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Friday, April 2, 2021

Friend,

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? 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!

VICKI HIATT: DEMOCRATS DELIVER FOR KANSAS WHILE REPUBLICANS PASS THE BUCK 

As of this month, Americans have endured a year-long unprecedented global health crisis. For the most part, Americans and Kansans have endured these challenging times together, watching in awe as our hospital workers, first responders, and front-line workers became superheroes.

Last month, with the help of Representative Sharice Davids and Democrats nationwide, Congress passed one of the most consequential pieces of legislation of all time, President Biden’s American Rescue Plan.

The ARP is a historic response to the current moment and will make a real difference in the lives of Kansans by creating jobs, cutting child poverty in half, and ultimately saving lives and livelihoods. Help is here!

 

SENATOR SANDERS IS (VIRTUALLY) COMING TO KANSAS TOMORROW

Join us next tomorrow, 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.

VOTER SUPPRESSION RAPID RESPONSE PLAN 

  • This week, legislation has been passed restricting voting rights with no public comment, no support by our election administrators, and no transparency in the legislative process. Some elected officials are breaking our legislature in order to break our democracy.

 

A Reflection on Women’s History Month

 

 

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.”

 

KANSAS RESIDENTS 16 AND OLDER NOW ELIGIBLE FOR COVID-19 VACCINE

What’s happening?

(KSNT) – Kansas is opening the vaccine to more people this week. Kansans who are 16 and older will be eligible to get the vaccine.

Governor Laura Kelly announced the final step of the state’s vaccine plan, Phase 5, would begin on March 29. The phase allows anyone who has not yet been vaccinated and is at least 16-years-old to get the shot.

 

GOP LEGISLATORS STRIKE DOWN MEDICAID EXPANSION

What’s happening?

(Kansas Reflector) – The Republican majority in the Kansas House stiff-armed Tuesday the latest in a long series of attempts by Democrats to expand eligibility for Medicaid to at least 120,000 lower-income Kansans.

The minority party attempted to amend expansion into a state budget bill because GOP leadership in the House had successfully blocked bills in committee that would commit the state to a bigger Medicaid program under the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The amendment offered by Overland Park Rep. Brett Parker was rejected 46-78, after Republicans tried to avoid the public vote through a procedural maneuver.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly has made Medicaid expansion a top policy priority. She also proposed the state’s share of expansion costs could be covered by revenue from passage of a medicinal marijuana law.

 

KANSAS REPUBLICANS PURSUE VOTER SUPPRESSION

What’s happening?

(Wichita Eagle) – Kansas lawmakers, following a trend in Republican-controlled statehouses nationwide, gave initial approval Wednesday to bills that would give the Legislature virtually complete control of elections and make it more difficult to cast a ballot by mail.

One of the measures would strip the governor, the secretary of state and the courts of the ability to regulate elections. The other limits who is permitted to return a mail-in ballot on behalf of another person and makes it a felony for an individual to return more than five mail-in ballots.

The changes were approved on a 28-12 vote, despite reports from Secretary of State Scott Schwab in January that Kansas had a “free and fair” election last year.

 

INSTEAD OF PRIORITIZING KANSANS WELL BEING, KANSAS REPUBLICANS LOOK TO PASS BROWNBACK-STYLE TAX CUTS

What’s happening?

(Topeka Capital-Journal) – Legislators voted Tuesday to send a hotly debated tax bill to the desk of Gov. Laura Kelly, setting up a staring match with the governor over legislation she is likely to oppose.

The push to give residents and businesses a tax break has been lingering all session long, after the Kansas Senate passed in February a sweeping package that would cost over $1 billion in the first three years.

That legislation was deemed too rich for the blood of the Kansas House, which countered with a slimmed-down version to increase the standard deduction and let residents and businesses take advantage of 2017 federal tax cuts championed by former President Donald Trump.

 

KANSAS BUSINESSES UNIFY TO STOP REPUBLICANS’ ANTI-VACCINE BILL

What’s happening?

(Sunflower State Journal) – Almost 30 business, medical and social welfare groups covering the political spectrum are urging lawmakers to reject a bill discouraging vaccinations and limiting the state health secretary from mandating new inoculations.

The group on Monday sent a letter to lawmakers calling on them to scrap a bill that not only bars employers from requiring vaccines but also prohibits the state health secretary from requiring new vaccines for day care centers and schools.

 

REPUBLICAN LEADERS MOVE AHEAD WITH CONTROVERSIAL EDUCATION BILL DESPITE BIPARTISAN OPPOSITION

What’s happening?

(Topeka Capital-Journal) – Legislators are forging ahead with a wide-reaching package to remake education policy in Kansas, including a major expansion of the state’s school choice offerings and provisions restricting remote learning.

The legislation, which critics have dubbed a “Frankenstein” bill, has instead been framed by proponents as a needed response to achievement gaps laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic and a way of better serving students and families.

While the bill was amended to soften certain key provisions, public school advocates are still skeptical. A bipartisan group of legislators in the House appeared to agree —  18 Republicans joined all Democrats in opposing the legislation, which squeaked through on a 65-58 vote.

 

GOP RISK KANSAS LIVES AND FIGHT MASK MANDATE

What’s happening?

(Wichita Eagle) – Republicans in the GOP-controlled Kansas House formally registered their opposition Tuesday to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s plan for encouraging counties to keep mask mandates in place as a potentially more infectious strain of coronavirus became more widespread in the state.

The House voted 84-39 along party lines for a resolution telling legislative leaders to revoke any order from Kelly for a statewide mask policy. Kelly issued such an order in November that is due to expire Wednesday, and she has said she will issue a new order Thursday.

The measure was sponsored by House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr., of Olathe; Speaker Pro Tem Blaine Finch, of Ottawa, and Majority Leader Dan Hawkins, of Wichita, who’ve all publicly said they will oppose Kelly’s planned order.

 

REPUBLICANS ATTEMPT TO POLITICIZE CHILD ADVOCACY BILL

What’s happening?

(Kansas Reflector) – A Senate panel advanced legislation Monday that would install a child advocate in the Kansas Attorney General’s Office to investigate and report on problems in the foster care system.

Republicans on the committee revised the plan in an attempt to address concerns raised about turning the position into a hyper-political tool in next year’s governor’s race. They also narrowed the scope of children who could be investigated and installed judicial oversight for subpoenas.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

The Week Ahead 

Saturday, April 3

  • KDP Presents: April Reception with Senator Bernie Sanders
    • When:  3pm – 4pm

Sunday, April 4

  • Crawford County Democrats Monthly Meeting
    • When:  3pm – 5pm

Monday, April 5:

  • Miami County Democrats Monthly Meeting
    • When:  7pm – 9pm

Tuesday, April 6:

  • Douglas County Democrats Happy Hour
    • When:  5:30pm – 7:00pm
  • Chase County Democrats – Monthly Social Hour and Meeting
    • When:  7:00pm – 8:30pm

Thursday, April 8:

  • Finney County Democrats Monthly Meeting
    • When:  5:30pm – 6:30pm
  • Jefferson County Dems Meeting
    • When:  6pm – 7pm
  • Woodson County Democrats – Monthly Meeting
    • When:  7pm – 9pm
  • Cherokee County Democrats – Monthly Meeting
    • When:  7pm – 8pm

 

Onward,

KDP Team

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Paid for by the Kansas Democratic Party, Yolanda Taylor, Treasurer

Kansas Democratic Party
501 SE Jefferson St
Suite 30
Topeka, KS 66607
United States

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