Newsletter - February 24, 2019
Katie Classen, Bristin Buttry, and Kourtney Bigge, served as pages in Topeka this week. I enjoyed talking with them about the political process and getting their input on the challenges and solutions for the problems, particularly education, facing Kansas.
Evan Winchester was at the Capitol representing Kansas State Extension Council. Because of Evans work in Extension and his day job as an appraiser he has a great understanding of our economy.
Dr. Leslie Bissel and Marshal Lewis visited with me about solutions and problems facing Southwest Guidance center. Mental health and substance abuse treatment are vital to bringing down the cost of government. We have too many people that are underemployed, on assistance, or in our criminal justice system because of underlying substance abuse and mental issues.
Carol spent this week in Topeka and caught up with our high school classmate Patty Garnett Montgomery.
Monday was a sad day for the Legislature. Representative Greg Lewis, of St. John, resigned. Rep. Lewis is fighting a cancerous brain tumor and said in his resignation speech
“I know this tumor cannot defeat my God nor His plan of salvation for me and you …… Philippians 4:7 talks about a peace that transcends all understanding. I can testify to this truth. God has granted me a great peace with all that has occurred and at times even a JOY which I know comes from my relationship with Him.
My parting advice to you is to enjoy each day, enjoy your family, your friends, your fellow legislators but do not take yourself too seriously.
Serve your District with a servant’s heart.
- This is the House of Representatives.
- This is not. . .this is not the house of self-interest.
- This is not the house of special interest.
- This is the People’s House; long may it serve the People and this Great State of Kansas.”
Greg and I joined the legislature the same year. He is my friend and a true Christian gentleman. I will miss him sorely and my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family as he travels this road. The best thing about serving in the Kansas House is the people you meet and I am blessed to have Representative Lewis and his wife Susan as friends.
KPERS Obligation Funded and Sent to the Governor—SB 9
On Friday, the House unanimously approved the bill, 117-0. I voted in support of SB 9
, which begins to make good on the Legislature’s promise to fully fund KPERS, the state retirement plan for our teachers, law enforcement, firefighters and other public employees. SB 9 makes a $115 million payment to the public pension system to catch up on contributions that the state deferred in 2016.
Highlights of SB 9
"The man is a success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth's beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had." Robert Louis Stevenson
- Meet the actuarial required payment (ARC). This will be the first time this has occurred in 25 years.
- Increase the school group’s funding ratio, which is hovering too near critical status. The school group has the lowest funded ratio, currently at 61.6%, which is close to the critical code red status of funded ratio of 60% or lower.
- Achieves an overall funded ratio of 70%, a milestone accomplishment.
- KPERS states that further postponing the payment costs $630K monthly or approximately $20K/day.
My office at the Capitol is 274W, second floor west wing.
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.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. Contact me anytime with your questions, ideas or concerns. 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.