Jason Probst wants to take a different approach to representative government. Instead of focusing on party identity and partisan politics, Jason will represent the 102nd District by listening, learning, and understanding the unique challenges faced by its residents. He will use that knowledge to find creative solutions to the struggles in our community.
Current Critical Issues in Kansas
Click on an individual issue for details and Jason’s commentary.
For the community to thrive, we need to create a good climate for established local businesses and find innovative ways to create jobs for our neighbors. The 102nd District has a median household annual income of $33,400, more than $10,000 a year less than the median income for all of Hutchinson. The 102nd District has the 8th lowest income of the state’s 125 House districts. It ranks next to last in the number of households with incomes over $100,000 per year, and is the 14th ranked district with the most households -17.7 percent – receiving food assistance.
We cannot allow that to continue, or worsen, and Jason is committed to working with local leaders, exploring every option to make the core of Hutchinson a healthy place to live, work and launch a business.
For many children, a good education is the best hope they have of improving their lives and ending the cycle of poverty. Previous generations of Kansans regarded education so highly, they enshrined it in the Kansas Constitution, so that future legislators would be required to ensure that every Kansas child had access to a fair and equal education. Yet, how to provide that is a complex issue that has been contentious. The demands of educators have grown throughout the years, and there are unique challenges in Kansas, which has a mix of urban, suburban and rural school districts. The Kansas legislature has a duty to adequately and equitably fund children’s education, while also allowing room for innovative ideas that will better serve children in the future. Jason is committed to the role and spirit of public education, funding it properly and exploring new ideas that allow teachers to teach and students to grow and learn.
In 2017, the Kansas Legislature rolled back Gov. Sam Brownback’s unfair tax policy that allowed more than 330,000 businesses to evade income taxes. While it was billed as a tax cut, it was really nothing more than a shift in the tax burden. Working families across the state saw sales and income taxes, as well as fees for state services, increase to make up the difference. Additionally, the state was forced to cut services in a variety of areas that are now producing real struggles for Kansans. And to make up for immediate budget shortfalls, the state had to borrow money from the transportation fund and bond long term debt – which will cost far more in the long run. This was an irresponsible way to run state government. Jason believes the state should be prudent in how it spends taxpayer dollars, but tax policy must be fair and widely spread across the state’s residents. Those dollars must be spent on important services to the state’s residents that create a true environment for prosperity.
In 2020, the legislature will once again begin to look at setting political boundaries in Kansas. Yet, this important task is left up to lawmakers – who essentially are given the power to choose their own voters to make the path to re-election easier. This must stop.
Redistricting should be handled by a bipartisan commission that removes politics from the process and focuses solely on population, geography and shared community when drawing the boundaries. Gerrymandering is a self-serving mechanism by which politicians work to protect their own interests. Jason will work to ensure that politics are taken out of drawing political boundaries so that Kansans’ votes will truly count.
In 2017, the Kansas Legislature passed a measure to accept a federal expansion of Medicaid that would’ve provided health coverage to more than 150,000 Kansans. It was vetoed by Gov. Sam Brownback, and fell just five votes shy of being overridden by lawmakers.
The refusal of the Brownback administration and previous legislatures to accept Medicaid expansion is morally repugnant. Kansans already pay into the federal Medicaid system with their tax dollars, which are being spent in other states. Yet, because of political ideology, Kansas working families have gone without available health care coverage, and our local hospitals have borne the costs associated with providing emergency care to those who can’t afford health insurance.
As a Representative, Jason will do everything he can to see that Kansas expands Medicaid. It’s far past time we do what’s right for the people of Kansas – and that begins with not standing in the way of healthcare for working families who simply can’t afford the cost or whose employers don’t offer coverage.
Jason believes in a government that is truly representative of the people it serves. Yet there are too many people in public office who seem to believe that government is inherently bad, that it can do no good, and that it must be effectively dismantled.
Government, done properly, can serve as a vehicle of the people. Its representatives and elected officials can hear the concerns of residents, study the issues from multiple angles and work to find effective solutions. It can help spark investment in economically depressed areas, and it can help provide the resources to a community that allows people to live better lives.
Jason wanted to be a part of government so he could carry constituents’ concerns to Topeka and fulfill his duty to serve their interests. Those who loathe government, who campaign on the promise to dismantle it, or who incite fear in voters, ought to find a different vocation
The relentless attack on children’s programs in the past several years can not be tolerated. Jason believes programs designed to help families provide their children a safe and stable environment in which they can grow and thrive are essential to the future wellbeing of all Kansans. These programs are investments that grow, and, over time, produce the next generation of Kansans who will create, build, and finance the future of our state. To deny that investment today is a shortsighted approach that leaves us all spending more money later on to address issues that could’ve been curbed with early intervention and education.