support for local control. I have voted against legislative interference with our state education standards and have defended the role of our duly elected boards of education to make decisions that are in the best interests of their own districts and constituencies. My position on local control does not depend on whether I agree with the policy in question – it is anchored in my fidelity to the separation of powers as outlined in our Kansas constitution.