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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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Heading out of the Capitol late Tuesday night I was surprised to see the dense fog after being stuck inside all day. The Capitol hung eerily suspended in a quiet fog that rivaled the silence I've heard only in the dead of night on the western Kansas prairie. The only thing that would have further complimented this moment would have been a lone coyote howl from off in the distance.
2019 Legislative Session begins

** First of all, my apologies to all of my newsletter recipients. I typically try to get each newsletter out on Friday to cover the week's activity. I just realized this article had NOT gotten sent out, so I will be sure to double-check to make sure future newsletters get sent out correctly. ...not blaming anyone but myself - operator error, I'm certain!

The new session began on Monday, January 14th as the legislators and state officials migrated to Topeka to begin their work.

As for Monday, it was kind of like the first day of school – mostly full of formalities. All newly elected officials took their oath of office. Committees organized and adopted rules. There are a lot of familiar faces from the past two years, but also quite a few new ones to meet. We have 30 new representatives in the House - that's out of 125 members. While that is lower than the last new class of legislators, that is still a little higher than average turnover from term to term.

Starting my third year as your State Representative, I have been assigned a new office and a few new committees. First of all, if you are ever in Topeka, please stop by for a few minutes if possible - even if you don't have anything political to discuss! Even though I've only been gone from northwest Kansas for a week, I always enjoy seeing folks from the area (and other areas as well... not everyone reading this is from northwest Kansas!) and hearing about the latest news from your community. If you do stop by, you'll find my office a little easier to find this year! I have moved from the corner office in the far-reaches of the fifth floor to a four-office suite on the first floor in the southwest corner of the Capitol.

I continue to serve on the K12 Education Budget committee, which has consumed a large portion of my time the past two years as we worked through a new school finance formula and funding discussions. We will continue to work through school funding issues this year as the Supreme Court decided schools are equitably funded as far as the formula is concerned, but ruled that funding adequacy has still not been met.

I will be new this year on the House Education committee, which is the all-inclusive education committee that handles all legislation relating to education across the state. I am one of the few representatives with two institutions of higher education within my district, so I am looking forward to also working on education topics above and beyond K-12 education.

A brand new committee this year is the Rural Revitalization committee, of which I have been honored to be appointed vice chairman. This committee was created to take a serious look at the history of rural Kansas, where we are today, and what the future looks like. No one expects a magic wand to come from somewhere, especially government, that is going to “save” rural Kansas. However, if there are things we can do at the state level to help development and implementation of healthcare, high-speed internet access, small business development, or easing of egregious government policies or regulations… we want to diligently explore them!

Our 48th governor of Kansas gave the State of the State address on Wednesday evening – speaking to many of her campaign platform topics including full funding for schools, Medicaid expansion, and addressing the deficiencies in the state’s foster care and adoption programs. On Thursday, legislators got our first look at the governor’s proposed budget to begin working through. It will take a significant amount of time to digest and dissect the entire budget, and the legislature will begin diving into it earnestly next week.
Thank you once again for the honor and opportunity to represent northwest Kansas! Please feel free to reach out to me at any time via email or phone if you have concerns or questions about legislation or government agencies and departments and how they impact your life, business, and community.
 
It was a frigid morning for the swearing-in of the statewide officials. State Board of Education, Secretary of State, Attorney General, all the way up to the Governor, took their oath of office on the south steps of the Capitol.

  
Getting settled in to my new office location!  I had to take a picture because this may be the cleanest my desk will ever be! 
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.
Copyright © 2019 Smith For Kansas, All rights reserved.


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