January 18, 2008

District 107th Constituents,

As the dust settles in the beautifully renovated Capitol building, the Kansas Legislature is wrapping up its first full week of activity. It has certainly been hectic, but there’s a sense of renewed excitement that comes with each session as legislators return to Topeka with a fresh outlook and new ideas after spending time connecting with constituents.

Aside from the excitement and formalities that come with opening the session, highlights this week included the release of our House Republican agenda outlining our goals and expectations as a party, and our return to our respective committees, where the nuts and bolts of our public policy initiatives come together. I anticipate a productive year for the legislature, and so far have already seen and heard a number of things that are quite encouraging for our state—as well as the 107th district.

I continue to serve on the three committees I was assigned to last year - Agriculture and Natural Resources, Taxation and Federal & State Affairs. Our committees have met a few times with the state departments holding briefings and updates for us. As I mentioned above, there is a lot of construction going on around us and it is fascinating to see the beautiful artwork and native stone that has been discovered in the renovation. Due to this work, many offices and committee rooms have been moved. I still am in my original office at 110 South (also known as the “bullpen”) with the same phone number of 785-296-7644. One of my committee meetings has been moved to the Docking Building so I am using the newly updated tunnel under Harrison Street which had been closed for 3 years. I anticipate quite a few bills to be introduced in the committees next week and then debated on the house floor near the end of the week. One bill that is important to us here in the Republican valley is SB 89 which addresses the distribution of any moneys to Kansas from litigation from Nebraska or Colorado (or both) and would establish the Republican River Water Conservation Projects Fund. This bill is second on the list on General Orders and is just under “the line” and it should be one of the first to be voted on.

It was my honor to have former Silver Haired Senior Legislator from Cloud County, Dan Gerber and his wife Amy, here for the Governors State of the State Address on Monday night. Senator Mark Taddiken sat with me on the newly remodeled house floor during the speech which is traditionally held each year on the 2nd Monday of January at 7PM.

As always, one of the greatest joys I have in representing you is seeing familiar faces here in Topeka. I encourage all of you to contact my office and schedule a trip to the Capitol. Much of the motivation for renovating the building was to attract new interest in what is an amazing state capitol. Years of modification had dulled some of the original splendor of the building, but I assure you it’s worth the trip and I would be happy to personally show you some of the many ornate and splendid improvements that give Kansas such a unique, character rich landmark to call home. We must remember that this beautiful building belongs to all of us and is handicapped assessable - I can also line up a wheelchair if necessary. Feel free to call me if I can help with any arrangements at all.

As always, please contact me if you have any comments, questions, or concerns. I am serving in Topeka for YOU!

Elaine Bowers
House of Representatives
District #107
110 South
300 SW 10th Ave.
Topeka, KS 66612