Platform of the Kansas Republican Party

American flagAdopted May 14, 2016, by the State Committee

PREAMBLE

The Kansas Republican Party affirms the Kansas Constitution in stating that “We the people of Kansas [are] grateful to Almighty God for our civil and religious privileges.” Since man is created in God’s image, each person’s dignity, freedom, ability, and responsibility must be honored.

 THE KANSAS REPUBLICAN PARTY BELIEVES THAT

OUR COUNTRY is exceptional

OUR CONSTITUTION should be honored, valued and upheld

OUR LEADERS should serve people, not special interests

OUR FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES should be strong, and free from government intrusion

OUR GOVERNMENT should be smaller, smarter, and more efficient

OUR HEALTHCARE DECISIONS should be made by us and our doctors

OUR PAYCHECKS should not be wasted on poorly-run government programs

OUR MILITARY must be strong and prepared to defend our shores and borders

OUR CULTURE should respect and protect life

OUR CHILDREN should never be left in failing schools

OUR VETERANS should have the best care and best opportunities in the world

OUR SOCIAL PROGRAMS should help lift people out of poverty

OUR INSTITUTION OF TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE is the foundation of society

OUR AMERICA should be energy independent

Understanding the rapid nature of changing needs, we recognize that specific legislative proposals will come and go. We believe the merit of future legislation and policy should be judged against the philosophy of the Republican Party.

I. EMBRACING OUR HERITAGE

The Kansas Republican Party believes that the fundamental principles of the Republican Party are rooted in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutions of the United States and Kansas, especially in their respective Bills of Rights. The Party supports the preservation of our Republic, its ideals, and institutions for the good of all Americans. We adamantly oppose the erosion of these cherished freedoms.

Preserving these freedoms requires our best effort; our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to accomplish great things; and our great faith that together, with God’s guidance, we can and will resolve the problems that now confront us.

II. RESPECTING THE CONSTITUTIONAL SEPARATION OF POWERS

The judicial branch of our federal government, and that of our state, must recognize that it is a co-equal branch of government, not a super-legislative body. The core mission of the judiciary is to protect the historically recognized constitutional rights of the people. We believe judges should be arbiters of conflict and not public policy makers. The judiciary should be held accountable for its mission by a thorough examination of its members by the people whose rights they are to protect. The most efficient mechanism of accountability, and one envisioned by both the state and federal constitutions, is a vigilant legislature. Kansas should change its judicial selection process to reflect the federal model of legislative confirmation or by adopting direct election of judges statewide.

We support the use of American law for American courts and believe strongly that only American laws and the Constitutions of the United States and Kansas should be used for legal decisions in our courts when foreign law violates these fundamental liberties, rights and privileges granted under the United States and Kansas constitutions.

III. RESPECTING INDIVIDUAL FREEDOMS AND LIBERTY

Respect for each person’s dignity, freedom, ability, and responsibility is a bedrock strength of our nation. We believe that each individual is unique and oppose group-identity based politics and policies.

We affirm the Declaration of Independence and the Kansas Constitution, which state that we are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

We affirm the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights as originally intended by the founding fathers including the rights to practice religion freely, to keep and bear arms, to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures, and to not have property taken by government for private use.

We welcome Kansans of every ethnicity into our Party as we work together to preserve our heritage of political equality, religious freedom, and strong moral values. We strive to eliminate racism and we condemn all racist acts and groups.

The Republican Party supports the right of all individuals and groups to express their political views freely and openly without government regulation or interference. We cherish the opportunity to engage with others and to advance our philosophy of freedom and responsibility in a free and vibrant political debate, secure in the knowledge that the logic of freedom and responsibility will always prevail in a free and thinking electorate.

The Republican plan empowers people with a renewed commitment to Almighty God, as we continue to focus on each individual’s unique value, dignity, and duty to serve our State, Nation and fellow man. As Republicans we believe in equal political rights and equal justice for all.

Voting is an essential individual right and, to ensure election integrity, we support requiring Kansans to show a government-issued photo ID to vote in any election in our state. We encourage the purging of the Kansas voter rolls of ineligible voters to ensure the integrity of our elections.

The Kansas Republican Party is proud to support and honored to have as its affiliates: the Kansas Black Republican Council, the Hispanic Republican Council, the Kansas Federation of Republican Women, the Heartland Republican Jewish Coalition, the Kansas Young Republicans and the Kansas Federation of College Republicans.

