Category Archives: Government

Legislative Update Coffee March 9

Join us this Saturday, March 9th for a
Legislative Update Coffee
Kansas Senators
Click the links on the legislators’ names above to view the committees on which they serve and their voting records.
The Legislative Update Coffee will be held at The Empress Event Center,
7 N. Main St., Fort Scott,
from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
State legislators Senators Richard HilderbrandandCaryn Tyson will give an update on the current session as well as address any issues or questions presented from the audience.
If you have a particular item you would like to have addressed and plan to attend, you may email the Chamber at by 5:00 p.m. Thursday, March 7th.
Coffee, juice & light refreshments will be served. Tell your friends – all are welcome!
Thank you to our sponsors:
Bourbon County Democrats
Bourbon County Republicans

Legislative Update By State Senator Caryn Tyson

Caryn Tyson


March 1, 2019

Turnaround is the halfway point in the legislative session.  It is a point when bills die that have not passed the originating chamber or have not been in an exempt committee.  The Senate exempt committees are Federal & State Affairs, Tax, and Ways & Means.  Generally, there is a major push to work as many bills as possible before the turnaround.  My first year in the legislature we worked long hours for several days, including 24 hours the last day before turnaround. This year was much different.  We worked several bills and then Senate leadership decided to take off the last day before turnaround.  Needless to say, it was disappointing.  While I appreciate the meticulous pace in working legislation, we could have worked another day on the floor and completed more of the State’s business.

Taking an approved Motor Vehicle Accident Prevention Course will qualify most drivers for a reduction in their motor vehicle insurance.  Some insurance companies offer as much as a 10% discount.  The course must be completed every three years.  Currently, an online course takes four hours to complete, while an in-person course takes eight hours to complete.  Senate Bill (SB) 94 would make a course four hours, regardless if online or in-person.  The bill passed the Senate unanimously.

KS Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) requested SB 49 that would remove the cap on cabin rentals owned and operated by KDWPT.  I did not support removing the cap and raised the question – should state government be in the business of competing with private sector lodging accommodations? The bill passed the Senate with 29 Yes and 11 No votes.

Eudora Community Library District  Act, SB 50, would allow the city of Eudora and the local township to continue to be a library district.  Eudora was a class 3 city that formed a library district with the local township.  However, Eudora became a class 2 city because of an increase in population, which forced a change in the library district.  This may not seem like important legislation but it is because most library districts are taxing authorities.  Statewide, Kansas libraries collect approximately $114 million a year in property taxes.  The new Eudora Library Board would first be appointed, not allowing voters an opportunity to select their representation.  While I support libraries, I am a stronger advocate for elected representation.  The bill passed  Yes 27 to No 12.  I voted No.

Law enforcement must obey the rules of the road as we do.  SB 34 would give law enforcement some leeway when the rules impede law-enforcement action.  The bill passed the Senate 34 Yes to 4 No.  I voted Yes.

Advance Ballot Signatures: SB 130 would require county election officers try to contact each voter who submits an advance ballot that is not signed or the signature does not match the signature on file, allowing the voter an opportunity to correct it before final canvass.  While I have concern as to the logistics, especially in larger counties, we need to make every attempt that all legal ballots are counted.  The bill passed the Senate unanimously.

There were many more bills debated and passed, too many to list here.  Many legislators support transparent government, myself included.  As a result of this effort committee meetings and daily sessions are available online.  Legislation and the meetings can be found at


It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.


The Bourbon County Commission Agenda March 5


Bourbon County Commission Room

1st Floor, County Courthouse

210 S. National Avenue

Fort Scott, KS 66701

Tuesdays starting at 9:00

Date: March 5th, 2019

1st District-Lynne Oharah Minutes: Approved: _______________

2nd District-Jeff Fischer Corrected: _______________

3rd District-Nick Ruhl Adjourned at: _______________

County Clerk-Kendell Mason


9:15-10:15-Jim Harris

10:30-11:00-Bill Martin-Juvenile Placement

11:00-12:00-Justin Meeks

Executive Session- Attorney Client Privilege-15 min.

Executive Session-Personnel matters of individual non-elected personnel-30 min.

