This is part of a series of candidates for the November 6 election.
State Treasurer (vote for one)
Marci Francisco 1101 Ohio Lawrence 66044 Democratic
Jake LaTurner P.O. Box 67177 Topeka 66667 Republican
Name: Marci Francisco
Candidate for the position of Kansas State Treasurer
Place of residence: Lawrence, KS
- Kansas State Senator, 2nd District
- Small business owner – My husband, Joe Bickford, and I renovate distressed properties to create quality affordable housing
Community involvement: As a member of the Lawrence City Commission from 1979-1983 and two-term Mayor from 1981-1983, I led efforts to protect the city’s vibrant downtown, revitalize existing neighborhoods, plan for new development, and start the city’s recycling program. I have remained involved in my community and state, serving as a member of my neighborhood association, the League of Women Voters of Lawrence-Douglas County and of Kansas, the Kansas Grassroots Arts Association, the Lawrence Preservation Alliance, the Kansas Preservation Alliance, the University of Kansas Student Housing Association, Depot Redux, as a member of the Lawrence Advisory Board of Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc., and as the Chair of my congregation’s Endowment Committee.
Party affiliation: Kansas Democratic Party
What is the biggest issue, if elected, and how do you plan to address it: The State Treasurer must ensure that all programs overseen by the office are managed responsibly. I do believe that it will be vital for legislators and the public to have an accurate picture of the state’s finances so we can plan appropriately to dig ourselves out of the fiscal hole created by the failed Brownback/Kobach tax experiment. Towards that end, all reports generated by the office must be made publicly available along with information about contracts and personnel expenditures made by the state. The legislature and the public need to have a good understanding of the state’s financial health and be able to address any concerns regarding inappropriate expenditures.
I am also concerned about reports indicating the state’s Learning Quest program, overseen by the State Treasurer, is among one of the poorest performings in the nation. Although the state should be encouraging families to save for post-high-school education, I would examine opportunities to restructure and rebid the program before advertising it more widely. One of my goals as Treasurer would be to increase the interest earned by its investments and its productivity for participants. I also will explore alternative opportunities to provide every child in Kansas an education savings account.
Give your views on food sales-tax: The sales tax on food is regressive, and as a Kansas State Senator, I have voted for amendments to reduce it. As Treasurer, however, I will only have an advisory role. With that in mind, I would advise the legislature to consider the impact on municipalities, alternative income possibilities such as a tax on internet sales, and an intermediate step to restore refundability to the food-tax sales rebate program to provide financial help for at-risk, low-income Kansans.
Give your views on legalizing marijuana: As a State Senator, I have supported the availability of medical marijuana for individuals whose medical conditions warrant such treatment.
Give your views on healthcare – including Medicaid: Healthful habits and healthcare are both important in maintaining and active and engaged population. As a State Senator I have voted to expand Medicaid; doing so would increase opportunities for insurance coverage, provide needed support for our hospitals, and create more jobs in healthcare. As Treasurer, I would publish information about the costs and the benefits of expanding the program in our state.
Give your views on abortion and Planned Parenthood: Federal law entitles women to direct their own healthcare in consultation with their physician. The public should be aware that no tax dollars are being used in Kansas to perform abortions. Planned Parenthood is one of many organizations that run clinics in our state to provide needed healthcare services for men and women; their services include reproductive health care for women and couples who are hoping to start a family.