February 14, 2017
FIRST WE MARCHED, NOW MORE THAN 13,000 WOMEN ARE PLANNING TO RUN FOR OFFICE
Claire Landsbaum, The Cut, NYMAG.com
On Inauguration Weekend, an estimated 3.2 million people in hundreds of  cities across the country took to the streets to protest the incoming president.
More than 400,000 people marched in Washington, D.C., similar numbers turned out in New York and Los Angeles, and even in Houston, Phoenix, New Orleans, Santa Fe, and Reno, marchers numbered in the tens of thousands. It was, as organizers promised it would be, the most massive coordinated demonstration an incoming president has ever faced.
But its real power will be measured not in crowd size but in the lasting impact it has on the political process. And one of the clearest results of the march - and of the election as a whole - is the wave of political participation among women at local, state, and national levels that's emerging in its wake.  Read more here .
WHY THIS NEARLY 100-YEAR-OLD ORGANIZATION IS SEEING
A RESURGENCE THANKS TO PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
Colby Itkowitz, The Washington Post
A friend suggested to Marie Gauthier that she check out the League of Women Voters as a way to channel her sudden urge to be more civically engaged after November's election. But Gauthier had to call her friend back with bad news.
It looks wonderful, she recalled telling her friend, but there's not a chapter here in Franklin County in central Massachusetts. To which her friend replied: "So, maybe you should start one then."
So on Nov. 14, less than a week removed from the election, Gauthier called the league's Massachusetts state branch and said she wanted to start a chapter where she lived.  "I never thought I'd take it this direction," she said, "but I guess I look at my kids and I want them to see that when there are challenges you have to rise up to them and meet them."  Read more here .
POLITICAL HARDBALL IS ALREADY BACK AT THE KANSAS LEGISLATURE
Sam Zeff, KCUR 89.3
The Kansas Legislature is entering its fifth week of work and already some members are being threatened with a primary and negative postcards are being dropped in mailboxes.  The primary threats came after moderate Republicans in the Senate refused to back budget bills from leadership that would have cut five percent out of public school budget this year and modestly hiked income taxes to fill a billion-dollar budget hole over the next two years.
Despite the mailers and the primary threats Skubal says everyone seems to be talking to one another. He says he has a Monday morning meeting with Senate Vice President Jeff Longbine from Emporia and then he's off to a meeting set up by Democrats to discuss budget matters.  "If you can't work with everyone who was sent there, you've lost," Skubal says.  Read more here .
KEPC UPDATE: INCOME TAX BILL, CUTS & TAX DEBATE, S&P BONDS DOWNGRADED, ECONOMISTS, MEDICAID EXPANSION, STAR BONDS
Kansas Economic Progress Council
By a bi-partisan vote of 13 to 9, the House Taxation Committee has passed House Bill 2178 , which is now a tax reform bill that is designed to help Kansas get out of its budget problem.  Meanwhile the Senate's day was not as productive.  On Thursday, the Kansas Senate unexpectedly postponed debate on a bill to cut the current budget.  Leadership said there are not enough votes to pass the legislation.  Senators are being given the weekend to think things over and talk to constituents.  Read more here .
STILL SEEKING GROWTH FROM TAX CUTS AND UNION BUSTING
Noah Smith, BloombergView
In recent years, a number of states have experimented with the kind of low-tax, anti-union policies that many Republicans and free-marketers like. These include Kansas under Governor Sam Brownback, Wisconsin under Scott Walker in recent years, and Texas going back several decades.
A comparison is Kansas and Nebraska. Six years ago, Brownback began a program  of big tax cuts in Kansas; Nebraska didn't follow suit. How did they do? Bloomberg View's Justin Fox took a look  at the states about a year ago, and found that Kansas lagged its northern neighbor in job growth. Kansas continues to lag Nebraska in terms of the percentage of residents with jobs, as it's done for the past 25 years. And in terms of median income, the Brownback years haven't done much to reverse the lead that Nebraska opened up in the mid-2000s.
Read more here .
TIME TO END LOVE AFFAIR
WITH DEFICITS
Michael Smith, The Garden City Telegram
Republicans were once married to balanced budgets and conservative money management, but now they have run off with something new: the seduction of tax cuts and budget deficits. They try to cover up the truth about their new relationship by cooking the books. Kansas' own Dwight Eisenhower would be appalled.
Since Sam Brownback was elected governor in 2010, they have brought their new love to Kansas. Once, moderate Republicans like Robert Bennett, Mike Hayden and Bill Graves proudly presided over conservatively managed, balanced budgets. Today, Kansas' budget is balanced in name only: Trust funds have been drained, future payments leveraged and highway bonds misused to create the illusion of a balanced budget that may technically pass legal muster, but will spell disaster down the road. Honestly, the thrill is gone.  Read more here .

