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.

Hosting Townhall Meetings in Jefferson and Stafford Counties
I continued my Kansas Listening Tour this week. In McLouth, I was pleased to share that the VA MISSION Act recently became law, making it easier and more efficient for all veterans, especially in rural Kansas, to receive the care they deserve. We also discussed the Farm Bill, how we must responsibility negotiate global trade deals, talks with North Korea and rural broadband and its importance to small communities like those in Jefferson County.

In St. John, we discussed several items including the upcoming Farm Bill; trade agreements and tariffs; the importance of healthcare and keeping our critical access hospitals alive; rural technology and communication, as well as broadband expansion; education, especially the importance of career and technical education; as well as immigration, where I stressed the need for Congress to come together and work on things we agree on in this realm, including finding a permanent DACA solution, maintaining high-skilled and agricultural visa programs, and preventing the separation of families at the border. I also paid homage to Carl Dudrey, a longtime friend and St. John community leader who passed away earlier this year.

Thank you to Stafford County Economic Development Director Carolyn Dunn for arranging my visit to St. John. Thanks also to USD 350 Superintendent Josh Meyer and to State Senator Mary Jo Taylor for attending.

Moving Forward with CJS Subcommittee Appropriations Bill
My Senate Appropriations Committee colleagues and I are actively moving through the appropriations process for our federal government agencies, and on Thursday, the Appropriations Committee voted to advance the FY2019 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. As chairman of this subcommittee, I am pleased our bill passed the full committee. I am grateful for the partnership of Senator Shaheen (D-N.H.), the ranking member, in crafting this legislation, which prioritizes issues important to Kansans and Americans across the country, including funding for the STOP School Violence Act, EDA Regional Innovation Programs, NASA and more.

The Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act of 2018, signed into law earlier this year, will help schools train security officers with crisis intervention strategies, strengthen school infrastructure and develop anonymous reporting systems to help intervene in crisis situations before students can harm themselves or others.

The Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) objective is to foster economic growth in low-income areas with high unemployment based on the specific needs of local businesses. Over the last decade, communities across Kansas have received more than $30 million in assistance to help create an improved Kansas economy.

This bill also includes funding for NASA and its many different programs, including support for NASA’s unmanned aerial vehicle research and advanced composites materials for aircraft, of which Kansas State, Kansas and Wichita State Universities are active research partners. Our bill also prioritizes NASA’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Opportunities program to encourage and develop students who are studying these important fields.

Now that the FY2019 CJS appropriations bill has been approved by the committee, it must be voted on by the full Senate. I am hopeful the Senate will continue our process toward passing all appropriations bills prior to the end of the current fiscal year on September 30.

Advancing Kansan Michelle Bowman’s Nomination
As a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, I voted on Tuesday to advance Kansan Michelle ‘Miki’ Bowman’s nomination to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board. Miki was nominated by the president to serve as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in April to hold the seat specifically reserved for “one member with demonstrated primary experience working in or supervising community banks.” I look forward to supporting her nomination on the Senate floor. On Monday, I spoke on the Senate floor in support of her nomination. Watch my full remarks here.

Meeting with Students from KU TRIO Talent Search
I met with students from Kansas City, Kansas representing the KU TRIO Talent Search program in my D.C. office on Tuesday. They detailed the importance of TRIO to their academic success and shared their plans for what awaits them following their high school and eventual college graduations – including aspirations to come back to Kansas and serve their communities.

TRIO programs provide educational opportunities for young people, including first-generation college students, Americans with disabilities, low-income individuals and veterans. I support these programs to make a difference for many students in Kansas and across the country.

Meeting with General Anderson
I had the opportunity to meet U.S. Army Lieutenant General Anderson, a senior Army staff leader overseeing operations, plans and training. LTG Anderson recently visited both Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley and welcomed his impressions of both communities and the vital role they play in the Army’s future. I was pleased with LTG Anderson’s transparency and his commitment to thoughtfully and diligently addressing areas of concern in the stationing process.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Moving Wall Closing Ceremony
On Sunday, I joined the Wamego community for the closing ceremony of The Wall that Heals. This wall is a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Wall in Washington, D.C. and features the names of over 58,000 service members who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending our freedoms in the Vietnam War. Since its creation, the wall has traveled to over 600 communities across our nation, providing the memorial’s healing legacy to many. I’ve had the distinct honor of serving in many different capacities that have allowed me to meet so many veterans across our state. Whether it has been greeting veterans on Honor Flights and welcoming them to our nation’s capital, meeting with veterans and active duty servicemembers in my office, or visiting with thousands of veterans across the state during my travels, I have been privileged to hear the unique and compelling story of our servicemembers.

