February 21, 2017
TAX REFORM: GIVE KANSANS CREDIT FOR DRIVING LEGISLATURE TOWARD SOUND POLICY
Dena Sattler, The Garden City Telegram
State legislators did what Kansans asked them to do.  Last week, they approved a plan designed to help pull the state out of a financial tailspin.  The bill designed to raise about $590 million in taxes next year would dismantle Gov. Sam Brownback's signature income tax-cut policy of 2012, which only triggered crippling budget shortfalls.
Tired of the fiscal irresponsibility, Kansas voters drove away numerous Brownback supporters. A new, more moderate lineup of legislators set out to restore fiscal sanity.  Read more here .
A LEGISLATURE WORTHY OF THE CAPITOL DOME
Burdett Loomis, The Garden City Telegram
For much of its history, the capitol has attracted well-meaning, sincere citizen legislators from the four corners of the state; through thick and thin Kansas has benefited from their service, despite the fiercest of political battles.
Regrettably, between 2012 and 2016, the Legislature failed the state of Kansas. The renovation of the magnificent capitol building was finally completed, but the politics under the dome proved unworthy of the structure.  Central here is the idea of process, which is boring, slow and complex. Ultimately, however, the deliberation and discourse of the legislative process lead to inclusive decisions, and better ones. No voices are systematically excluded.  In the end, people talk to each other, despite their differences, or maybe because of them.  Read more here .
KANSAS HOUSE PASSES INCOME TAX BILL 83 TO 39
KEPC Bulletin with Bernie Koch
With virtually no debate whatsoever, the Kansas House of Representatives has advanced House Bill 2178, an income tax bill designed to rebalance the state budget. The vote was a surprising 83 to 39, with three members absent. 
The House will take final action on the bill tomorrow. It will almost certainly pass and be sent to the Senate for consideration.  The bill eliminates the business income tax exemption, adds a third tax bracket, eliminates the trigger mechanism in current law that continues cutting income tax rates, and restores an itemized deduction for medical expenses.  All this would be retroactive to January 1 of this year.  The bill would raise an estimated $590 million for Fiscal Year 2018.  Here's a link to the Supplemental Note by Legislative Research that explains the bill in layman's terms.  Here's a link to the fiscal note that estimates the money it will raise.
Which House members voted for the bill? Find out here.
UPDATE: KANSAS SENATE SENDS INCOME TAX INCREASE TO THE GOVERNOR
Daniel Salazar, The Wichita Eagle
The Kansas Senate barely passed an income tax increase and sent it to Gov. Sam Brownback, who has said he opposes it.
The Senate approved the plan 22-18, one vote above the bare minimum required for passage. The House approved it by a broader margin on Thursday .
HB 2178 would roll back key parts of Brownback's 2012 income tax cuts, raising rates for many taxpayers, restoring a third tax bracket and ending a tax exemption for roughly 330,000 business owners.
Once the bill hits the governor's desk, he has 10 days to veto or sign it, or let it become law without his signature.
Read more here.
LAWMAKERS HOLD THEIR BREATH: WILL BROWNBACK VETO TAX BILL?
Jonathan Shorman, cjonline.com
Gov. Sam Brownback now holds the  fate of his most famous, most controversial achievement in his hands.
The Legislature sent a bill to his desk Friday that would raise personal income tax rates and eliminate an exemption for businesses - effectively rolling back the policy Brownback championed in 2012.
He could sign it (but says he won't). He could allow it to become law by not taking any action. Or he could veto it.
Gov. Sam Brownback now holds the fate of his most famous, most controversial achievement in his hands.
Read more here.

KANSAS HOUSE COMMITTEE KILLS MEDICAID EXPANSION PROPOSAL IN 9-8 VOTE
Jonathan Shorman, cjonline.com
Lawmakers effectively killed a bill expanding Medicaid on Monday, delivering a blow to proponents who had hoped the new, more moderate Legislature could advance their cause after years of stymied efforts at the hands of conservative Republicans.
The House Health and Human Services Committee voted 9-8 to delay debate on the bill until April 3. But because of legislative rules governing committee work, the vote essentially eliminated the possibility of further debate this year, without intervention by the House speaker or a super-majority vote of the House - both of which appear unlikely.  "It's dead," said the committee chairman, Rep. Dan Hawkins, a Wichita Republican who opposes expansion.  Read more here .

