• Last modified 3023 days ago (Jan. 13, 2011)


Legislative update

Challenges await state Legislators

State Representative, District 70

Well, it’s off to Topeka for the beginning of the 2011 legislative session. As I write this column Saturday, I find myself in Topeka thinking of the upcoming events: tonight’s banquet and dance celebrating the beginning of Sam Brownback’s first term as governor.

On Monday morning, we had the opportunity to witness the inauguration of Governor-elect Brownback as he is sworn in as Kansas’ new governor, and at 2p.m., I was sworn in along with other representatives to serve in the House of Representatives for the 2011-12 term. We are all called on to swear or affirm to uphold the constitutions of the United States and of the State of Kansas. This is something we should all take very seriously. The oath is not a matter of convenience, nor is it a pledge to uphold the constitution as we wish it would be. We are all called to uphold it, and with all my ability, I will.

At 6:30 p.m. this evening, Governor Brownback will deliver his State of the State address to all state officials. It will be telecast live on KPTS (Channel 8), so you can tune in at home. We all wait with anticipation to hear some of the nuts and bolts of the Governor’s plan for Kansas — his thoughts on repairing an economy that, while better, is not yet recovered; and his plans to meet the predicted shortfall for the 2011-12 budget year.

I expect this to be a very difficult session for us all. Nonetheless, during the past few weeks, Brownback has encouraged us all to be hopeful for Kansas, to pull together, and to volunteer in various ways, helping each other and in particular, those who need us most in these tough times. Let us take the Governor’s cue and not focus solely on the tough times. Perhaps we ought to keep the Kansas motto in the front of our minds: To the stars through difficulty — Ad Astra per Aspera.

I will serve again on the judiciary and the corrections/juvenile justice committees. Last term I also served on the education committee. I not only enjoyed being on that committee, I learned more about education than I thought possible in two years. While I hoped to continue on the education committee, I have been moved to the committee on agriculture and natural resources. If I had to be moved, this is a good switch. We are predominately an agricultural community and economy in the 70th District, and I look forward to working for you through that committee.

Let me know of your issues, particularly as they relate to agriculture as we start the 2011 session. As for my part, I will do my best to keep you abreast of what’s new on the education front even though I’m not on the committee

You may contact me at or write me at either 201 Meadow Lane, Marion KS 66861 or at Kansas State Capitol Building, 300 SW 10th St, Topeka KS 66612; or call me at (620) 382-2133. My phone number during the session (through about May 15) is (785) 296-7636. My office will now be room 54-A in the Capitol, so if you’re going to be in Topeka, let me know!

Last modified Jan. 13, 2011