I believe it’s vitally important to be honest about where I stand on the major issues facing our community and state. Even if you disagree with me on the issues, please know that I am always willing to listen and to consider new perspectives and ideas.

Here are what I see as some of the most important issues facing Kansas. If you’d like to know my stance on any issue not covered on this page, please email me at matt@matthewcalcara.com or call me at 913-353-8033.

Education

Strong schools are Kansas’ most important asset and the key to a prosperous future. We must properly fund and support public education, and abide by the decisions of the Kansas Supreme Court. Kansas has to have an educated workforce to drive our economy forward. It’s a smart investment in our future.

I oppose any attempt to siphon funds away from public schools under the guise of “school choice” vouchers. Johnson County voters have consistently shown they want high-quality public schools, and the Kansas Legislature should heed them.

Economy

The tax policies of Gov. Brownback have been enormously regressive, and counter-productive to economic development. Middle-class families have been hit hard by sales and property tax increases, while favored businesses and some of the richest Kansans have used Brownback’s changes to the tax code to avoid paying their fair share… or anything at all.

Returning to a fairer, more progressive income tax system would benefit Kansans most in need of relief. Such a policy would even stimulate real, lasting economic growth as more money lands in the pockets of middle and lower class families, increasing demand and allowing local businesses to expand.

Infrastructure

Our 30th district contains I-435, I-35 and K-10 highways, and is home to a large number of logistics, transportation and construction firms. These businesses have been hit hard by Brownback’s enormous funding cuts (aka – “sweeps”) at the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT). Delaying critical road and bridge maintenance hurts our economy, locally and statewide. Delays mean that repairs ultimately end up costing much more money in the future. These cuts are the opposite of fiscally conservative.

I would strongly oppose ‘sweeps’ of the KDOT budget, so we can begin to address our infrastructure maintenance backlog.

Along with road maintenance and upkeep, Kansas must begin to think strategically about our transportation investments. As a former travel and transportation researcher, I’ve seen how even relatively tiny investments in transportation options such as Amtrak lines, commuter rail and even express buses can offer residents and employees more options at a relatively low cost. These investments also move us toward a more sustainable future, boost local property values, and make our communities more attractive places to live, work and invest.

Voting Rights

Our current Secretary of State Kris Kobach is known throughout the country for his efforts to disenfranchise voters. While serving on President Trump’s Voter Election Integrity Commission he has pushed for the same policies that prevent new voters from registering nationwide that he pioneered here in Kansas. I strongly support efforts to make voting easier for Kansans, including expanded early voting and offering improved vote-by-mail options. I also strongly oppose Kobach’s citizenship test, which places undue burdens on Kansans to submit government documents proving their citizenship.

In Conclusion

If there are any issues that are important to you that you’d like to see addressed here, please email me at matt@matthewcalcara.com. I can also be reached by phone at 913-353-8033 (please leave a message including your name and number so that I may return your call).

While I may respectfully disagree with you on some issues, I will never completely discount the opinion of any constituent I happen to disagree with–nor will I urge Johnson County Moms demanding better schools to move to Venezuela, as the current representative of the 30th District did recently.

Respectful dialogue is how we make democracy work, and we should demand nothing less from our elected officials.