LETTER: UNBALANCING GOVERNMENT
Ruth J. Heflin, Ph.D., Leavenworth Times
After becoming a state, Kansas struggled with the conflicts of interest between political parties and judicial selection. Things finally came to a head in 1958 because of the infamous "Triple-play."
Following this scandal, Kansans voted in an amendment authorizing the selection of Supreme Court justices through a merit process, which has since been expanded to the Court of Appeals and district courts to maintain nonpartisan selection of judges.
However, Gov. Brownback, unhappy that the Kansas Supreme Court continues to read the Kansas constitution in a way contrary to his goals, has attempted to undermine the nonpartisan nature of judge selection.
Read more here.
KS EDUCATION COMMISSIONER: STATE'S EDUCATED WORKFORCE LAGS
AP, KAKE.com
The Kansas Education Commissioner says the state isn't keeping up with getting the number of students with post-secondary degrees to match workforce needs.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reports Commissioner Randy Watson presented state Board of Education members with National Student Clearinghouse data at their monthly meeting Tuesday.
The statistics show that of the nearly 65 percent of Kansas' 2010 high school graduates who immediately went to a post-secondary institution, less than half of them stayed in school for a second consecutive year.
Factoring in 2010's 14 percent high school dropout rate in Kansas, Watson says the state's workforce needs to have "some kind of skill beyond high school."
Board members like Janet Waugh say the data's concerning, and that it shows the state is "not doing a good enough job."  Read 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.
NON-CITIZENS ARE NOT VOTING. HERE ARE THE FACTS:
Wendy R. Weiser, Douglas Keith
Brennan Ctr. for Justice, NYU School of Law
White House Senior Advisor Stephen Miller  claimed 14% of non-citizens are registered to vote. "We know for a fact, you have massive numbers of non-citizens registered to vote in this country,"  he said, appearing on ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos. "The White House has provided enormous evidence with respect to voter fraud."
Actually, it hasn't.
Like voter fraud generally, non-citizen voting is incredibly rare. Simply put, we already know that ineligible non-citizens do not vote in American elections - including the 2016 election - except at negligible rates. Here are the facts.  Let's have an honest debate about voting in this country - not one filled with misinformation. Voter fraud, including voting by non-citizens, is just not happening like the president says.  Read more here .
KOBACH-INSPIRED IMMIGRATION BILL DRAWS CROWD
Tim Carpenter, The Garden City Telegram
Immigration reform inspired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach attracted a standing-room-only crowd Wednesday for a Senate hearing on a controversial initiative compelling the Kansas Highway Patrol to actively engage in detention, removal and investigation of federal immigration cases.
The throng spilling out of the tiny first-floor meeting room used by the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee was drawn to an opportunity to comment on Kobach's Senate Bill 157 and a companion piece of legislation, Senate Bill 158, that would prohibit cities, counties and state agencies from adopting policy designed to create a sanctuary for undocumented immigrants. Comparable legislation has been introduced in the House.  Read more here .
KOBACH: STOP EMBARRASING OUR STATE
The Emporia Gazette
A few weeks ago, we issued a simple appeal to the leaders of our state: Stop embarrassing us.
From pointless, dangerous campus carry legislation to a fiscal crisis that has been moldering for years, Kansans are tired of people referring to our state as an example of what not to do. While some of the rhetoric coming from our more moderate Legislature has given us cause for optimism, Secretary of State Kris Kobach's recent daylong stint on cable news channels was a reminder that national humiliation is always close at hand for Kansans.
When Kobach appeared on CNN to discuss the "evidence" of voter fraud in New Hampshire, all he did was mention the fact that 6,000 voters had registered with out-of-state driver's licenses (3,000 of whom came from Massachusetts). While he acknowledged that some of these votes were "legit," he argued that others were illegal: "But many of those will be out-of-state residents who voted in the state." Notice how he didn't say "might" - he said "will." When CNN's Kate Bolduan pressed him for evidence, he was unable to produce any.
Read more here.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 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.
KS DEMOCRATIC PARTY PICKS JAMES THOMPSON AS NOMINEE FOR FOURTH  DISTRICT RACE
Trevor Macy, KWCH12
The Kansas Democratic Party voted Saturday for James Thompson to be the party's nominee for the 4th District Special Election.
Thompson defeated four other candidates vying for the nomination Saturday. After the first round of voting, the race was narrowed down to Thompson and Dennis McKinney.  Watch here .
RON ESTES NOMINATED AS GOP CANDIDATE FOR FOURTH DISTRICT SEAT
Emily Griffin, KWCH12
The Kansas Republican Party has chosen state treasurer Ron Estes as its nominee to run for the fourth district congressional seat.  In the second round of voting, Estes beat out former congressman Todd Tiahrt and Alan Cobb for the nomination. Watch 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.

