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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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Muddin' Around

I'll never forget the first time I got a vehicle stuck.

I was a kid driving the farm pickup through the pasture from the house to a field. I was following the familiar dirt trail through the grass when I came to a low area with a big puddle. Being a new driver, I approached the quagmire with caution. In retrospect, too much caution... my momentum expired right smack in the middle of the bog. I shifted into four wheel drive as I had observed by dad do many times, not realizing the front hubs were not engaged. Needless to say, my efforts to escape the sludge were not successful.

I hopped out and inspected the situation, trying to figure out what could increase my traction. There was a shovel in the back of the pickup, so I dug a trench away from the puddle to help drain the water, and deposited the shovelfuls of sod in front of the wheels. I got back behind the wheel and tried again. Nope.

But I didn't give up. I was less than a mile from the house, but I wasn't about to take the walk of shame to get help.

I tried a couple more strategies to no avail. I was just about to get some wooden posts out of the back to slide under the back wheels when my dad pulled up, wondering where I had been. He chuckled at the carnage of mud, grass, feed sacks, cow chips, and everything else I had used in an attempt to get things moving. He simply locked-in the front hubs and was out it a matter of seconds.

Fast forward about 35 years and I find myself in a similar situation in the Capitol.

We're stuck. We're trying to find some way to get traction and get out of this mess. The main issues at hand are a constitutional amendment on life and Medicaid expansion.

It isn't just one person standing in the way. No one has that much power in the legislature. Even if leadership in both chambers is completely against a measure, there are procedural ways around it. However, there are not enough votes in either the House or the Senate to use alternative measures to advance the legislation.

This stalemate exists mostly because proponents on these issues are not willing to compromise on their position. However, there may be other bills where they are willing to negotiate a compromise. That is the messy art of politics. It would be virtuous if each issue simply stood on its own merit, but that is not reality. Legislators use the only political currency they have to trade... their vote.

Just like me, years ago stuck in the mud, people are trying everything they can to get out of this mess. The mud is flying and frustration is high. Many important bills are being worked through the process, so we technically we aren't spinning our wheels with no progress at all. But there are two large issues mired in the process, and only time will tell if they can make it out.
As we hit the halfway point in the 2020 legislative session, we worked through 38 bills on the floor. Several key bills were the new statewide broadband program and a first-time home buyer saving account.
Townhall meeting schedule

Saturday February 29, 2020

8:00-9:00 AM (MT) Sharon Springs - CAB Building
9:30-10:30AM (MT) Goodland - Farm Bureau Office – 1610 Main Street
12:30-1:30 PM St. Francis - St. Francis Public Library – 121 N. Scott Street
2:00-3:00 PM Atwood - Jamboree Deli – 106 N. 4th Street
3:30-4:30 PM Oberlin - BEE Building – 104 S. Penn

Tuesday March 3, 2020
8:00-9:00 AM Colby - Colby Community College, Student Union Room 106
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
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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