Rep. Owen Donohoe has always shown leadership on issues, and sponsored and co-sponsored common sense legislation when District 39 citizens confidently sent him to Topeka to represent them.
Several key issues are detailed below. Rep. Donohoe prioritizes these issues of most concern to citizens of the 39th District (Shawnee and Lake Quivira) and in Kansas:
• Financial Responsibility & Accountability in Government
• Access to Healthcare, especially for Individuals with Disabilities
• Giving Every K-12 Student the Opportunity for Academic Success
• Stimulate the Kansas Economy with Lower Taxes & Job Growth
• Values & Transparency in Government and Representation
K-12 Education Facts & Figures
Learn about the largest category of spending in the Kansas budget, and how your tax dollars are being spent. Only 21% of Kansas graduates who took the ACT are college-ready in four core subjects, and the state assessment shows more students are below grade level than are proficient. We need to discuss how to improve student success in Kansas with strategies to support teachers and make schools and district administrators accountable to parents.(Read More)
Curbing taxes and inflation in Kansas
Kansas tax rates are too high, and hard-working families and businesses need help.
For more than 2 years, Kansans have paid far more in taxes than were needed to run our state government. Overall, for FY 2023, total tax collections are already 12.6% higher than expected! At the same time, inflation is rampant. Take a look at what's really happening in Kansas.
Teachers and students deserve better
(Originally published in 2018)
I supported fully funding K-12 public education and believe the state needs to be efficient and accountable, just like every other area of government. I also voted to increase funding for special education, mental health and school safety, among other expansions. See what HB 2567 covers in K-12 education.
It's important that taxpayers know that there are ways to improve education without raising taxes. For example, Kansas school districts have more than $4 billion in unused cash reserves. If even a fraction of that is used, we could avoid cuts everywhere. With education taking 65% of the state budget – and huge increases in spending ordered by the court – we must demand accountability in education spending. Not enough of those dollars are reaching the classroom to help teachers and students. Here's how we can make sure classrooms come first.
Voters want courts to stop dictating spending
A newly released poll found that the majority of voters in all five Kansas Senate districts do not want appointed judges dictating spending amounts for Kansas public schools. Voters want elected legislators to determine spending levels within the state budget.
This new poll gives further credit to a previous survey revealing 60% of Kansans are willing to amend the constitution to take back control of education funding from the courts.
School spending hasn't been reduced
The liberals and 'moderates' in the legislature erroneously claim there have been school funding reductions...but there simply aren't any. K-12 school funding has increased 88% in the last 20 years, and now takes 65% of the entire state budget. The Kansas Supreme Court makes matters worse with incessant mandates for more funding. Kansas taxpayers - who are represented by legislators - have lost their voice.(Read More)
When Rep. Donohoe talks about 'values,' he's talking about the ethics and values we hold dear as American citizens and as responsible citizens of Kansas.
The erosion of family values is having a profound effect on the legislature in Kansas, as the Kansas National Education Association wields more power over its subjects in the education lobby. Trouble is, the KNEA's values don't align with those of most Kansas residents -- and certainly not those in Shawnee or the 39th District.(Read More)
Spending by Kansas legislators has outpaced revenue for the past several years, and we have more than $9 billion debt in the state KPERS program. The Kansas state budget is growing at an unsustainable pace, and little effort is being made to live within our means. It's time to change that.
Kansas citizens deserve an accountable government - in every department. As the people's representatives, we should ensure the highest quality of service at the best possible price and reduce the size and scope of government.
Every state provides the same set of services (education, social services, etc.) but some states do so much more efficiently, which keeps taxes lower and promotes economic freedom for all citizens. It’s not an abundance of natural resources or other unusual circumstances that allow some states and local governments to have lower taxes; it’s efficient, effective government.
Let's look at the facts...
Funding those with disabilities first
The budget process in the Kansas legislature should start with funding the most in need and disabled first. The waiting list for basic services for the intellectually and developmentally disabled has increased exponentially without any funding increase. This is shameful -- the 5,849 people who are waiting for these basic services have been overlooked for too long.
This year I supported the cause for these vulnerable and at-risk individuals, and we secured a relatively small $22 million increase -- but Gov. Kelly cut it out of the budget and put the money into the $4+ billion education budget. We should -- and can -- fund those with disabilities first, and we can do it without hurting the education budget.