12:00-1:30-Commissioners gone to lunch

1:30-Christi Keating-Update on EMS

Senator Hilderbrand’s Weekly Communications

March 1, 2019∙ Week Seven
·      Kansas has spent $184 million in efforts to entice businesses to leave Jackson County, Missouri for Johnson or Wyandotte County. This is compared to Missouri’s $154 million spent to bring companies to Missouri from Johnson or Wyandotte County in the ongoing border war. (Kansas City Star).
·      Wichita State University’s Center for Economic Development and Business Research determined that there are about 1,800 tech companies in Kansas, employing around 37,000 people. About 1,300 of those companies are considered tech creators, meaning they create hardware, software, or a tech process. 300 tech companies are located in Wichita with 270 being tech creators (Wichita Eagle).
Small business owners and would-be entrepreneurs will be interested in the Small Business Reference Center provided by the State Library of Kansas. It’s a vast resource that provides industry specific data, sample business plans, marketing guides, business start-up kits, and Nolo legal guides. Business Basics covers starting a business, managing employees and more. This Center includes more than 400 full text magazines with articles that can be printed, saved or emailed and 450 full-text reference books.
If the page above asks for a Kansas Library eCard number, you may get one at any library in Kansas. Most people will be automatically recognized as being in Kansas and will not need this step.  Questions: or 785-296-3296.
REGISTERING FLEET VEHICLES (SB 97): Senate Bill 97 authorizes the registration of certain rental vehicles in fleets and the issuance of permanent license plates to reflect that registration. Qualification for the registration would require a person to submit the registrations electronically for more than 250 motor vehicles subject to an excise tax on the gross receipts received from rental or lease for a period not exceeding 28 days (rental vehicle excise tax). This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
COMPANY SIGNS IN VEHICLES (SB 63): Senate Bill 63 authorizes the governing body of a city to adopt an ordinance to allow a driver for a transportation network company, when the driver is logged on to the transportation network company’s digital network, to equip the vehicle with a device capable of displaying a light visible from directly in front of the center of the vehicle. The lighting device can display steady light and can be any color except red. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
REMEDIATION REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAM (HB 2001): House Bill 2001 extends the sunset on the Kansas Remediation Linked Deposit Loan Program, the Kansas Remediation Reimbursement Program, and the Kansas Agricultural Remediation Fund from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2030. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
UNCLAIMED LIFE INSURANCE BENEFITS ACT (SB 67): Senate Bill 67 establishes the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act (Act). The bill would require an insurer to compare its insureds ‘in-force policies, contracts, and retained asset accounts against a DMF, on at least a semi-annual basis, by using the full DMF once and then using the DMF update files for future comparisons to identify potential matches of its insureds. The bill would require insurers, for group life insurance, to confirm the possible death of an insured when the insurers maintain at least the Social Security number or name and date of birth, beneficiary designation information, coverage eligibility, benefit amount, and premium payment status of those covered under a policy or certificate. This bill passed the Senate 39-0(I passed on this vote, because of it having a direct impact on my business).
SERVICE-CONNECTED DEFINITION IN POLICE AND FIREMEN’S RETIREMENT SYSTEM (SB 15): Senate Bill 15 revises the definition for “service-connected” as that term is used to determine death and disability benefits in the Kansas Police and Firemen’s Retirement System. Under current law, service-connected causes for death and disability benefits include heart disease, lung or respiratory disease, and cancer. The bill would add bloodborne pathogens. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
UPDATING THE STATE BANKING CODE (SB 82): Senate Bill 82 amends provisions of the State Banking Code relating to certificate of existence, voting rights for conversion to a state charter, and the method of delivery for certain notices.
  • Certificate of Existence – specify no party may infer a financial institution relying on a certificate of existence has knowledge of the terms of an entity’s documentation solely because the financial institution holds a copy of all or part of the entity’s documentation.
  • Conversion to a State Charter Voting Rights – authorize any national bank, federal savings association, or federal savings bank to become a state bank upon the affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds of the institution’s voting interests of members The bill would require the submission of a transcript of minutes from the meeting if two-thirds of the voting interests of members approve of the proposed conversion to a state bank.
  • Method of Delivery for Certain Notices – authorize notice by certified mail or electronically pursuant to the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act to all stakeholders at least five days in advance of a meeting to vote on the issuance of preferred stock. The bill also authorizes a safe deposit lessor to provide notice by certified mail or electronically pursuant to the Act to the lessee when a safe deposit box lease is being terminated.
This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP ACT (SB 90): Senate Bill 90 would allow financial institutions to claim the Center for Entrepreneurship tax credit beginning in tax year 2019, which would be applied to the privilege tax owed. The maximum amount of tax credits that any taxpayer could claim would be increased from $50,000 to $100,000. The total amount of tax credits that could be claimed for all taxpayers would remain capped at $2.0 million per fiscal year. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
KANSAS REAL ESTATE COMMISSION LICENSING (SB 60): Senate Bill 60 modifies statutes related to licensing of real-estate brokers and the Kansas Real Estate Commission. The bill reduces real estate broker’s licenses time from five years to three years preceding the date of application for the license for which an applicant for a broker’s license may satisfy the requirement of two years’ experience as a resident salesperson or a licensee in another state. It also increases the pre-license education course from 24 hours to 30 hours, and no more than 45 hours, and renames the course the “Kansas Real Estate Fundamentals Course.” It also creates a new course titled “Kansas Real Estate Management Course,” which would be 30 to 45 hours in length and would be required for original broker’s license applicants beginning January 1,2020. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
