This was an eventful week with the inauguration of Dr. Jeff Colyer as the 47th Governor of the great state of Kansas. Also, our state celebrated its 157th birthday on January 29th.
We all wish Ambassador Brownback the best in his new role in Washington, D.C.
Governor Colyer stated in his inaugural address that transparency and accountability are essential parts of government. These ideals may seem very basic but can get undermined in governing and pushing various agendas.
I pledge to my constituents in District 87 that I will advocate for these principles while conducting myself accordingly. It’s imperative that all agencies, who are recipients of state funding through your tax dollars, are utilizing their budgets effectively and delivering the best possible service to citizens as possible. As the Legislature strives to balance the 2018 budget, I hope that cuts are not required.
The school finance issue and answering the Court will have to take precedence
over other issues to some degree. I am hopeful there will be some movement on the Medicaid expansion issue. Governor Colyer will soon announce his priorities for the short tenure remaining in FY 2018 and the start of FY 2019. His position in dismantling KanCare 2.0 has caused concern and left many wondering what the next step will be. With 25,000 uninsured Sedgwick County residents, the task is still ahead to implement a complete health care program for all Kansans.
Recent legislation through the House:
HB 2437 (on Consent Agenda), The National Day of the Cowboy will be celebrated on the 4th Saturday of July in line with many other states.
Final Action 121-0
HB 2439 Creating an additional crime of involuntary manslaughter for certain violations of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Final Action 122-0
HB 2482 Expanding the hours of sale of alcoholic liquor by the drink. Current
law limits serving hours from 9:00 AM to 2:00 AM (the following morning). New law would change to 6:00 AM to 2:00 AM (the following morning).
Final Action 75-47, I voted Yes.
HB 2042 Concealed carry licensure amendments under the personal and family protection act fee and extending the medical assistance fee. The state will honor conceal and carry reciprocity with other states assuming carrier complies with state law. Amendments were made including lowering the age from 21 to 18 years of age for individual to conceal and carry in Kansas given these individuals are licensed. Final amendment will require a permit for individuals to conceal and carry on college campuses including ALL Kansas Regent Universities, Community Colleges, and Technical Schools.
Final Action 76-44, I voted Yes. This bill provides a compromise to some degree
on campus conceal carry. I remain a proponent to EXEMPT campuses completely.
HB 2145 Prohibiting the possession of a firearm by certain individuals. Illegal aliens, fugitives from justice, individuals convicted of a misdemeanor for a domestic violence offense within the past 5 years, and persons subject to court orders restraining them from harassing, stalking or threatening a partner, or a child. Final Action 120-0.
Upcoming events this week in the House:
Health and Human Services Committee, Monday 2/5, 1:30 PM, Rm 546-S.
Continued hearing on HB 2512 Establishing The Kansas Telemedicine Act.
Federal and State Affairs Committee, Tuesday, 2/6, 9:00 AM, 346-S.
HB 2460 hearing regarding firearm safety education program in public schools.
Also hearing on SB 262 which authorizes the construction of a statute honoring Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Wednesday, 2/7, 9:00 AM, 346-S. HB 2562 Creating the Kansas Transparency Act.
Other bills/resolutions in hearings:
HCR 5017 and 5022 which involve constitutional amendments to stagger terms of Kansas elected Senators as well as number of House members and Senators.
As always, I welcome your input on any issue through email, phone call, letter, or personal visit. I consider it a high privilege to represent the citizens in District 87.