While some just talk a good game, others actually get things done. In his 12 years in the Kansas Senate, Nick Jordan has built a solid record of accomplishment by thinking innovatively, by working to build consensus, and by keeping his focus on moving our state forward.
Strengthening the economy
While Nick believes that often the best thing politicians can do is stay out of the way and let citizens flourish, he also believes there are some innovative things the state can do to create an environment for success.
For instance, in 2004, the Legislature passed the Kansas Economic Growth Act, which was co-authored by Nick and Rep. Kenny Wilk, with helpful input from many civic leaders and other elected officials who worked together to produce positive results for our state's economy. The act created:
* The Kansas Bioscience Initiative, which is building a more vibrant bioscience economy by attracting the brightest researchers, creating superior laboratories, and generating increases in research grants coming to Kansas. This initiative builds on our great research universities, such as the University of Kansas, and other research facilities already in the area. It is expected to create 23,000 bioscience jobs and 20,000 related jobs.
* The Kansas Entrepreneurship Initiative helps Kansas entrepreneurs grow successful businesses right here at home, creating good jobs and generating new revenue so tax rates can be held in check.
The Wichita Eagle called the Kansas Economic Growth Act "the kind of big thinking that Kansas will need to reshape its economy to fit the 21st century."
Notably, Nick has voted repeatedly to keep taxes under control so families and businesses can keep as much of their hard-earned income as possible, and to make Kansas the best place for business, leading Forbes magazine to report on a study that ranked Kansas as the best state in the country for businesses. For example, Nick worked for and supported legislation to attract the Kansas Speedway, the NASCAR track that is now one of the crown jewels of our community.
Putting our kids first
Nick knows quality education is a key to our economic success, which is why he has helped make excellence in education a hallmark of this community. This excellence has not come without dedicated parents, teachers, and children working together to make our schools shine, and it has not come without a significant investment of your tax dollars by the state. The Legislature now invests more than $3 billion per year in the future of our kids, devoting more than half of the state budget to K-12 schools. When spending on colleges and universities is added in, Kansas spends nearly 70 percent of the entire state budget on education. These numbers show that children are by far the Legislature's top priority, and Nick has voted time and time again, year after year, to keep it that way.
Nick believes funding is only one aspect of quality education, so he also has supported high standards for schools and innovative approaches to education. For instance, he was a leader in the effort to create the Kansas Academy of Mathematics and Science to provide accelerated learning for talented high school juniors and seniors who want to fulfill their high school science or math requirements while also earning their college associates degrees.
Protecting the vulnerable
As vice chairman of the Joint Committee on Children's Issues, Nick worked with Sunflower House to author legislation establishing child advocacy centers in Kansas. These centers bring a team approach to child abuse cases, an approach that is less stressful to children and results in a higher conviction rates for abusers.
Nick also voted for increased support for Smart Start, an early childhood learning program that gets kids off to a good start in school and prevents more costly remedial programs in the future.
Nick has been a strong supporter of victims' rights, women's safety, and protection for senior citizens. He has worked for the passage of laws that:
Created a new category of crime to protect women from domestic battery.
Protected victims of domestic violence from discrimination by insurance companies.
Closed a loophole in Kansas rape laws, working with the Johnson County district attorney following the release of a dangerous sex offender.
Protected funding for Meals on Wheels and Department of Aging funding.
Tripled penalties when elderly citizens are victimized by consumer scams.
Building a better Kansas
We rely on the basic functions of the state for instance, keeping roads safe and smooth, in cooperation with cities and counties so Nick has made those a priority. He served on a special committee to ensure the completion of important road projects, such as our interchange at I-35 and 87th Street, and worked with others to develop a funding plan without any new taxes. The plan passed overwhelmingly and allows the completion of our transportation projects. This was a key item to citizens and the business community alike.