REGULATING ASSIGNMENT OF RIGHT OR BENEFITS TO A RESIDENTIAL CONTRACTOR (SB 78): Senate Bill 78 creates law within the Kansas Consumer Protection Act regarding a post-loss assignment of rights or benefits to a residential contractor under a property and casualty insurance policy insuring residential real estate. The bill would state an assignment may authorize a residential contractor to be named as a co-payee for the payment of benefits under a property and casualty insurance policy covering residential real estate. Such assignment would be required to include a statement that the residential contractor has made no assurances that the claimed loss will be fully covered by an insurance contract as well as a specified notice in capitalized, 14-point type. The residential contractor would be required to provide the assignment to the insurer of the residential real estate within three days of the signing of the assignment, and the assignment would have to provide that, in addition to any other right to revoke, the named insured has the right to cancel the assignment within five business days after execution. This bill passed the Senate 38-1(I passed on this vote, because of it having a direct impact on my business).
AT-RISK PROGRAMS (SB 16): Senate Bill 16 requires, on and after July 1, 2019, the best practices identified and approved by KSBE for at-risk programs and instruction of students receiving at-risk program services to include, but not be limited to, programs and services provided by state-based national nonprofit organizations that focus on students who are identified as at-risk or who face other identifiable barriers to success; provide peer-reviewed, evidence-based instruction and support services to such students inside and outside the school setting; and show proven and consistent effectiveness through outcomes data, including, but not limited to, school attendance, academic progress, graduation rates, pursuit of postsecondary education, or career advancement. The bill would also specify Jobs for America’s Graduates and Boys and Girls Club as programs eligible to receive state appropriations for providing individualized support to students enrolled in unified school districts and assisting with student achievement goals. This bill passed the Senate 39-1(I voted against this bill, because I think that this is something that should be decided on the local level).
MINIMUM SCHOOL SAFETY DRILLS EACH YEAR (SB 128): Senate Bill 128 requires the State Fire Marshal to adopt rules and regulations requiring administrators of public and private schools and educational institutions, except community colleges, colleges, and universities, to conduct at least four fire drills, two tornado drills (one in September and one in March), and three crisis drills each school year. The bill would require the three crisis drills to be conducted at some time during school hours, aside from the regular dismissal at the close of the day’s session. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT PREVENTION COURSE (SB 94): Senate Bill 94 would require a motor vehicle accident avoidance course associated with required reduction in motor vehicle insurance premium charges to be at least four hours in duration. The bill would require the course utilize a nationally recognized driver training curriculum or a curriculum approved by a state or federal agency, rather than a course approved by the National Safety Council or a governmental agency such as the State Board of Education.This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
POLICE AUDIBLE AND VISUAL SIGNALS (SB 62): Senate Bill 62 authorizes the violation of certain rules of the road in the Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways by the driver of a police vehicle who has reason to believe vehicle operation while using lights and audible signals could impede a law enforcement action under circumstances specified by the bill. This bill passed the Senate 34-4(I voted in favor of this bill).
WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES (SB 68) Senate Bill 68 make changes to law relating to valid contract franchise ordinances and their application to wireless service providers and wireless infrastructure providers. The bill would allow a city to govern a wireless services provider’s or wireless infrastructure provider’s use of the public right-of-way using any combination of a master license agreement, permitting requirement, or municipal ordinance or code. The bill would require such governance to be consistent with federal and state law. The bill also would allow a city to assess a wireless services provider or a wireless infrastructure provider a fixed right-of-way access fee for each small cell facility that a provider deploys that requires the use of the city’s right-of-way. The fee could not be based on such a provider’s gross receipts derived from services provided within a city’s corporate limits. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
KANSAS STATE GRAPE (SB 53): Senate Bill 53 designates the official Kansas red Winegrape as Chambourcy, and the official Kansas white Winegrape as Vignola’s. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
POSTSECONDARY TECHNICAL EDUCATION AUTHORITY (SB 71): Senate Bill 71 reauthorizes the Postsecondary Technical Education Authority (TEA) by repealing the statute specifying sunset date of June 30, 2019. The bill would also require the TEA to make an annual report to the Legislature on the performance of its functions and duties. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
DATE FOR TAKING OFFCE (SB 105): Senate Bill 105 authorizes a city to determine the start date of a regular term of office for a city officer by resolution of the city. In law regarding city elections, the bill would require the start date be on or after December 1 following certification of the election and no later than the second Monday in January following certification of the election. If the city does not establish an alternative date, the bill would specify such term would begin on the second Monday in January. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
EMPLOYMENT FOR BLIND OR DISABLED INDIVIDUALS (HB 2044) House Bill 2044 authorizes a new income tax credit for tax years 2019 through 2023 equivalent to 15.0 percent of expenditures on goods and services purchased from qualified vendors or non-profit certified businesses, as those terms would be defined by the bill, that provide a certain level of health insurance benefits and have at least30.0 percent of their employees be resident Kansans with disabilities. The amount of the credit would be capped at $500,000 per each qualified vendor each tax year, and the total amount of cumulative credits allowed for the life of the program would be capped at $5.0 million. The tax credits would be nonrefundable, but unused credits could be carried forward for up to four years and applied against the liability of future tax years. This bill passed the Senate 37-1(I voted in favor of this bill).
AO-K TO WORK PROGRAM (SB 199): Senate Bill 199 creates the AO-K to work program that allows certain adults to earn high school equivalency credentials through the participation of career pathway oriented postsecondary classes. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
SERVICES FOR CHILDREN WITH PROBLEM SEXUAL BEHAVIOR (SB 77): Senate Bill 77 requires the Department for Children and Families (DCF) to offer services to children with problem sexual behavior and their families. This bill passed the Senate 38-0.
REQUIRING THE NOTIFICATION OF MISSING FOSTER CARE CHILDREN (SB 162): Senate Bill 162 requires the notification to the governor and legislature whenever a child goes missing in foster care. The Department for Children and Families (DCF) would be required to notify the governor and legislature as well as the newspaper of the county wherever the child went missing. The bill also requires DCF to issue a fine of $500 to the contractor for each day the contractor fails to report the missing child. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
