KDP Weekly Rundown #19

Friday, July 26, 2019

Welcome to the KDP Weekly Rundown – the Kansas Democratic Party’s update of the biggest things going on in the state party and the state government. What are we focused on this week? Supreme court retirements, Demofest and more!

KANSAS CHIEF JUSTICE TO RETIRE

  • What’s happening?

Kansas chief justice Lawton Nuss announced Friday that he will retire after 17 years on the state’s Supreme Court. “From his beginnings as a Marine and then a young lawyer in Salina, to serving on our state’s highest court for the last 17 years and leading the entire judicial branch as Chief Justice for the last nine, Lawton Nuss has put his exceptional talents to work for the people of Kansas,” Gov. Laura Kelly said in a statement. “As a Marine, a lawyer, a jurist, and a Kansan, Chief Justice Nuss has taken challenges head on and never shied from struggle or duty. He’s been in the arena, doing difficult work on behalf of Kansans. And he has done it well.” Nuss has served on the court since 2002 and as chief justice since 2010. This is the second vacancy that will be filled by Gov. Kelly.

DCF ISSUES DRAFT GUIDELINES ON LGBTQ YOUTH

  • What’s happening?

The Department of Children and Families has issued draft guidelines on best practices in placing LGBTQ youth to child placement agenies. These guidelines advise agencies to recognize the preferred gender identity of youths and state that foster parents shouldn’t impose traditional gender roles on LGBTQ children. Supporters say these guidelines will help ensure that LGBTQ youths are placed in safe environments while conservatives claim they violate the 2018 Kansas Adoption Protection Act, the controversial law that allows adoption and foster care agenies to refuse to serve LGBTQ individuals.

KANSAS MEDICAID REFORMS

  • What’s happening?

Gov. Kelly has unveiled the latest in a series of reforms to the state Medicaid program. The Kelly administration announced this week that the administration would open 17 drop-in centers around the state, allowing Medicare recipients to receive in-person help. The change is part of an effort by the Kelly administration to move the Medicaid application process away from a private contractor, an effort championed by the Brownback administration.

DEMOFEST

  • What’s happening?

Our summer convention is two weeks away! Join us in Wichita on Aug. 9-10 for Demofest! New York Congresswoman and Democratic National Committee Vice Chair Grace Meng will keynote the Demofest 2019 banquet! Click here to purchase tickets and to view the schedule.

LOCAL ELECTIONS

  • What’s happening?

Some of the most important work in politics happens at the local level, so be sure to vote in your local municipal primaries on Aug. 6! You can still apply for your advance ballot at ksvotes.org.

  • Important dates to remember
    • Aug. 6 – Primary Election
    • Oct. 15 – Last day to register to vote for the General Election
    • Oct. 16 – Advance voting begins for the General Election
    • Nov. 5 – General Election
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