January 29, 2021
Resolution to change the Kansas Constitution
Who has the authority to write laws addressing abortion in Kansas? House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 5003 titled Value Them Both (VTB) passed the Senate on a vote of 28 to 11. I was one of the 28 who voted yes to pass the Resolution and allow voters the opportunity to change the Kansas Constitution on the August 2022 ballot, making it clear the legislature has the authority to write laws on abortion, not the courts.
In 2015, the legislature passed SB 95 with a supermajority, banning dismemberment abortion in Kansas. After becoming law, the Kansas Supreme Court nullified the law by issuing an extreme ruling that the Kansas Constitution allows dismemberment abortion. You can read the Kansas Constitution and try to find where it says that. I did and I couldn’t find it. Do you think our Christian ancestors who wrote the Constitution in the 1800s were wanting to endorse abortion? I’m pretty certain that protecting dismemberment abortion wasn’t on their agenda.
During debate, I used the words of dissenting Justice Stegall who spoke against the court’s decision, “Today we issue the most significant and far-reaching decision this court has ever made. The majority’s decision is so consequential because it fundamentally alters the structure of our government to magnify the power of the state….” We have a rogue Court.
Property Tax Transparency (SB 13) passed the Senate 34 to 1 and will be debated in the House. The current version of the bill would take effect immediately if it becomes law. Government authorities argue against the bill taking effect this year, but we have delayed addressing our run-away property taxes long enough. Presently, as property valuations are increased your property taxes automatically increase. This bill simply does not allow this automatic tax increase. The government can still raise your property taxes but it will require that they do so by a vote witnessed by the taxpayers.
Hopefully, House members will understand this and take into consideration the taxpayers. Taxpayers who have had their property tax increased by double digits year after year. Taxpayers who are on a fixed income. Taxpayers who are struggling to make ends meet. SB 13 does not lower taxes but it will provide transparency and an opportunity for taxpayers to have a say before their taxes increase.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.