IV. UPHOLDING THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS

Because the Second Amendment is essential to protecting all of the other rights endowed by God and guaranteed by the constitution, we uphold the right of Americans to keep and bear arms as an individual right that antedates the Constitution and is solemnly confirmed by the Second Amendment.

We call upon the President to appoint, and for the Senate to confirm, judges who respect the Constitution and the right of individual citizens to keep and bear arms.

We affirm that firearm ownership is an exercise of responsible citizenship that enables Americans to defend themselves and their families, property, and communities.

We recognize that gun control, in all its forms, only penalizes law-abiding citizens. Such proposals are ineffective at reducing violent crime.

We oppose the licensing of law-abiding gun and ammunition owners, gun registration, limitations on ammunition purchases, and calls to confiscate firearms and magazines as violations of the Second Amendment.

We affirm the preeminent role of state government to establish laws regarding firearms.

We condemn frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers, which are transparent attempts to deprive citizens of their rights.

We oppose all efforts to stigmatize gun ownership in housing, healthcare, and access to financial services.

We urge immediate action to review the appointment of fiduciaries in state and federal benefit programs as a reason to restrict access to firearms.

V. PROMOTING A CULTURE OF LIFE

Every innocent human life is sacred. Every human being, born or unborn, has an inalienable right to life which cannot be infringed. We believe life begins at conception. The Kansas Republican Party will lead our nation toward a culture that values life—the life of the elderly and sick, the life of the young, and the life of the unborn.

All unborn children, regardless of ability, have a fundamental right to life which cannot be infringed. Kansas Republicans, therefore, affirm our support for a Human Life Amendment to the U. S. Constitution (as stated in the Republican National Platform), and we endorse legislation to make clear the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children. We oppose using public revenues for abortion and funding organizations which advocate it.

In the interest of guarding the inalienable right to life of all Americans, we support the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the prohibition of euthanasia. We encourage providing positive alternatives to abortion by meeting the physical, emotional, and financial needs of pregnant women and offering adoption services where needed and promoting abstinence-only educational programs in our schools. To protect women considering abortion, we support full disclosure of possible short and long-term effects of abortion and licensure and regulation of abortion clinics by the State. The State of Kansas needs to enforce its extensive laws regarding abortion, especially the strict prohibition against late-term abortions, and to ensure the right to civil and criminal redress for matters involving malpractice, malfeasance, or ethical violations, including the illegal sale of baby parts. We support the prohibition of all human cloning, whether therapeutic or reproductive. We support the use of scientifically proven and successful adult stem cell and umbilical cord blood cell research and other innovations that do not involve destroying human life.

VI. SUPPORTING OUR MILITARY

We support a modernized, fully equipped, and trained armed force. Their noble mission and the sacrifices they have made mandate that the men and women of these all-volunteer forces be given the greatest honor and respect.

The Veterans Administration needs to provide adequate and timely support for our veterans. Kansas should support veterans’ service organizations.

We encourage actions and policies that will help employers and communities to support National Guard members and their families as they serve our state and nation. We encourage Kansas employers to hire veterans.

We support choice in health care options for veterans, including the ability to seek private health care paid for by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

A strong national defense requires a great relationship with our allies. As Republicans, we stand in solidarity behind our key ally, the nation of Israel, and oppose any BDS (Boycott, Divest and Sanction) campaign directed against it. We recognize its vital importance to the Middle East region and encourage our leaders and leaders around the country to fully support Israel.

VII. IMMIGRATION

Legal immigration is a blessing to this country, and with the promises of America, a blessing to all. Preserving that promise for future generations requires that we protect the sovereignty of our country and secure our borders. Illegal immigration is not compatible with this goal. Immigration and citizenship with all of its privileges, executed pursuant to the law, are an essential component of that promise. It is, therefore, the duty of all who seek the promise of America to respect the laws of our land. We oppose amnesty.

English is the official language of the state of Kansas, and unless contrary to federal law, all published state documents, resources, advertisements, media and online material should be made available only in our official language. Employers should have the right to hire or terminate employees based on their competency in the state’s official language.

Unchecked illegal immigration is unacceptable within the State of Kansas. Employers hoping to take advantage of cheap labor resources using illegal aliens in their work force will not be tolerated. Every effort must be used to ensure that all employees working within the state of Kansas are legal.

