Kansas Common Sense

Dear Friend,

Welcome to “Kansas Common Sense.” Thank you for your continued interest in receiving my weekly newsletter. Please feel free to forward it on to your family and friends if it would interest them.

Touring Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research
During my visit to the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University on Tuesday, it was a pleasure to meet testing facility employees Colin Phillips and Caleb Brening and learn more about the work they do. Not only is the NIAR the largest university aviation research and development institution in the United States, but it also seamlessly integrates business, government and university entities to advance aviation technology in the “Air Capital of the World.” Click here to see a photo from my visit.


Kansas City Kansas Community College Opens the Dr. Thomas R. Burke Technical Center
Congrats to Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC) faculty, staff and students on the Dr. Thomas R. Burke Technical Education Center (TEC) that officially opened this week with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The facility will provide current and future students with an opportunity to learn more than 20 hands-on technical skilled trades. TEC is located in a former WalMart that was completely renovated and reconstructed. Pictured to my right is Mary Flunder and on my left is Wendell Maddox, Dr. Ray Daniels and Cathy Breidenthal—all KCKCC Trustees. Thank you to Wendell Maddox, KCKCC Trustee for the invitation to join in this celebration. Click here to see a photo. 
40th Anniversary of SEKTAM of Independence, Inc.
On Thursday, I toured SEKTAM of Independence, Inc., a manufacturing company that has been in the tooling and molding business for 40 years. Chris Moore, the owner and president of SEKTAM, started working here at an entry-level position and is proof that the American Dream still exists today. During my tour we discussed regulatory concerns, which are affecting him as a small business owner. I appreciated Independence Mayor Derrill Unruh, City Manager Mickey Webb, Director of Housing April Nutt, Chamber of Commerce Director Lisa Wilson and Montgomery County Action Council Executive Director Aaron Heckman joining me on my tour and discussing with me joys and concerns within the city and county. Here, I'm pictured with Chris and his son, Alex, who are demonstrating how to make a mold.
 
Hearing from Wichita-area Businessmen and Women at the Wichita Independent Business Association Meeting
This week I spoke and heard from Wichita-area businessmen and women at the monthly Wichita Independent Business Association (WIBA) meeting. We discussed numerous topics including issues facing small businesses, technology and education. We need to make certain that as Americans face an increasingly competitive global economy, our kids have the opportunity to pursue careers right here in Kansas. Click here to see a photo of me with Gary Oborny and Chad Stafford of Occidental Management.

Meeting with Bonner Springs Rotary Club
I joined the Bonner Springs Rotarians for lunch this week as their guest speaker. Topics discussed included sequestration, veterans affairs and regulatory issues the members are facing. The club is also busy preparing for Bonner Springs’ annual heritage festival: Tiblow Days. Thank you to immediate past president Judy Cox for the invitation to speak. Click here to see a photo.

Roundtable Discussion with Kansas Hospital Administrators in El Dorado
On Tuesday, I met with a number of hospital administrators from across Kansas at Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital in El Dorado for a roundtable discussion on health care issues important to our state and nation. We discussed a variety of topics, including concerns regarding implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the health insurance Exchanges created by the law, the transition to electronic medical records, and the viability of Critical Access Hospitals and other rural hospitals that are so important for patients’ access to health care in many Kansas communities. This access to care is vital to improving Kansans’ health, but also for economic development in our state. I serve as Ranking Member of Senate Appropriations Health Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over funding for most agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that impact hospitals and other health care providers, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS is the division of HHS responsible for administering Medicare and Medicaid. Meeting with Kansas hospital administrators and other providers provides me insight on the unique challenges they face caring for diverse groups of patients across wide areas. Thank you to Susan B. Allen president and CEO Gayle Arnett for hosting this event, and to Tom Bell and Chad Austin with the Kansas Hospital Association for coordinating the meeting. Also, thanks to the Kansas hospital administrators who traveled to El Dorado to participate in our discussion. Click here to see a photo.
 
3i Show and Four State Farm Show
Both the 3i Farm Show in Dodge City and the Four State Farm Show south of Pittsburg were great opportunities to gather insight and feedback from folks across the state. My staff members were available during each event to answer questions and provide information about congressional actions that impact agriculture.

In the Office
Last week we had several visitors in the Washington, D.C., office, including the Kansans listed below:

Beechcraft
Doug Scott of Wichita
Jim Grant of Wichita 

Capitol Tours
Joel Schuckman of Topeka
Todd Wycoff of St. John
Ty Wycoff of St. John
Tanner Wycoff of St. John
Lori Wycoff of St. John
Glenda S. McMillan of St. John
Justin Gilpin of Emporia
Angie Gilpin of Emporia
Bill and Marge Gilpin of Russell
Gracie Gilpin of Emporia
Chance Gilpin of Emporia
Brad Danahy of Lenexa
Brooks Danahy of Lenexa
Matt McAnarney of Topeka
Sara Maupin of Topeka

Honored to Serve You in Washington
It is an honor to serve you in Washington, D.C. Thank you to the many Kansans who have been calling and writing in to share their thoughts and opinions on the issues our state and country face. I appreciate the words of Kansans, whether in the form of a form of letter, a Facebook comment or a phone call, who wish to make their voice heard. 

Please let me know how I can be of assistance. You can contact me by email by clicking here. You can also click here to contact me through one of my Kansas offices or my Washington, D.C., office.

Very truly yours,

Jerry

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