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Mark's Musings - 2020 Legislative Session
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January 20, 2021
The Time Is Always Right To Do What Is Right


The title of this newsletter, my first of a new year, is a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose legacy of inclusion and non-violence remains an inspiration more than 50 years after he was assassinated.
 
His words — “The time is always right to do what is right” — will encourage me as I begin my third term as your representative in the Kansas Legislature. I was sworn in Jan. 11 in the House chamber by Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Marla Luckert. Most House members in attendance observed social distancing with masks.
 
Taking the oath of office is special because of the responsibility that accompanies it. My colleagues and I are entrusted to represent our districts, which contain a wide variety of opinions and needs. Listening to constituents and trying to determine the right path can be as difficult as walking in a forest at night. I thank everyone in the 60th District who voted in November. I love the 60th, and I hope you will continue to reach out to me for assistance or with your opinions on the wide variety of topics we face each session. On your behalf, I will do my utmost to follow Dr. King’s advice.
 

My Committee Assignments and Legislative Work

 
I will serve on three legislative committees during this term:
  • Energy, Utilities and Telecommunication. I already have four years of experience on this committee and will serve as its vice-chair. In that role, I will continue working on legislation that includes a state energy plan, which can benefit businesses and individuals. The Wichita Eagle ran a story recently about my thoughts on a state energy plan (KS lawmaker to campaign for state energy plan, like Iowa’s | The Wichita Eagle (kansas.com)). It was written by ESU alum, Sarah Spicer.
     
  • Education. I also have four years of experience on this committee, and I will continue working to stabilize education funding so students emerge from classrooms prepared to succeed in today’s fast-changing job market.

    Governor Kelly released her budget recommendations earlier this month, and her recommendations for higher education concern me, as they did last year. Emporia State University and Flint Hills Technical College are important to Emporia and the state, and we need a strategy to provide them with adequate stability and support. Higher education now is a prerequisite for practically every job because it prepares employees to think critically, adapt to new technologies and strategies, and give back to their communities. In my opinion, higher education can create more economic momentum than virtually any other measure, and I intend to work to help generate that momentum.

    You can review the summary of Governor Kelly’s budget at https://budget.kansas.gov/wp-content/uploads/Director_Budget_Presentation-UDPATED-1-14-2021.pdf
  • Judiciary. This is the busiest committee in the legislature and is a new assignment that I’m happy to tackle because the committee will examine recommendations from the Kansas Emergency Management Act (KEMA) interim committee.

    I have a keen interest in this statute because it has a direct effect on how our state responds to the pandemic. Both the House and Senate currently are working on KEMA extensions that will allow pandemic relief measures to continue. Although that response is important, appropriate recommendations must go beyond the current health crisis to comprehensively address issues surrounding natural disasters, livestock pandemics, cybersecurity events and industrial accidents. In short, we must be prepared to meet future emergencies.
 
In addition to legislation that includes creation of a state energy plan, I also am working on a licensure bill for art therapists, abolishing the death penalty and removing deed restrictions on some property in Americus.
 
I’m happy to report that new technology will allow constituents to testify safely, and that House Speaker Ron Ryckman has done a very good job ensuring that people in committee rooms maintain an adequate social distance.

And I am thrilled that COVID-19 vaccinations have begun in Kansas. To find out more about vaccination schedules, refer to information from Newman Regional Health, https://www.newmanrh.org/covid-19-vaccination-plans/.
 

Violence in Our Nation’s Capitol

 
I was appalled by the reckless Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Those who encouraged or participated in the attack should be held accountable. We can and must do better as a nation.
 
As Americans, we each have the right to express our opinions. But I ask myself and you:
  • Can we show respect for others’ views instead of scorning them with name calling and finger pointing?
  • Can we be more interested in helping one another and our communities and less interested in the latest conspiracy theory?
  • Can we sincerely call for bipartisanship without, in almost the same breath, complaining about the actions of “the other side?”
  • Can we work to restore trust between people and institutions, or will we allow that trust to further erode?
 
Restoring trust and faith in each other and in our institutions will take time, but I sincerely hope that you will join me in showing respect, helping one another and not only calling for bipartisanship, but working toward it.
 
Representative Mark Schreiber
www.schreiberforkansas.com

Statehouse Office
Room 149-S-B
300 SW 10th Street
Topeka, KS  66612
785-296-2721
Mark.Schreiber@house.ks.gov

Home
1722 Yucca Lane
Emporia, KS   66801
Home: 620-342-6954
Cell: 785-230-0897
markschreiber60@gmail.com
 
 

StateHouse Office

Room 149-S-B
300 SW 10th Street,
Topeka, KS 66612
Phone: 785-296-2721
Mark.Schreiber@house.ks.gov

Home

1722 Yucca Lane
Emporia, Kansas 66801
Phone: 620-342-6954
markschreiber60@gmail.com
 
 

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Copyright © 2021 Mark Schreiber for Kansas House, All rights reserved.


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