MORE TUESDAY TOPICS:
Women & Homelessness
Tuesday, March 28, Noon-1 p.m.,
Women who are homeless face some challenges unique to their gender. Many have faced domestic violence and have increased risk of assault, some have children to support, and have few job skills that make finding a job difficult.  Sandy Swank, Homeless Services Director for Interfaith Ministries, sees these women on a daily basis. Join us as she shares information on the scope of the problem and what the need is in Wichita.

Separation of Church and State
Tuesday, April 25, Noon-1 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.
WATCH SCHOLARS EXPLAIN COMPLEX POLICY ISSUES IN SUPER SIMPLE LANGUAGE
Do you know the difference between the debt and the deficit? Do you understand the health care crisis? Do you know why 35% of Americans support socialism?

WE CAN EXPLAIN.

Equipping Americans with relevant policy information, pertinent facts, and a discerning analytical perspective to help them perform their civic duties, hold their elected leaders accountable, and "secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."
These short videos will seriously up your policy know-how.  Visit PolicyEd here .
RECENT PROTESTS AND RALLIES PARALLEL AMERICA'S PAST
Abigail Beckman, kmuw 89.1
All across the country, the news in recent weeks has been chock-full of pictures of people proudly holding handmade signs at rallies, videos of protesters filling the streets, and stories about locally sourced activism.
In Wichita, there have been multiple events on the Wichita State University campus.  In late January, a crowd of nearly 3,000 people marched from the Keeper of the Plains to city hall as part of the Air Capital Women's March .
Listen here.
DEMONSTRATION - ROBERTS REFUSES
TOWN HALL, SPEAKS TO  ROTARY CLUB
Wednesday, February 22
11am-1:30pm
Wichita Rotary Club
8501 E. 13th St. N.

US Senator Pat Roberts and US Congressman Dr. Roger Marshall will be the guest speakers at Rotary Club of East Wichita event at Wichita
Country Club,

THE DAY AFTER A TOWN HALL THAT OUR SENATORS REFUSED  TO ATTEND!

We will be demonstrating to show our disapproval of recent actions on immigration, healthcare, voting rights, the environment, education, etc.

Senator Roberts needs to know that as long as he avoids his constituents, we will find him at every event he CHOOSES to attend and make our voices heard!

For more information on where to gather and parking, visit Wichita Women's March  Facebook page here .
LOUDLIGHT:  KANSAS LEGISLATURE WEEK 6 RECAP
Davis Hammett, Loud Light
Week 6: KSLEG  recap: Denying due process, Erin's law, DOJ Investigation, tied gun vote, Governor race begins, labor working families caucus, budget compromises, deadlines for bill
advancement, and more! Watch here.
For previous week's recaps and "live feed" videos, visit Loud Light Facebook page here.
WE'RE SO CLOSE TO ENDING THE BROWNBACK TAX EXPERIMENT. HELP US OVER THE FINISH LINE!
Gov. Brownback has 10 days to act. Sign up now to receive action alerts.
GET INVOLVED!
A Brighter Future Starts Today!
Together, we can end the Brownback tax experiment in 2017.  Sign up here .
THE RESISTANCE CALENDAR
Organize. Resist. Repeat.
Add and search for events in your area

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.
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 .
CRITICS SAY CROSSCHECK SYSTEM INAPPROPRIATELY TARGETS SOME VOTERS
Here & Now, WBUR 90.9
Voter fraud was one of the most talked about topics of the 2016 presidential election, and continues to reverberate today. Kris Kobach is one reason why.
The Kansas secretary of state advised President Trump on voting fraud, which he says is widespread. Kobach likes to point to his success: six voter fraud convictions in the state. But Kobach's critics say he is unfairly going after well-meaning people who made an honest mistake, as Peggy Lowe from Here & Now contributor KCUR reports.  Listen here.
KANSANS CAUGHT IN CROSSCHECK SYSTEM SINGLED OUT FOR KOBACH'S VOTER FRAUD CAMPAIGN
Peggy Lowe, KCUR 89.3
Killian's votes got him caught up in Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's high-profile crusade against voter fraud and brought to light one of Kobach's most important, if flawed, tools: the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program.  Listen here .
KANSAS LAW ENFORCEMENT SKEPTIAL OF KOBACH IMMIGRATION BILLS
Andy Marso, Hays Post
Kansas legislators heard concerns from law enforcement groups Wednesday about two immigration bills promoted by Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
The bills seek to enlist state and local officers in efforts to enforce federal immigration law. But the Kansas Highway Patrol and the Kansas Sheriffs' Association said they don't have the resources to do that and they don't want to be exposed to costly lawsuits if they wrongfully detain someone under the complex federal regulations.
Both groups said they weren't consulted before the bills were introduced. Read more here.

LOUD LIGHT was there for SB157 & SB158 hearings too. Watch here.

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.
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.
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
create new graphics 4 this

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
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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