March 21, 2017
TRUMP PROPOSES DEEP TRANSPORTATION CUTS IN RURAL REGIONS THAT SUPPORTED HIM
Curtis Tate, Lindsay Wise and Anita Kumar
McClatchy Washington Bureau
President Donald Trump, who has promised to make a $1 trillion investment in the nation's infrastructure, has proposed $2.4 billion in cuts to federal transportation programs that fund air and rail service and road and transit projects. Trump's budget takes the controversial step of removing air traffic control from the Federal Aviation Administration and spinning it off to a private, nonprofit corporation. Trump would eliminate subsidies for long-distance passenger trains and commercial flights to rural communities. Both could isolate small towns with few  transportation options. Read more here .
RURAL HITS: BUDGET PLAN WOULD DERAIL PROGRAMS VITAL IN KANSAS
Dena Sattler, The Garden City Telegram
Declines in infrastructure, air and train service won't help remote, rural locales such as ours that need decent transportation options to attract and keep businesses.
Making matters worse for Kansas: Trump's already wrecked trade deals good for farmers and ranchers, and his proposed budget would dismantle rural and farm programs at a time of serious setbacks in agriculture.
Trump supporters claim his proposed budget is just a starting point. Perhaps, but if the president succeeds in slashing income taxes for big corporations and the wealthy, deep and damaging cuts appear inevitable - a
scenario known all too well in Kansas. Read more here.





