Category Archives: Kansas

Kansas Gov. Kelly’s First 100 Days

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Governor Kelly’s first 100 days rebuilding Kansas
Outlines accomplishments, addresses the unfinished business of Medicaid Expansion

One hundred days into her tenure as the 48th Governor of Kansas, Laura Kelly is reflecting on her accomplishments, highlighting successes and addressing the unfinished business of passing Medicaid expansion.

“When I gave my inaugural address on January 14, I stood in front of three banners with the words: equality, education and opportunity,” Kelly said. “These are the principles that have guided my first 100 days in office. And they are the principles that will guide us as we work to invest in our future and grow our economy. ”

In addition to the accomplishments outlined below, Kelly followed through on her promise to appoint a highly-qualified, bipartisan cabinet of Kansas leaders focused on rebuilding state agencies decimated by previous administrations.

 

“I was elected to rebuild Kansas and we’re already making progress,” Kelly said. “My team has increased transparency and accountability in our government and restored responsible, commonsense leadership that addresses the priorities of Kansas families.”

Kelly has taken significant steps towards stabilizing the state’s budget and investing in key priorities, like schools and roads. However, one critical issue is left unfinished: Medicaid expansion. In her fifteenth consecutive Kansan to Kansan weekly video, shared on Facebook earlier today, she called on Senate leadership to stop blocking progress on Medicaid expansion.

“We’re halfway there – but that’s not good enough. When the legislature returns on May 1st, they need to vote on Medicaid expansion,” Kelly said. “Over 77 percent of Kansans want expansion to happen. The Senate President and Majority Leader need to stop playing games with taxpayers’ health care and get it done. Two of my biggest town halls were in their districts and the response was overwhelming and undeniably in favor of expansion. Kansans are counting on us.”

100 days rebuilding Kansas

Day 1:
On her first full day in office, Governor Kelly signed Executive Order 19-02, reinstating protections to state employees who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

Day 4:
Kelly submitted a balanced budget to the Kansas Legislature nearly three weeks ahead of schedule; a budget that paid down debt, invested in key priorities like schools, highways and Medicaid expansion, and provided the state with the largest ending balance in twenty years – all without a tax increase.

Day 15:
Kelly introduced a bipartisan plan to expand Medicaid on Kansas Day.

Day 32:
Kelly joined Secretary of Transportation Julie Lorenz in announcing plans to invest $160 million in Kansas’ transportation system, as part of the Governor’s FY 2020 budget. This included four new projects from the T-Works program.

Day 39:
Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers launched the Rural Healthcare Tour, as part of building the Office of Rural Prosperity. As of today, he has visited seventeen communities across Kansas: Emporia, Marysville, Garden City, Hutchinson, McPherson, Dodge City, Hays, Russell, Ottawa, El Dorado, Council Grove, Goodland, Abilene, Leavenworth, Junction City, Chanute and Pittsburg.

Day 42:
Kelly announced new transparency initiatives at the Department for Children and Families, designed to improve the agency’s efforts to locate children who are absent or have run away.

Day 53:
Kelly signs Senate Bill 9 which repaid $115 million debt to our state retirement system.

Day 82:
Kelly squarely established herself as the ‘education governor’ by signing a bipartisan school funding plan into law. The education plan, if approved by the Kansas Supreme Court, could bring an end to decades of legislative debates and legal challenges surrounding education funding. This followed the signing of Executive Order 19-03 in January, establishing the Governor’s Council on Education and the restoration of the previous administration’s cuts to the Children’s Initiatives Fund.

Day 85:
Kelly completed four town hall discussions during the 2019 legislative session. In total, over 15,000 Kansans attended these town halls in-person or online via Facebook live.

Day 99:
Kelly signed Executive Order 19-07, establishing the Kansas Complete Count Committee, in support of a statewide strategy that ensures every Kansan is counted in the upcoming census. The data collected in the census will inform how the federal government distributed much-needed funding for Kansas roads, schools, hospitals, emergency services and much more.