Law enforcement agencies must use all available resources to remove from the state all illegal aliens involved in crimes in the most expeditious manner. Maximum cooperation should be the norm between all law enforcement agencies within the state when dealing with enforcement of laws affecting illegal immigrants.

Sanctuary jurisdictions, which are cities or counties that limit communication between their law enforcement officers and other law enforcement or refuse to honor detainer requests should be prohibited in Kansas as posing unnecessary risk of harm to the people of Kansas.

Incentive programs to entice illegal immigrants to Kansas must be terminated. These programs include issuing of driver’s licenses to illegal aliens and the granting of in-state tuition to colleges and universities to illegal immigrants.

 VIII. HEALTHCARE

True health care reform gives individuals control over their health care and health insurance decisions. Regulators and legislators should promote an environment that fosters competition and choice in both insurance and providers, including primary care physicians, telemedicine, and free clinics. Kansas should support enlarging health savings accounts to allow premiums to be paid from them and decoupling them from a particular insurance policy. This will equalize the tax treatment of individual and group plans, promote personal ownership of health insurance, and empower citizens in making health care choices for themselves and their families.

Imperative to lowering the cost of health care is the implementation of meaningful tort reform for medical malpractice.

We encourage the Governor, Attorney General, and/or legislature of Kansas to join all lawsuits that seek to restrain any federal action that infringes on the powers reserved to the states under the 10th amendment, or that exceeds the federal government’s enumerated powers. We ask that the governor and/or legislators refrain from expanding Medicaid and other federal health care programs.

IX. GROWING THE ECONOMY

The keys to economic success and personal financial security are opportunity and entrepreneurship. Federal, state, and local governments must recognize that prosperity can only be achieved when economic resources remain in the hands of the people. Tax policy at all governmental levels should foster economic growth as this is the path to job creation and technological growth. We support implementation of the Fair Tax which would eliminate all individual and corporate income tax in Kansas.

Government should always seek first to constrain its expenditures to the least possible. Increasing the tax burden on its citizens should be a last resort, and any effort to do so beyond the rate of economic growth should be submitted to a vote of the citizenry. To promote economic growth, state tax policy must be simple and fair to Kansas businesses. Tax mechanisms such as the destination sales tax are unfair to small business and should be repealed. Further, there must be a property tax system that is fair and accountable to the people.

The Legislature should periodically re-examine all sales and income tax exemptions, credits and deductions to determine whether the goal of the exemption is being achieved.

Governments should not compete with private enterprise through ventures such as hotel resorts and gambling. Any law or constitutional provisions allowing Kansas to own and operate gambling facilities must be repealed. Government oversight of gambling enterprises is compromised when government itself is in the gambling business.

To ensure the efficacy of government, we must first evaluate each government program through zero-based budgeting. This process would involve auditing each program individually first to determine the necessity of the program, and then the approximate funding level required to run each program effectively instead of the current process of basing the budget on previous years. This process will enable us to recognize and eliminate the duplication of inspections and services while realizing cost savings.

Understanding that business, and not government, drives job creation, growth, and innovation, we must work toward a consistent regulation system where such regulations are clear, expected and user-friendly. This reform will encourage businesses to settle in Kansas.

Equally important, we must create a tax foundation to encourage businesses and industries already here to stay. This tax base must be competitive with neighboring states and should include a level of consistency, allowing industries to plan on staying in our state long term.

We expect our government to create a budget much like Kansas families create their own budgets, by spending within its means. The Kansas budget increase should not exceed inflation or population growth.

Welfare programs are a temporary last resort and should never be allowed to be used to sustain a way of life. Assistance programs should function as work support not work replacement. Every effort must be made to eliminate improper use and abuse of welfare programs to guarantee every taxpayer dollar goes to lifting individuals and families out of poverty, not supporting a habit or lifestyle choice.

X. BUILDING THE KNOWLEDGE OF STUDENTS

The Republican Party believes that the primary goal of education should be to prepare Kansas students for successful citizenship through rigorous, quality academic instruction, career training and character development according to each student’s God-given gifts and talents.

We support the constitutional establishment of the State Board of Education as an elected body and accountable to Kansas voters.

Kansas educational standards established and adopted by the State Board of Education should ensure that all subjects that intersect with faith or politics should be taught objectively and without religious or political bias.

