Newsletter - March 13, 2021
This week we were busy with committee work. The bills passed by the Senate are being looked at by House Committees and vice versa. In Appropriations we are doing our final informational hearings for the budget bill.
The budget is doing better than forecasted when the pandemic started. This is because of the massive amount of deficit spending by the Federal Government. As we come off this massive influx of stimulus, we will have a state budget deficit to deal with in the future, but not this year.
The IKE Transportation plan continues to chug along. It was helped by Federal Funds of around 95 million from the Federal Disaster Relief Bill passed last December. The Third Phase of the Highway 54 expansion starts at Tucker Road and heads east to tie in with the existing 4 lane highway. The construction bid is scheduled to let in the 3rd
quarter of this year. Passing lanes on highway 83 and the Salley Road Intersection improvements are scheduled to start March of 2022. There are plans for new passing lanes on Highway 54 between Plains and Southwestern Heights, Meade and Fowler, and between Mullinville and Greensburg. KDOT has also announced plans for extending the lengths of two existing passing lanes between Pratt and Greensburg. The House recently passed legislation increasing Kansas’s ability to use Federal Stimulus money if a stimulus bill is passed.
Broadband Grant for Liberal
EpicTouch Communications recently received a matching $600,000 Broadband Acceleration Grant to address Liberal’s broadband problems. This project will make high speed fiber available to over 377 homes and businesses. This is the first year in a ten-year, $85 million dollar investment in the state’s broadband infrastructure and is funded in conjunction with the Kansas Department of Transportation’s Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE). The program is designed to bring critically needed broadband access to Kansas communities through a competitive, matching, public/private infrastructure investment program.
Liberal Resident Appointed to the KANSASWORKS State Board
Janeth Vazquez was appointed to the KANSASWORKS State Board. KANSASWORKS is the vehicle the Governor uses to convene State, regional and local workforce system partners and stakeholders to enhance efficiencies and outcomes of multiple federal and state funded workforce programs through alignment in a single state workforce system. It is to promote economic growth by engaging public and private partners and stakeholders in the development and implementation of strategies that address the needs of business and individual citizens. And it works to enhance the overall capacity of existing resources by connecting all services under one comprehensive workforce system.
I would encourage you to find some way to participate on the state level. You know the old saying “out of sight, out of mind”?
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