April 4 , 2017
STEVE KRASKE: THINK ELECTIONS DON'T MATTER? LOOK NO FURTHER THAN KANSAS
Steve Kraske, The Kansas City Star
Ask nonvoters why they don't bother to cast a ballot at election time, and you hear the same things over and over.  "It doesn't matter."
"Won't make any difference."
"Waste of time."
Well, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, let's turn to the 2016 elections in Kansas as Exhibit 1 for why that isn't true. That election transformed the state from rock-ribbed conservative to something far closer to what it used to be - moderate in the image of Bob Dole and Nancy Kassebaum.
This sweeping change happened in one election that's already had real consequences.
Elections matter. Sometimes a lot.  Read more here .
HOW MODERATES TOOK BACK KS
Benjamin Wallace-Wells, The New Yorker
The Kansas Senate voted  by a wide margin to expand the state's Medicaid coverage. A majority of Democrats supported the bill, as might be expected, but so did a majority of Republicans. That the vote was both bipartisan and decisive is a modest but promising sign for the future of public health insurance. But the vote had an added significance because it took place in Kansas. For the six years that Sam Brownback has been Governor, the state has been the scene of what may be the nation's most extreme experiment in conservatism.  Read more here .
BROWNBACK, LAWMAKERS READY TO DUKE IT OUT
Jonathan Shorman, Garden City Telegram
For the rest of his time in office, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback will face a series of veto fights with a state Legislature elected on the promise of undoing his legacy.
Brownback has used his veto power this session to block lawmakers from rolling back his signature income tax cuts and to prevent the state from expanding Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act to provide health coverage for 150,000 low-income Kansans .
Read more here .
KSEG: RESULTS OF KANSAS STATEWIDE POLL
KCEG and Targetsmart
Governor Sam Brownback and the policy changes he brought to the state of Kansas in2012 remain incredibly unpopular, according to the results of our recent statewide poll. Just 24% of Kansas voters approve of the job Brownback is doing as governor, while two-thirds (67%) disapprove, and a healthy majority (54%) strongly disapprove. Brownback's approval rating is at just 21% among unaffiliated voters, 34% among registered Republicans overall, and only 19% among self-described moderate Republicans.
In the absence of any specific information, 67 percent of Kansas voters oppose the changes Brownback made to Kansas tax policy in 2012 (51 percent strongly oppose), while just 20 percent favor them.
Read the release here.
PLAN PHASES IN $750 MILLION MORE FOR KANSAS SCHOOLS OVER THE  NEXT FIVE YEARS
Sam Zeff, HPPR
A Kansas legislative committee worked eight hours Thursday night and didn't come up with a new school funding formula. 
But we now know the goal for how much new money will be added to try and satisfy the state Supreme Court which has ruled school funding in Kansas is inadequate. 
"Our target was a $150 million over a period of five years, to escalate up slowly to a more constitutionally appropriate number," says Rep. Melissa Rooker, a Republican from Fairway and a driving force to find more money for public education. 
By adding $150 million more each year for the next five years, lawmakers will gradually increase public school funding by $750 million. Most believe that final figure will pass constitutional muster.  Read more here .
NEW KANSAS SCHOOL FUNDING FORMULA HITS POLITICAL DELAY
Sam Zeff, KCUR 89.3
The chairman of the K-12 Budget Committee in the Kansas House promised that a new funding formula would be approved Monday and sent to the floor so the measure would be considered before lawmakers leave for a three-week break.
Turns out, politics got in the way.
Despite the delay, Campbell says he expects to have a bill passed Friday by the full House. After that, lawmakers will take three weeks off before coming back to Topeka to finish their work on the budget, taxes and, perhaps, school funding Read more here .
VOUCHERS, ESAS AND SCHOOL CHOICE
John Richard Schrock, Garden City Telegram
In 1848, Horace Mann (who strove to establish primary education for all) believed that education of both rich and poor in the same classrooms would "...do more than all things else to obliterate factitious distinctions in society." For over a century, the public school became a "melting pot" where rich and poor students sat together. Unfortunately, American society has again become separated into segregated communities with unequal opportunities across schools. Neighborhood schools in unequal communities make for unequal education, long since Brown vs. Board of Education ruled that "separate is not equal." Unfortunately, none of these school choice proposals functions to solve this inequality.
Read more here.