STATE CABIN RENTAL FEES (SB 49): Senate Bill 49 authorizes the Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism to establish fees for the public use of cabins owned or operated by the department and for camping permits at state parks. SB 49 eliminates current law that requires the department to obtain approval from the Kansas Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism Commission to establish fees for the use of cabins by the public. The bill also eliminates current caps on fees for cabin rentals. This bill passed the Senate 29-11(I voted against this bill. This bill deletes the fee caps, and oversight for the Secretary of KDWPT. I do not believe that we should give any unelected bureaucrat the ability to raise fees without any oversight. This bill also gives the state an unfair advantage over private business) .
KANSAS CEREAL MALT BEVERAGE ACT (HB 2035): House Bill 2035 provides uniformity in the issuance of citations for violations of the Kansas Cereal Malt Beverage Act by ABC. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
ALLOWING CERTAIN PODIATRISTS TO PERFORM SURGERY (SB 61): Senate Bill 61 adds podiatrists who completed a two-year post-doctoral surgical residency program prior to July 1, 2007, in reconstructive rearfoot/ankle surgery to the podiatrists who may perform surgery on the ankle, as long as they are board-certified or in the process of being certified. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
AMENDING THE CRIME OF COUNTERFEITING (SB 134): Senate Bill 134 amends the crime of counterfeiting currency. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
REMOVING A RESTRICTION IN UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE (SB 27): Senate Bill 27 repeals the provision in Kansas Employment Security Law (commonly referred to as unemployment insurance or UI) that prohibits professional employer organizations from including a client company’s owners and officers in the same UI quarterly report as that company’s employees. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR SOCIAL WORKERS (SB 193): Senate Bill 193 provides for licensure by reciprocity for social workers at baccalaureate, master’s, and specialist clinical levels and amends the requirement for licensure by reciprocity for other professions regulated by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board. SB 193 allows applicants who are deficient in the qualifications or in the quality of educational experience required for licensure, to obtain provisional licenses to allow the applicants time to fulfill remedial or other requirements prescribed by the Board. The bill also amends the licensure requirements for a specialist clinical social worker by reducing the number of hours of postgraduate supervised professional experience required. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
ADDRESSING ISSUES WITH SIGNATURES ON ADVANCE BALLOTS (Sub SB 130): Substitute for Senate Bill 130 amends law concerning advance ballots and associated signature requirements. The bill requires county election officers to try to contact each voter who submitted an advance voting ballot without a signature or with a signature that does not match the signature on file and allow the voter to correct the deficiency before the final county canvass. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
CHANGES TO MUNICIPAL OFFICE ELECTIONS (SB 131): Senate Bill 131 amends law concerning the filing date for municipal offices and the date certain newly elected township officers take the oath of office. SB 131 changes the filing deadline for a candidate in a municipal election where a primary election is not authorized or required by law from September 1 prior to the general election in odd-numbered years to the day before the primary election date in both odd- and even-numbered years. The bill also changes the date a newly elected trustee, clerk, or treasurer of any township must take the oath of office, from within 20 days after being notified of such election to on or before the second Monday in January when the term of office begins. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS (SB 7): Senate Bill 7 amends current law regarding the timing of appointing a replacement school board member, timing of elections of officers of a local board of education, the date local school district board officials take office, and the timing of an election to change the method of election or voting plan for school board members. SB 7 also requires the first meeting of the Board of Education to be on or after the second Monday in January or at a later meeting if so determined by the Board at the first meeting, rather than in July. This bill passed the Senate 37-2(I voted against this bill, because I think that this is something that should be decided on the local level).
EUDORA COMMUNITY LIBRARY DISTRICT ACT (SB 59): Senate Bill 59 allows the city of Eudora to continue to be part of a library district previously established by the City of Eudora and Eudora Township. This bill passed the Senate 27-12(I voted against this bill. It gives an unelected board the ability to assess taxes. Plus the city of Eudora already collects a tax for this same issue. This is the definition of taxation without representation.)
Monday –
Tuesday –
Wednesday –
·      Hearing on: SB 200, increasing retirement benefit cap and decreasing employee contribution rate for members of the Kansas Police and Firemen’s Retirement System in certain circumstances – [Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee; March 6 at 9:30 am]
·      Hearing on: SB 150, enacting housing protections for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking or stalking – [Senate Judiciary Committee; March 6 at 10:30 am]
·      Hearing on: SB 142, appropriations for the department of education for FY 2020 and FY 2021 in response to litigation; increasing BASE aid for certain school years – [Senate Select Committee on Education Finance; March 6 at 1:30 pm]
Thursday –
·      Hearing on: SB 192, authorizing the secretary of transportation to designate toll projects on new and existing highways and changing the requirement to fully fund toll projects solely through toll revenue – [Senate Transportation Committee; March 7 at 8:30 am]
·      Hearing on: SB 197, reducing the sales tax rate on food and food ingredients – [Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee; March 7 at 9:30 am]
·      Hearing on: SB 206, authorizing the state fire marshal to have law enforcement powers and to investigate fire deaths – [Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee; March 7 at 10:30 am]
Thank You for Engaging
Thank you for all your calls, emails, and letters regarding your thoughts and concerns about happenings in Kansas. Constituent correspondence helps inform my decision-making process and is taken into great consideration when I cast my vote in the Kansas Senate. I hope you’ll continue to engage with me on the issues that matter most to you, your family, and our community. If you are on Twitter or Facebook, I encourage you to follow along with the #ksleg hashtag for real-time updates on legislative happenings in Topeka.
Please know that I am fully committed to addressing the current issues in our state, and I am proud to be your voice in the Kansas Senate.

