Newsletter - February 27, 2021
Precinct Election for our Senate District
Because of the passing of Senator Bud Estes, the most important vote for you next week won’t happen in Topeka or Washington. Instead, it will happen in Dodge City. On March 4th
Republican Precinct People from across State Senatorial District 38 will meet to select his replacement. The largest county in the districts convenes the nominating convention. Our precinct people have an important duty ahead of them. This large Senate District spans from Liberal on the west to Dodge City and Clark County in the east. It is important that Senator Estes’ successor values our community and its needs. Because Senator Estes lived in Bucklin most of his life, he understood the importance of Highway 54 to Seward County and our region. Relationships are important in the legislature and take time to build. Our next Senator will need to build relationships quickly and learn the legislative process. This 90-day session will be more than half over when the nominee takes office.
This week the non-partisan Legislative Division of Post Audit announced their report on fraud in the state’s unemployment system. Their independent investigation returned an estimate of $600 million in fraudulent claims paid by the Governor’s administration.
The Governor announced her estimate of $290 million in fraudulent unemployment claims paid. Even if correct, this is an unacceptable number. $290 million dollars paid to fraudsters and criminals is $290 million too much.
The House is working to add accountability and oversight to the governor’s failures at the Department of Labor. The House Commerce Committee has passed out HB 2196 which will help modernize and fix this broken system. We will help Kansans get back on their feet.
Limiting the Administrative State (HCR 5014)
This week House Republicans stood with the Attorney General to introduce a proposed constitutional amendment that would help rein in the ever-expanding number of rules and regulations in our state.
Since 1984 the courts have barred the legislature from revoking rules and regulations. Since then, rules and regulations have created a fourth branch of government run by unelected bureaucrats. I believe elected officials should make the laws and this amendment allows the voters of this state to make their voice heard on this issue.
We all know the high costs of red tape that can come from regulations. While some of them may be necessary, some of them are overly burdensome, costly and act as a drag on our economy. Allowing the legislature a chance to review and reject harmful and unfair regulations is what this amendment is all about.
This Week in Topeka
This was the last week for committees to meet and work on bills originating in their legislative body. Next week the whole House will take up and debate bills on many subjects passed out of House committees.
While many of the bills we work are non-controversial and don’t grab headlines, they are important.
- We have addressed laws that needed to be changed because of court decisions. If we had not done so, guilty people might have gotten away with crime or been released too soon.
- We have taken action on bills requested by the Department of Agriculture to help farmers.
- And we have taken necessary action to extend programs that help the economic development and future growth of our state.
These smaller bills are important in keeping our communities and families safe, our businesses growing, and our future prosperous.
– This bill would deter violence against staff and property of our corrections system by increasing criminal penalties for the crimes of riot and incitement to riot when the crime occurs in a correctional facility.
– Extending the eligible time period for the rural opportunity zone loan repayment program and income tax credit.
– The bill increases the monetary cap on irrevocable prearranged funeral agreements to $10,000.
– Eliminating the requirement to provide a permit to cremate in certain circumstances and authorizing electronic permits to cremate.
– Suspending Kansas statutory speedy trial rights until May 1, 2024 in all criminal cases filed prior to the effective date of this act and eliminating such rights in any criminal case filed on or after the effective date of this act. The bill does not change or remove a citizen’s Sixth Amendment constitutional right to a speedy trial but balances the state statutory speedy trial right against the difficulties of seating juries in the middle of a public health pandemic.
– Authorizing legislative assistants and committee assistants to accept gifts not exceeding $500 in value each legislative session from legislators.
– Increasing criminal penalties for fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer when operating a stolen vehicle and making fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer evidence of intent to commit theft of a vehicle.
– Extending transfers from the expanded lottery act revenues fund to the University Engineering Initiative to continue generating enough engineering graduates per year to meet the needs of the workforce in Kansas.
– Updating certain statutes relating to the regulation of the business of insurance; granting the commissioner of insurance certain investigative powers.
– Creating the Dwayne Peaslee technical training center subject to the approval of Douglas county voters. The training center offers many technical programs in healthcare, transportation, building trades, HVAC and electrical.
– Authorizing court services officers and community corrections officers to provide a certification of identification to offenders for use to obtain a new driver’s license.
– Adjusting the frequency of the KPERS actuarial experience study.
– Establishing requirements for the effective disposal of industrial hemp to bring the Kansas hemp industry rules into compliance with federal hemp industry regulations.
– Clarifying the definition of possession in the Kansas criminal code.
– Amending the Kansas storage tank act to extend the sunsets of certain funds and to increase certain liability and reimbursement amounts.
– Updating the version of risk-based capital instructions in effect.
– Changing Kansas Department of Agriculture division of animal health license, permit and registration renewal deadlines and allowing the animal health commissioner to recover the actual cost of official calfhood vaccination tags.
– Updating provisions related to the Kansas Department of Agriculture division of conservation to provide technical clarifications regarding the division’s role and operations within the KDA.
Thank you for the opportunity to continue serving working families in Seward County. Please reach out to me any time I can assist you with a state agency concern. I do ask that you send the request to me by email. This ensures that I get the information correctly to the agency we are working with. You can reach me when I am in Topeka by email Shannon.email@example.com
, by phone (785) 296-7466, or by mail at 300 SW 10th
Avenue, 274-W, Topeka, KS 66612