March 22, 2007

District 107 Constituents,

The legislative session is in its last throes as House Committees conclude hearings of Senate bills. Both House and Senate members have been busy working bills from the opposite chamber and pushing to ensure their bills are being worked respectively.

I serve on two exempt committees which means we can still introduce bills after turn around day. My Agricultural and Natural Recourses committee just finalized a few bills concerning wildlife and also the Republican River Conservation District which will be heard next week during final action. Tax continues to meet and discuss further tax reductions and Department of Revenue concerns including licensing and streamlining the tax collection process. The Tax committee will also meet for several more days with my other committees ending on Thursday. My Federal and State Affairs committee finished hearing gambling bills and sent out bills concerning immigration, lobbyist requirements and licenses changes for farm wineries. This committee met at the regular 1:30PM and then again at 5:30PM to finish each day this week. The House session has started at 10:30AM most everyday this week and has also lasted longer than usual. One entire day last week was spent on the budget which we worked very responsibly and held the line on government spending. With this upcoming year’s budget finalized, I am happy to report that this budget reflects the value hardworking everyday Kansans place on fiscal responsibility. If wishes were pennies we’d all be rich, but reality imposes that we must first fund essential government functions with the money the State brings in yearly. I stood on the principle that additional increases in state spending should not be made at a rate greater than income. When government spends more than the people can afford, no one gains. I am looking forward to finishing committee work and beginning the process of "wrapping up" loose ends and finalize all legislation for this year.

It was a very big honor to have Pastor John State gives the invocation in the House on Monday, March 19th. Many of my colleagues praised his prayer which is now printed in the House Journal and is a part of Kansas history forever. John and his son Jed, sat on the house floor as the guests of Speaker Melvin Nuefeld, and watched the house debate afterwards. A group from OCCK Independent living stopped by to see me on Wednesday before I went into session the house floor. Darcy Breen from Delphos recognized me as her mothers’ high school classmate from Minneapolis (Anita Philbrick Breen) class of 1981!! I was happy to see so many familiar faces from Concordia and the area.

As the discussions continue on this years session I will keep you informed. As always, please contact me if you have any comments, questions, or concerns. I am serving in Topeka for YOU!

Elaine Bowers

District 107

Kansas House of Representatives