Kansas Emergency Department Data Available

KDHE’s KIC Website Offers New Data from Emergency Departments

Tool makes diagnoses and other statistics available online for first time


TOPEKA – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has added a new dataset to its online health data query tool, Kansas Information for Communities (KIC). Emergency department data from the state’s general hospitals is now available on the KIC page.


“Using KIC, individuals and policy makers will be able to see the diagnoses that bring almost 900,000 residents to emergency departments at Kansas hospitals,” said KDHE Acting Secretary and State Health Officer Lee A. Norman, M.D. “This information can provide an insight into the injuries and illnesses affecting Kansans, many of which are preventable.”


Using the KIC emergency department data, individuals will be able to produce statistics on the number of ED visits by county, race, ethnicity, sex and various diagnosis categories. The diagnosis codes are grouped using a clinical classification software developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The same categories are used in the hospital discharge or inpatient diagnoses that are reported in the KIC hospital discharge query tool.


KIC can produce counts, rates and age-adjusted hospital ED or inpatient rates. Other datasets contained in KIC include hospital discharge procedures, births, deaths, pregnancies, cancer and population.  Data used in KIC is deidentified with some small counts or unreliable rates suppressed. The KIC web site also hosts a variety of other statistics, data and resources. The URL is

Gov. Kelly Tells of Path Forward

Governor Kelly outlines first seven weeks in office, encourages focus on schools
The following statement is from Governor Laura Kelly:


Good morning. In the seven weeks since the inauguration, my administration has been hard at work.

I presented a plan that balanced the budget, prioritized schools, paved the way for Medicaid expansion, invested in children and families, enhanced public safety, and left the largest ending balance in two decades.

My budget was structured to stabilize our fragile state finances and pay down the record amount of debt racked up during the last eight years. Not only that, my bipartisan Cabinet hit the ground running with the long, hard task of rebuilding our state agencies.

Together, we’ve increased transparency by sharing, honestly, the severity of the problems we uncovered at the Department of Corrections, Department for Children and Families, and Department of Revenue. We’ve shed light on the number of no-bid contracts hidden throughout state government.

Contracts worth tens of millions of dollars, that didn’t go through the proper channels, and may not be in the best interests of Kansans.

My team at the Department of Administration is currently in the process of developing new, stricter standards of ethics and accountability in the procurement process. We look forward to announcing that plan once it is finalized in the coming weeks. And we are just getting started. We understand the urgency of our work. Our work touches the lives of Kansans every day and we take that very seriously.

Unfortunately, I’m disappointed that the Legislature has yet to act with the same level of urgency, especially given the breadth of our challenges and the deadlines we face.

As a former legislator, I have deep respect for the legislative process. It is not unusual for many of the biggest issues of the session to be resolved later in the session. This is not a race. But the deadlines are real. And they are right around the corner. It’s frustrating that little progress has been made on the most critical issue of the session: school funding.

After seven weeks, I worry that some legislative leaders have allowed serious deliberations and the development of policy alternatives give way to partisan games and unnecessary name calling.

In 2011, the first year of the previous administration, the Legislature debated and acted on 99 more pieces of legislation by this point in the session than they have this year. At this moment, halfway into the session, just one piece of legislation has reached my desk.

I’ve met with leadership. I’ve met with lawmakers of both parties. And my door continues to be open. I’m eager to find bipartisan consensus when lawmakers return for the second half of the session. I’m looking forward to seeing their plans so we can begin negotiations.

On election night in November, I was hopeful that lawmakers could put our differences aside and work together on behalf of Kansas families. Today, I choose to remain hopeful. I am ready to find middle ground.

I was elected to rebuild our state following years of mismanagement and failed policy. I offered a plan to do just that. I hope lawmakers will join me in earnest when they return.

In the meantime, my team will continue to do our work – cleaning up messes and charting a more responsible path forward. We will continue to put the best interest of families first. We will prioritize schools, health care, roads, and job growth.

Thank you for coming today.


Bourbon County Business Retention and Expansion Survey

The north wing of the Bourbon County Courthouse has been reconfigured to house the county clerk, treasurer and commission offices.

The Bourbon County Commission’s Economic Development Director has launched a survey to gather information from business owners to develop a strategic plan.

The survey began March 1 and will end April 19, 2019.

“Our goal at the county is to make Bourbon County the place people want to live, work, and play,” said Jody Hoenor, the county’s economic director.   “By increasing our population we can lessen the weight of taxes on the individual with more citizens sharing these costs.  By being strategic in our planning and involving the community in the process, we believe we will be able to lower taxes.”

The survey is sponsored by the Bourbon County Commission, the Kansas Department of Commerce, with assistance from the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce, Live Local Bourbon County and the Healthy Bourbon County Action Team.

Survey results will inform the county on how to develop an economic development strategic plan and process.

” We will develop measurable goals with actionable items and report progress to the community through several communication channels,” she said.