A LOOK AT 3 SCHOOL FINANCE PLANS GARNERING DEBATE AT THE KANSAS STATEHOUSE
Peter Hancock, LJWorld.com
The chairman of a House committee charged with crafting a new school finance formula plans this coming week to start reviewing the bills that have been introduced so far, and could open formal hearings on one of the bills as early as Thursday.
"It takes a while to get them assigned to the K-12 (Education Budget) Committee and give the public notice of hearings, but generally, we'll be focusing on formulas the next few weeks," Rep. Larry Campbell, R-Olathe, said in an email Friday.
So far, five separate plans have been formally introduced in the House, including three that were just introduced Friday, and some of them take vastly different approaches to funding schools from what the state has seen in the past.
  1. Rep. Rooker & Sen. Kelly Plan
  2. Rep. Schwab Plan
  3. O'Neal Plan
Campbell said Friday that the tentative plan is to open hearings on the Rooker-Kelly plan, HB 2270, as soon as Thursday of this week, or early the following week.
Read more here.
RIGG: LAW WOULD RESTORE TEACHER'S DUE PROCESS RIGHTS
TJ Rigg, The Sunflower
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a law in 2014 that met the state Supreme Court's order to restore equalization funding for capital outlay and local option budgets, at the time. At the same time, it took away the right of Kansas teachers to practice due process when facing termination from their jobs.  The right to due process for teachers was a six-decade-old policy. It has not been available since Brownback signed the law. Finally, after three years, due process rights may be restored.  Read more here .

STEVE KRASKE: JASON KANDER PUSHES BACK AGAINST VOTER-SUPPRESSION LAWS
Steve Kraske, The Kansas City Star
This week, Kander announced the formation of a voting rights advocacy group, Let America Vote, designed to halt voter suppression across the country and serve as a counterweight to the efforts of Republicans such as Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
"I decided I was just tired of my side of the argument not trying to win the public debate," Kander said. "I think we have a very strong argument: Trying to keep people from voting is very un-American."
Kander is right about that. Democrats typically haven't been nearly as aggressive on this front as Kobach.
Read more here.
KOBACH TWO-BALLOT SYSTEM FACES OPPOSITION
Celia Llopis-Jepsen,
The Topeka Capital-Journal
Posted in Garden City Telegram
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Tuesday faced impassioned opposition from civic groups and lawyers as he urged a panel of lawmakers to authorize a two-ballot system for state and federal voting.
Kobach describes Senate Bill 37 as a patch to close a "loophole" created by a federal court injunction that allowed Kansans to vote if they registered through the Division of Motor Vehicles.
The ACLU of Kansas, however, said Kobach is asking lawmakers to adopt a "manifestly unfair" system that has already been blocked by federal injunction.
Read more here.
DAY OF EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY AT THE CAPITOL
Thursday, March 16,  9am-2pm
KS Statehouse 915 SW Jackson St.
Tickets available here.
 
Kansans gather at the Kansas Statehouse to learn about and advocate for Water, Energy, Air, Land, Transportation, and Health!
  1. Get up-to-date on current environmental advocacy
  2. Visit the Solutions Showcase
  3. Enjoy a Local Foods Lunch (RSVP by March 9th)
  4. Sample New Ideas at the Cookies & Conservation Conversation
  5. Meet with your legislators
Agenda  (a more detailed agenda to come soon)
9:00-9:45: Climate Prayer Vigil
10:00-11:30: Advocacy Overview
10:00-2:00: Solutions Showcase (booth exhibits)
11:30-1:00: Speakers & Local Foods Lunch
1:00-2:00: Cookies & Conservation Conversation
1:00-3:00: Meetings with legislators
 
