Newsletter - January 31, 2020
Our Register of Deeds, Karen Warden visited about issues affecting her office in Seward County
County Commissioner Ada Linenbroker And County Administrator April Warden talked to me about property taxes and economic development.
County Commissioner Ada Linenbroker, Mel Patterson, and Dana Hibbs were in Topeka to help with the Southwest Chambers event and “Pancakes at the Capitol.” The Southwest Chambers had an evening reception and then the following morning we had the pancakes. It was a real 1-2 punch. Everyone in state government was talking about Liberal and Southwest Kansas all week.
The Liberal delegation at the Southwest Chambers Event. Georgetta Taylor came over to visit. It was so nice to see her. We reminisced about Jack and his work to four lane Highway 54. Georgetta also put a plug in for doing away with the Semiannual change to Daylight Savings Time.
Lieutenant Governor Lynn Rogers stopped by to serve “Pancakes at the Capitol”.
Sarah Foreman and Adrian Hatcher were in the Capitol promoting running, hiking and “mountain” biking trails. We have a gem in the rough at Arkalon Park. We have an opportunity to make it a national destination for these events. The “Dirty Kanza” in Emporia attracts 2,750 riders from across the nation. The “Dust Bowl Marathon Series” is nationally known. This type of tourism is growing nationally. This is also just a great quality of life project for our community and can help with economic development.
Enrique Franz, Janeth Vasquez and Gina Garcia were in Topeka for Latina Leaders Day at the Capitol. Janeth also talked with me about SWMC. Gina lives in Wichita now but Liberal is home.
Value Them Both Amendment
On January 29th the Kansas Senate passed Senate Concurrent Resolution 1613 by a vote of 28-12. The resolution would allow the people of Kansas to decide whether abortion can be regulated by state law. A recent Supreme Court Ruling decided that the Kansas Constitution includes the “right to abortion,” interpreting that the Legislature does not have the authority to pass laws restricting it, such as limitations on late-term abortions or requiring parental notification for minors. The constitutional amendment currently reads:
"Because Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion. To the extent permitted by the constitution of the United States, the people, through their elected state representatives and state senators, may pass laws regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, in circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or when necessary to save the life of the mother."
The House will vote on this issue soon. If it receives a 2/3rds majority (84 votes) it will be placed on the ballot August 4th for you to vote on.
Constitutional amendments are the check and balance system we have in situations where court cases make new law, change the way we’ve normally done things, or remove power from the people. The amendment is not a ban. It simply returns us to the way things were from 1861 (when the Kansas Constitution was written) to June 2019 (when this new court case was decided). If passed, the Legislature would continue to be able to regulate abortion subject to federal law and the findings of U.S. Supreme Court cases.
My office assistant this year is Alicia Madison. She can be reached by dialing my office number at 785-296-7466. We still have some page slots available for February and March. The Page program
is designed for students in middle school, junior high or the first years of high school. The student must be at least 12 years old. Working as a page in the Kansas Legislature is an excellent way to learn more about the legislative process.
No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. – John Donne
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’m in Topeka by email Shannon.firstname.lastname@example.org
, by phone (785) 296-7466, or by mail at 300 SW 10th
Avenue, 274-W, Topeka, KS 66612. My office at the Capitol is 274W, second floor west wing.