Sen. Kraus isn’t looking to protect our best interests

A recent Examiner article stated that state Sen. Will Kraus is opposed to Missouri complying with the federal Real ID law, which requires security standards on our driver’s license to help prevent terrorism. If his position prevails in the Missouri Legislature each of us will have to get a passport to board an airplane. A passport book costs $135.

Senator Kraus in his recent newsletter indicated he was sponsoring several bills to decrease our taxes. The last time the Missouri Legislature decreased our taxes it resulted in $200 million less revenue. Recently, Governor Greitens had to decrease funding for disabled home-health services and education due to the revenue shortfall.

Senator Kraus seems to want to outdo Kansas in creating a budgetary crises and to reduce critical services to our children and those in need. In his constituent survey he asked for suggestions on how to pay for improvements on our roads and bridges. Is it too simplistic to realize that decreasing taxes has not been nor is likely to be the solution to improving our deteriorating roads and bridges?

This is the same senator who is supportive of loan companies charging 455 percent interest rates to the elderly and working-class families.

Hopefully more rational minds will prevail in the General Assembly so we don’t have to purchase a passport to board an airplane and worry about what is the next funding cut in services to our children or vulnerable group.

I suppose Senator Kraus has constituents who are supportive of his policies that are harmful to middle-class families, but I am not one of them. I question if he really represents the majority of people in his district.

Garland Land



Vote ‘yes and yes’ for the Fort Osage bond and levy issue

The Fort Osage School District prides itself on outstanding schools, a supportive community and a history of sound financial practices. On April 4, registered voters will be asked to reaffirm support by voting yes on questions one and two.

Question 1 is an $11,370,000 no-tax-increase bond issue. The majority of the funds will be used for construction of a new early childhood center at Elm Grove School. The current center at U.S. 24 and Viking is outdated and over capacity. Additional funds will be used for security enhancements at the high school, renovations to the stadium, roof improvements, playground updates and new freezers at the district warehouse.

Question 2 is a 67-cent levy increase. The last increase in the operating levy was 2004. There have been reductions of $23 million in government funding since 2010. Revenue generated from the levy increase will be used for ongoing district costs and maintaining high-quality educational programming Fort Osage will still have one of the lowest operating levies in the Kansas City area.

Before asking voters for additional tax money in question two, Fort Osage has taken a number of cost-cutting measures. More than $19 million dollars in budget reductions have been implemented since 2010 as funding has declined.

First and foremost, this election is for our kids. Not someone else’s, ours. They belong to each and every one of us. The fact that we have chosen to live here now necessitates a continuing investment to maintain the standards that set us apart. As parents of five young men who attended and graduated from here, making sure current and future generations have the same opportunities is imperative. Join Paula and myself in voting yes and yes April 4 for our kids.

Floyd Hawkins

president, Fort Osage Board of Education