The Week That Almost Wasn't!

Jerry's Capitol Journal


With the issues of school finance, a balanced budget and tax policy all still on the table it was a frustrating week in the House. It seemed that last week was mostly a waiting game for the representatives that weren’t on committees dealing with taxes or appropriations. Although there was a lot of discussion, no bills actually emerged from these committees so no votes on these issues were taken in the House. 
 
The Democratic Caucus believes that part of this delay comes from the fact that a school funding plan needs to be developed before a solid tax plan and budget can be developed. It seems to us, the process, which is controlled by the Republican leadership, is trying to develop tax and budget plans without first addressing education which constitutes the largest portion of the state’s budget. It is kind of like developing your own personal budget without knowing what your mortgage payment is going to be!  Hopefully, we will see some movement on these issues when we convene again on Monday.
 
Since my committee assignments were Commerce, Labor & Economic Development, Education Policy and Veterans & Military, I spent most of the week working with Representatives Parker, Hodge, Miller and Pittman on a tax plan initiated by Representatives Parker and Hodge. We believe this plan will answer the fiscal needs of the state, fully fund education, stop the stealing of KDOT funds, stabilize KPERS funding and spread the tax burden fairly and equally among all segments of the Kansas economy. Our plan is now in bill form and we plan to submit it to the tax committee this week. We will have more details on this plan once it is submitted to the committee.
 
Medicaid Expansion
 
We are still looking for a way to bring Medicaid expansion back for another look. As you may remember, earlier in this session, in a display of bi-partisan support, the House and Senate both passed the Medicaid expansion bill and sent it to the Governor for his signature. The Governor has promised to let the Legislature decide this issue….he lied! Almost immediately he vetoed the Medicaid expansion bill. The House and the Senate both tried to override the veto but by two votes in the House and three in the Senate we were unable to do so.16 out of 40 Senators and 44 out of 125 House members decided to deny adequate, affordable and available healthcare to over 150,000 Kansans. 
 
This has not set well with those of us who voted in favor of expanding Medicaid, a program which would have brought billions of dollars into the Kansas economy. I don’t think this issue is dead as the vast majority of Kansans are in favor of Medicaid expansion along with the majority of the Kansas House and Senate. Stay tuned.
 
Guns on Campus
 
This too is an issue that continues to frustrate members of the House and Senate and the vast majority of Kansans who do NOT want guns on our campuses, in our hospitals or mental health facilities. The Republican ultra-conservatives, who are loyal to the gun selling interests of the NRA are fighting with everything they have to keep this issue from coming up for a vote. Those of us who think guns on campuses, in hospitals and mental health facilities is a really bad idea are trying to find ways to get this issue to a vote. 
 
Due Process for Teachers and Public Employees
 
The due process bill which was developed by me and Representative Steve Crum and passed the Kansas House is still languishing in the Senate where concern for teachers and our public employees seems to be in short supply. This is an issue that will protect our good teachers and will be a major factor in helping us to attract and retain the very best teachers. This issue is far from dead and I have every confidence we will see it again.
 
What Can You Do To Help
 
First, let me thank the hundreds of constituents who have been active in the progress of advancing all of these issues. Your calls, e-mails, texts and letters have had a very positive effect on the issues that are of importance to us in the 21st District and across the state. Many of you have come to Topeka to testify or just show your support for certain issues. Citizen involvement does make a difference and I urge all of you to keep up the pressure on the ultra-conservative Republican conservative leadership in the House and Senate to do the right thing on:
 
A fair and balanced tax plan that will put Kansas back on a solid financial footing
                       
A school finance formula that will, again, make our schools some of the best in the nation.
 
Expanding Medicaid which will provide healthcare to some of our most vulnerable citizens and bring billions of dollars of our own tax dollars back to Kansas
 
Returning due process rights to our teachers and public employees
 
Keeping guns OFF our campuses and OUT of our hospitals and mental health facilities
 
You CAN make a difference and now is the most important time of the year as all of these issues are still on the table. The ultra-conservative Republican leadership in the House and the Senate is still the major obstacle to passing legislation that Kansas needs and the vast majority of our citizens want. 
 
You can contact the Republican leadership at the following sites:
 
Republican House Leadership:
http://kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/chamber/house/leadership/
 
Republican Senate Leadership
http://kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/chamber/senate/leadership/
 
I will be working hard on your behalf and to keep you informed on what is going on in Topeka and how you can help. As always I welcome your questions and suggestions. Please don’t hesitate to contact me. Please see my contact info in the sidebar of this newsletter and here is a link to my legislative web page with all my contact information.
 
http://kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/members/rep_stogsdill_jerry_1/
 
Thank you for your support,

Jerry
jerry
CONTACT JERRY

 

AT THE CAPITOL
Room: 452-S
785-296-7692
Jerry.Stogsdill@house.ks.gov

 


AT HOME
4414 Tomahawk Road
Prairie Village, KS
913-384-3393
jws4414@aol.com
UPCOMING EVENTS
 
