This is the first of two stories about the two Republican candidates for state senator from the 33rd District, incumbent Sen. Ruth Teichman and challenger Andrew Evans. Today’s story features incumbent Sen. Ruth Teichman. No Democrats filed for the position. The primary election on Tuesday, Aug. 5 will determine the senate race.
Editor’s note: This is the first of two stories about the two Republican candidates for state senator from the 33rd District, incumbent Sen. Ruth Teichman and challenger Andrew Evans. Today’s story features incumbent Sen. Ruth Teichman. No Democrats filed for the position. The primary election on Tuesday, Aug. 5 will determine the senate race.
Sen. Ruth Teichman is seeking a third term in the Kansas Senate for the 33rd District.
She is running again because she has two terms of experience, there’s lots to be done, people have told her she does a good job, is a leader, has been a school board member for 20 years, on the education committee for eight years, understands school funding formulas, understands budgets and has experience with banking and farm budgets.
“I think I have been an effective senator. I wouldn’t be on all the committees if I didn’t have a lot of respect from my peers. I do a good job,” Teichman said.
Some legislation she helped pass were bills to protect elderly against fraudulent life insurance practices, co-authored uninsured motorists bill and help create uninsured motorist task force, allow hospitals to review insurance longer than 24 hours if more time if needed.
The down turn in revenues will be a top priority. The legislature has to address obligations and make sure establish programs can continue if they are needed.
“Our projections are we are overspending our budget. We have to be very conservative on what we do,” Teichman said.
The budget needs to be transparent so anyone can go on line and see where the money is going. The legislature didn’t hit the required 7.5 percent ending balance this year as it has in the last three years.
The legislature didn’t pass a low-income insurance bill due to a $300 million cost over three years but the state needs to find premiums for low-income adults. She did vote to help broaden health care for children.
Teichman wants to make health insurance available for small businesses with two to 25 employees.
Funding will have a big impact on education. Any cuts for education will need close attention. The Kansas Public Employer Retirement System cost of living needs to be reviews. She does support early education.
“I’m in favor of early education but you have to show me the bill first,” Teichman said.
A smoking ban didn’t pass but it will get attention in the next session. She won’t comment on how she will vote until she sees the bill. There are a number of smoking exemptions to be considered.
Teichman favors getting the coal-fired plant at Holcomb on-line as well as getting the other legislation passed attached to that bill including transmission lines for renewable energy.
On Immigration, she voted for legislation that would toughen existing laws making it a crime for business to knowingly hire illegals, receive any kind of state benefits, be in possession of false IDs, people who bring groups of illegals into the country. The legislation was bogged down in committee but it will be brought up again.
During her tenure, she has voted for legislation that will eventually lead to $1 billion in tax cuts. Teichman has voted to eliminate estate taxes and franchise taxes. She wants to analyze what has come into the state because those taxes were eliminated. In theory it was supposed to attract more businesses to western Kansas but that hasn’t happened.
The legislature has to make sure if there are further tax cuts that they have revenue sources to cover those cuts.
The Legislature will have to look carefully at the level of property tax. Any tax increase must not force any entity to increase property tax. All taxing agencies will be audited to assure they are running efficiently and not squandering money. Some agencies may be combined to be more efficient.
Teichman said her experience would be important during reapportionment in 2010. Western Kansas is losing population and only has five senators. The senate needs experienced senators to counter the senators from Johnson County and other senators in the eastern part of the state.
She is an experienced leader and has seniority.
“Since we don’t have the numbers we need the senators,” Teichman said.
Teichman lives on a farm in Stafford County and is married to Dennis. They have four children, Mark, Craig, Chad and Leaa. They have five grandchildren.
Teichman is a director of the Farmers National Bank in Stafford, a member of the Stafford Education Foundation board, a graduate of Kansas State University with a degree in business. She is a member of the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce.
As a senator she has served on several committees including education, ways and means (chairs four sub-committees), commerce, financial institutions and insurance (chair), legislative educational planning committee, operations calendar and rules committee, several task forces, chaired financial services committee at the national conference for state legislators, and chaired property and casualty committee at the national conference for insurance legislators.