Hosted by Student Government Association of Wichita State
THURSDAY, APRIL 6, 12:30-1:30PM
WSU CAC Theater,  1845 Fairmount St., Wichita
This is a chance for students to ask their potential representatives questions they may have about their platform and their stances on current issues. The following candidates will be present at this forum:
  • Ron Estes
  • James Thompson
  • Chris Rockhold
We look forward to seeing you on  April 6th at 12:30 p.m.!

If you have any questions, please contact Legislative Director Morton at sga.legdirector@wichita.edu .





GET OUT THE VOTE -- APRIL 11, 2017!

RON ESTES ( Republican ) has been the State Treasurer of Kansas since 2010, and has worked with Governor Sam Brownback on Kansas' current tax policies. Ron grew up on the family farm near Osage, Kansas. He has a degree in civil engineering and a graduate degree in Business Administration.
His professional background was in the aerospace, oil & gas, and manufacturing industries. He is married, the father of three children, and lives in Wichita. Ron's issues include: increasing economic growth, rolling back of government regulations, repealing Obamacare, increasing national security, and defending religious liberty and 2nd amendment rights.  Visit website here.

CHRIS ROCKFORD  (Libertarian) is a flight instructor at FlightSafety in Wichita. He grew up in California, Arizona and Washington. He and his wife lived in Washington for almost 2 decades before moving to Kansas. They have one son. Chris is also an advocate and dedicates his spare time to the American Red Cross. He is running for office because he has known from an early age that he wanted to be a representative of the people. He believes that aviation is a vital part of Wichita's economy and he plans "to keep it that way." His issues include: establishing a completely transparent government, reducing the size of government and its regulations, privatizing or abolishing the majority of federal agencies, and simplifying the tax code and abolishing the IRS.  Visit website  here .

JAMES THOMPSON ( Democrat) faced adversity as a child-he rose from homelessness in childhood to his position as a civil rights attorney in Wichita.
While serving in the U.S. Army, James was promoted to be a member of the Presidential Honor Guard. After his honorable discharge, he moved to Kansas to be close to his family. He earned his J.D. at Washburn Law School.  He is married with one daughter, Liberty, and lives in Wichita. His issues include: promoting economic growth and jobs (while fighting against the trickle-down theories promoted by Governor Sam Brownback), promoting and funding public schools, making higher education as inexpensive and assessable as possible, providing a voice to the needs of our veterans, and making government work for everyone.  Meet James Thompson on  YouTube Visit website here .
KANSAS CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES TALK IMMIGRATION, HEALTH, NATIONAL SECURITY
Daniel Salazar, The Wichita Eagle
For the first time, the three candidates in the 4th District congressional race squared off on the same debate stage.
Republican Ron Estes, Democrat James Thompson and Libertarian Chris Rockhold debated topics ranging from illegal immigration to health care to national security at a televised forum hosted by KWCH on Tuesday evening.
Early in-person voting has already begun  for the special congressional election to replace former Rep. Mike Pompeo, who resigned his seat to become the Central Intelligence Agency director in the Trump administration.
Read more here.
KANSAS GOP GOVERNOR VETOES MEDICAID EXPANSION
Jeffrey Young, The Huffington Post
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) rejected legislation on Thursday that would have used funding from the Affordable Care Act to expand Medicaid  in his state to more low-income people.
The majority-Republican Kansas legislature passed the bill earlier this week, which would have extended health coverage to an estimated 150,000 state residents via KanCare, the Medicaid program in the Sunflower State.
Kansas is one of the 19 states --  all led by Republican governors, Republican legislatures or with a divided government -- that has refused to broaden Medicaid eligibility under the health law.  Read more here .
LAWMAKERS FAIL TO OVERRIDE GOVERNOR'S VETO OF BILL EXPANDING MEDICAID
Associated Press, ksn.com
Kansas won't be extending its health coverage to thousands of poor adults under former President Barack Obama's signature health care law after Democrats and moderate Republicans failed Monday to override conservative GOP Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of an expansion bill.
The state House voted 81-44 to override Brownback's veto of the measure, which would have expanded the state's Medicaid program to cover as many as 180,000 additional adults. But supporters of the bill needed three more votes, or 84 in the 125-member chamber, for the two-thirds majority necessary to overturn the governor's action.  Read more here .
HERE'S HOW EVERY KS HOUSE MEMBER VOTED ON THE MEDICAID EXPANSION OVERRIDE ATTEMPT OF BROWNBACK'S VETO
Tim Carpenter, cjonline.com
The Kansas House   fell short   of the required two-thirds majority - 84 votes - to override Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a Medicaid expansion bill. The vote on the motion was 81-44, with no Democrats siding with the governor.
Click on the map included in article to view your local lawmaker's name.  Read more here .
VOTING LAWS ROUNDUP 2017
Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
Add "Bills to Restrict Access to Voting in 2017" to map graphic
Continuing a trend seen in recent years, bills to expand voting access outpace those that would make it harder to vote. So far, the majority of states advancing restrictive legislation are pushing bills that try to circumvent previous court rulings or settlements that blocked strict voting laws. Bills to restrict voting have been largely divided along party lines, whereas most voter-friendly bills have received bipartisan support.
Read full report here.
HOW TO FIX THE DOJ'S CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION
Leon Neyfakh, Slate.com
Three of the biggest names in voter suppression have a message for Attorney General  Jeff Sessions : The Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department needs an extreme makeover. In an  open letter published this week, former DOJ officials Hans von Spakovsky and J. Christian Adams joined Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and 22 other signatories in calling on Sessions to clean up the "ideological rot".
In the letter, the authors ask Sessions to shift the Civil Rights Division's priorities: Instead of concentrating on issues like racism in American policing, as it did under the leadership of attorneys general Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, they suggest that the Sessions DOJ should put its energy toward putting an end to "politically-driven pursuits against state photo voter identification requirements" and tackling voter intimidation against white people.  Read more here.
VOTING RIGHTS ENTHUSIASTS 
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26, 7:30pm
TOWN CENTER 20,
11701 Nall Ave., Leawood
Tickets $12.  Deadline to purchase tickets is April 12, 2017.

