A DD legislative advocacy coalition in South Central Kansas, ACT invited the three candidates for Kansas governor to a community forum on September 27 in Wichita.
Libertarian candidate Keen Umbehr sent a videotape expressing support for persons with disabilities. Governor Sam Brownback didn’t acknowledge the invitation or send a message. Representative Paul Davis made a personal appearance at the forum. He announced that if elected Governor, he will remove I/DD services from KanCare . Excerpts of the Davis speech include:
“Let me begin by sharing how proud I am of you, your work and your advocacy. I am proud to be with folks like you who have achieved great successes in the development of the i/DD community service network.
Our State has been a leader in this area. Through your work, Kansas became a place where men, women, and children with disabilities and their families could achieve greater success, and greater economic and personal independence.
It wasn’t always that way… But, you, and your families, shaped the work of elected officials from both political parties in county and state governments. And together, we made Kansas better.
Unfortunately, I am not feeling as optimistic today. Sam Brownback is taking our state in the wrong direction in so many respects. From schools to KanCare to the state of our economy, he has forced an experiment on our families, and it is absolutely failing.
Our economy is lagging behind our neighboring states and the nation. We’re creating fewer jobs – which means it is harder for people to support their families.
Governor Brownback made the largest single cut to our schools in state history and called it a victory. How can it be a victory for the state when class sizes are larger? How can it be a victory when our test schools are falling for the first time in eleven years? How can it be a victory when parents have to pay fee after fee?
All of these things impact our quality of life in Kansas. Because of the Governor’s failed experiment, the services and support you and your loved ones need is at serious risk. This is because Governor Brownback’s experiment has put our state deep into debt of 1.3 billion dollars.
Since 2012, Governor Brownback and his allies have ignored your concerns about changes to the programs you use and the services the state provides. They claimed they would listen to you, but nothing could be further from the truth.
And because of the changes they have made, your lives and the lives of your loved ones have become more challenging. The work of your service providers and their organizations has become more difficult. And unless we change the direction they’re taking our state, the future may not be so bright for coming generations of Kansans with disabilities.
That is why we must go in a different direction. And that starts with the election this November. We need each person who is eligible to vote – to do so.
Jill Docking and I ….want to restore your hope in our state and the future opportunities for you and your family members.
People all across the state – all of you in this room – have always spoken out for the rights of persons with disabilities.
- We will fight to meet the needs of Kansans waiting lists!
- We will fight to restore your services and your support system.
- We will fight to raise the wages of direct care professionals who provide the critical care for you and your loved ones.
- We will fight to restore funding for our public schools so all Kansas kids have opportunities to learn and excel.
And yes, we will fight to carve I/DD services out of KanCare, something that never should have happened in the first place.”