Monday, January 29, 2018

2018 Legislative Update for Week 3

Press Release

 Update from Eileen Horn:

We just wrapped up week 3 of the session!  It was a busy week, and I’ve tried to pick the highlights, below.
Rep. Eileen Horn, Democrat
Transparency in Your Government:
Transparency was the word of the week in the Capitol, and the Democrats unveiled multiple bills to improve citizens’ access to their government.  One of the cornerstones of our democracy is that voters can hold their representatives accountable; these bills take major steps toward opening up the legislative process and state government.  I am proud to be part of a bipartisan group of legislators that signed on to a proposal to eliminate anonymous bills in the statehouse.
Brownback Confirmed by U.S. Senate
On Wednesday, Governor Brownback’s nomination for Ambassador of International Religious Freedom passed through two procedural votes in the United States Senate.  He will resign his seat as Governor on January 31st, and Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer will be sworn in soon after.
State Finance Council Passes Lansing Prison Contract
On Wednesday, the State Finance Council approved a contract with CoreCivic to build a new corrections facility in Lansing. The deal was approved 6-3 by the State Finance Council. Kansas now enters into a lease-to-purchase contract with a for-profit prison company. The three no votes were made by House Democratic Leader Rep. Jim Ward, Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Anthony Hensley, and Republican Sen. Carolyn McGinn.
While Democratic Leadership and caucuses understand that Lansing desperately needs a new corrections facility – and advocate that the facility must remain in Lansing – CoreCivic is an unreliable partner with a substandard history nationwide.
Republican Leadership Attacks Deputy Education Commissioner
Republicans Senate President Susan Wagle and House Speaker Ron Ryckman sent a letter on Wednesday to the Chairman of the Kansas State Department of Education. The letter attacks the Deputy Education Commissioner of School Finance, Dale Dennis, a decades-long public servant who had dedicated that service to the children of Kansas.
The letter infuriated members of the Kansas legislature, state agencies, and the public who know Dale to be an outstanding public servant and the utmost authority on school finance in the state. His presence and expertise are critical as we head into a session where crafting a new, adequate, and equitable school finance formula is not only a major priority but a requirement by the Kansas Supreme Court.
First Floor Vote of the 2018 Session
On Friday, the House held the first vote of the 2018 session. Two bills came above the line and passed through easily.
HB 2439: An act concerning crimes, punishment and criminal procedure; relating to involuntary manslaughter; aggravated battery; involving certain violations of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
HB 2482: An act concerning alcoholic beverages; relating to the hours of sale of alcoholic liquor by the drink

It is an honor to serve as your state representative.  I both value and need your input on the various issues facing our state government!
Please feel free to contact me with your comments and questions.  
My office address is Room 54-S, 300 SW 10th, Topeka, KS 66612.  
You can reach me at (785) 296-7652 (office) or (913) 708-3929 (cell).  
Additionally, you can e-mail me at  

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