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Kathleen Sebelius on Government Reform

Democratic KS Governor


Stand up to the big powerful lobbies

I don’t mind standing up to the big powerful lobbies; that is the role you play in public office. A lot of consumers don’t have an organized lobby to advocate on their behalf. Those of us who are elected need to have that voice, and that is really what I have tried to do as insurance commissioner.

There will always be well paid, very articulate lobbyists for industries that make money. What needs to happen is that the other side needs to be brought in, we need to bring that viewpoint to the table.

Source: usliberals.about.com, “State Governors” , Jun 25, 2008

Implemented $85 million in savings and efficiencies

The Budget Efficiency Savings Teams I formed have achieved results that are nothing short of extraordinary. In just one year, the teams, working under the leadership of loaned executives from the private sector and former business executives in my Cabinet, have implemented $85 million in savings and efficiencies by doing simple things and less simple changes.
Source: 2004 State of the State address to the Kansas Legislature , Jan 12, 2004

Spending cut to provide a raise for state workers

In recent years, we have reduced the size of the state’s workforce by more than 10 percent. In the budget that I’m submitting to you, I propose additional cuts in spending to provide state workers with a cost of living raise. The men and women who serve this state in our leaner workforce are being asked to do more than ever with smaller budgets. I believe the state has a responsibility to be a good employer, and that means rewarding loyalty and hard work.
Source: 2004 State of the State address to the Kansas Legislature , Jan 12, 2004

Consider liability reform for agritourism

Because those in the agritourism industry face unusual liability risks, we should consider some level of immunity for them. SB 134 was too broad; it would have both endangered families traveling in Kansas and harmed the agritourism industry in the long run. I believe we can find a compromise that both recognizes the unusual risks of agritourism but also protects families from irresponsible individuals.
Source: Governor’s column , Apr 29, 2003

Audit government to eliminate waste

Sebelius promises to audit the state government “from top to bottom.” “It has been 20 years since a complete audit has taken place in the state government,” Sebelius said. The audit would be performed by government teams and private-sector members. “The cost of government is high,” she said, “but the people are not seeing it in their classrooms or business communities.”
Source: Kansas State eCollegian, “Sebelius Discusses Issues” , Oct 7, 2002

Voluntary public financing for all general elections.

Sebelius adopted the manifesto, "A New Agenda for the New Decade":

Return Politics to the People
At a time when much of the world is emulating American values and institutions, too many Americans have lost confidence in their political system. They are turned off by a partisan debate that often seems to revolve not around opposing philosophies but around contending sets of interest groups. They believe that our current system for financing campaigns gives disproportionate power to wealthy individuals and groups and exerts too much influence over legislative and regulatory outcomes.

The time for piecemeal reform is past. As campaign costs soar at every level, we need to move toward voluntary public financing of all general elections and press broadcasters to donate television time to candidates.

The Internet holds tremendous potential for making campaigns less expensive and more edifying and for engaging Americans directly in electoral politics. We should promote the Internet as a new vehicle for political communication and champion online voting.

Source: The Hyde Park Declaration 00-DLC9 on Aug 1, 2000

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Page last updated: Jul 12, 2013