Purchase tickets at  gathr.com  by the deadline day of April 12 for the screening of the movie
The Best Democracy Money Can Buy about
"The Kansas Project," Kris Kobach's Crosscheck program to suppress voting rights, rolled out  across the  nation to affect the 2016 election.

Tickets and additional information available here.

If fewer than 78 tickets are purchased by individual moviegoers, the movie will be canceled and moviegoers' purchase will be refunded.   JO Votes is co-sponsoring this with American Promise-Kansas City, Mainstream, and True Blue Women (so far). 
KANSAS HOUSE LIKELY TO RESUME DEBATE OVER GUNS
ON CAMPUS
Bryan Lowry, The Wichita Eagle
standing concealed carry 3.jpg
The Kansas House appears poised to debate again whether concealed firearms should be allowed on college campuses.
Publicly funded universities and hospitals will be required to allow concealed guns in their facilities starting in July under a law the Kansas Legislature passed in 2013 that opened most public buildings to firearms.
House Minority Leader Jim Ward, D-Wichita, made a procedural motion Monday to bring an unrelated gun bill to the floor for debate.
If Ward's motion gets 63 votes Tuesday, it will open an opportunity for lawmakers to offer the legislation barring guns from college campuses and hospitals as amendments. Those amendments would be germane only to a bill that deals with firearms under the Legislature's rules.  Read more here .
LEAGUE & LIBRARY PRESENT
TUESDAY TOPICS
Winter/Spring 2017, 4th Tuesday

Central Branch Public Library
223 S. Main,
3rd Floor Auditorium,
Main & William, Wichita

Bring a brown bag lunch, drinks furnished. Program starts promptly at noon.

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE
Tuesday, April 25, 12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m.
Americans often hear the phrase "separation of Church and State" when discussing the proper role of religion in American life. Is this the proper understanding of the First Amendment, and if so, how is that carried out today? This month's speakers will be Vickie Stangl, President of the Great Plains Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Dr. Jamie Finkeldei, Associate Superintendent for the Catholic Schools in Wichita. Join us to learn more about both sides of this important issue .

