As a state representative, I am your voice in Topeka. But before I can speak, I need to know your concerns and what is important to you. I continue to work for you to improve our community and build a better state for future generations and us. For me, the topics listed here are important and because I feel so strongly about them, I ask for your feedback.
Please share your thoughts on these topics and other issues that face Kansans today.
Last Day of KS Legislature 2012 - Melanie Meier and Steve Huebert
Public Education: I believe public education is the foundation of our democracy, and the opportunity for all children to receive an education is among America's proudest achievements. I believe my desire to serve the United States was born in the public schools I attended. All public school employees and educators are serving their country, their society and deserve all the support they can get. Our children's futures, the future of Kansas and the future of the United States depend on our educators at all levels. As a State Representative, you can count on me to dedicate my time and effort to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of resources for K-12, the Regents universities, community colleges, and vocational and technical schools.
Economic Prosperity: The economic health of Kansas depends on a balance of business growth, infrastructure support, and available energy. Our future energy needs must be planned, balanced, and integrated into the Kansas economy and infrastructure. Kansas must look to innovative technologies for business growth, to protect us, and to keep costs down. As your Representative, I am looking out for our district's interests whether the issues are renewable energy, coal-fired power plants, or the comprehensive transportation program and their costs.
The Second Amendment: I have sworn an oath to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States, as an Army officer; this includes all of the amendments. Our Founding Fathers believed that the individual's right to own a firearm was so important that they included it as the Second Amendment. As recently as the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, I witnessed the importance of self-defense rights of citizens in times of emergency and the threat of harm to resident's lives and property by looters, wild animals, and the mindless violence of individuals that would shoot at our rescue workers. One of my most vivid memories is of my first day in the flooded Ninth Ward. A Corps of Engineer[s] worker who told me how relieved he was that we [soldiers] were there and he could now safely work on the malfunctioning levee pumps. Although we pointed out that we were deployed without weapons, he felt the mere fact of having army uniforms in the area would stop any perpetrators, because - after all - they did not need to know we left our weapons at home!
Emergency Management: In the aftermath of terrorist attacks on New York City in 2001, I saw for myself the horrible devastation caused by those who hate America and our freedoms. Just a handful of years later in New Orleans, I witnessed the terrible damage nature can cause during Hurricane Katrina. In both instances, I was mobilized to assist those whose lives were uprooted and destroyed. Kansans, too, have suffered from tornado damage and high water levels. As your Representative, I bring my experience in emergency management and inter-agency coordination to Topeka. We must be vigilant in homeland security and be prepared for the unthinkable.
Veteran Benefits: As an active duty Army officer and Reservist, I have dedicated my life to serve my country and fellow Americans. During my 19 years as a soldier, I have endured periodic assignments that called me away from my family, my job and my home. When I returned home, I faced the adjustment of getting my life back to normal. Because my husband also served in the military, I kept the home fires burning when he was deployed in Iraq. My recent assignment as an Army Inspector General gave me the opportunity to assist and support our men and women who volunteered their lives for the preservation of our country and freedoms. Many of them experienced dangerous deployments overseas, completed their duty with honor and then returned home. However, they faced obstacles in returning to work, to family life, and in obtaining the benefits they were promised. Having served a tour of duty in Iraq, I fully understand these challenges. As your State Representative I fight to ensure your State government does everything it can to re-integrate these Heroes back into Kansas, into their family life, and into the Kansas economy.