Day 100:
As of this day, Kelly has signed over 100 proclamations and her constituent services team has opened nearly 2,000 cases on behalf of hardworking Kansans. Of those opened cases, 1,800 have been closed.

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2020 Census is Important

Governor Kelly highlights importance of accurate 2020 Census
Creates Kansas Complete Count Committee, appoints co-chairs

This morning, through Executive Order 19-07, Governor Laura Kelly launched an initiative to make every Kansan count. She established the Kansas Complete Count Committee (CCC) to ensure that every Kansan is represented in the 2020 Census.

A CCC is a volunteer committee established by tribal, state and local governments and community leaders or organizations to increase awareness and motivate residents to respond to the 2020 Census.

“As Governor, I’m committed to ensuring the data we collect is as accurate as possible,” Kelly said. “The data collected in the Census informs how the federal government distributes funds to our state – through 55 different federal programs. And it’s these funds that help to pay for roads, schools, hospitals, emergency services and much more.”

Getting an accurate count in the Census is paramount. Census population totals determine the number of seats each state has in the United States House of Representatives. State totals are also used to redraw legislative and school districts.

For every person not counted in the Census, Kansas stands to lose $1,539 in federal funds per year for 10 years.

“The Census matters because it impacts everything from school lunches to libraries to wastewater systems,” Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “It’s vital to Kansas businesses and communities that we have a full and accurate count in 2020, and Commerce is honored to work hand in hand with the Committee and local partners to make sure that happens.”

Brian McClendon of Lawrence and Joyce Warshaw of Dodge City will serve as co-chairs of the Kansas Complete Count Committee. McClendon is a professor at the University of Kansas and the former Vice President of Google and Uber. Warshaw serves on the Board of Directors for the Kansas League of Municipalities and is a Dodge City Commissioner.

CCCs already are operating in Sedgwick, Johnson, and Wyandotte counties, with others being formed across Kansas. Additional members of the Kansas CCC will be announced at a later date.

“Next year, on April 1, I encourage Kansans to respond to the Census, and be sure to count everyone living in your household,” Kelly said. “That includes children and newborn babies. Everyone needs to be counted.”

For more information, go to kansascommerce.gov/census.

Kansas Child Welfare Services Funding Increased

Governor signs bill increasing funding of child welfare services in Kansas
Aligns state requirements with federal Family First Prevention Services Act

Governor Laura Kelly signed House Bill 2103 today, injecting millions into Kansas programs that strengthen vulnerable children and families. This bill amends the revised Kansas Code for the Care of Children and enacts statutory provisions enabling Kansas to meet the requirements of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA).

 

“In the last few years, nothing has frustrated me more than the callous disregard some agency leaders demonstrated towards our vulnerable children and their families,” Kelly said. “This legislation will help to rebuild the Department for Children and Families and provide critical funding for programs aimed at strengthening families and keeping children safe.”

 

House Bill 2103 allows for an enhanced federal match rate for certain child welfare system evidence-based prevention services and programs beginning October 1, 2019. The bill defines a qualified residential treatment program (QRTP), establishes notice and hearing requirements when a child is placed in a QRTP, requires certain action a court must take when QRTP placement occurs, and places additional documentation requirements on the court in a permanency hearing involving a child placed in QRTP.

 

“The Department for Children and Families has already begun to connect with community partners across the state to kick off our Family First initiatives,” said DCF Secretary Laura Howard. “The additional federal funds along with these valued partnerships will allow us to introduce evidence-based practices throughout the state that will keep families together and children safe.”

 

Further, the bill amends the definition of a secure facility and requires a child in need of care petition to have an attached copy of any existing prevention plan for a child. The bill takes effect upon publication in the Kansas Register.

 

The governor signed ten additional bills today, bringing the total number of bills signed in the 2019 Legislative Session to 53, with one being vetoed. By law, the Kansas governor has 10 calendar days to sign bills into law, veto bills or allow bills to become law without her signature.

