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Friday, April 30, 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?  KDP Updates, #KSLEG Updates, 2022 Elections, 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!

 

 

GOVERNOR KELLY COINS APRIL AS CHILD ABUSE AWARENESS MONTH

Governor Laura Kelly has proclaimed April as Child Abuse Awareness Month in Kansas.

This proclamation recognizes the importance of building safe, healthy, thriving communities to support the wellbeing of Kansas children and families.

“The future of our state depends on the wellbeing of our children,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “It’s up to us to protect our youngest and most vulnerable Kansans. During April, I urge all Kansans to familiarize themselves with the signs of abuse and the Kansas Protection Report Center’s resources.”

 

Governor Kelly vetoed 9 bills during the 2020-2021 legislative session. Here are key points:

  • HB 2007 (Budget), Signed with Certain Provisons Removed
    • This bill includes funding for transportation modernization, mental health services and resources for Kansas businesses. It is also the Largest increase to social service spending in a decade.
  • SB 50 (Tax), Vetoed
    • This proposal creates a $307.7 million hole in our state general fund and returns to the devastating failed policies of the Brownback administration.
  • SB 55 (Trans Athlete), Vetoed
    • This bill would send a horrific message that Kansas is not welcoming to all children and indicate that Kansas is more focused on divisive legislation than pro-growth lawmaking.
  • HB 2183 and HB 2332
    • Kansas has safe and secure elections. This bill doesnt stop voter fraud, it make it harder for Kansans to cast their ballot.
  • HB 2166
    • The Gasden flag has become a symbol of racism and there is no room for discrimination in Kansas. If the bill is passed without the Gasden flag option, Governor Kelly has agreed to sign it.
  • HB 2058 (Concealed Carry)
    • This bill would allow offenders and felons to obtain firearms and also significantly increase the number of college and university students who are eligible to carry concealed firearms on campus.
  • HB 2039 (Civics Bill) and HB 2089 (Eddie the Eagle)
    • It is the role of the State Board of Education to set curriculum not the legislature, we should instead encourage the legislature to work with the Board of Education.

Help Governor Kelly by contacting your state legislators and demand they sustain the Governor’s vetoes. You can look up your #ksleg members’ contact information here

 

KDP Press Releases

 

 

GOVERNOR KELLY VETOES THREE CONTROVERSIAL REPUBLICAN BILLS

What’s happening?

(Topeka Capital-Journal) – Gov. Laura Kelly on Friday vetoed three controversial bills being pushed by the majority-Republican Legislature.

The most contentious and impactful of the three was a bill making significant changes to Kansas’ concealed carry law.

For one, adults under 21 years of age would be able to conceal carry. Currently, only those 21 and older are allowed to do so. House Bill 2058 would create a provisional license class for those from 18 to 20 years of age, after which the license turns permanent.

House Bill 2183 would restrict the number of advance ballots an individual can bring to the polls on behalf of a neighbor, friend or acquaintance. It also would outlaw the practice of candidates carrying ballots on behalf of residents.

One final bill Kelly vetoed has stirred some tense feelings in the Kansas Legislature. The bill would allow for the issuance of distinctive license plates, a typical matter except one of them is the Gadsden flag.

 

 GOVERNOR KELLY USES LINE ITEM VETO AND APPROVES BUDGET BILL

What’s happening?

(Kansas Reflector) – Gov. Laura Kelly exercised authority Monday to line-item veto 18 elements of a budget bill before signing the remainder allocating new funding for newborn screenings, mental health prevention and crisis services, and programs for people with intellectual disabilities and in long-term nursing care.

She discarded provisions cutting her out of the state’s decisions on use of federal COVID-19 aid and another forcing a 2% budget cut at agencies that didn’t adopt a performance-based budget system. She deleted from the bill a prohibition on mask mandates, including at 4-H gatherings. Ousted were measures shifting $10 million in higher education money to a building maintenance program, ending a moratorium on admissions to state psychiatric hospitals and requiring state agencies and contractors rely on the E-Verify system to confirm job applicants’ immigration status.

 

GOVERNOR KELLY CONCENTRATED ON EXPANDING KANSAS BUSINESS

What’s happening?

(The Wichita Eagle) – From Day One of Gov. Laura Kelly’s governorship, we have prioritized rebuilding our economic foundation, creating jobs, and fostering an environment that will make Kansas competitive on a global scale when it comes to business recruitment.

We’re gaining more momentum in 2021 as COVID-19 cases decline and vaccinations increase — and Kansans across the state are getting back to school, back to work, and back to normal.

Right now, we are seeing record low, pre-pandemic unemployment rates in Kansas — and we have over 40,000 open jobs.

Gov. Kelly’s administration is laser-focused on ensuring we have the kind of workforce that can fill the jobs available now, and jobs created in the future.

 

KANSAS UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS DECLINING

What’s happening?

(WIBW) – WalletHub.com says Kansas unemployment claims are over 94% lower for the week of April 12 than they were compared to the same week in 2020. It said in its recent study, States Whose Unemployment Claims Are Recovering the Quickest, Kansas seemed to have a somewhat successful recovery from new unemployment claims.

According to the study, Kansas ranked No. 4 among states whose unemployment claims are recovering the quickest. It also said Kansas had ranked No. 3 in states whose unemployment claims had recovered the most since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.

The study showed that weekly unemployment claims for the week of April 12 in Kansas increased by over 46% compared to the same week in 2019. It said this was the fifth-smallest increase in the nation.

