Derek Schmidt’s Plan for a Better Kansas: First 100 Days

A Letter from Derek

“Kansas can and must do better, and we will – starting with these specific actions in my first 100 days serving you as your Governor.”

Make Daily Life More Affordable for Kansans

  • I will propose to the Legislature a balanced state budget that slows the rate of growth of state spending, which has exploded at an unsustainable rate under the current administration. Overall annual spending increased $6 billion in just the past four years – that’s $8,000 more per year that it costs a family of four just to pay for state government! But we don’t have more taxpayers to pay those bills – the Kansas population is stagnant, actually declining in 2021, and fewer Kansans are working. Kansas taxpayers cannot afford to keep growing government at a record-setting pace with fewer people carrying the load.
  • Enact my Retire Tax-Free plan to help and encourage more Kansans to retire here by exempting pensions, Social Security, and dedicated retirement distributions from state income tax.
  • Exempt diapers and feminine hygiene products from state sales tax.
  • Adjust the Homestead Property Tax program and the homestead property tax exemption to prevent Kansans from losing their homes because of inflation.
  • Pay off more public debt, including in the public pension system, to protect KPERS retirees and save taxpayers millions of dollars in debt-service payments for years and generations to come.

Put Kids and Parents First

  • Constitutionally fund public schools and work with local and state education leaders in their respective roles to reduce our record-setting teacher shortage by supporting, attracting, and retaining great teachers for our kids.
  • Empower parents to ensure each child gets the education best suited for his or her own needs, regardless of a family’s income or zip code. Protect young children from being exposed to age-inappropriate gender or sexual identity content, discussions, or curriculums in the classroom.
  • Enact the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act so biological males cannot compete and take opportunities from our girls in sports.
  • Protect our kids at school with my safety school plan, including doubling School Safety Grants, supporting more School Resource Officers, expanding Mental Health Intervention Teams to help and support more struggling kids in more communities, and enacting the Reduce Armed Violence Act to get repeat felons who illegally use firearms to commit new, violent crimes off our streets. Also, provide every child in every school with communication tools for suicide prevention to easily reach out for help.

Build Safer, Healthier Communities

  • Support the Legislature’s efforts to establish a new state mental health hospital in Wichita and work together with local leaders to address homelessness in our state’s largest city.
  • Expand existing eligibility for medical loan repayment to more doctors, and establish a similar incentive for specialists, who commit to practicing in underserved rural communities.
  • Eliminate racially restrictive covenants from property deeds to rid our state of these remnants of a racially segregated past.
  • Make it easier and less costly for loving parents to adopt so more kids can find their forever homes.
  • Strengthen in law an independent Office of the Child Advocate so it can actually stand up for Kansas children in the child welfare system.

Grow a Healthy State Economy

  • Propose to the Legislature a constitutional amendment to protect long-term transportation funding and permanently close the ‘Bank of KDOT.’
  • Prioritize finishing the US-69 four-lane expansion in Southeast Kansas and bringing four-lane access to Southwest Kansas, while setting a goal of a four-lane highway connecting Southeast Kansas, Wichita, and Southwest Kansas. Four-lane access across southern Kansas will help existing businesses thrive and attract long-term economic development and investment throughout the region.
  • Establish and empower a task force to work with local agriculture and community leaders on managing and sustaining water, our state’s most-vital natural resource.
  • Partner with the Board of Regents and with public and private colleges, technical schools, and universities to capitalize on postsecondary education as an economic-development engine for Kansas.
  • Require able-bodied adults with no dependents to work in order to receive public benefits paid for by hardworking taxpayers.
  • Review, identify and eliminate ineffective and job-killing regulations and unnecessary licensing requirements.
  • Fix the broken unemployment benefits system that failed Kansans under the Kelly administration.