2018 Legislative Update 10

On Friday a preliminary review of the WestEd K-12 school finance study, commissioned by the legislature, was presented to the Senate and House Education Committees. The study made clear that we have significantly underfunded schools in Kansas for the last 7-8 years. Had the state kept up with the K-12 funding level that the legislature set back in 2005 to comply with Montoy, the previous school finance lawsuit, we would be approximately at the same funding level that the new study suggests we should be at. It is also important to remember that the estimates in the WestEd Study do not include the following K-12 expenses: transportation, food service, construction, debt service, fund transfer, and adult education. Additional funds will need to be budgeted for those items. A link to the full report is included below. Continue reading

2018 Legislative Update 9

It has been a very busy week at the Capitol with Committees hearing and working Senate Bills as well as House Bills that have been blessed or remained alive after Turnaround. Continue reading

2018 Legislative Update 8

Last week, the Kansas legislature returned from turnaround. Both chambers have returned to the Statehouse to continue to work and pass bills, as well as address bills from the opposite chambers. The legislature still has several big issues to address, including school finance and a budget bill. Continue reading

2018 Legislative Update 7

This was ‘turnaround’ week in the Kansas Legislature – when the House and Senate work a multitude of bills from their own chambers before returning next week to consider bills from the opposite chamber. Continue reading

2018 Legislative Update 6

Today is the last day for committees to meet before Turnaround Day. The pace has been busy as committees work to pass out bills to meet the deadline. We will be on the floor most of this week voting on bills that have passed out of committee. It was great to have two individuals from Wyandotte County appear in the House Judiciary Committee, which I serve on, to testify on important issues. My friend Alvin Sykes attended with the Innocence Project in support of HB 2579, to provide compensation to those that are wrongfully convicted. And Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree appeared to testify in favor of HB 2631, to clarify when reports of abuse, neglect or exploitation shall be sent to both DCF & Law Enforcement. Appreciate both of them lending their voice to these important issues before the Kansas Legislature. Continue reading

2018 Legislative Update 5

We just completed week 5 of the 2018 Kansas Legislative Session and are quickly approaching “Turnaround Day”, February 22nd, which is the last day to consider non-exempt bills in the house of origin. Continue reading

2018 Legislative Update 4

It was another busy week at the Capitol as we completed week 4 of the 2018 Kansas Legislative Session. On Tuesday, Members of the Wyandotte County and Leavenworth County Delegation met with representatives of the Board of Public Utilities to share information and discuss matters before the Kansas Legislature. The fast pace will continue this week with committee work in full swing and bill introduction deadlines approaching. There are also many informational briefings for Legislators to attend and constituent groups visiting the Capitol. You can also follow the legislative session online at  www.kslegislature.org Continue reading

2018 Legislative Update 3

Many thanks to everyone that visited the Capitol this past week! Week 3 brought many local officials to Topeka for annual meetings and opportunities to visit with Legislators about matters before the Kansas Legislature.  It is always good to see people from home at the Capitol! Much of our work currently is in committee with both informational and bill hearings and we are starting to work some of the bills that have been heard the past few weeks. Monday, January 29th is the deadline for members to request that a bill be drafted for consideration this session. Continue reading

2018 Legislative Update 2

The 2018 Kansas Legislative Session is off to a fast pace with committee hearings, informational briefings and constituent groups visiting the Statehouse to meet with elected officials about matters before the Kansas Legislature. I am fortunate to have excellent help in Topeka this session! Gentry Thiesen, a student at Wichita State University, is working with me as an intern and office assistant and Miranda Rheuport, a student at the University of Kansas, is serving as an intern. I enjoy having students serve as interns and learn as much from them as they perhaps do from the experience. I appreciate having both Gentry and Miranda helping me out this year. During the Legislative session students ages 12 and older have the opportunity to serve as a Legislative Page. Being a Legislative Page is a great way for students to experience the legislative process first hand. Please let me know if you have a student that is interested in spending the day with me as a Legislative Page. Click here for additional information about the program.  Continue reading

2018 Legislative Update 1

The 2018 Kansas Legislative Session began on Monday, January 8th. The legislature has several major issues to address this year, and we are ready to get to work on finding commonsense, bipartisan solutions. Kansas works better when we work together. We look forward to strengthening the bipartisan coalition that enabled us to make positive changes last year and building on that coalition to continue to work for the good of every Kansan. Continue reading