Archive for Thursday, October 28, 2004

Holland touts first-term record in House

October 28, 2004

Rep. Tom Holland is using his record in an effort to be re-elected to his second term in the Kansas House.

The Baldwin Democrat is seeking to represent the 10th District -- which runs from southeast Douglas County to northeast Franklin County and includes Baldwin, Wellsville, north Ottawa and south Lawrence -- after finishing what he calls a successful rookie term in the House.

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"I'm running on my record," Holland said. "Look at what I've done. I get things done. I get things accomplished."

In his freshman term, Holland introduced approximately 11 pieces of legislation, two of which were passed.

He won the approval of the corporate franchise tax that cut taxes for 31,000 small businesses.

He also won the passage of a budget amendment preventing state governments from outsourcing call centers to foreign countries.

Should Holland defeat his opponent, Republican Rich Lorenzo, in Tuesday's election, he said there are some important issues he hopes to address in the upcoming term.

"It comes down to three issues -- health care, jobs and education," he said.

One of his health care concerns, he said, is the fact that one out of four Kansans under the age of 65 does not have health insurance.

"That's a huge issue," he said.

"Our health care costs are way out of sight," he said. "We need to find a way to make health care coverage affordable once again to middle-income families."

Holland said his health care ideas included being more proactive in identifying health issues, making insurance policies more bare boned instead of covering every doctor's visit, and encouraging people to maintain healthy lifestyles.

"We have to incentivise people to find a way to take care of their own health," he said. "We have got to find a way to have people want to take care of themselves."

Holland, a 43-year-old self-employed computer project manager, has been a proponent of small businesses during his first term as 10th District Representative.

As a small business owner, he said he knows it's important the state still places an emphasis on small businesses.

"Small businesses employ more than half the people in this country," he said. "And they create more than three-quarters of the new jobs."

He said his goal is to make sure small businesses are not placed at a disadvantage by larger corporations by making sure the market place is fair.

Holland said the state needs to work on keeping jobs from being sent overseas and cracking down on corporations that knowingly hire illegal immigrants.

"I'm adamant that when state services are used, those jobs and money spent are on Kansans performing that work," he said.

Holland said the state also needs to start finding ways to adequately finance public education, something he said hasn't been done in recent years.

As a father of four children who have attended Kansas public schools, Holland said he has seen the difficulties schools are having because of the lack of and inequality of state funding.

He said he would like to see the state provide a multi-year planning schedule, detailing what school districts can expect to receive for five years or so at a time.

"Quality education requires sustained commitment to funding," he said. "We need to have a multi-year appropriations plan for education."

Knowing education, employment and health care are issues that are going to be faced by the state in the upcoming years, Holland said his background and record makes him qualified to serve as Representative.

"I am the mainstream candidate in this race that best represents the 10th District," he said.

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