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Legislative Update from Representative Shannon Francis
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Newsletter - January 24, 2022 

 

State Assistance for Local COVID-19 Testing


The State of Kansas has mobilized the National Guard to support local health departments with COVID-19 testing. Guard members arrived in Liberal this week to begin training with local Health Department staff at our testing site. In addition to the extra staff, the state is supplying the county with saliva-based testing supplies to meet the recent increase in demand for testing.
 
The Seward County Health Department announced hours at the testing site, located at 712 N Western Ave, will be from 7:00am-5:00pm Monday through Friday. These new hours will begin Monday, January 24, and will remain in effect for the duration of the National Guard presence in Seward County. 

The tests are saliva-based PCR tests. Samples will be taken at the testing site and shipped to labs at Wichita State University for processing. Results will be available within 48 hours. You may not eat or drink anything for 30 minutes prior to testing.

These tests serve as qualified COVID tests for employers or schools needing verification of results.

If you have not had an MDL/Wichita State saliva test:
1. Go to their website (https://mdl.wichita.edu/)
2. Complete the “New Patient Registration”
3. Screenshot or save your “Testing Code”
4. Once you have your testing code(s), go to 712 N. Western Ave Liberal, KS during operating hours of 7am-5pm Monday – Friday
If you have had an MDL/Wichita State saliva test:
1. Go to their website (https://mdl.wichita.edu/)
2. Select “Returning Patient/View Test Results” to log in to your account
3. After logging into your account, select “View Testing Code” screenshot or save your “Testing Code”
4. Once you have your testing code(s), go to 712 N. Western during operating hours of 7am-
5pm Monday-Friday.
 

Legislature extends protections to keep
hospitals, adult care homes staffed


Last week, the House sent HB 2477 to the Governor. The legislation deals with staffing shortages and the added stresses being placed on our healthcare workers. HB 2477 suspends some of the rules and regulations for health care providers and adult care homes so they can continue to navigate staffing issues related to COVID-19.
 

Our Community at the Capitol

This is a busy week for Liberal, Kismet and Seward County at the State Capitol. Local community members will have multiple opportunities to talk about the issues facing us with Legislators, State Officials, and other communities.  They will work on finding solutions and developing relationships with others in different meetings and often wearing different “hats.” It starts at 7:00 am on Monday, with Pancakes at the Capitol when local community members will spend the morning serving pancakes to legislators, and state officials.  It’s a great event and it’s focused on Liberal/Seward County only.   It offers us a chance to talk about our issues when everyone is fresh and before the week gets hectic.  It’s a very popular at the Capitol.  Monday evening is “Southwest Kansas Night Out” in Topeka.  Southwest Kansas Night Out focuses on all of SW Kansas and is sponsored by the SW Kansas Chambers of Commerce including Liberal’s.  We always have a large group of our Chamber members attending and sharing our message. Tuesday the Western Kansas County Commissioners and Economic Development Directors are in Topeka as well as County Sheriffs and Appraisers.  Wednesday it will be Farm Bureau, the Water Authority and Ground Water Districts, City and County Governments and the County Registers of Deeds. Thursday the Community Colleges will have meetings with legislators.   It’s a busy week and lots of opportunities for us to share our message.  It’s important to have broad diverse participation at these meetings as we work to develop relationships across the state.  It’s much easier to develop a relationship when you discover you have a shared interest or issue.  Broad participation on our part offers more opportunities for us to help our community grow and learn what others in the state are doing to grow and meet the needs of their communities.
 

Transportation and Public Safety Budget


I am beginning my fourth year as the Chairman of the House Transportation and Budget Committee. My committee reviews the budgets and makes recommendations to the House Appropriations Committee for the following agencies:
 
Department of Corrections
Kansas Highway Patrol
Kansas Bureau of Investigation
Adjutant General/Kansas National Guard
Kansas Division of Emergency Management
State Fire Marshal
Community Corrections
Juvenile Justice Services
Department of Transportation
Emergency Medical Services Board
Sentencing Commission
Board of Indigent’s Defense Services
Commission on Peace Officer Standards (CPOST)
Board of Technical Professions
Abstractors Board of Examiners

Last week the committee began informational hearings.  Because of COVID the Legislature has expanded streaming capabilities and the ability for you to watch and participate by using the internet.  Tuesday’s hearing included a section on Community Corrections budget issues.  Kayla Janko, the Director of our Community Corrections agency, provided written testimony and was able to watch the hearing live with her staff.  Follow this link to Kansas Legislature Audio/Visual Links or go to the Kansas Legislature’s YouTube Channel to find recordings of past committee meetings you are interested in.   This is a great tool for you to know what is going on and participate in your state government.
 

Pages

This year the page program is active again. My first pages are serving on February 14. The Page program is designed for students in middle school, junior high or the first years of high school. Working as a page in the Kansas Legislature is an excellent way to learn more about the legislative process. If you or someone you know is interested in serving as a page, please contact me or Susan for more information.


“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”
- Abraham Lincoln

 

Constituent Services

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.francis@house.ks.gov, by phone (785) 296-7466, or by mail at 300 SW 10th Avenue, 274-W, Topeka, KS 66612

Contact Shannon

At the Legislature

Room: 274-W
State Capitol Building
300 SW 10th Street
Topeka, KS 66612
Phone: 785-296-7466
shannon.francis@house.ks.gov

At Home:

1501 Tucker Court
Liberal, Kansas 67901
Phone: 620-624-9571
sfran83384@aol.com

Useful Resources

State of Kansas Website

The Kansas Legislature

Legislative Bill Reports

Listen Live to Proceedings

Find a State Agency

Kansas Unclaimed Property

Current Road Conditions

National Do Not Call List

Kansas Charity Check

Useful Phone Numbers

Department On Aging
800-432-3535

Child/Adult Abuse Hotline
800-922-5330

Child & Family Services
888-369-4777

Consumer Protection
800-432-2310

Crime Tip Hotline
1-800-KSCRIME
(1-800-572-7463)

Crime Victims'
Information Referral
800-828-9745

Disability / Social
Security Fraud Hotline
800-269-0271

Edler Abuse Hotline
800-842-0078
Governor Laura Kelly
Constituent Services
785-368-8500

Highway Road Conditions
1-866-511-5638
In-State Dial 511

Housing Hotline
800-752-4422

KanCare Clearinghouse
800-792-4884

Kansas Lottery
800-544-9467

Legislative Hotline
800-432-3924

Mental Health Services
888-582-3759

National Suicide
Prevention Lifeline
800-273-8255

School Safety Hotline
877-626-8203

Taxpayer Assistance
785-368-8222

Tax Refund Status
800-894-0318

Unclaimed Property
800-432-0386

Unemployment Insurance
800-292-6333

Voter Registration
800-262-8683

Welfare Fraud Hotline
800-432-3913

Workmans Compensation
800-332-0353

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