This program is free and open to the public. Feel free to bring
a brown bag lunch, drinks will be provided.
KANSAS LEGISLATURE
WEEK 11 RECAP
Davis Hammet, LoudLight
Week 11 #KSLEG recap: punishing Democrats, condemning pornography, Medicaid expansion saga, amusement park regulations, and more.
Watch here.


It is almost impossible to express the anger I feel over the veto of the KanCare bill by Governor Brownback. It is hard to believe that he would care so little about helping those who cannot help themselves.
He has been living in the lap of luxury too long, which might account for his autocratic governance. As a former Kansas Attorney General, I am thankful that he was not governor when I was in office.

-- Robert T. Stephan 
Attorney at Law, Lenexa, KS
KS REVENUE FALLS $11.7 MIL SHORT OF EXPECTATIONS
Daniel Salazar, The Wichita Eagle
Kansas tax collections fell $11.7 million short of expectations in March, increasing the state's fiscal shortfall after it had declined in previous months.  The projected shortfall for the fiscal year that ends in June is now above $290 million.
Read more here .

NOW CONSIDER THIS: KANSAS WORST IN NATION IN NEW FED REPORT
Phillip Brownlee, The Wichita Eagle
The Kansas Department of Commerce stopped producing this summer its quarterly economic report -- a report that Gov. Sam Brownback established  to measure the success of his economic policies. So how has the state been doing since then? Terribly, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
Read more here .
PERFECT STORM, SCHOOL FINANCE, FLAT INCOME TAX, SENATE BUDGET, HIGHWAY BONDS, RESCISSION, MEDICAID VETO
Kansas Economic Progress Council
Read more here.
"FLAT" DOES NOT EQUAL "FORWARD"
Heidi Holliday, Executive Dir., KCEG
Over the past several weeks, an insidious tax structure proposal has been making the rounds in the Kansas Statehouse: flat taxes. While the idea that everyone pays the same rate regardless of income may initially seem attractive, a basic look into the impact of such a tax shows that it's
anything but. Read more here.
TOWN HALL ANYONE?
Senators Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts will be in Wichita for the congressional recess, April 10-21.  If your organization would like to schedule a town hall meeting, contact:
Senator Jerry Moran's scheduler in Olathe,  913-782-0397;

Senator Pat Roberts's scheduler in Overland Park, 913-451-9343

HAYS CHAPTER WELCOMES STATE LEADERSHIP
The organizational meeting for the Hay/Russell Chapter of Women for Kansas was held Sunday, March 26, 2017 at the Hays Public Library in Hays, Kansas.
Fifteen women attended the meeting that featured Mary Knecht and Deanna Zitterkopf, two members of the Kansas State Leadership Group. They spoke about the history of the organization, the mission, vision, core values, purpose and goals of Women for Kansas.
 A question and answer session followed, and the meeting ended with the members deciding they would like the April meeting to be a forum with students from Fort Hays State University expressing their opinions and concerns on the campus concealed carry laws which go into effect July, 2017. Details on this forum
will be announced in the near future.

BECOME A MEMBER OF WOMEN FOR KANSAS!   

Thanks to the efforts of hundreds of determined Women for Kansas, 2016 was the year we began turning the ship around. In the Senate, we picked up 10 moderate seats; in the House, we added 28. Not quite a legislative majority but changed enough so that Brownback and his lemmings can no longer stream roll over us.
 
Up next: two busy years planning for the 2018 gubernatorial/statewide races. With your support, Women for Kansas will again help lead the way.

Basic membership $60.00
Contributing member $150.00
Sustaining member $500.00
Student member $30.00

Mail your check to:
Women for Kansas
P.O. Box 8774
Wichita, Kansas 67208

Or charge your credit card via  PayPal
(You are not required to have a PayPal account).
Dues are based on a calendar year.
4TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT SPECIAL ELECTION EARLY VOTING LOCATOR
Download and/or print this useful PDF with early voting locations, times and Election Office contact information.
View here.
4TH DISTRICT CANDIDATE'S RESPONSES TO W4K SPECIAL ELECTION QUESTIONNAIRE
W4K supports candidates who believe in the principles of good government-including public policies that are fiscally and morally responsible, fair to all people, and arrived at openly and transparently. We are nonpartisan, but not neutral where those principles are concerned. To view the candidate's responses, click here.

