Sen. Jim Barnett will be Hillsboro’s new senator when redistricting, completed during the last legislative session, takes effect.
Attending the gathering were Mike Ryan, Jared Jost, Delores Dalke, Bob Maxwell and Joel Klaassen.
Barnett, who drives to Topeka every day while maintaining his medical practice in Emporia, said in order to address the state’s budget crisis, he is open to increasing state income tax as well as the tax on liquor-which has not been raised since 1977.
He said no tax is acceptable to the persons it affects, but there are not many areas to cut when funding for public schools-which is two-thirds of the state’s general fund-is taken off the table and necessary services are maintained. Barnett said fraud in sales-tax collections should be investigated and that a sales tax on Internet sales is needed to protect small businesses in rural Kansas.