 

House Bill 2007
Amends requirements for tolled projects of the Kansas Turnpike Authority and the Secretary of Transportation. This was a recommendation of the Joint Legislative Transportation Vision Task Force. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

 

House Bill 2031
Revises the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) as it pertains to the Kansas Police and Firemen’s Plan (KP&F) and provisions relating to working after retirement, membership eligibility, and the administration of KPERS. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

 

House Bill 2038
Creates law within the Kansas Probate Code providing for the automatic revocation of certain inheritance rights of a former spouse or former spouse’s relatives upon divorce. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

 

House Bill 2039
Amends the Charitable Organizations and Solicitations Act to exempt from its registration requirement any charitable organization that is an animal shelter licensed pursuant to the Kansas Pet Animal Act. The bill also creates and amends law related to limited liability companies in the Kansas Revised Limited Liability Company Act, Business Entity Standard Treatment Act, and other statutes. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

 

House Bill 2087
Amends the definition of “school bus” in the Motor‐Fuel Tax Law to remove a requirement that the vehicle be designed for carrying more than ten passengers and to remove use for the transportation of school personnel. The bill retains in the definition that a school bus be any motor vehicle used by a school district or nonpublic school to transport pupils or students to or from school or to or from school-related functions or activities; the vehicle may be owned and operated by the school district or privately-owned and contracted for, leased, or hired by a school district or nonpublic school. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

 

House Bill 2177
Amends the Insurance Code to permit life insurance companies that offer fixed index annuities to utilize an alternative methodology when accounting for certain reserves; amends the effective date specified for risk‐based capital instructions; amends registration requirements in the Insurance Holding Company Act related to a filing exemption for enterprise risk  reports; and amends provisions governing fraudulent insurance acts and associated criminal penalty provisions. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

 

House Bill 2126
Amends law restricting access to motor vehicle records. The bill removes from state law certain purposes for which state motor vehicle records may be released, but also authorizes release for any purpose not listed in Kansas law that is permissible under the federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act as it existed on January 1, 2018. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

 

House Bill 2119
Amends the Pharmacy Act of the State of Kansas to require certain prescription orders be transmitted electronically and to permit a licensed pharmacist to administer a drug by injection in certain situations. The bill also allows a business entity issued a certificate of authorization by the Board of Healing Arts (BOHA) to employ or contract with one or more licensees of BOHA for the purpose of providing professional services for which such licensees hold a valid license issued by BOHA. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

 

Senate Substitute for House Bill 2214

Adds passenger vehicle registration categories and establishes fees for those categories: $100 for all‐electric vehicles and $50 for motor vehicles that are electric hybrid or plug‐in electric hybrid vehicles. This was also a recommendation of the Joint Legislative Transportation Vision Task Force. It will be effective on and after January 1, 2020. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

 

Senate Substitute for House Bill 2225

Increases fees for certain permits authorizing oversize or overweight vehicles to operate on designated routes and requires registration of escort vehicle companies. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

 

Correction: The Armstrong Highway/Gilbertson Bridge bill number is HB 2070, not HB 2040, as published in the April 17 press release.

 

K-39 resurfacing project starts week of April 22

 

 

The week of April 22 the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) plans to start a mill and overlay project on K-39 in Neosho and Bourbon counties. The road work starts at the east K-39/U.S. 59 junction and continues east for 19 miles to the K-39/K-7 junction. Project activity consists of a 1-inch mill, 1½-inch asphalt overlay and placement of a rock edge wedge.

 

Flaggers and a pilot car will direct one-lane traffic through the work zone. Expect daytime delays of 15 minutes or less. The work should be completed by late June, weather permitting. KDOT awarded the construction contract of $1.2 million to Bettis Asphalt and Construction, Inc., of Topeka, Kan.

 

Troy Howard, KDOT construction engineer at the Garnett office, reminds drivers to use extra caution and ‘Give ‘Em a Brake’ at the work zone. Persons with questions may contact Howard at (785) 448-5446 or Public Affairs Manager Priscilla Petersen at (620) 902-6433.

