Kathleen Sebelius, former Kansas governor and secretary of Health and Human Services, and Paul Davis, former gubernatorial candidate, were in Hays on Tuesday night to meet with supporters.
The two were in town to support longtime Democrat Glenn Staab, who was celebrating his 60th birthday at Sternberg Museum of Natural History.
Sebelius is staying busy with portfolio activities, speaking and working with companies in health care, she said.
“I’m staying active and involved,” she said.
Sebelius was pleased with the way the Affordable Care Act was going.
“It’s working,” she said. “It’s working for millions of people.
“There are some battles worth fighting, and this one definitely was.”
She first was elected statewide in 1994 when she ran for insurance commissioner.
Davis drove to Hays on Tuesday afternoon for the event.
He doesn’t have any plans to run for office in the next election.
“I want to remain engaged,” he said. “I’m very concerned about the future of the state.”
His daughter is starting kindergarten next year, and he remains concerned about the state education cuts.
The state has a deep budget deficit, and Davis thinks legislators need to go to the root of the problem.
“The Brownback income tax plan just is not working,” he said.
In 2012, Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature eliminated state income taxes for businesses with pass-through income.
That includes LLC’s, subchapter S and sole proprietorships, amounting to 330,000 businesses.
“They are talking about shifting the tax burden to middle class and lower-income people, which I think is the wrong thing to do,” he said.
At the event, one lawyer told Davis he felt bad he didn’t pay income tax to fund services while all the people that work for him are paying income tax.
“It’s wrong from a fairness point of view,” he said.
Davis also said the Legislature is considering making deep cuts to a budget that has already been drastically reduced. That includes schools, social services and public safety.
“This is a state budget that has been devastated in the past few years,” he said.
Staab’s 60th birthday was celebrated for his contributions to the Democratic Party in Ellis County. The event also served as a fundraiser for the party.