Patricia Smetana — Democrat for House, Dist. 64

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – KSN News sent out a questionnaire to each candidate facing a challenger in the November general election. We made no changes to the candidate’s answers.


Biographical information:

(Courtesy of Smetana for Kansas)

Although a native of California, I lived in several places before making Kansas my home. and lived his young adult years in San Diego, California. In 2001, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development from Christian Heritage College. Patricia enlisted in the US Army in 2002, proudly serving six years of active duty with the 3rd Infantry Division and VETCOM. I am a disabled veteran who was deployed during Operations Iraqi Freedom III. I continued to work with the Army as a Department of Defense (DOD) civilian with MEDCOM at Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas for three years serving military personnel worldwide. I have since earned a Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling in Executive Leadership from Liberty University. I am currently in my final year of a PhD program also at Liberty University. My area of ​​study is community care and marriage and family counseling. I have extensive professional experience in office administration and leadership, life coaching, counselling, child and youth services, mentoring and education. For the past decade I have been an ordained minister. For two years I engaged in work missions both nationally and internationally. My Christian faith is central to my passion and drive to seek out needs and present solutions for the betterment and well-being of humanity. I currently reside in Wakefield, Kansas with my husband, Wayne. When I got married, I was blessed with four beautiful adult daughters and seven precious grandchildren. We have actively developed the foundation for a non-profit community outreach program to provide support to economically disadvantaged people in and around our community. We are also the proud furry parents of four dogs, seven cats, a lion-headed rabbit (Mufasa); with Buddy, their signature horse, and two pet cows, Star and Holly.

Campaign Website/Facebook/Social Media:

SmetanaForKansas.com
Facebook: Smetana4Kansas

In your opinion, what should be done to help the Kansans cope with the high costs?

The legs of the three-legged stool need to be corrected. A reduction in sales, property and income tax will greatly help the Kansans. For example, the immediate elimination of the food tax, the reinstatement of the Local Ad Valorem Tax Relief Fund, the elimination of the income tax for retirees, and the expansion of Medicaid.

Share your thoughts on abortion rights and restrictions.

While I do not support abortion as a means of birth control, I strongly oppose any constitutional amendment that does not “explicitly” guarantee or enhance the constitutional right except rape, incest or life-threatening circumstances of the mother as established with the current exceptions. I believe we have come a long way and yet not far enough. Decisions regarding the health and well-being of a woman’s body should be left between the woman and her doctor.

Do you think KanCare should be extended? Why or why not?

I support the expansion of Medicaid because it is not only a way to provide much-needed health care to the uninsured, disabled, unemployed, elderly, and approximately 7,400 veterans and their families, but also to stimulate and promote the economic pulse of Kansas. An expansion would give hospitals and medical facilities, especially in rural areas, the ability to continue to provide optimal care without facing funding challenges for paid care, create nearly 23,000 healthcare jobs healthcare, retail, construction, finance and insurance; reduce business taxes, provide insurance coverage for small businesses, generate between 36 and 45 million in additional tax revenue and stabilize the cost of health care for the Kansans; thereby stimulating an increase in economic output and personal income. I am strongly in favor of putting Medicaid expansion on the ballot!

What is your position on the legalization of medical marijuana? Recreational cannabis?

I support the remarkable research, discoveries, and results of medical marijuana legalization to dramatically improve the quality of life for sufferers. It has been shown to help relieve symptoms associated with debilitating disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder/traumatic brain injury, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s disease and sickle cell anemia, to name a few. While I do not support the legalization of marijuana, this issue should be put to Kansas state voters with restrictions like the retail tobacco market regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). If legalization is contemplated, the Kansas marijuana sales tax should be designed to create a significant tax revenue stream for the state of Kansas.

Share your thoughts on transgender athletes in sport.

While I believe that the anatomical, biological, and physical disparity between “assigned sex at birth” may result in disadvantages for some athletes over others, the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) has implemented a approved policy that addresses benefits and related procedures for transgender student-athletes who are addressed respectively at each school.

What do you think of electoral integrity in Kansas? Across the United States? Would you change the electoral process and how?

Providing more access to remote voting in rural communities would increase the integrity of our electoral process. This should be implemented across the United States to ensure equitable accessibility for all. Redistricting should be done by non-partisan entities, ensuring that cultural, social and economic commonalities are not compromised as much as possible.

What issues would you address for farmers and ranchers?

Quality and quantity of water source in areas that use irrigation to improve agricultural production and non-agricultural water consumption; to include runoff of herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers into groundwater and other consumable sources of drinking water sources. Another area to address is the acquisition of assets used in agricultural production by foreign interests, corporations, third party investors, which should be reviewed and possibly restricted. While the Kansas farmer, from a business perspective, acquires available agricultural property with a business plan for that property that pays for itself, historically, foreign interests, corporations and third-party investor groups are not affected. by the price per acre; they acquire land for a simple investment or for the exploitation of land; thus, forcing our Kansas farmers into a tenant position siphoning vast fiscal financial flows away from the farmer, creating significant increases in financial risk and drastically reducing the profit margin the farmer/rancher needs to live.

What are the top education issues in Kansas for K-12? For universities?

Full funding of public and special education guaranteed by legislative action; also ensure that the preservation of tax funding is limited to public schools and not diverted to fund the operation of private schools. Full funding of special education in which fiscal resources are protected from being diverted to non-special education interests. Kansas educator salaries are 13e lowest in the nation (USA Today); thus encouraging an exodus of talent from Kansas. Salary calculations need to be reviewed, analyzed, and benchmarked against the rest of the nation to determine what should be an appropriate and attractive pay scale that retains and attracts educator talent to the state of Kansas. Support actions to restore educators to their primary role as teachers as opposed to managing children and multiple positions outside of their scope of practice as educators. Educators need support, staff, resources and a comparable salary. Universities are facing cuts to academic programs and declining student enrollment, which has a direct impact on the financial health of schools.

What do you think needs to be done to promote social and racial justice?

Before a resolution can be reached, there must be an established understanding of what these justices entail. Programs promoting education and awareness of social and racial justices through different platforms (workplace, education/school, social services, etc.) within the community would greatly enhance identification, awareness, expectations and needs.


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Raymond I. Langston