Public education is an indispensable service, which is to be supervised by the state and conducted by local schools supervised by local school boards. We want Kansas public schools to be the best in the nation, and we support the growth in Career and Technical Education opportunities for all Kansas students. Furthermore, we do not be believe it is in the best interest of the Kansas taxpayers for public schools to use taxpayer dollars hiring lobbyists and funding lawsuits against the state.

We encourage and support the current process of periodic auditing of public school districts for efficient use of state funds.

We believe Kansas public and private schools serve our state well, but that greater innovation and healthier competition in education will enhance educational opportunities for Kansas children. Furthermore, we support base state funding following the student as a means of encouraging competition and promoting school choice.

We call for the study of constitutional rights and liberties in primary and secondary school curriculums

 XI. BUILDING SAFER COMMUNITIES

We believe the rights of society and the rights of the individual must be protected. We support the work of law enforcement across the state to create safe neighborhoods, to protect us from sex offenders, and to provide freedom from abuse. The judicial system must impose swift and fair punishment for all crimes, violent and non-violent.

We oppose pornography in all forms as an indignity to the human person. Because of the increasing prevalence of pornography in our society from modern technologies, we urge our elected officials to routinely examine the laws of our state to ensure the protection of our citizens, especially our children.

 XII. PRESERVING TRADITIONAL FAMILIES

Families and communities are not abstract constructs, but rather, natural and intrinsic to human existence. As Republicans, we believe that strong societies rest on strong, stable families. Families provide important value in attaining leadership skills, moral fiber, work ethic and other traits necessary to be successful in society. As defined by the Kansas Constitution, the benefits and privileges of marriage exist only between one man and one woman. Happy and healthy marriages are the foundation of our society, and we must support the institution of marriage if our society is to survive.

Because our children’s future is best preserved within the traditional understanding of marriage, we call for a federal constitutional amendment that fully protects marriage as a union of a man and a woman, so that judges and legislatures cannot make other arrangements equivalent to it.

We support the courageous efforts of single-parent families to provide a stable home for their children. We also salute and support the efforts of foster and adoptive families.

As the family is our basic unit of society, we oppose initiatives that erode parental rights, such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Parents bear the final responsibility before God in rearing of their children and have the right to raise their children consistent with their religious and moral values. Parents must be free to train and discipline their children in love and direct their education and health care without government intrusion.

 XIII. PRESERVING THE HEARTLAND

As Kansas Republicans, we gratefully acknowledge the gift of abundant natural resources in our state and especially recognize the importance of these resources in the agricultural economy of our state. Agriculture is the largest economic driver in Kansas. Maintaining the rich heritage of our state for the future depends on the protection and wise use of all natural resources.

We recognize that stewardship requires the wise conservation of our God-given natural resources. The balance between the conservation of natural resources and private enterprise can be accomplished.

Private property rights are essential to individual liberty. Government should be prohibited from seizing private property for economic development purposes. Eminent domain is intended for essential public purposes only.

We support the protection of water rights and natural mineral resources of private landowners, and we encourage the conservation of all natural resources through economic and tax incentives rather than government regulations.

Strong energy policy allows for a strong state through an increase in jobs. Innovations allow Kansas to be a national leader on energy policy. A strong energy policy is built through the development of energy resources. Kansas government should encourage development of new energy-producing business.

Kansas leaders should not be allowed to arbitrarily deny permits to build new power and energy-producing plants. Carbon dioxide, one of the most common gases on earth, should not be declared a pollutant nor used as an excuse to deny the construction of new power plants in Kansas. We oppose any so-called Cap and Trade legislation.

Ever increasing energy prices are creating new avenues for entrepreneurs and existing companies to develop new sources of energy. Every day brings new developments in wind, solar, nuclear, or geothermal energy. All of these energy sources show real promise for clean, inexpensive, renewable energy for future generations.

Kansas residents, the consumers of energy production, must be the ones considered first when mandating new and potentially expensive technology and energy policies and their impact on the economy.

Kansas must establish its role as an energy producer and exporter. We must encourage the development of alternative energy supplies, while continuing to support the oil and gas industry within the state. Increasing energy sources will inevitably create a more market-based system which ultimately lowers utility prices for consumers.

We oppose efforts to force communities to engage in sustainable development under guidance from the federal government or the United Nations.

We encourage the Governor, Attorney General, and legislature of Kansas to join all lawsuits that seek to restrain any federal environmental actions that infringe on the powers reserved to the states under the 10th Amendment, or that exceed the federal government’s enumerated powers.