 

New Assistant Secretary for Kansas Wildlife Department

Miller Appointed KDWPT Assistant Secretary

 

TOPEKA – Mike Miller has been selected to be Assistant Secretary for Wildlife, Fisheries and Boating for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT). He replaces Keith Sexson, who retired last December after more than 50 years with the department. Miller will assume his new duties on Monday, April 22, 2019.

 

“Mike has been an invaluable member of our team for more than three decades. He has been involved in almost every aspect of the department and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to bring to his new role,” said Brad Loveless, KDWPT Secretary. “He is a great communicator and is well-respected by all who know him. I am looking forward to working closely with him as we grow our programs and serve our constituents.”

 

“I am humbled and excited to be a part of Secretary Loveless’ vision for KDWPT’s future,” Miller said. “Current Wildlife, Fisheries and Boating staff are as talented and dedicated as any I’ve seen, and I look forward to working with them to carry on the amazing legacies of previous assistant secretaries.”

 

Miller has worked for KDWPT for more than 35 years. He grew up in Greensburg and graduated from Kansas State University with bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Graphic Design in 1982. After a short stint with the El Dorado Times newspaper, he was selected to be the wildlife illustrator for the Kansas Fish and Game Commission and Kansas Wildlife magazine.

 

He went on to serve as the magazine’s associate editor, editor, and his current position of chief of the Information Production Section, overseeing production of the magazine, all hunting and fishing regulation pamphlets, atlases and brochures and social media presence. In addition to his information duties, Miller also served as a special assistant to the Assistant Secretary, managing various special programs and committees, including Pass It On, a hunter recruitment and retention program.

 

Miller is an avid angler and hunter. He and his wife of 37 years, Lisa, make their home in Pratt where he will continue to work in the KDWPT Pratt Operations Office.

 

—30—

 

Ron Kaufman

Director of Information Services

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism

1020 S. Kansas Ave., 2nd Fl

Topeka, KS 66612

785-296-2870

KSOutdoors.com & TravelKS.com

Note my new email address – ron.kaufman@ks.gov

KDOT requesting comments on STIP amendment

 

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) requests comments on an amendment to the FFY 2019-2022 Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) document.

The STIP is a project specific publication that lists all KDOT administered projects, regardless of funding source, and includes projects for counties and cities as well as projects on the State Highway System. The list of projects being amended to the STIP can be viewed at http://www.ksdot.org/bureaus/burProgProjMgmt/stip/stip.asp

The approval of the STIP amendment requires a public comment period, which concludes May 1. To make comments on the amendment, contact KDOT’s Bureau of Program and Project Management at (785) 296-2252.

This information is available in alternative accessible formats. To obtain an alternative format, contact the KDOT Office of Public Affairs, (785) 296-3585 (Voice/Hearing Impaired-711).

Creative Art Industries Webinar April 18

Webinar Highlights KCAIC Events and Grant Opportunities

 

Topeka, Kan. – The Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (KCAIC) will conduct a webinar hosted by the Kansas PRIDE program on April 18 from 12 – 1 p.m. Peter Jasso will give an overview of current grant categories, partnership programs, and upcoming events as well as answer questions from participants.

The webinar will also be recorded for those who cannot attend at the initial time.

 

To join the Zoom Meeting

https://ksu.zoom.us/j/803629794

 

Dial by your location

+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

+1 646 876 9923 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 803 629 794

 

 

About Kansas PRIDE program 

The Kansas PRIDE program is a volunteer, grassroots effort to improve the quality of life in local communities. Each Kansas community is unique and shares a common bond: a rich heritage based on self-reliance and community pride. Since 1970, the Kansas PRIDE program has assisted and encouraged communities to prepare for the future by building on their past and forming a vision of the future. The goal of PRIDE is to help maximize community and economic development efforts by encouraging all groups to coordinate and work collaboratively for community betterment.

For more info: https://kansasprideprogram.k-state.edu/

Hiring A Limo or Party Bus?

KCC offers tips on what to look for when hiring a limo or bus service

 

TOPEKA – Limousines and party buses are popular modes of transportation for proms, weddings and other special events. If your spring or summer plans call for limo or bus transportation, the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) encourages you to do a little research before booking.

