Newsletter January 28, 2017
This week Ethan Duncan received an award for his “If I were Mayor” Essay from the League of Municipalities during their Local Government Days event. Dr. Trzaska, President of Seward County Community College, was up for meetings and Higher Ed Day at the Capitol. Meghan Hanna stopped by to talk about dental hygienists’ needs. It’s been awhile since David Pennington lived in Liberal but he remembers his roots. We talked about the nurse anesthetist profession, cross-country and track. City Commissioner Jack Carlile was in town and talked with me about trucking regulations and the local business climate.
“It’s common for men to give pretended reasons instead of one real on.” Benjamin Franklin
Jack & Georgetta Taylor, Reid & Hanna Petty, Rozelle Webb, C.J. & Linda Wettstein, Mel Patterson, Ann Ruder, and Dana Hibbs, made sure the Liberal Chamber was well represented at the Southwest Chamber Event.
Seward County Administrator April Warden and County Commissioner C. J. Wettstein were in Topeka talking about the challenges of declining property values and increasing costs to provide services. It’s always great to see them.
Seward County Clerk Stacia Long and I discussed the legislative platform of the County Clerks.
Ron and Mary Oliver were up with the Kansas Electric Coops. Our rural electric coops are a necessary part of the infrastructure of rural Kansas. The cooperation these companies showed in the recent ice storm was amazing as linemen traveled hundreds of miles to help us.
On Friday I received a tour of Fort Riley and a briefing on some of the legislative issues Kansas needs to address. The technology was amazing but more amazing was the sincere appreciation for Kansas exhibited by the military leadership. During the tour I sit next to retired Lieutenant General Perry Wiggins. He chose to retire in Kansas. He isn’t from here but he loved it so much he decided to stay. He mentioned a number of things the legislature can do to increase the number of retired Veterans living in Kansas. We also talked about ways military spouses could be used to ease shortages of professionals in rural Kansas.
I’m sure I’ve forgotten someone that was here this week. It’s been a whirlwind of meetings and appointments.
We have passed five bills out of the house already. Nothing controversial, mainly just minor fixes. I know this sounds boring but we would be better off if our politicians worked on fixing the little things rather than grand experiments. Most the time when we do grand experiments we spend the next ten years passing laws to go back to the way we used to do things.
In Transportation Committee, we got an update from the Department of Transportation. No good news on that front. They hope to be able to restart some construction projects in 2019 on a very limited basis. I’m not sure how realistic that is. We had hearings on bills regarding school bus seatbelts, registration fees for hybrid and electric cars and a camera system for school buses to catch people that ignore the stop sign for children unloading. In Water and Environment, we had several hearings on bills related to rural water districts. In Tax, we had a hearing on the pass through business tax exemption and we reviewed the current list of sales tax exemptions.
Don’t forget, February 6th is going to be a big day at the Capitol! We are restarting the Pancake & Sausage Breakfast. My thanks to Rozelle Webb, April Warden, Sally Fuller, Mike Brack and many more for your leadership in making this happen. It is so important to have you at the capitol telling your story to my fellow legislators. It would be great to have as many people from home there as possible visiting with the Legislators. This is your chance to be heard. Just let any of the above know if you can attend. Rhonda Kinser, of Rochelle’s Place Women’s Ministry, will be giving the invocation for the House of Representatives at 11:00 am.
I will be having my next Legislative Coffee Saturday, February 4th at 10 am at Spencer Browne’s Coffee House. Please come by and let me know your thoughts.
Please reach out to me regarding issues with our state government that I can help with. I do ask that you send the request to me by email. This insures that I get the information correctly to the agency we are working with. Thank you for the opportunity to serve. Please contact me anytime. My email is: Shannon.email@example.com
. Topeka Office Phone: (785) 296-7466 Office at the Capitol: 561W (fifth floor west wing) 300 SW 10th
Ave., Topeka KS 66612.