Hello from Agra! Right before Christmas, the announcement was made on our committee assignments. With so many new legislators, there were bound to be changes and I am on three different committees than last session. I appreciate Speaker-Elect Ron Ryckman for appointing me Vice-Chairman of a new committee, Water & Environment. In the past these issues were part of Agriculture Committee, but water is one of those issues which affects all of us, so I am pleased leadership wants to make this a focus on its own. Tom Sloan from Lawrence will serve as Chairman. The make-up of the committee is strong and all aspects of water use is represented, I look forward to working on the issues which will come before the committee.
The second committee I was appointed to (in no particular order) is Taxation. There will be much discussion and plans coming out of this group. I am energized working with new committee Chairman, Steven Johnson of Assaria. He is a level-headed, pragmatic thinker, who truly has the best interest of long term success for the state of Kansas. This will be one of the committees that will receive a lot of attention and scrutiny, but simply put, we need to find a fair and steady tax structure that provides for the obligations of the state, without placing an increased load on local property taxes. We will hear more on the future of revenue streams throughout this session.
The third committee is Transportation. Richard Proehl from Parsons will serve as Chairman. Representative Proehl is very even keeled and understands transportation issues as well as anyone in the state. We need good roads and highways and also need to develop a plan to keep our bridges and other infrastructures safe and reliable. President-Elect Trump has been talking about a billion-dollar investment in infrastructure throughout the nation, if this moves forward we need to see how that would fit in the Kansas transportation plan. Now is not the time to play petty politics with what has or has not happened with KDOT. I firmly believe we need to have a strong structured plan for the long term, while doing the proper maintenance and safety projects across the state on an ongoing basis.
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