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 LAWMAKERS TO HASH OUT FISCAL 2017 BUDGET FIX
Reuters
A committee of Kansas lawmakers will be charged with reconciling differences in legislation passed to plug a $280 million hole in the state's fiscal 2017 budget after the Senate passed a revised version of a House-approved bill late on Thursday.
Both versions would allow the state to borrow money from a long-term investment fund and delay a payment to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System.
Kansas also faces higher education spending in the wake of a recent state supreme court ruling.
Moody's Investors Service and S&P Global Ratings have said the ruling will put increased pressure on the state's already shaky finances.
Meanwhile, resolutions are pending in the House and Senate to put a constitutional amendment on the November 2018 ballot that would require a two-thirds vote by both legislative chambers to pass any state tax increase.  Read more here .
WHITHER THE KANSAS BUDGET?
Mainstream Coalition
If there's one topic in the Kansas Legislature sure to make the average voter's eyes roll back into their head, it is the ongoing Kansas budget negotiations. But as we all know, the Kansas budget-and related tax policy-is also the single most important topic in the Kansas Legislature today. The revenue disaster of the last five years has caused or made worse the crisis in public education funding, infrastructure improvements, and medical care in Kansas.
Here's a quick rundown of what needs fixing .
Read more here .
MOVING ON: POLICYMAKERS NEED TO LEARN FROM BROWNBACK'S MISTAKES
Dena Sattler, The Garden City Telegram
Gov. Sam Brownback may not finish his second term, with a position in President Trump's administration a possibility.  At least lessons were learned.  Brownback's time in office provided a sobering look at how easily elected officials who serve as puppets for special interests can steer the state off course.
There's really no other way to explain how the governor and his cohorts blindly followed an ultraconservative blueprint that called for deliberately starving government, regardless of the cost in quality of schools, roads, children's programs and other vital core services.
Another lesson learned: Our representatives should listen to the people they serve.  Read more here .
KS LAWMAKERS ADVANCE BUDGET PLAN TO AVOID SCHOOL CUTS
John Hanna, US News & World Report
Kansas legislators advanced a new budget-balancing plan Tuesday aimed at allowing the state to pay its bills through June without cutting spending on public schools while it waits for new revenue from raising taxes to flow.
The state Senate Ways and Means Committee unanimously endorsed a bill to authorize internal government borrowing and temporarily short contributions to public employees' pensions to cover a gap in its current budget, for the fiscal year ending June 30. The full Senate expects to debate the bill Thursday.
Kansas faces projected budget shortfalls totaling more than $1 billion through June 2019, and lawmakers are looking at rolling back past personal income tax cuts championed by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. But new revenue wouldn't arrive before July, and the state projects a $281 million deficit on June 30.
Read more here.
STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION MEMBERS HOPEFUL COMMUNICATION WITH KANSAS LAWMAKERS IS IMPROVING
Angela Deines, cjonline.com
Members of the Kansas State Board of Education believe they have a "golden opportunity" to get state lawmakers to understand their role in educating the state's estimated 484,496 K-12 students in light of the Kansas Supreme Court's recent Gannon school finance ruling.
"We're being paid attention to more than we have in the past," state board chair Jim Porter, R-Fredonia, told board members Wednesday during an informal discussion after the board's monthly meeting in Topeka. "If we're going to lead the world with each student, we can't let this opportunity pass."  Read more here .
DEVOS STRIPS STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT FROM ESSA REQUIREMENTS
American Federation of Teachers
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos rolled out a new template on March 13 to guide states as they prepare to submit their plans to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act to the Department of Education, and one change immediately raised red flags. It involves the way the new administration is handling existing federal requirements that guarantee community stakeholders a real say in ESSA implementation. DeVos simply axed them.
"We are disappointed that Secretary DeVos is casting aside input from teachers, parents and stakeholders and is refusing to implement the Every Student Succeeds Act as Congress intended.  Read more here .
SENATE HOLDING HEARINGS ABOUT MEDICAID EXPANSION
Tim Carpenter, The Garden City Telegram
The Senate launched into back-to-back days of public hearings Monday on legislation compelling the administration of Gov. Sam Brownback to expand Medicaid health services to people earning too much to qualify for the state's existing program and too little to secure federal help to buy private insurance.
A rainbow of Kansas advocacy organizations have sought for years to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act signed by President Barack Obama, but Brownback and Republican allies in the Legislature have successfully blocked efforts to broaden eligibility. For the past three years, a state's expansion under the ACA has been paid by the federal government. Thirty-one states adopted some version of expansion.
Expansion under current federal law would inject $1 billion into the state's health care system during the first year of implementation, said Fred Kerr, a former state senator from Hutchinson. The cost to the state would be about $81 million, he said.  Read more here .
PROPOSED MEDICAID CHANGES MAY COMPLICATE KANCARE EXPANSION EFFORT
Hunter Woodall, The Kansas City Star
A Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act would effectively block states' ability to expand Medicaid, thwarting a new attempt by Kansas to expand its own privatized version of the program.
Changes made by Republican leaders on Monday in an effort to attract more conservative votes would take away the financial incentive for states looking to expand Medicaid: the federal government's offer to match roughly 90 percent of a state's costs to expand coverage.
Taking out that provision could hurt the expansion effort in Kansas, just after the legislation passed the House and is now in front of the state Senate health committee.
Read more here.
CONSTITUENTS, CLERGY TEST MARSHALL'S COMMITMENT TO HEALTH CARE
Michael Smith, The Garden City Telegram
A doctor, Marshall told the health-care journal STAT, "Just like Jesus said, 'The poor will always be with us...' There is a group of people that just don't want health care and aren't going to take care of themselves ... morally, spiritually [and] socially."
Michael P. Milliken, Episcopal Bishop for Western Kansas, summed it up: "just because Jesus said the poor will always be there doesn't give us an excuse to look the other way."
Pastor Andrew McHenry of the First Congregational Church of Emporia added, "Some people (usually wealthy Americans) interpret this not as an observation on the continual opportunity to do ministry with the poor, but as a command to entrench the poor."
Can Marshall respond meaningfully?  Read more here .
FUTURE HOLDS HOPE, FEAR FOR DISABILITY PROVIDERS AND FAMILIES
Katherine Burgess, The Wichita Eagle
For the first time in years, a Kansas Senate bill,  SB173, has some saying they see a step forward. The bill would offer a 5 percent rate increase for providers of home- and community-based services. It received a committee hearing earlier this month.
At the same time, the proposed Republican health-care replacement bill has left families of people with disabilities and providers afraid that an increase in pay will be irrelevant if they lose funding for programs altogether.  Read more here .
REPORT: KANSAS ELECTION LAW SUPPRESSING TURNOUT
Jim McLean, kcur.org
Kansas' "strictest in the nation" election law may have been written with the intent to discriminate against certain groups of voters... The report, written by the Kansas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, says that the proof of citizenship and voter ID requirements imposed by a 2011 Kansas law "may impose a substantially higher burden than that which has been previously challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court."
The advisory committee report says that research has found that stricter ID and registration requirements can suppress voter participation. It goes on to say that a preliminary analysis of Kansas turnout data "suggests that voter participation declined following the implementation of the SAFE Act."  Read more here .
HOUSE MEMBERS SEEK TO STRIP KOBACH OF POWER TO APPOINT ELECTION COMMISSIONERS
Celia Llopis-Jepsen, cjonline.com
A fresh effort surfaced Wednesday in the House to transform election commissioners into locally elected positions instead of appointments by the Secretary of State - a change that would affect Shawnee County.
Reached Wednesday afternoon by phone, Shawnee County Commission chairman Bob Archer, a Republican, signaled support.
"Anytime there's any opportunity to be more responsible and accountable to taxpayers, I'm in favor of it," he said.
"It's kind of an odd situation now, where the state is responsible for the leadership assignment," Archer said, "and yet the county sets the compensation level and budget."  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). 
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.

WOMEN AND HOMELESSNESS
Tuesday, March 28, 12:00 noon - 1:00 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 .