 

The KCC, the agency that regulates motor carriers in the state, recommends that you check to be sure the transportation company you are considering has operating authority. That means they meet the applicable federal and state requirements for safety, insurance, operations and driver training.  Services operating within the state are also required to file their current tariffs or rates with the KCC. Those can be found on the KCC’s website.

 

“Planning your next limousine, party bus or charter bus trip is an important decision. Take a moment to ensure the company you select has the appropriate State and/or Federal operating authority and a safe operating history. Looking before you book will help you have a safe and satisfying experience,” said Mike Hoeme, KCC Transportation Director.

 

There are several places to obtain more information about passenger carriers. Here are a few helpful links:

Find rates – http://kcc.ks.gov/transportation/transportation-quick-links/passenger-tariffs
Check safety record – https://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/ (see company snapshot)
Verify Insurance coverage –
https://li-public.fmcsa.dot.gov/LIVIEW/pkg_carrquery.prc_carrlist

Passenger carrier and bus safety information –
https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/passenger-safety/passenger-carrier-and-bus-safety

 

Unclaimed Property

Kansas State Treasurer Jake LaTurner’s Tax Day Event Returns Over $370,000

Topeka—Kansas State Treasurer Jake LaTurner made tax day a little brighter for thousands of Kansans by helping put money back in their pockets. With the help of several broadcast media outlets, the State Treasurer’s Office held an event Monday to bring awareness to the over $350-million in unclaimed property in the State Treasury and encouraging Kansans to get online and see if any of it belongs to them. Over 27,000 people went to kansascash.com to search, and $372,146 was returned to its rightful owners.

“It’s wonderful that we were able to match up so many individuals and businesses with their unclaimed property,” said LaTurner. “This was a very successful event, but there’s still more money to give back. We hope those that found money online will spread the word to family and friends about how quick and easy it is to search for themselves as well.”

Searches for unclaimed property can be done anytime on kansascash.com. Most claims made online can be paid easily via direct deposit. In 2018 a record $26.5-million in unclaimed property was returned to Kansans, and the office is on track to break that record in 2019.

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Kansas Commercial Hemp

Governor signs bill establishing the Commercial Industrial Hemp Program
Requires a plan to monitor and regulate hemp in Kansas

 

To further support Kansas’ agricultural economy and provide farmers with an option for diversification, Governor Laura Kelly signed the Senate Substitute for House Bill 2167 today, establishing the Commercial Industrial Hemp Program.

 

“The Commercial Industrial Hemp Program represents a significant step forward for our agricultural economy. It will provide another crop option for Kansas farmers in the coming years,” Governor Kelly said. “I’m proud that Kansas is moving forward with this program and I look forward to working with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture and others to encourage growth in this new industry.”

 

Senate Substitute for House Bill 2167 requires the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA), in consultation with the governor and attorney general, to submit a plan to the United States Department of Agriculture outlining how the state will monitor and regulate the commercial production of industrial hemp in Kansas, in accordance with federal law. The commercial growing program will replace the existing research program once it is finalized and approved by USDA.

 

“This is the first step toward Kansas developing a plan to allow for commercial hemp production, introducing an option for diversification for Kansas farmers,” Secretary Mike Beam said. “We support new and innovative opportunities for agriculture growth, and this legislation allows Kansas to seek approval from USDA for advancing industrial hemp in Kansas.”

This year is the first year that industrial hemp can be grown in Kansas, and at this time it is only allowed within research programs as allowed by the 2014 Farm Bill. The opportunity to expand cultivation of industrial hemp for commercial use was made possible as part of the 2018 Farm Bill. Signing the bill today allows Kansas to begin development of the regulations for commercial use of industrial hemp.

 

“In recent years, Kansas farmers have faced significant challenges – including weather and trade tensions,” Kelly said. “I’m committed to doing all I can to support them and provide opportunities for diversification. This program provides another tool in the toolbox for Kansas farmers.”

 

Additionally, the bill establishes prohibitions on the production and marketing of specific products and establishes waste disposal requirements for industrial hemp processors. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Register.

