February 15, 2007

District 107 Constituents,

The session is a little over a month old and things are beginning to speed-up at the Capitol. Debate and discussion are beginning to occur more frequently on the house floor and in my committees as important legislation is proposed. As issues arise that are pertinent to all of you I will make sure and keep your comments, questions, and concerns in mind. I am serving all of you and I hope that you would contact me if I can ever be of assistance.

This week I had the privilege of hearing Congressman Jerry Moran during a joint speech to the Agriculture Committee of the Senate and of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources before session on Monday. He believes that the President’s proposal has good policy measures that make a lot of sense to him but on the other hand, he also thinks the administration is under funding the Farm Bill. We heard a hearing in committee on the CREP program for that would affect the western portion of Kansas. The highlight of Ag this week was Cloud County Fair Board Treasurer, Danny McReynolds, testifying on behalf of the fair board. He discussed the needed change from yearly board elections which have been held in the past with the county Extension Council. The Extension Council merged with 3 other counties to form the River Valley District. so their county elections are not held any longer due to this merger. The bill will allow the fair board to nominate people from each commissioner’s district to be appointed by the Cloud County Commissioners on a yearly basis. The bill was passed out of committee unanimously and was placed on the consent calendar to be voted on by the entire house on Monday of next week. Federal & State Affairs has heard hearings concerning farm wineries and their ability to cater events; crimes and conditions of release affecting bounty hunters and crimes and punishment relating to obscenity. Dr. Art Hall and Stan Ahlerich spoke to the Taxation committee about taxation trends and employment and the Franchise Tax repeal bill was sent out of committee to the floor which should be debated on Monday or Tuesday.

Several people took time out of their busy schedules to come to the Capital and meet with me. Raymond Pachta with the Area Agency on Aging attended the yearly event and lunch which was held Tuesday the 6th. The American Legion Post Commander Damien Christensen and American Legion Auxiliary State President Gwen Trost attended a meeting this week in Topeka and saved time for me before they left the American Legion Legislative conference. I was proud to be in the same room with so many veterans and state leaders of the American Legion and the Auxiliary. I will also be a guest speaker at the state convention on April 21st at 10:00AM at the American Legion Golf course. Misty Elder, Director of the Early Child Development Agency at Cloud County Community College, was in the Capital Thursday visiting legislators and updating us on the program and its future impact not only in Cloud County but also the surrounding counties. I was very happy to meet Karen Wedal Renwick with the Trial Lawyers Association. Karen happens to be a native of Ottawa County and is also a Minneapolis High School graduate! I had the privilege of joining the table of Westar executives during the Annual Kansas Chamber of Commerce dinner on Tuesday evening held at the Expo Center. Former Senator Bob Dole as well as J. C. Watts were the guest speakers with about 1000 people attending from all over the state.

A special thank you to everyone who took time to come see Senator Pete Brungardt and myself in Tescott and MinneapoIis at forums sponsored by the Farm Bureau of Ottawa County last Saturday. And I would like to encourage anyone to stop and visit with me and take a tour of the State Capitol with a climb to the top available everyday.

This week I have had the opportunity to hear a lot of information concerning the possibility of bringing the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility to Kansas, either in Manhattan or Leavenworth. While this is not in my district, the economic benefits for the entire state would be enormous. This impact of this facility on the Kansas agricultural community could be tremendous and last for several years. Having a national site whose central purpose is close to the crux of our state’s economy makes perfect sense and according to Senator Pat Roberts, it would be the opportunity of a generation. I am excited about this venture and please contact me if you would like to know more information. .

Elaine Bowers

District 107

Kansas House of Representatives