What Kansas gubernatorial candidates say on senior-related issues

By The Active Age | October 1, 2022

Governor Laura Kelly and Attorney General Derek Schmidt responded to The Active Age’s gubernatorial candidate survey’s questions:

1. What do you think are the two or three issues most critical to seniors, and what do you propose to do about them?

2. What in your record suggests that you are the best candidate to serve seniors?

3. List your overall top three priorities.

4. The Kansas Silver Haired Legislature passed resolutions on these issues. Please indicate with a yes-or-no your stance on:

a. Expand Medicaid:

b. Fully fund KPERS obligations and fund cost-of-living adjustments for retirees:

c. Legalize the expanded medical use of cannabis:

d. Pass the Golden Years Homestead Property Tax Freeze Act or similar legislation:

e. Support wireless broadband access for all senior Kansans, including training for use of the internet.

Laura Kelly, 72, Topeka


Governor since 2019; Kansas State Senate 2005-2019

1.Seniors are often on a fixed income meaning they feel rising costs more than others. That’s why I’ve axed the food tax, saving families nearly $500 a year. When the legislature returns, I’ll submit a bill on day one that eliminates the food sales tax completely, immediately. We must also expand Medicaid, which would expand health care access to 150,000 Kansans and would in turn, expand access and increase affordability for Kansas seniors.

2. I cut property taxes across the board and axed the food tax to keep more money in our seniors’ pockets. I also provided more tax relief and tax credits to our disabled veterans. I’ve worked across the aisle to propose four plans to expand Medicaid during my first term as Governor. On my first day back in office, I will send to the Legislature my fifth plan to expand Medicaid and ensure that Kansas seniors have access to affordable healthcare. I’ve worked tirelessly to balance the state budget, including paying off KPERS debt.


a. Medicaid Expansion

b. Expand access to high-speed internet (Broadband)

c. Legalizing medical cannabis






Derek Schmidt, 54, Independence


Kansas Attorney General, 2011-present; Kansas State Senator, 2001-2011, including Senate Majority Leader, 2005-2011

1. Cost of living is critical for seniors, many of whom are living on a fixed income and are getting hit the hardest by the inflation. We have a plan to address that head on with our “retire tax free” proposal that will eliminate state income taxes on Social Security, pensions and private retirement vehicles. 

Access to health care is also more important the older you get. Seniors need access to specialists like cardiologists and oncologists. We plan to expand eligibility for medical loan repayment to more doctors, and establish a similar incentive for specialists who practice in underserved rural communities.

2.As attorney general, I’ve made stopping elder fraud and abuse one of my top priorities. I created a new division within the attorney general’s office focused on investigating and prosecuting cases of fraud and abuse, with a particular focus on those crimes that target seniors. We have worked with the Kansas Legislature and the U.S. Congress to pass laws that expanded our capacity to fight fraud and abuse. I created an Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Prevention Council within the attorney general’s office to bring stakeholders together to coordinate statewide prevention efforts.


a.Make daily life more affordable for Kansans

b.Put parents and students first in education

c.Build safer, healthier communities in Kansas

4. a. Did not answer yes or no.

b. Did not answer yes or no.

c. Did not answer yes or no. 



Voting information

Tuesday, Oct. 18 is the last day to register to vote in the general election, which is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Those who have changed their name or address must re-register.

Kansas voters can check their registration status and find their Election Day polling site at myvoteinfo.voteks.org. On Nov. 8, polls in Sedgwick County will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and in Harvey and Butler counties, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Advance ballots will begin being mailed Oct. 19. Application forms to request an advance ballot are in county election offices or online

In-person early voting opportunities vary in counties. In Sedgwick County, walk-in early voting will start Oct. 24 at the Election Office, 510 N. Main, Wichita, with satellite sites opening Nov. 1.

Election information can be found at sos.ks.gov; for Sedgwick County, sedgwickcounty.org/elections or by calling 316-660-7100; for Harvey County, hvcoksvote.gov or 316-284-6840; and for Butler County, bucoks.com/181/Elections or 316-322-4239.