Friday, September 27, 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? The e-cigarette epidemic, the United Auto Workers’ continued strike, and the first meeting of the governor’s tax reform council! 


  • What’s happening?

A second Kansan has died from a vaping-related illness, Gov. Laura Kelly announced on Monday. Gov. Kelly called on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to intensify its research into vaping products.

The deaths are two of a current nine confirmed vaping-related cases. The KDHE is working with federal authorities, similarly affected states, and pertinent organizations to gather information on e-cigarettes and actively reviewing policy options. On Wednesday, KDHE Secretary Lee Norman testified in front of the investigatory House Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce.

Gov. Kelly urges Kansans to stop using e-cigarette products while investigations are ongoing.


  • What’s happening?

The second week of negotiations between General Motors and United Auto Workers concluded with the car manufacturer’s reversal of its termination of striking workers’ health care benefits from September 17.

Former Vice President and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden lent his support to the UAW Local 31 Chapter in Kansas City, Kansas, in a Saturday, September 21 visit.


  • What’s happening?

Gov. Laura Kelly’s Council on Tax Reform convened in the Kansas Legislature on Tuesday and Wednesday for its first round of meetings. The group covered current state revenue, economic development, transportation and labor in Kansas, sales tax, and post-2012 changes to state tax policy and property taxes.

Gov. Kelly: “The information [discussed] helped establish a solid foundation for Council members as they study strategies for tax reform. While Kansas continues to recover from the failed Brownback-Colyer tax experiment – and with economic uncertainty in mind – we need to find balance in tax fairness and stability. I expect the Council to deliver recommendations for reform that benefits all Kansans.” 

The council will meet for another two-day session on October 15.


The winners of the drawing held at the KDP State Fair booth are Claudia Ellerman and Jim Clark. Congratulations!