The vice president of the Kansas Senate says he will not seek re-election. Republican Jeff King, from Independence, says lawmakers have become too focused on what he calls sound bites and politics. He uses the example of a business income tax exemption he initially supported, then in recent years worked to eliminate.
“You have to be willing to take bold measures to try to improve the lives of the people of Kansas. Sometimes those will work, sometimes they won’t. When they don’t work, you have to admit they don’t work and try to fix them,” says King.
King says the current political system punishes lawmakers who admit they’ve made a mistake and try to fix it.
“Right now in politics, all too often, if you admit a mistake you’re seen as being bad at your job and you need to be kicked out. You get TV ads against you and postcards and radio spots,” says King.
King says helping reform the state pension plan is one of his proudest legislative accomplishments. He voted against the budget this year because it would delay nearly $100 million of payments into Kansas Public Employees Retirement System.
King says he hasn’t ruled out another run for political office at some point in the future.