This program is free and open to the public. Feel free to bring
a brown bag lunch, drinks will be provided.
LOUDLIGHT: KANSAS LEGISLATURE WEEK 9 RECAP
Davis Hammet discusses Kansas Fire Tax Relief, Extreme Rhetoric, Senate Budget '17, Supreme Court Abortion Case, Mental Hospitals and Guns, and what's 'Coming Up' Watch here
Visit LOUD LIGHT's Facebook page to view more legislative weekly recaps.

LOUD LIGHT MEDICAID EXPANSION HEARINGS
Loud Light was there, live-streaming Medicaid/KanCare Expansion Senate Committee hearings. Days 1 & 2 are available on LoudLight's Facebook
page here.
STIRRING THE COFFEE: KELLY CELEBRATES RESOLVE, SPIRIT OF FRESHMAN LEGISLATORS
Tim Carpenter, cjonline.com
Democratic Sen. Laura Kelly said newcomers to the Legislature - regardless of party affiliation - are a breath of fresh air.
There are four dozen first-year House and Senate members at the Capitol. It is a result of upheaval in elections during 2016 that pitched the center of influence held by conservatives embraced by Gov. Sam Brownback toward centrist Republicans and Democrats.  These rookies are rebuilding a culture of collaboration that was broken by their strident predecessors.  Read more here .
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.
KANSAS CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATES DISCUSS EDUCATION, IMMIGRATION AT PUBLIC Q&A
Nadya Faulx, kmuw 89.1
Candidates [James Thompson and Chris Rockhold] for the Kansas 4th Congressional District race met with constituents Saturday during the first public event of the campaign.
All three candidates have been invited to a forum hosted by the League of Women Voters and Women for Kansas on Thursday, and one hosted by the Voter Empowerment Committee. A debate will also be broadcast on KWCH and KMUW on March 28.
Read more 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.
KANSAS PEOPLE'S AGENDA
End the madness! The legislature is unconstitutionally underfunding our schools, our roads are crumbling, and Kansans are suffering. Join us for the Kansas Walk to  #RestoreRevenue .
We are walking March 24th-26th, and March 27th at 10:30am we will take the final steps from the Supreme Court building into the Kansas Capitol for a rally to demand real revenue reform that reinvests in our future.  Register here .
EFFICIENCIES IN KS SCHOOL SPENDING NOT LIKELY TO MATERIALIZE NEXT YEAR
Stephen Koranda, KPR
The two proposals would have centralized Kansas school district purchasing and put all school employees into a single health plan.
A House subcommittee says the changes could not be in place by next fiscal year.
 "When you ask auditors and bean counters 'just look at numbers,' you don't take into account what's going on the ground," says Ward.
But lawmakers might still try to get at some of the savings.   Listen here .
KANSAS LAWMAKERS WORK TO REVERSE KANCARE CUTS
Jim McLean, KNS, KPR
Lawmakers are attempting to reverse cuts to the Kansas Medicaid program that Governor Sam Brownback ordered to balance the budget last summer. Jim McLean of the Kansas News Service has more.  Listen here .
KDHE NEEDS COMMENTS ON KANCARE EXTENSION
From KDHE, March 2017
Public Hearings, When & Where:
  • Monday, March 27, 2017 2:00 - 3:30 pm; KanCare Advisory Council meeting Curtis State Office Bldg., Room 530, 1000 SW Jackson, Topeka
More information available here.
MISS REPRESENTATION
Hosted by KAW PAC
Friday, March 28, 6-9pm
Movie starts at 7pm
KU Memorial Union, Malott Room
1301 Jayhawk Blvd, Lawrence

Join us for a screening  and discussion of  Miss Representation ,
an award-winning documentary that explores how media and culture contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power
and influence in America.

Join KAW board members for drinks before at the Oread.
More information available here.
BATTLE FOR THE BALLOT:
KS VOTER SUPPRESSION
League of Women Voters,
Johnson County (LWV JOCOKS)
LWVK Co-Presidents Marge Ahrens and Carole Neal discuss the fight for voting rights, lawsuits, testimony to federal agencies and the Kansas Legislature.  Watch here .

HOW TO HELP KANSAS FARMERS & RANCHERS HURT BY WILDFIRES
The Kansas Rural Center (KRC) urges you to consider helping our Kansas friends and neighbors whose homes, farms, ranches and pastures were devastated by wildfires last week, and offer information on how to do so.
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 .
Keep up your good work! Love your (email) newsletter.
-- D. O'Farrell, Wichita
 
Thanks for all you do for women and the state of Kansas! I so appreciate all the emails you send!
-- J. Davies, Wichita
 
Your eletter is superb!  Great graphics, great content, timely, relevant, complete, and time saving for readers! Way better than any other Kansas political group, including the state Democratic Party. Good work!
-- J. Swartzendruber
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.
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
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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