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Friday, March 26, 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? Women’s History Month, April Reception with Senator Sanders, KDP Updates & Trainings, 2022 Gubernatorial Race, American Rescue Plan, COVID-19 Vaccines, Social Media Updates, KDP Merch and more!

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!

 

 

Generation after generation, women have moved the dial on our most important issues & fought for a better world. This month, we celebrate all women leaders who have inspired progress across Kansas, including Governor Laura Kelly, Congresswoman Sharice Davids and Kansas Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes. We also offer our gratitude to women here at home and across the globe who lead the way in forging stronger communities — from saving lives on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 to advocating for equity and the rights afforded to us all.

This women’s history month, be sure to view 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.

SENATOR SANDERS IS (VIRTUALLY) COMING TO KANSAS NEXT WEEK

Join us next Saturday, April 3rd at 3:00p.m. CT as we host Senator Bernie Sanders for a virtual reception with Kansas Democrats. You’ll hear from the KDP Chair, Vicki Hiatt, and Senator Bernie Sanders, former Presidential candidate and the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee! This is an event you won’t want to miss, and tickets start at only $27.00.

 

 

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, IT’S TIME FOR REPUBLICANS TO REJECT ANTI-VACCNATION LEGISLATION

What’s happening?

(WIBW) – The Kansas Democratic Party is calling on Kansas Republicans to condemn and reject anti-vaccination legislation proposed in the Senate.

The Kansas Democratic Party says it is calling on Republican Leadership in the Kansas Legislature to condemn an anti-vaccination bill promoted by Senator Mark Steffen (R-Hutchinson), who has previously made false claims about COVID-19. In response to SB212, Chairwoman Vicki Hiatt said enough is enough.

Enough is enough. Republican leadership has already spent months undermining Governor Kelly’s ability to respond to COVID-19,” said Hiatt. “Now, after getting their own vaccines, they’re actively discouraging Kansans from doing the same. If Republicans continue to push this legislation, they risk our health and jeopardize our return to normal life. SB212 proves that Kansans can’t trust Republicans on anything when it comes to COVID-19.”

 

SENATE REPUBLICANS AIM TO PUNISH COUNTIES FOR COVID RESTRICTIONS

What’s happening?

(Wichita Eagle) – The underlying purpose of a state Senate bill that would compensate business owners for lost income from the coronavirus pandemic is to punish the governor and county commissioners who put limits on businesses to try to slow the spread of COVID-19 — and discourage any future restrictions, according to a key state senator.

“If our leaders don’t feel some pain, they’re not gonna learn anything from this,” said Sen. Mark Steffen, a Republican from Hutchinson and member of the Senate tax committee. “The levels of the government that interceded in our economy with marginal, marginal, marginal to non-existent scientific data, they gotta feel pain, they got to feel pushback on this.”

Sedgwick County Commissioner David Dennis said the senator’s comments confirm what county officials have suspected all along about the compensation bill, Senate Bill 286.

 

KANSAS REPUBLICANS OUT OF TOUCH WITH REAL ISSUES

What’s happening?

(Capital-Journal) – The 2021 Kansas Legislature is Upside-Down-land, filled with lawmakers who focus their attention on non-problems, while purposefully ignoring the state’s real issues.

Reflecting the nutty fixation of Sen. Roger Marshall, Statehouse Republicans have focused immense attention on the burning question of whether Kansas transgender female athletes, perhaps five in total, should be able to compete in women’s sports.

As with many other states’ partisans, Kansas Republicans studiously avoid important issues by obsessing on the bright shiny object of transgendered students, who are among the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

 

SENATE BILL STUNTS GROWTH OF $14B WIND INDUSTRY IN KANSAS

What’s happening?

TOPEKA  A Senate bill scheduled for public debate Monday would heap an unprecedented level of government regulation on Kansas’ thriving wind industry that in two decades attracted $14 billion in investment to a state economy struggling to find new opportunities for growth.

The measure is to be heard in the Senate Utilities Committee led by Republican Sen. Mike Thompson, a climate change denier and alternative energy skeptic who believes bad politics outmaneuvered good science on the environmental influence of burning fossil fuel. The committee’s bill would impose new obstacles to locating wind farms based on light, sound and distance metrics. The bill would raise legal issues in terms of property rights and by retroactively muddling contracts signed as far back as 2011.

 

KANSAS REPUBLICANS LOOK TO LIMIT ABILITIES OF GOVERNOR KELLY

What’s happening?

