Hello from Topeka. First a correction from last week. In my haste to get the column done quickly, I errored and identified Callie Ragsdale as Allie, she was a regional award winner of the “If I were Mayor” competition. She is a student at Phillipsburg Middle School and a literally my neighbor and extended family. I do apologize for the mistake.
Over the weekend, I was one of the participants in a Town Hall, sponsored by the Hays Chamber of Commerce. There was a good crowd and several issues were discussed. Later, on Saturday, I was honored to serve as M.C. for the Hope in the Heartland symposium sponsored by High Plains Mental Health. It was an opportunity to learn about services available and what other states are doing in helping those in farming and ranching that are experiencing stress and being an encourager and listener. The state of Kansas has a web page to help fight ag related stress at www.KansasAgStress.org or you can check out the web site of High Plains Mental Health Center at www.hpmhc.com.
Last week was one of celebration and contemplation. Basking in the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl victory, many wanted to attend the parade in downtown Kansas City, so in a rare move, the house and senate joined many Kansas City area schools and gave students and employees the opportunity to attend the events. I am very happy that Smith County native Mitch Holthus is the “Voice of the Chiefs” and you will find no greater ambassador for the Chiefs and our region of the nation than Mitch.
Late last week the house took up SCR 1613, the Value Them Both amendment to the Kansas Constitution. It failed on a vote of 80-43, you may say, it looks like is passed with a large majority. While it did, it needed 84 votes for a 2/3 majority to send it to you the voters. I was one that voted in the affirmative and will do it again. The amount of misinformation and tactics used to keep it from ultimately decided by the voters of Kansas was disappointing to experience. This issue will be brought up again before the session ends, and please keep in mind, the legislature is not making new law or changing the constitution regarding abortion in the state. It is wanting to give us, the people, the change to vote on it in the next election which is August. Bottom Line, the Value Them Both amendment will be voted on again this session and I will do my part to give you the opportunity to vote for Kansas to remain a strong pro-life state.
It was good to see many folks from home including Errol Wertz from Hays, Phillips County Treasurer Bret Derr and Nick Poels, Phillips County Economic Development Director as they were all here for meetings and to meet up with legislators.
When you come to Topeka during the session, my office is located in Room: 149-S. My phone number is (785) 296-7463 and email is: firstname.lastname@example.org and you can always try my cell number at (785) 302-8416. More updates at kenforkansas.com
I look forward to seeing you around the 110th District. It is my honor to be your representative.