“Like any other community, there will be many opportunities that will be identified in the survey,” Hoenor said. ” We do not have the capacity or resources to address every single issue.   Through a transparent process of gathering community input through both a community perception and business retention and expansion survey, soliciting feedback from focus groups all over the county, and analyzing primary and secondary data we will be able to articulate how the priorities in the strategic plan were identified and determined by Bourbon County citizens years from now.”

The target people for the Business Retention and Expansion Survey, is Bourbon County business owners, CEO’s, and upper management, she said.

“That is everything from at home, e-commerce, farmers, ranchers, long term businesses, to our new healthcare providers,” Hoenor said.

She listed the objectives of the survey as:

  • “Obtain a source of primary data to develop a measurable county-wide economic development plan.
  • Aggregated regional survey results will be used to inform regional strategic planning with the Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission.
  • Voices of business owners will be used to participate in the process of improving the business climate, validate local needs, and advocate for regional, state, and federal resources.
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with businesses.
  • Develop a better understanding of the concerns, problems and opportunities of businesses in the area and leverage perceived strengths with perceived barriers within the community.

Confidentiality: Information will be protected closely so no one will be able to connect responses and any other information that identifies businesses. Responses will be combined with those of other firms to form an overall aggregate result in percentages, sums, or averages at the county and regional levels.

Final Report: A copy of the summary of findings will be available to all firms that participate in the survey.”

Jody Hoenor, Bourbon County Economic Director.

Interested survey respondents should contact Hoenor at for a link to complete the survey.

 Hoener’s office is located at 210 S National Ave., Fort Scott, KS 66701 and she can be reached at 620-223-3800  or 620-215-5725 Mobile or

Minutes From the Feb. 19 Fort Scott City Commission Meeting



Minutes of February 19, 2019 Regular Meeting #3

The regular meeting of the Fort Scott City Commission was held February 19th, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. in the City Commission Room, 123 S. Main, Fort Scott, Kansas.


Commissioners Adamson, Bartelsmeyer, Mitchell and Nichols were present with Mayor Parker presiding.

INVOCATION: Pastor Paul Rooks, Grace Baptist Tabernacle, said a prayer asking God for guidance for the City, our Government and City officials.

AUDIENCE IN ATTENDANCE: Jason Pickert, Rhonda Dunn, Darrell Parker, Michael Mix, Paul Ballou, Deb Needleman, Robert Uhler, Michelle Wooldridge, Jara Martin, Nick Ruhl, Josh Jones, Darren Crays, Bobby Duncan, Alex Swank, Chalia Swank, Deb McCoy, Jeff Fischer, Larry Gazaway, Dave Bruner, Brian Allen, Paul Rooks, Rod Hughes, Michael Miles, Shawn Goans, Max Fanning, Kevin Allen, Jason Gorman, Patrick J. Wood, Stuart Gulager, Rachel Pruitt, Clayton Miller, and representing the press, Jason Silvers with the Fort Scott Tribune and Sarah Jane Tribble representing Kaiser Health News.



  1. Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of February 5th, 2019.

  1. Approval of Appropriation Ordinance 1232-A totaling $505,644.58.

Bartelsmeyer moved the Consent Agenda. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.




B. CITIZEN COMMENTS (Concerning Items Not on Agenda – 3 minute

limit per citizen) –

Michelle Wooldridge – She stated that she lives in the 400 block of Crawford and there is a water drain issue there. She said she had called City Hall and reported it. She walked the street and it is coming from an organization’s yard from a drain that is a block and a half away.

City Manager asked her for her phone number and he will get her an answer tomorrow on this.

Bobby Duncan – He stated that in May of 2017 the City updated to the 2012 IBC Code. He said that Dave Bruner, Deputy Fire Chief, recommended the update of the code and to stay current with the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office. He said that the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office still has the 2006 IBC Code. He said Mr. Bruner’s statement is incorrect. He also stated that he believes the purchase of the fire trucks should go to the voters in November. He stated figures given by the former Director of Finance, Jon Garrison, regarding expenditures and carryover of funds for 2019. He stated that we will be spending more money than bringing in. He said that the current commissioners have proved that they do not possess the kind of integrity that is derived from good judgement.

Mayor Parker thanked them for their comments.


Mitchell moved to open the Public Hearing at 6:07 p.m. Bartelsmeyer seconded. All voted aye.


6:00 p.m. Final Closeout Public Hearing – 124 E Wall – CDBG Grant – Approval for Mayor to sign closing documents – Rhonda Dunn, Director of Finance, informed the Commission that this public hearing is being held to close out the CDBG grant for 124 E. Wall. Susan Galemore, with Southeast Kansas Regional Planning Commission, was unable to attend due to the weather conditions. She asked if there were any comments from the public regarding this project. Seeing none, she asked the Commission to approve for the Mayor to sign the final closing documents on this project.

Bartlesmeyer moved to approve for the Mayor to sign the final closing documents on the CDBG grant for 124 E. Wall. Nichols seconded. All voted aye.


Nichols moved to close the Public Hearing at 6:09 p.m. Adamson seconded. All voted aye.