Visit website here.
LIBERTARIAN THINK TANKS, HEALTH SECRETARY TESTIFY AGAINST EXPANDING MEDICAID
Celia Llopis-Jepsen, cjonline.com
Kansas is one of 19 states that haven't expanded Medicaid coverage. Expansion was one of the tools included in the Affordable Care Act. The bill before the House health committee would offer Medicaid to more low-income Kansans.
Opponents and proponents are unable to agree on fundamental implications of the program, from what it would cost to whether it would benefit the economy, improve health care and shore up financially struggling hospitals.  Proponents, meanwhile, tout a variety of savings and question the state's calculations. At least one lawmaker, Susan Concannon, R-Beloit, sought further clarification of the state's cost estimates and whether it had accurately factored in anticipated savings to the state.  Read more here .
LOUD LIGHT WAS LIVE AT KANCARE/MEDICAID EXPANSION HEARING
On February 8th, Chairman Hawkins and members of the Health and Human Services committee heard testimony from proponents of expanding KanCare.
We need to keep the pressure on and make sure lawmakers in Topeka put Kansans first. I know you can help us make it happen. Please spread the word and support expanding KanCare.  Watch here .
RELIGION MAY BE FREE, BUT POLITICS MUST BE TAXED
Marshall John, Rural Messenger
Separation of church and state is fundamental to the Constitution and for good reason. Restrictions apply to the tax status of churches preaching politics, which is frequent these days. We even have state-sponsored religion: Employees at the Secretary of State's office have been harangued for their reluctance to attend office Bible study there during working hours.
When chu.rches start playing fast and loose with politics, it's time for the IRS to come knocking and introduce religion to the tax code. When the Capitol becomes a pulpit for church politics, citizens are justified in complaining about another freedom: religion's freedom to preach politics with elected officials serving as altar boys.  Read more here .
INDIVISIBLE!
Together, we can resist and win! Watch and share this quick guide to learning about the best practices for making Congress listen -- straight from the brilliant minds of congressional staffers. Go to indivisibleguide.com for more information.  Watch 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 .

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.
LOUDLIGHT:  KANSAS LEGISLATURE WEEK 5 RECAP
Davis Hammett, Loud Light
Topics include 2-Tier voting, credit rating downgrade, cell phone driving, Senate budget lockdown, combating sex trafficking, congressional district 4 candidates, coming upWatch here .
CONTENTIOUS TAX PLANS IN THE KANSAS SENATE
Sam Zeff & Matt Hopdapp, KCUR 89.3
On this week's  Statehouse Blend Kansas Sen. Barbara Bollier
(R-Mission Hills) 
talks about the various tax plans making their way through the Kansas Senate, KanCare, and the possibility of getting primaried in the future.  Listen here .
LOTTERY SECURITIZATION MAY PROVIDE A DIFFERENT BUDGET FIX
Nick Gosnell, WIBW News
A bill was introduced this week in the House Appropriations Committee that would allow for the securitization of future earnings from Kansas Lottery ticket sales.
"Right now, they're talking about selling off the Children's Initiatives Fund," said Stogsdill. "My thought was, that is a fund that is projected to go down every year. I was looking at the Lottery funds, which are projected to go up every year. As an investor, I'm going to be much more interested in looking at a fund that looks like it has upward growth...It's certainly a tool that we should be looking at to fill our budget hole. Read more here.

LEAGUE & LIBRARY PRESENT
TUESDAY TOPICS
Winter/Spring 2017, 4th Tuesday

Central Branch Public Library
3RD Floor Auditorium
Main & William, Wichita

Bring a brown bag lunch, drinks furnished

MEDIA INFLUENCE ON PUBLIC POLICY
February 28, Noon-1 p.m.,
Central Library, 223 S. Main
Today's news travels rapidly, through Twitter, Instagram, and other social media outlets. How has our society changed in the way news is reported? And what impact does this have on the news we receive? Join us as our presenters discuss the way that media affects and influences our decisions as citizens. This program will be presented by Jeffrey W. Jarman, Ph.D., Interim Director, Elliott School of Communication, WSU.  There will be time for questions from the audience at the conclusion of the program.

These programs are free and open to the public. Feel free to bring a brown bag lunch, drinks will be provided. 
Program starts promptly at noon.
CNN ANCHOR GRILLS KRIS KOBACH OVER VOTER FRAUD AND STEPHEN MILLER
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach debates CNN host Kate Bolduan about claims that there were many millions of illegal votes in the 2016 election and the claim that people took buses from Massachusetts to New Hampshire to illegally vote.
"Miller says look to you, sir, for the evidence," Bolduan asked Kobach. "Where is it?"
"It seems people realize that they are actually registered in two states, and some people, a small minority, but some people are tempted to go ahead and cast ballots in both states," he said. "It's a bipartisan problem."
"A small minority does not make millions and millions of widespread rampant illegal votes in this country," Bolduan replied. "I can't wait to see the evidence." Watch here.

Tues., Feb. 21,  5:30-7:30pm
Distillery 244 | 244 N. Mosley
At a time when citizens and voters face monumental choices on issues that will define our future, there is a great need for broader understanding of how what happens at the polls affects you. That's why KMUW launched Engage ICT: Democracy on Tap.  Come find out why you should care about the issues in our city, state and nation.
KMUW is bringing together city and county officials to discuss civic engagement on the local level. Learn what the city and county actually do and how to get involved.
These monthly gatherings are held at different venues each month and will feature authoritative panelists and conversations on issues that touch your daily life.
OUR MARCH FORWARD DID NOT END HERE...
Now is the time to get our friends, family, and community together and  MAKE HISTORY .

Click on the graphic for list of actions.
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
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