Step Up and Run! Part 2
Hosted by the Mainstream Coalition
May 9th 6:30-8:30 PM

JoCo Democrats Monthly May Meeting
May 13th, 8-10 AM

Volunteer Training for Campaign Roles
Hosted by the JoCo Democratic Party
May 20th, 9:30-11 AM
May 23rd, 6-7 PM
JERRY'S COMMITTEES
Education
Daily at 3:30 pm
Location: 546-S

Commerce, Labor and Economic Development
Daily at 1:30 PM
Location: 112-N

Veterans and Military Affairs
Tuesdays and Thursdays at 9:00 am
Location: 152-S
 

With the issues of school finance, a balanced budget and tax policy all still on the table it was a frustrating week in the House. It seemed that last week was mostly a waiting game for the representatives that weren’t on committees dealing with taxes or appropriations. Although there was a lot of discussion, no bills actually emerged from these committees so no votes on these issues were taken in the House. 
 
The Democratic Caucus believes that part of this delay comes from the fact that a school funding plan needs to be developed before a solid tax plan and budget can be developed. It seems to us, the process, which is controlled by the Republican leadership, is trying to develop tax and budget plans without first addressing education which constitutes the largest portion of the state’s budget. It is kind of like developing your own personal budget without knowing what your mortgage payment is going to be!  Hopefully, we will see some movement on these issues when we convene again on Monday.
 
Since my committee assignments were Commerce, Labor & Economic Development, Education Policy and Veterans & Military, I spent most of the week working with Representatives Parker, Hodge, Miller and Pittman on a tax plan initiated by Representatives Parker and Hodge. We believe this plan will answer the fiscal needs of the state, fully fund education, stop the stealing of KDOT funds, stabilize KPERS funding and spread the tax burden fairly and equally among all segments of the Kansas economy. Our plan is now in bill form and we plan to submit it to the tax committee this week. We will have more details on this plan once it is submitted to the committee.
 
Medicaid Expansion
 
We are still looking for a way to bring Medicaid expansion back for another look. As you may remember, earlier in this session, in a display of bi-partisan support, the House and Senate both passed the Medicaid expansion bill and sent it to the Governor for his signature. The Governor has promised to let the Legislature decide this issue….he lied! Almost immediately he vetoed the Medicaid expansion bill. The House and the Senate both tried to override the veto but by two votes in the House and three in the Senate we were unable to do so.16 out of 40 Senators and 44 out of 125 House members decided to deny adequate, affordable and available healthcare to over 150,000 Kansans. 
 
This has not set well with those of us who voted in favor of expanding Medicaid, a program which would have brought billions of dollars into the Kansas economy. I don’t think this issue is dead as the vast majority of Kansans are in favor of Medicaid expansion along with the majority of the Kansas House and Senate. Stay tuned.
 
Guns on Campus
 
This too is an issue that continues to frustrate members of the House and Senate and the vast majority of Kansans who do NOT want guns on our campuses, in our hospitals or mental health facilities. The Republican ultra-conservatives, who are loyal to the gun selling interests of the NRA are fighting with everything they have to keep this issue from coming up for a vote. Those of us who think guns on campuses, in hospitals and mental health facilities is a really bad idea are trying to find ways to get this issue to a vote. 
 
Due Process for Teachers and Public Employees
 
The due process bill which was developed by me and Representative Steve Crum and passed the Kansas House is still languishing in the Senate where concern for teachers and our public employees seems to be in short supply. This is an issue that will protect our good teachers and will be a major factor in helping us to attract and retain the very best teachers. This issue is far from dead and I have every confidence we will see it again.
 
What Can You Do To Help
 
First, let me thank the hundreds of constituents who have been active in the progress of advancing all of these issues. Your calls, e-mails, texts and letters have had a very positive effect on the issues that are of importance to us in the 21st District and across the state. Many of you have come to Topeka to testify or just show your support for certain issues. Citizen involvement does make a difference and I urge all of you to keep up the pressure on the ultra-conservative Republican conservative leadership in the House and Senate to do the right thing on:
 
A fair and balanced tax plan that will put Kansas back on a solid financial footing
                       
A school finance formula that will, again, make our schools some of the best in the nation.
 
Expanding Medicaid which will provide healthcare to some of our most vulnerable citizens and bring billions of dollars of our own tax dollars back to Kansas
 
Returning due process rights to our teachers and public employees
 
Keeping guns OFF our campuses and OUT of our hospitals and mental health facilities
 
You CAN make a difference and now is the most important time of the year as all of these issues are still on the table. The ultra-conservative Republican leadership in the House and the Senate is still the major obstacle to passing legislation that Kansas needs and the vast majority of our citizens want. 
 
You can contact the Republican leadership at the following sites:
 
Republican House Leadership:
http://kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/chamber/house/leadership/
 
Republican Senate Leadership
http://kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/chamber/senate/leadership/
 
I will be working hard on your behalf and to keep you informed on what is going on in Topeka and how you can help. As always I welcome your questions and suggestions. Please don’t hesitate to contact me. Please see my contact info in the sidebar of this newsletter and here is a link to my legislative web page with all my contact information.
 
http://kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/members/rep_stogsdill_jerry_1/
 
Thank you for your support,

Jerry