  1. Discussion on Fire Trucks – Paul Ballou, Fire Chief, appeared to give the Commission and the public further information on the Fire Department’s need for two new fire trucks. He said that the department currently has five trucks in its fleet. Two of the trucks have reached the 25 year mark in their service. According to the National Fire Protection Agency standards, when vehicles reach that age they should be replaced. He said that there is an option to refurbish, but it is not recommended by the NFPA. He said that due to the age of the trucks, it is difficult to find parts when repairs are needed. One of the trucks is a 1992 pumper truck and the other is the 1993 ladder truck. The pumper truck has nearly 40,000 miles on it. If the purchase of the trucks goes through, he would like to find another fire department for the pumper truck, but it would depend on liability.

City Attorney said that given the liability issue, he didn’t recommend doing that.

Chief Ballou said that the ladder truck has been a great truck and seen a lot of use. The truck is showing its age and wear. In 2012, the department did apply for a grant to refurbish the ladder truck and discovered the cost would be about $370,000 plus an additional $100,000 to rehabilitate the engine. He said that the fire trucks would be purchased from Conrad Fire Equipment from Olathe, Kansas. He recommended upgrading to the ladder truck with the 100’ ladder. Their current ladder has a 75’ ladder.

Mayor Parker expressed that this is much needed equipment even though it has caused some tension. This is very critical and we also need to think about the fire fighters, putting their lives in danger for us, and the equipment that they need.

City Manager stated that the City is not increasing taxes to fund the fire trucks.

Rhonda Dunn, Director of Finance, shared a calendar regarding the steps to issue General Obligation Temporary Notes. On February 5th, 2019, the City Commission approved the Resolution authorizing the Notice of Intent to purchase two fire trucks. It was published in the local newspaper on February 9th and February 16th. On February 17th, the 60 day protest period began. On April 5th, the protest period will end. No action can take place until that protest period ends. The total costs of General Obligation Temporary Notes will not exceed $1,915,000. Proceeds from the bonds would be used to fund the purchase and money from sales tax for utility debt would be used to pay down the purchase over time. It will be funded out of our existing budget.

Commissioners thanked all of them for the additional information.

  1. Consideration to solicit RFP’s for new life insurance benefit offering – Deb Needleman, Human Resource Director, asked the Commission for approval to send out a Request for Proposal (RFP) for life insurance benefit offering. This life insurance product would be available for the employee to take with them when they leave City employment without conversion to a higher premium rate. It would be no cost to the City and include a guarantee issue for the employee, their spouse, children, and grandchildren. She would send out the RFP and come back to them for final approval.

Adamson moved to approve to solicit RFP’s for new life insurance benefit offering. Bartelsmeyer seconded. All voted aye.



  1. Director Updates:

Ambulance Update: Dave Bruner – Mr. Bruner introduced Sarah Jane Tribble with Kaiser Health News. She is working on the closure of Mercy and how the City is dealing with the future.

In February, there were 96 calls with 56 transfers. This was during the 18 day closure with no emergency room. Those transfers went to Pittsburg, Nevada, Girard, and Iola. He said that they anticipated the worse but didn’t have the worse time. They did add a fourth ambulance but are now back to three crews. Last week two new transfer vehicles were donated to the Bourbon County EMS with one donation from Timken and the other from Mercy Health Foundation. These will be utilized for long distance transfers but can also be utilized on calls.

Consideration of Bids – 16 Self Contained Breathing Apparatus – Dave said that bids were taken for 16 SCBA’s. A grant was received for this purchase in the amount of $99,524. Four bids were received with one company submitting a no bid. Casco Industries, Inc. of Oklahoma City submitted a bid in the amount of $94,185; Weis Fire & Safety Equipment of Salina, Kansas submitted a bid in the amount of $100,102.26; and Conrad Fire Equipment of Olathe, Kansas in the amount of $104,112.23. He asked for approval for the low bid from Casco Industries of Oklahoma City in the amount of $94,185.00.

Parker moved to approve the low bid from Casco Industries, Inc. of Oklahoma City in the amount of $94,185.00. Bartelsmeyer seconded. All voted aye.

approved the low bid from Casco Industries, Inc. of Oklahoma City in the amount of $94,185.00 for purchase of 16 self contained breathing apparatuses.

Health Care Update: Dave Martin – Dave stated that Sarah Jane Tribble is doing a great job chronicalizing all the steps the City has taken since the announcement of the closure of Mercy.

Dave stated that this started with the announcement of the closure of Mercy on October 1st. They formed a task force and have met with a lot of people. They relied on Via Christi and CHC to assist us. He met with Randy Casen of Ascension Via Christi last week. He is convinced that Via Christi has very high hopes to provide health care in our community and partnering with CHC will be a part of that. The task force is still in place and we have to make sure that what happens in 2021 is what Fort Scott needs. He invited Dave, Rachel and Robert to a Chamber coffee that was held at Via Christi last week. They have a vision for rural health care. Senator Moran was in Fort Scott today. His office helped assist Via Christi meet guidelines to get the emergency room operating quickly here. Dave said that we would not be here if the doctors hadn’t signed contracts with CHC.

Rachel thanked the medical community for staying here in this community to work.

Finance Update: Rhonda Dunn – Rhonda passed out the quarterly report that will be published in tomorrow’s paper. The quarter ending in September will also be published. She said that the books are balanced every day by Marlene Braker to Landmark Bank. Sales tax is looking very favorable right now.

