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SD7 Monthly Town Hall

Posted by Bonnie Limbird

I was happy to join about 50 other Senate District 7 residents this morning at a town hall meeting at the Sylvester Powell Community Center in Mission, KS to hear from a handful of our local representatives in Topeka: Senator Ethan Corson, Representative Stephanie Clayton, State School Board member Melanie Haas, and Representative Jerry Stogsdill. This month they were also joined by Johnson County Commissioner Becky Fast.

Fairway, Mission, Mission Hills, Mission Woods, Prairie Village, Roeland Park, Westwood and Westwood Hills, as well as parts of Overland Park and Leawood

My takeaways from the panel’s end-of-session updates (not hardly comprehensive):

  • Billions of dollars and tens of thousands of healthcare jobs have been lost in Kansas due to lack of Medicaid expansion. Kansas is one of only 9 states who haven’t expanded yet. States can withdraw at any time. No state has. Kansas is giving away money. Estimates say that more than 80% of Kansans support Medicaid expansion.
  • There will be two County budget open houses in June
  • Regarding the Homestead tax relief program, Commissioner Fast is hopeful the legislature will vote to expand the program soon to account for rising property values. 
  • For the last 12 years, the KS legislature has put a proviso in the budget that they will ignore the state law that literally says they must reimburse schools for 92% of their Special Education costs! That’s how the legislature has been able to under fund special education all this time without being sued. 😒
  • $700MM in unnecessary taxes have been collected in Kansas on state food sales since July 2022 because the majority of the legislature chose to end it in phases instead of all at once. Kansas has a budget surplus and a rainy day fund. There was no reason to phase this.
  • A proposal for removal of state sales tax on over-the-counter prescriptions was not even given a hearing.
  • There is a clear understanding in Topeka by certain KS legislators that they don’t represent the majority of Kansans or even their own constituents. 🤷‍♀️
  • Stephanie Clayton said something to the effect of: The bills that truly reflect our state’s values and morality are our budget and tax bills because these essentially put our money behind what is allegedly most important to us.

This is all just a reminder that we have to make sure we all get out and vote in every election to vote for the representatives that best reflect our values up and down the ballot.

If 80% of Kansans support Medicaid expansion, why aren’t our representatives allowing hearings and voting for it?

If 60% of Kansas voted NO on last August’s constitutional amendment, why are Kansas legislators still trying to legislate to restrict access to legal abortion healthcare?

If public support for medical use of cannabis has grown so much, and medical research is validating that support, and the KS House was able to pass a bill in 2021, why can’t the KS Senate even get a bill out of committee for discussion and a vote?

Seriously. We residents have to vote on election day.

If you’d like to learn more about these monthly town halls (9:00am on the fourth Saturday of every month in Conference Room C of the Powell Community Center in Mission – 6200 Martway St), sign up for Senator Corson’s newsletter HERE.

Come and bring a friend or two. Spread the word. These events are non-partisan and for everyone.

Hope to see you at the next one – or let’s carpool! 😏

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