 

This brings the total number of bills signed in the 2019 Legislative Session to 36, with one being vetoed. By law, the Kansas governor has 10 calendar days to sign bills into law, veto bills or allow bills to become law without her signature.

 

Governor Signs Bill Making Voting More Convenient in Kansas

Applauds coalition of local officials for spearheading the legislation

 

In an effort to expand and improve voting opportunities in Kansas, Governor Laura Kelly signed House Substitute for Senate Bill 130 yesterday afternoon, amending the law concerning advance ballots, signature requirements and polling places.

 

“Over the past decade, we have seen countless efforts aimed at making voting more difficult in this state,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “I hope this will be the first of many laws that help ensure that every voice is heard in our democratic process and that every vote is counted.”

 

House Substitute for Senate Bill 130 will give county election officials the discretion to allow all registered voters to cast their ballot at any polling place in their county on election day. It also requires county election officers to attempt 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. The voter will be allowed to correct their signature before the commencement of the final tallying of votes in that county.

 

“This law is about local control and protecting every vote,” Kelly said. “I applaud all of the local and state officials who worked together to make this law a reality, especially those in Sedgwick County who were the driving force behind it.”

 

This brings the total number of bills signed in the 2019 Legislative Session to 37, with one being vetoed. By law, the Kansas governor has 10 calendar days to sign bills into law, veto bills or allow bills to become law without her signature.

 

Legislative Update By State Senator Caryn Tyson

Caryn Tyson

 

April 12, 2019

The legislature is on break.  However, as a legislator I am continuing to work throughout the district and on unresolved issues.  I have had the opportunity to visit businesses, schools, and with others.  It helps me represent you in Topeka.

Education Funding – How much is Enough?  It is a question that is impacting every Kansan, whether you’re an employee of a school, a taxpayer, a parent, a student, or a future student.  Money being an indicator of priority, then Kansas has made education the number one priority for many years.  According to Division of Budget Comparison Report in 2001, over 50% of State General Fund (SGF) went to education.  In the 2019 Report, over 50% of the SGF goes for education.

The 2019 SGF budget for departments and agencies is $7.1 billion, over $3.5 billion of that money will be spent on K-12.  That is only state aid.  It does not include local and federal money spent on 286 school districts in Kansas.  Total K-12 spending, state, federal, and local money is over $6 billion.

There have been attempts to require more of the K-12 funding to go to the classroom and teachers.  However, there is never a majority of legislators who support this effort.

The Kansas Department of Education (KSDE) website has reports available to give you more of an indication how the money is being spent and other topics are included.  Interestingly, one of the reports shows the pupil-teacher ratio as 15.4 for the 2017-2018 school year.  The calculation used for ratio was the total enrollment divided by total PK-12 teachers.  PK-12 teachers includes practical arts/vocational teachers, kindergarten teachers, pre-kindergarten teachers, reading specialists/teachers, and all other teachers, calculated at a full-tine equivalency. https://datacentral.ksde.org/default.aspx

 

One expenditure that isn’t talked about much is what schools spend to lobby for more money.  Legislative Post Audit has a limited scope report asking, “How Much Money Do a Small Sample of Counties, Cities, and School Districts Report to Us They Spent on Lobbyist or Associations with Lobbyists in 2017?”  The three largest school districts, Wichita, Shawnee Mission, and Olathe schools reported spending around $1.4 million on lobbying in 2017.  Taxpayer money spent to get more taxpayer money.  (http://www.kslpa.org/media/files/reports/l-18-011.pdf Appendix C, page 15).

 

We can all agree that education is important.  Kansas has made education the number one priority of the State and has been putting money toward that priority for years.  What is our Return On Investment (ROI)?  It’s time for a paradigm shift because the pattern of adding more money, no matter what amount, is never enough to satisfy the lawyers and the KS Supreme Court.  Our objective should be based on student outcomes and the amount of money should be determined by the 165 legislators elected to do that job – not the Supreme Court.

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

Caryn