Legislative Update: Robert Uhler – Robert gave the Commission a quick update on the legislative issues going on in Topeka. In Kansas, so far, there are 585 bills filed. The City is tracking about 120 of those bills. The total for the year there will be over 1,000 bills that are filed. In the end, there will be only about 80 or 90 bills that are passed. There have been lots of meetings with the new Governor and new Secretary’s and bringing them up to date on happenings in Fort Scott. He has also been in contact with Senator Moran’s office in keeping the federal level updated also.

Commissioner Nichols asked if there were any major bills he was tracking.

Robert said the 911 bill, utility issues, and some public service wire issues are major bills he has been tracking. He testified on the ROZ which is the Rural Opportunity Zone in support for Senator Hildabrand and is also working with KDOT on Highway 69 to get the rest of the four lane constructed.

  1. City Commission:

Bartelsmeyer Thanked all the people who reported tonight. It was good information to have.

Adamson – Said she has heard really great things about our ER and that people are really happy it is open again. She said if anyone in the community has questions about the fire trucks to seek them out and they will try to answer them the best they can.

Nichols He echoed Commissioner Adamson’s comments.

Mitchell Nothing to report.

Parker – Nothing to report.

C. City Attorney: Nothing to report.

  1. City Manager: Nothing to report.


Mitchell moved to adjourn the meeting at 6:59 p.m. Bartelsmeyer seconded. All voted aye.


The next regularly scheduled meeting is to be held on March 5th, 2019 at 6:00 p.m.




Fort Scott City Agenda March 5

The Fort Scott City Commission will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday March 5 at  city hall, 123 S. Main.




III. INVOCATION: Pastor Paul Martin, Community Christian Church



  1. Approval of minutes of the regular meeting of February 19th, 2019.

  1. Approval of Appropriation Ordinance 1233-A totaling $286,874.02.



B. CITIZEN COMMENTS (Concerning Items Not on Agenda – 3 minute limit per citizen)


6:15 p.m. Resolution 5-2019 directing the repair or removal of an alleged unsafe and dangerous structure located at 1612 E. Oak Street


  1. Consideration of Resolution No. 6-2019 of the governing body of the City of Fort Scott determining the advisability of issuing Taxable Industrial Revenue Bonds for the purpose of financing the acquisition, reconstruction, remodeling, furnishing and equipment of a commercial facility located in said city and authorizing execution of related documents.

  1. Consideration of Ground Lease Bids for land at Wastewater Treatment Plant

  1. Consideration of quote for raw water testing for cryptosporidium

  1. Consideration of Bids for Leak Noise Correlator


  1. Director Updates:

Health Care Update – Dave Martin

EMS Update – Dave Bruner

Waggoner Engineering – Robert Uhler

Fire Truck Purchase – Rhonda Dunn

  1. Commission:
  1. City Attorney:
  1. City Manager:



SESSION FOR ________________________________ IN ORDER TO

(see below justification)

DISCUSS ______________________________________. THE


MEETING TO RESUME AT ________________.

Justifications for Executive Sessions:

  • Personnel matters of non-elected personnel

  • Consultation with an attorney for the body or agency which would be deemed privileged in the attorney-client relationship

  • Matters relating to employer-employee negotiations whether or not in consultation with the representative or representatives of the body or agency

  • Confidential data relating to financial affairs or trade secrets of corporations, partnerships, trusts and individual proprietorships

  • Preliminary discussions relating to the acquisition of real property


Land Bank Meeting March 5

There will be a meeting of the Fort Scott Land Bank held on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. in the City Commission meeting room at 123 S. Main Street. This meeting will be held to continue the discussion on the policies of the Land Bank. There will be a majority of the City Commissioners present, but no City Commission business will be conducted.

Redfield City Council Changes Election Ordinance

The Redfield City Council. Photo by Jody Hoenor. From left: Pam Speer, Deputy City Clerk; Wilma Graham, Council; L.D. Morrison, Council; Michael Beerbower, Council; Ed Guss, Mayor; John Speer, Treasurer; Kirby Martin, Council; and Beth Guss, Acting City Clerk.

Redfield’s City Council is working to improve their town.

One of the ways to improve is the way the council is elected.

“We will have elections every two years, like everyone, but not everybody running for office at the same time,” said Beth Guss, acting Redfield City Clerk.

“When my husband (Ed Guss) took office, everyone but Wilma Graham was new, and nobody had known what to do,” she said.

They visited with neighboring Uniontown Mayor Larry Jurgensen and City Clerk Sally Johnson about the issue and were told about staggering the election so all are not new members at the same time, she said.

Following protocol, the City of Redfield published the proposed changes in the Fort Scott Tribune on Feb. 9 and 16.

This ordinance will take effect 61 days following the final publication.

An election of city council members will take place this November 2019, with succeeding elections every two years for the positions of those whose terms have expired.

This year Wilma Graham and L.D. Morrison will be up for re-election.

“Anyone can register to run,” Guss said.

Other members of the council in addition to these two are  Clarence (Ed) Guss, Kirby Martin, and Michael Beerbower.

Beth Guss said she is the acting city clerk until a replacement can be found.

It is difficult to find citizens who will serve in a community of Redfield’s size, 157 people, “not counting the dogs,” she said with a laugh. The town is located in the middle of Bourbon County.

“We’ve got small-town issues, like all small towns,” she said. “We are working to make our town better.”