Tribune reporter Greg Lower is writing previews for candidates facing off in Tuesday’s primary election.
The incumbent seeking re-election to the Kansas Senate said there is a lot of smoke and misinformation he wants to cut through.
Kansas 15th District Senator Dan Goddard said he has maintained contact with his constituents and never missed a session or vote. He faces a Republican primary election challenge from a former Legislator, and said it is important that voters make a choice.
Goddard, from Parsons, said he made his choice and it is time people make their choice known. He voiced his support for Right to Life and Education, and also the healthcare community.
He makes no bones about supporting rural hospitals and plans to vote for Medicaid expansion, although he wants a nominal buy-in. He said Kansas missed out on $4 billion in lost Medicaid reimbursements.
Goddard, who has served in the Senate since 2017, said passage of the Kansas Farm Bureau healthcare plan was a great victory and should be a model for other associations.
He plans to resurrect bills to provide property tax relief for senior citizens and veterans, assistance for high school students to take the ACT and provide more transparency in the tax system. He said all bills were passed, but were vetoed by the governor.
Goddard said the state faces a budget crisis brought on by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but Kansas has been taxed enough. He said he opposes sales and income tax increases and will not accept his Senate pay.
He said solving the issue will be a multi-step process, but state agencies need to scrub their budgets and only spend what is needed. When officials return in January, there will be another budget scrubbing, but that leaves only six months left in the fiscal year.
“This problem is not going to be solved in just one fiscal year,” Goddard said.
Before the coronavirus, officials were looking at reducing or eliminating sales tax on food. He said he supports education, but blames budget overspending on Supreme Court decisions on education.
Goddard said the governor’s approach to stopping the spread of coronavirus was a one-size-fits-all that should have been left up to local officials.
Goddard has chaired the Joint Committee on Kansas Security, the Public Safety Subcommittee and the Lottery and Gaming Subcommittee, and was vice-chair of the Transportation Committee.
He He has been endorsed by the Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansans for Life, Kansas Livestock Association, Kansas Agri-business Council and the Kansas National Education Association, which he said shows that he has served well.