 

EXPANDING MEDICAID IN KANSAS COULD SAVE EMPLOYERS MILLIONS

What’s happening?

(KMUW) – A new report indicates employers in some of Kansas’ most critical industries could save tens of millions of dollars a year if the state were to expand Medicaid.

The Kansas Health Institute report indicates private-sector employers would save between $39.6 million and $80.6 million if Kansas opted into Medicaid expansion. Kansas businesses currently employ about 139,000 people in industries like health care, food services and manufacturing, who would qualify with the expansion of KanCare, the program through which the state administers Medicaid.

“Employees in expansion states have reported that because of access to needed care like medication and treatments, particularly in the case of behavioral health needs, like mental illness and substance use disorders, they were much better equipped to continue their work and to be more productive in that work,” Holman said.

 

REPUBLICANS HOPE TO GERRYMANDER DISTRICTS AND STEAL DEMOCRATIC VOTERS 

What’s happening?

(KMBC) – New census data shows Kansas and Missouri will keep their seats in Congress. Kansas has four. Missouri has eight. But there will still be a battle over who represents who.

Kansas Republicans want to make Democrat Sharice Davids’ 2022 reelection difficult by having the Republican-controlled Legislature drawing the new lines.

“That takes out Sharice Davids up in the 3rd. We can do that. I guarantee you, we can draw four Republican maps,” former Senate President Susan Wagle said.

 

AMID GOP MUDSLINGING, GOVERNOR KELLY REMAINS OUR VOICE OF REASON

What’s happening?

(Iola Register) – Kansas Republicans enjoyed a lovefest last weekend where Gov. Laura Kelly was the main entreé. The Manhattan convention came on the heels of a slew of vetoes by the Governor, providing Republicans ample fodder for grousing.

Most notably, Kelly vetoed legislation that restricts voting, allows concealed carry of firearms for teens, mandates an NRA-devised curriculum on gun rights for public schools, allows the sale of a pro-slavery license plate, insists on a civics test for high-schoolers, and bans transgender girls from participating in school sports.

“The most dangerous weapon in the state of Kansas is an ink pen in the hand of Laura Kelly,” Attorney General Derek Schmidt told attendees. In our view, Kelly is our bulwark against extremism.

 

KRIS KOBACH RUNNING FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL IN KANSAS

What’s happening?

(The Kansas City Star) – No Republican should want former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach to seek elective office again. For most of the GOP, his run for Kansas attorney general, announced on Thursday, will have all the appeal of a pop-up thunderstorm at the family picnic.

The candidacy of the two-time losing bomb thrower, whose bombs mostly go off in his own face, has moved Christmas up from December for the state’s Democrats. With current AG Derek Schmidt running for governor, the right Democrat could actually win this office.

The last Democrat elected statewide was Gov. Laura Kelly in 2018 — and who, to review, helped make that possible? Kobach, who ran a lazy campaign and lost to Kelly.

 

DEREK SCHMIDT PURSUES PARTISAN LAWSUIT AHEAD OF 2022 ELECTIONS 

What’s happening?

(Kansas Reflector) – The attorneys general in Missouri and Kansas have joined their Republican counterparts in 20 states demanding that the federal government not consider the social cost of carbon emissions when determining whether to approve new natural gas pipelines.

Eric Schmitt of Missouri and Derek Schmidt of Kansas filed comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Monday after the agency called for feedback on a number of questions about how it certifies new pipelines. Part of FERC’s responsibility is to determine whether projects are in the public interest. 

One of its questions: does federal law allow — or mandate — the commission to use the “social cost of carbon” in analyzing projects. The social cost of carbon is intended to quantify the harm from carbon emissions as a dollar figure.

 

KANSAS TREASURER CELEBRATING TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK BY GIVING AWAY $10,000

What’s happening?

(KWCH) – The Kansas State Treasurer is giving away $10,000 to celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 3-7.

The office is giving away a total of ten, $1,000 awards starting Monday, May 3. Beginning today (4/26/21), people are invited to nominate a Kansas teacher using this online form, who will then be entered to win one of the ten awards.

“Kansas teachers have worked tirelessly to overcome the countless challenges they have encountered over the past year, and I thought they deserved a little extra recognition this National Teacher Appreciation Week,” said Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Rogers. “I’m excited to have this opportunity to give back to those who give up so much for the sake of our children and grandchildren.”

 

RECAP OF PRESIDENT BIDEN’S FIRST 100 DAYS

What’s happening?

(CNN) – President Joe Biden has moved fast since his January 20 swearing-in, signing a $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill into law less than two months into his term and issuing more executive orders so far than his three predecessors.

Those efforts have paid off, with the administration reaching the milestones of 200 million coronavirus shots delivered and vaccine eligibility opened to everyone 16 and over before Biden’s 100th day in office. Unemployment is falling, with new jobless claims hitting a pandemic low, and schools are reopening for in-person learning, returning kids and families to a semblance of normal life.

And Biden has delivered on his pledge to return the presidency to what it looked like before his predecessor Donald Trump, replacing tweets with daily press briefings and bringing in a Cabinet and staff of seasoned experts.

 

 

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

 

Sunday, May 2:

  • Crawford County Democrats – Monthly Meeting
    • When:  3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Monday, May 3:

  • Miami County Democrats –  Monthly Meeting
    • When:  7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Tuesday, May 4:

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

 

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