(KSNT) – A bill that would limit the powers of the governor and Secretary of State during elections is moving through the Kansas statehouse. Lawmakers in the state’s Senate Federal and State Affairs committee held a hearing on the bill Wednesday morning.

The bill would prohibit the governor, the executive branch and the judicial branch from altering election laws. It would also limit the authority of the Secretary of State from entering into consent decrees with any court without approval from the state’s legislative coordinating council.

“Most of the concern is not what happened in Kansas, but what happened elsewhere and we’re trying to prohibit that,” said Senator Larry Alley, R-Winfield.

 

GOP PURSUES RESTRICTING VOTING RIGHTS

What’s happening?

(Kansas Reflector) — In fairness and with obvious delight, Rep. Vic Miller warned Kansas House colleagues he would victimize them with a lengthy, monotonous analysis of federal election legislation if a Republican resolution denouncing Washington Democrats’ views of voting reform wasn’t sent back to a committee for refinement.

“I have no intention of apologizing to anyone about what follows,” the Topeka Democrat said. “I fully expect, before I’m done, that a lot of people are going to grow impatient.”

The GOP-dominated House crushed 38-84 his motion Tuesday to refer House Concurrent Resolution 5015 introduced by Rep. Blake Carpenter, R-Derby, back to the House Elections Committee. House and Senate resolutions are a formal method of sharing insight with President Joe Biden, members of the Kansas congressional delegation or others on all sorts of subjects. In this case, it was the view of a majority in the Kansas House that the U.S. House engaged in reckless work on an election overhaul measure called For the People Act of 2021.

 

SENATE REPUBLICANS REJECT FUNDING FOR RURAL KANSAS HOSPITALS

What’s happening?

(Kansas Reflector) — Hutchinson anesthesiologist and Sen. Mark Steffen led opposition Friday to a Kansas House bill earmarking $10 million in state funding for grants to economically distressed rural hospitals working to innovate on delivery of health care to patients.

Steffen and other members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee deflected a proposal establishing a private-public partnership on behalf of rural hospitals that featured a 2-to-1 match from private donors for every $1 invested by the state. He objected to potential waste of taxpayer dollars on a grant program open to relatively large hospitals in Great Bend, Salina, Hays, Hutchinson and elsewhere. He also said influx of federal COVID-19 funding should have resolved any financial challenges at hospitals across Kansas.

 

KANSAS REPUBLICANS FAVOR RELINQUISHING FEDERAL RELIEF

What’s happening?

(Capital-Journal) Tax cuts in Kansas are always a controversial proposition.

To say the issue is hot button would be an understatement, largely thanks to the tax experiment pushed by former Gov. Sam Brownback in 2012 and repealed five years later, which turned national attention on Kansas and its economic fortunes.

That hasn’t stopped legislators from trying another round of aggressive reforms in 2021. But a curveball from Congress, a testy debate about school finances and a clash between the Kansas House and Senate could set up a new twist on an old debate in the weeks to come.

Legislatorforged ahead earlier this session with a controversial plan that would cost the state upward of $1 billion over its first three years of existence.

 

THANKS TO THE GREAT WORK BY GOVERNOR KELLY, KANSAS HAS GIVEN OUT NEARLY 1 MILLION COVID VACCINES

What’s happening?

(KSNT) – Kansas is nearing the million mark for vaccines administered in-state, according the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Friday.

The KDHE reported 967,877 Kansans got one or both of their shots, with 646,792 getting just the first dose and 320,985 getting the second. In total, 22.2% of Kansans have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.

The state updates these vaccines numbers every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 

AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN PROVIDES STIMULUS CHECKS TO OVER 100 MILLION AMERICANS WITH MORE TO COME

What’s happening?

(Business Insider) – President Joe Biden said on Thursday that more than 100 million stimulus checks have gone out since the American Rescue Plan was signed into law earlier this month.

“That’s real money in peoples’ pockets bringing relief instantly, almost,” Biden said at his first news conference since taking office. “And millions more will be getting their money very soon.”

Since the passage of the American Rescue Plan, “a majority of economic forecasters have significantly increased their projections on the economic growth that’s going to take place this year,” Biden said. “They’re now projecting it will exceed six percent — six percent growth in GDP. And just this morning, we learned that the number of people filing for weekly unemployment insurance fell by nearly 100,000 persons.”

 

What’s happening?

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

Here are some of our top posts from this week.

 

Onward,

KDP Team

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Kansas Democratic Party
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Topeka, KS 66607
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