2018 Legislative Update 14

We just completed the last week of the 2018 Kansas Legislative Session. Sine Die, the last day of session, was May 4th. Below is a quick update from our final week at the Capitol. It is a special honor to serve as your state representative.  I value and appreciate your input on issues facing state government.  Please feel free to contact me with your comments and questions.  My office address is Room 452-S, 300 SW 10th, Topeka, KS 66612.  You can reach me at (785) 296-7430 during session or call the legislative hotline at 1-800-432-3924 to leave a message for me.  You can also e-mail me. Continue reading

2018 Legislative Update 13

This marks the final week of the 2018 regular legislative session. On Saturday just after midnight, the House adjourned and will return on April 26, 2018 for the veto session. There are still some big-ticket items yet to be addressed, such as the budget. The Senate adjournment resolution that was adopted by the House set Sine Die, the last day of the session, for May 4th. Continue reading

2018 Legislative Update 12

On Thursday, March 29th, we honored Vietnam War Veterans on the House Floor for National Vietnam War Veterans Day. It was on March 29, 1973 that the combat support units withdrew from South Vietnam. It was an honor to recognize the service and sacrifice of Vietnam Vets and all servicemen and women of this era. Continue reading

2018 Legislative Update 11

This was a very busy week as most of the committees completed their work before first adjournment currently scheduled for April 6th. We will be on the Floor all week considering bills and Conference Committees are beginning to meet to reconcile differences between the House and Senate version of bills. The legislature still has several big issues to address, including school finance and a budget bill. Continue reading

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