Note:  To date, there has been no response from Ron Estes (R) or Chris Rockhold (L) to W4K's request for completion and return of questionnaire. As soon as received, W4K will post to website for viewing.


LoudLight's Davis Hammet & Community Organizer Yasmari Rodriguez will be leading a workshop, Activism 101 where we'll talk about how you can mobilize your community to demand change! I hope you'll join
them. Visit LoudLight here.
MARCH FOR SCIENCE
Saturday, April 22
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Old County Courthouse
504 N. Main Street, Wichita

Rally with speakers at the Old County Courthouse starting at 11:00 am. 
After the speakers we will march from the Courthouse to the Mid-America All-Indian Center, 650 North Seneca, where we will be hosting a teach-in.

This is a non-partisan event for all people who support science, scientists, and policy based on scientific data and facts.

Visit our Facebook page here.

EQUAL PAY DAY:  CHECK OUT THE PAY GAP IN EACH STATE FOR EQUAL PAY DAY
Madeline Faber, FORTUNE
The gender pay gap  
exists in every state and nearly all of the country's congressional districts.
But women in New York state and Delaware are the closest to reaching pay equity with their male counterparts, while those  Wyoming  appear to be the farthest: Female workers there make a mere 64 cents for every dollar earned by a man, according to the National Women's Law Center.
Read more here:
IMMIGRANTS MAKE AMERICA GREAT!
MAY 1, 10am - 7pm
Hosted by Sunflower Community Action

We are still finalizing details with members and other organizations in Wichita that will join us in unity for this National day! Please mark it on your calendar. We will march and show how immigrants already make America great and we will finish with a celebration to celebrate diversity,
immigrants and unity! Update information available here.
ACTION 6 REGISTER TO VOTE
As we grow our resistance movement, it is important to recognize the power of our vote. By focusing on upcoming special, local, and state elections, we can create a groundswell of new elected officials who will fight for our values.  Our power lies at the local level, the pipeline for higher offices; this is why we have to vote more than once every four years.
For the sixth action in our 10 Actions / 100 Days campaign, we ask you to register to vote and to identify the upcoming elections in your district. Learn more about the Women's March and more actions you can take  here .
STATE GOVERNMENT: HOW TO GET INVOLVED IN KS
From tracking legislation, to contacting your state legislator or governor, to viewing campaign contributions, this article is
packed full of useful information EVERY  Kansan should know.
PDF of handout available here.
2017-2018 KANSAS ROSTER AND CONTACT INFORMATION

KS House of  Representatives Roster
Kansas Senate Roster

NOT SURE WHO REPRESENTS YOU?  WE CAN HELP

Find your U.S. State Senator

HANDY & PRINTABLE PDFS

2017 House Contact List PDF
2017 Senate Contact List PDF
Committee Analysis PDF
Transparency Comes to the Statehouse PDF
Advocacy DONTs & DOs PDF
KNS WEEKLY BRIEFING, LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: CONCEALED CARRY EXEMPTION STALLS
Meg Wingerter, KSNews
A bill that would exempt state hospitals and community mental health center from concealed carry requirements appears to have stalled in the Kansas Legislature.
Since it had a March 23 hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee, Senate Bill 235 has yet to come up for a vote. The bill would exempt state hospitals, community mental health centers, nursing homes and the University of Kansas Hospital from a law requiring that they would allow the public to carry guns in their facilities or invest in metal detectors and armed guards. The law takes effect in July, 2017.  Read more here .
VoteRunLead supports the aspirations of women who want to transform our country and democracy through their participation as leaders. 
VoteRunLead is proud to have trained over 15,000 women for political leadership.  Find other women in your area and get connected.  Visit  here .
Follow Women for Kansas on Twitter  or Instagram,
@women_for_kansas. Like us on Facebook , and visit our website at www.WomenforKansas.org .
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