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Friday, February 12, 2021

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Welcome to the KDP Weekly Newsletter – 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? Black History Month, Washington Days 2021, Weekly Rundown, Social Media Updates, and KDP Swag. 

Interested in helping the Party get out our messaging to encourage Kansans to vote blue? Sign up for our new Letter to the Editor program here!

 

HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH!

What’s happening?

Happy Black History Month! This month and every month, we celebrate and honor the enormous contributions and legacies of African Americans who’ve fought to fulfill our nation’s ideals and contributed to the American story. In every aspect of America — from science and technology, medicine, education, the law, politics and social justice, to religion, literature and the arts, athletics, and business and entrepreneurship — Black history is American history.

WASHINGTON DAYS 2021!

What’s happening?

We’re going digital! The KDP is excited to announce Washington Days will occur virtually on February 27, 2021! Join us from the comfort of your own home for an exicting day of events! We’re thrilled to share our fantastic line-up of speakers for #WD2021, which includes Governor Laura Kelly (KS), Senator Bob Casey (PA), Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM), Governor Jared Polis (CO), Congresswoman Sharice Davids (KS-03), Senator Cory Booker (NJ), and former Presidential candidate and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Secretary Julián Castro. This is an exciting line-up you don’t want to miss! 

To learn more about Washington Day 2021, purchase your tickets and stay up to date on featured speakers, please visit our website: www.kansasdems.org/WD2021!

 

 

KANSAS SENATE DOUBLES CONTROVERSIAL TAX BILL, THROWING BREAKS AT MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS

What’s happening?

(Kansas Reflector) – What started out as a modest $175 million tax reform bill ballooned after several hours of Senate debate into what Republicans and Democrats figured to be a $450 million to $470 million package. Uncertainty about the financial bottom line of Senate Bill 22 was amplified when the Kansas Department of Revenue estimated the bill’s cost to the treasury could exceed $600 million.

Growth in the bill’s cost primarily resulted from dedication of $215 million for a state income tax exemption on retirement benefits in the fiscal year starting July 1 and the decision to provide $75 million to $80 million for expansion of the standard deduction on state income taxes.

Sen. Jeff Pittman, a Leavenworth Democrat, said it was precisely the size of the overhauled bill that prompted concern about the state’s ability to secure enough tax revenue for basic functions of government. He voted “no” on the measure, which was adopted 24-15 by the Senate. “I just can’t support such a massive amount at this time,” Pittman said. “I think this is too soon, too much, too quick.”

Sen. Jeff Longbine, an Emporia Republican voting against the tax bill, said tenor of the debate and outcome of voting offered him a sense of deja vu. He said it felt much like 2012 when the Legislature passed an astounding income tax cut signed by Gov. Sam Brownback that haunted the state for years. The Brownback plan to drive the state’s income tax to zero was officially abandoned in 2017.

KANSAS GOP REFUSE TO EXPAND MEDICAID IN KANSAS DESPITE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS BEING MADE AVAILABLE BY PRESIDENT BIDEN’S COVID-19 RELIEF PLAN

What’s happening?

(Kansas Reflector) – U.S. House Democrats are trying again to entice a dozen holdout states — including Kansas — to expand Medicaid coverage with the prospect of billions of dollars in federal cash. The new offer, included in a massive $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that House Democrats are pushing through committees this week, could help provide health coverage to more than 2 million Americans. They are falling between the cracks in government programs in the midst of the pandemic and economic downturn. Most are childless adults who earn some money but still fall below the federal poverty level.

In the vast majority of states, people in that situation could qualify for Medicaid, a public program that provides health insurance to low-income people and people with disabilities. But in 14 states that have not yet expanded Medicaid, they are still ineligible for that program. Meanwhile, they are still too poor to get subsidized private coverage through insurance exchanges.

Edwin Park, a research professor with the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University, said the House proposal could “move the dial” in some states.

“For others, unfortunately, I think they may walk away from this very good deal,” he said.

Kansas would receive $330 million under the proposed relief package.

“It goes without saying that $330 million would make a significant difference in helping Kansas health care consumers access affordable health care and help our state recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic,” said April Holman, executive director of the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas. “This new proposal shows us that there’s continued movement and support for expansion at the federal level, but we need Kansas lawmakers to do their part by authorizing Medicaid expansion.”

KANSAS TO RECEIVE UP TO 90,000 DOSES OF COVID-19 VACCINE NEXT WEEK THANKS TO GOVERNOR KELLY’S LEADERSHIP 

What’s happening?

(KSN) – Kansas Governor Laura Kelly held a news conference Wednesday to give an update on the coronavirus in Kansas and to share information about COVID-19 vaccinations.

Earlier Wednesday, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) updated its data to show it has linked 106 more deaths to COVID-19, bringing the state’s death toll to 4,303. The KDHE also said another 15,485 Kansans have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose. It brings the total to 248,977, or 8.5% of the state’s population. More than 82,000 Kansans have received their second dose.

Kelly said that next week, Kansas expects to get 82,650 doses, slightly more than it received last week. She also that she spoke with the Biden COVID-19 team yesterday and was told Kansas would be receiving close to 90,000 doses next week.

 

KANSAS GOP SEEK TO LIMIT GOVERNOR KELLY’S AUTHORITY DESPITE THE ONGOING PANDEMIC

What’s happening?

(KSN) – Two top Republican lawmakers say Kansas might not need to keep its state of emergency for COVID-19 in place past the end of March.

The comments Monday from Senate President Ty Masterson and Senate Majority Leader Gene Suellentrop signaled some resistance from the GOP-controlled Legislature to keeping pandemic restrictions in place through the spring. Their comments are significant because a law enacted last month keeps the current state of emergency in place only through March 31.

Lawmakers haven’t yet discussed how far they want to let Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly extend the current state of emergency.

 

DESPITE POWERFUL TESTIMONIES ON THE SENATE FLOOR, KANSAS GOP OFFICIALS SIGNAL INTENT TO ACQUIT TRUMP

What’s happening?

(KSHB) – Missouri and Kansas legislators representing the Kansas City area were among those who voted against proceeding with the impeachment trial for President Donald Trump. Republican senators Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall (Kansas) and Missouri’s Josh Hawley and Roy Blunt joined 40 other Republicans opposed to moving ahead with the trial.

The Senate voted 56-44 to push forward.

Marshall tweeted ahead of the vote that the impeachment was unconstitutional and keeps legislators “from doing important work.”

What is more important than protecting the American people, and the sanctity of our Democracy?

 

What’s happening?

Make sure to follow Kansas Dems on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram to keep up with the latest party news, events, and updates!

ICYMI: Here are some of our top posts from this week.

What’s happening?

Be sure to shop KDP Merch at the Kansas Dems Online Store. Make your voice heard by picking up our new shirt from the KDP Store. And remember each purchase includes a donation to the party to help elect Democrats across the state.

 

 

Onward,

KDP Team

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