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My Two Cents of Common Sense
"Northwest Kansas holds some truly inspiring scenery, contains a wealth of Old West history, possesses some of the finest educational institutions, promotes an entrepreneurial spirit, and is home to some of the most hard-working, genuine people I've ever met!"    ~ Adam Smith
1970 RD 3 Weskan, KS 67762
785-821-2568 (Cell)
300 SW 10th St, Suite 512N Topeka, KS  66612
785-296-0715 (Office)
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Happy Kansas Day!

There are no words to describe the feeling of celebrating the anniversary of our statehood at the Capitol! The celebrations and special events are excellent, but even more noticeable to me is that the civility and discourse is different from any other day here. It is as if we have all taken a silent and unwritten oath, in solemn honor of the great turmoil surrounding "Bleeding Kansas" being ushered into statehood, to put aside our differences and stand side-by-side as proud Kansans.

Happy Birthday, Kansas... you don't look a day over 150!
 
Constitutional Amendment


You may have heard something about a proposed constitutional amendment regarding abortion - it's certainly been a hot topic in the statehouse since the end of April 2019 when the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that our state constitution should be interpreted to contain a "right to abortion".

There is no shortage of passionate, strongly held beliefs on all sides of the subject of abortion. No doubt you have heard and read stories about this issue, so please allow me to explain the proposed amendment as it stands at this current moment in the Capitol.

First of all, a constitutional amendment does not follow the path of normal legislation. It must pass both the Senate and the House of Representatives by at least a two-thirds majority in each chamber, as opposed to a simple majority for normal legislation. Once passed, it does NOT go to the governor's desk for consideration, and therefore is not subject to veto. It will go straight to a vote of the people. This is typically not a special election, but rather the nearest upcoming primary or general election and is included at the end of the regular ballot.

The proposed amendment is contained in a resolution for consideration by the legislature. At any time, you can go to www.KSLegislature.org and view the status of the resolution by searching for SCR 1613, which stands for Senate Concurrent Resolution number 1613.

Here is a quick link directly to SCR 1613.

The proposed language for the ballot, as it stands right now, is as follows:
 
"§ 22. Regulation of abortion. Because Kansans value both women and children, the constitution of the state of Kansas does not require government funding of abortion and does not create or secure a right to abortion. To the extent permitted by the constitution of the United States, the people, through their elected state representatives and state senators, may pass laws regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, in circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest, or when necessary to save the life of the mother."

This would add a new section to the Kansas Bill of Rights. This current version of the resolution has passed the Senate and will now come to the House of Representatives for consideration.

There are two primary components of the amendment, as you can read.

First of all, the explicit statement that the Kansas constitution does not create or secure a right to abortion. This is also further extended to include clarity that there is no expressed or implied requirement for government funding for abortions in our state constitution.

Secondly, the amendment recognizes the authority of the state to make and dictate its own laws regarding abortion, so long as such laws are within the bounds of the constitution of the United States.

Again, this amendment has not passed both chambers yet, so the language may still be altered before the final version is confirmed. Look for the House to take up this measure very soon in the coming week.

If it passes the legislature, the constitutional amendment must receive a simple majority of over 50% in favor in the election to be adopted.

I appreciate everyone who has called, sent emails, and even stopped by my office at the Capitol to convey your thoughts regarding this important issue. If you would like to learn more about the amendment, search the Kansas Legislature website, mentioned above, for SCR 1613 to see the resolution, summary of legislation, testimony, and other documentation of record.
Capitol Connection

Your source for important audio and video links (live and archived) to committee meetings and chamber sessions inside the Kansas Capitol
 
Video Channel (Live and Archived)
House of Representative and Senate Chamber Proceedings

Audio Channel (Live)
House of Representatives Chamber
Senate Chamber

Capitol Committee Rooms (Live and Archived)
Calendar & Committee Schedule
 
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I strive to create and maintain constituent relationships through good communication. Two-way communication is essential to my effectiveness as a legislator in promoting successful solutions for Northwest Kansas! Please consider subscribing to my contact list or send me an email and I will add you.
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