Kansas Common Sense


Welcome to “Kansas Common Sense.” Thanks 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.

Standing Together Against Racism
White supremacy, bigotry and racism have absolutely no place in our society, and no one – especially the President of the United States – should ever tolerate it. We must all come together as a country and denounce this hatred to the fullest extent.

Hosting Townhalls Around The State
Throughout my time in Congress, I have been committed to holding townhall meetings to hear from the Kansans I serve. This week’s stops provided me with valuable feedback from Kansans that I need in order to do my job representing you in Washington. I have always had a responsibility to Kansans to make myself available for questions and discussion, regardless of what the day’s “hot button” issue may be.

Last week, I hosted townhall meetings in Thomas and Shawnee counties.

Thomas County Listening Tour Stop
I continued my Kansas Listening Tour with a townhall meeting in Thomas County on Wednesday afternoon at the Colby Community College Cultural Arts Center. We had a productive discussion surrounding veterans care, education and healthcare, where I expressed my continued support of ensuring any new healthcare bill protects those with pre-existing conditions. We also discussed international issues – NAFTA and trade – and the farm bill. Kansans in attendance shared their concerns about USPS' inefficiencies in rural communities.

Thank you to former U.S. Senator Sheila Frahm and to all those from Thomas County for attending the event.

Shawnee County Listening Tour Stop
On Friday I conducted a townhall meeting in Topeka. We had a turnout of over 120 Kansans and had a serious discussion about our short- and long-term goals for Congress and America, including healthcare reform, national security and education. Kansans made clear their desire for stability, civility and bipartisan cooperation in Washington.

I walk away from every one of my townhalls knowing that the concerns we feel reflect our dedication to building a better nation for the next generation. I’m always proud to represent Kansans in the Senate.

Click here for more information on upcoming Kansas Listening Tour stops.

Attending the Colby Community College Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
After the townhall meeting, I joined Colby Community College staff, students and community members at a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the newly remodeled Living Center East dormitory. Construction of the 40-bed living center began in May, and the first of three phases of improvements to the residence hall were just completed. The project was largely funded by grants and private donations – proving that when something in our local communities needs to be done, our communities get together to make it happen. Thanks to CCC President Seth Carter for asking me to take part in the ceremony.

Touring Schriever Air Force Base
I toured Schriever Air Force Base and its National Space Defense Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Wednesday to learn more about how the Air Force – and the military at large – is protecting our homeland with precision technology. The 50th Space Wing operates the 175 Department of Defense satellites and satellite programs, including the Global Positioning System (GPS), the Defense Satellite Communications System (DSCS) and Space Based Space Surveillance (SBSS).

Supporting these cutting-edge technologies and the service members who operate them ensures America will remain the most advanced military in the world. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, I will continue working to make certain our warfighters are trained and equipped to defend our nation.

As a bonus, I met Airman Fruit from Emporia and was able to thank him for his service to our country. Thank you to Schriever Air Force Base for hosting me.

Speaking at Independence Heath Care Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Saturday morning I joined Labette Health and the community of Independence to celebrate the opening of their new Independence Healthcare Center. Two years ago, we learned Mercy Hospital was preparing to close. Since that time, area health care providers have stepped forward to provide medical services to the residents of Independence. Now, thanks to Labette Health, the community will once again have its own emergency room. This modernized facility will deliver quality emergency and medical care to residents right in their own hometown. The smaller facility with a greater focus on efficiency is part of a new approach Labette Health and others are utilizing. I appreciated CEO Brian Williams’s invitation to speak at the ribbon cutting and the warm welcome from Mayor Fred Meier and members of the community.

Touring Fab Lab at Independence Community College
During my Independence trip, I toured the Fab Lab at Independence Community College. This creative space provides entrepreneurs and community members access to manufacturing and digital fabrication tools encouraging experimentation, creativity and the entrepreneurial mindset.
Although it’s not an academic program, the Fab Lab does offer college students introductory training in electronics, robotics, welding, 3D printing, prototyping and more. This month, the United States Economic Development Administration awarded the Fab Lab a grant to expand their facilities. The planned expansion will provide an additional 8,000 square feet to house an “entrepreneurs’ bullpen,” innovation center, paint-powder coating booth, welding booth and other improvements.

Thank you to the dozen entrepreneurs I met at Fab Lab and to Independence Community College President Dan Barwick and Jim Correll and Tim Haynes of the Fab Lab for the tour. I’m already looking forward to the Fab Lab's upcoming "Community Boot Camp: How to Start a Fab-Lab From Ground Zero" in February.

Kansans in the Office

YRC Worldwide
Terry Gerrond of Overland Park

Capitol Tours
Stephen Fairall of Cheney
Rebecca Fairall of Cheney
Ashlynn Fairall of Cheney
Brennan Fairall of Cheney
Richard Zinn of Lawrence
Diane Zinn of Lawrence

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,

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