Hello from Agra! I hope your holiday season was one filled with food, family and reflection. But now it is a new year and we are only a few days from starting the 2017 Kansas Legislative Session. On Monday, January 9th, we will be sworn in to begin a two-year term. Last year, I was one of three, which became four new members, but this year there will be 46. Of the 125 members which make up the Kansas House of Representatives, 85 are republican and 40 are Democrats. According to the planners, Turn Around is February 23rd (that is where the House beings taking up bill generated in the Senate bill and the Senate takes up bill originated in the House) and First Adjournment is scheduled for April 7th.
I have been going through some of my late father’s personal papers and came across a speech he gave thirty years ago and guess what the two main topics facing Kansas agriculture were at that time? Water and Taxes. It seems like the more things change the more they stay the same. I have been talking with the Chairman of the Water & Environment Committee, Tom Sloan of Lawrence, and he is wanting to hear from all stakeholders on what is working with water in Kansas and what they see as the challenges ahead. I agree with him that we need to approach water issues from a reasonable time frame, of five to ten years. I look for this committee to take a steady approach to the future and not play politics with one of our most precious resources.
The Governor will deliver the State of the State address to a joint session of the Kansas Legislature on our second day, Tuesday, January 1th at 5:00 p.m. This is the time when he will outline his vision and legislative priorities and our first chance to hear his plan for the budget. If you would like to listen in to the speech you can by going to the House audio link on the legislature’s website: http://kslegislature.org
If you have a student who would like to be a legislative page, please contact me as the dates will fill up fast. Our office in the capitol has moved we are now in 352-E, but the phone number stayed the same: (785) 296-7676.
If you have questions, or if I can be of service, please contact me: Ken Rahjes, 1798 E. 900 Rd. Agra, KS 67621 or call (785) 302-8416. You can follow me on Facebook at Ken for Kansas or my website, www.kenforkansas.com
Thank you for the opportunity to be your representative.