District 107th Constituents,
Although Mother Nature was certainly not cooperative this week, work in the Kansas Legislature carried on without interruption. We continue to introduce new legislation and are beginning to debate the bills emerging from numerous committees. I’m encouraged by the progress being made in each of the committees, and have been refreshed by the enthusiasm that each of my fellow representatives have shown since the commencement of this session. It’s an exciting time for Kansas.
The proposed energy bill has attracted the bulk of attention under the dome this week, most of which was spent hearing from supporters on both sides of the issue. It appears that the bill may find its way out of the Energy and Utilities Committee this week, at which point the real work will begin on this controversial proposal. I’m interested to see the issue progress and understand how important the bill is not only for the proposed plant in Holcomb, but for our entire state and its ability to attract new businesses to preserve our small communities. However, as they say here, nothing is ever final so I will see what next week brings with this issue.
The pace is picking up here in my committees which makes me happy. We are here only 90 days and I would like to see much more being accomplished, but these wheels move slower here than I realized. My Agriculture committee heard a few agency bills and from a speaker on Animal Genetics from the University of Dublin in Ireland. Senate Bill 89, The Republican River bill, should be sent out next week – I have said that three weeks in a row – but now it will be amended in committee and then we will vote on it perhaps Monday. There is a little confusion on the distribution of the funds but the details have been worked out among the committee members. The only bill we held a hearing on in Federal and State Affairs was one that would regulate amusement rides with routine inspections. Kansas is one of only a handful of states that doesn’t have an inspection process. Taxation is my busiest committee so far this year. We heard three bills this week; two on property tax liabilities on land and research & development companies located in universities and the cigarette tax rate increase bill. This hearing is still on going as there are so many people who want to testify on both sides of this issue.
The weather kept several scheduled visitors away this week, however I had a very nice group of students who displayed their booths at the Education Technology Fair on the 1st floor. Three schools from District #107 participated: Bennington, Tescott and Lincoln. They had people stop by and view their powerpoint presentations some of which even had music in the background. Those attending were
5th Grade Teacher - Tracy Piepho
FACS/Tech - Brandi McCleeve
8th Grade - Amber Bell and Bayleigh Walker
7th Grade - Bretta Reinking
5th Grade - Tesla Madsen
6th Grade Teacher - Darren Rodine
Jr. High & High School Math Teacher - Misti Bradley
8th Grade - Lauren Montgomery, Ariana Haag, Sarah Stratman
7th Grade - Derek Stanley, Zach Fief
3rd Grade Teacher - Tom Cavalli
4th Grade Teacher - Angie Gebhart
Technology - Dianna VanEaton
Principal - Jackie Combs
Student Teacher - Ashley Feldkamp
3rd Grade Students 4th Grade Students
Tanner O'Bannon Lindsay Crist
Faith Panzer Tyrece Simms
Wendy Griffin Zach Walter
Bjorn Jonsson Ashley Wollesen
Austin Christensen Gabrielle Lavington
Finally, as always, I want to stress how important it is to me to hear from each of you. It’s always fun to hear from friendly voices, and your input on the issues before us is the central theme behind the work I am performing on your behalf. I appreciate those of you who have already reached me, and look forward to hearing more!
As always, please contact me if you have any questions, or concerns. I am serving in Topeka for YOU!
Kansas House of Representatives
Room 110 South
300 SW 10th Ave.
Topeka, KS 66612