Thanks to Caterpillar Wamego Operations and the Wamego Area Chamber for their efforts in getting The Wall that Heals to Kansas so we could have the opportunity to admire it and pay our respects to those who serve our nation.

Attending the FHSU President’s Dinner
On Friday evening, I attended Fort Hays State University President Dr. Tisa Mason’s first annual President’s Gala. This gala is a part of the university’s current “Journey” campaign to help support students and faculty. FHSU is a rapidly growing institution that serves many Kansans, and I was honored to be at this event along with over 250 fellow supporters of the school, many of them whom I’ve had the chance to call friends for a number of years.

Participating in Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
On Friday while in Hays, I attended a Hays Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the new Post Rock Pet Boarding facility, which will offer dog and cat boarding and pet grooming. Congratulations to Post Rock Pet Boarding co-owners Kylie Sander and Dr. Heather Holliman-Pope on this accomplishment and on your great facility. Thank you for your quality service to the Hays community and its pets.

Remembering Ruth Browne
On Saturday, I attended memorial services for Ruth Browne in Clay Center. Judge Brown served on my Service Academy Selection Board and I enjoyed reconnecting with her during selection time every year. I enjoyed often attending Fourth of July parties she co-hosted in Clay Center, and especially as we approach the holiday, Robba’s and my prayers are with her family and friends.

Now Accepting 2018 Service Academy Applications
As students are finishing up the school and beginning their summer breaks, I want to remind them of the opportunity to apply to a United States Service Academy. Appointing Kansans to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.; the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.; the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo; and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. is one of my favorite duties as a U.S. Senator.

To review requirements and move through the application process, please download an application from my website or contact my Olathe office at 913-393-0711. All application materials are due to my Olathe office by September 7, 2018. After applications have been reviewed, applicants will be notified of interviews with my Service Academy Selection Board, which will take place on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene.

Kansans in the Office

American Endurance Ride Conference
Monica Chapman of Pleasanton

American Seed Trade Association
Andrew Ochampaugh of Russell

Children’s Advocacy Centers of Kansas
Alyssa Blyden of Leavenworth
Connie Cahoone of Emporia
Jamie Fager of Great Bend
Xochitl Flores of Great Bend
Michael Gayoso of Bexter Springs
David Groves of Galena
Jane Holzrichter of Hutchinson
Kelly Hopkins of Salina
Amanda Kirkland of Pittsburg
Whitney Lovell of Cherokee
Lucas Moody of Emporia
Juliane Walker of Wichita

Citizen’s Climate Lobby
Richard Cowlishaw of Winfield
Alisha Gridley of Wichita
Katherine Siemon of Wichita

Economic Development Administration Team at the Department of Commerce
Larry Dahlsen of Lindsburg  

Immigration Voice
Kiran Chandraw of Overland Park
Sunayana Dumala of Olathe
Ujjwal Gupta of Overland Park
Aditi Indurkar of Overland Park
Sai Manqa of Overland Park
Qaurav Munjal of Overland Park
Grouind Pillai of Wichita

Shane Ohlde
Todd Martin of Palmer
Shane Ohlde of Washington County

Heartland Credit Union Association
Mike Augustine of Leavenworth
Haley DaVee of Topeka
Darrin DePriest of Leavenworth
Rick Firner of Wichita
Brad Douglas of Overland park
Preston Ford of Topeka
Brad Herzet of Wichita
Brandon Michaels of Overland Park
Stephanie Mullholland of Topeka
Ron Smeltzer of Topeka
Dawn Smith of Overland park
Lisa Swinney of Overland Park
Mike Welli of Wichita
Kevin Wilmoth of Wichita
Chris Wolgamott of Wichita

Michelle Rockey of Lawrence

H&R Block
Amy Walker of Kansas City
Sis Woods of Prairie Village
Jeremy Stohs of Shawnee

Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence
Joyce Grover of Lawrence

KU Trio Students
David Nevarez-Saenz of Lawrence
Inri Irvera-Medina of Lawrence
Jayro Silvan-Toraya of Kansas City

National Association for Fixed Annuities
Kevin Mechteley of Overland Park
Andrew Payne of Leawood
Lee Stiegemeier of Lawrence
David Wolfe of Lawrence

National Flood Conference
Robert Ballard of Overland Park

National Renderers Association
David McCullough of Wichita

Marie Campanoli of Fort Riley
Matt Denton of Kansas City
Paula Howard of Kansas City
Aaron Martin of Kansas City
Briann Stiffey of Fort Riley

UN Association of the U.S.
Patricia Dahl of Topeka
Jim Henry of Topeka
Jay Sievia of Leawood
Zac Surritt of Topeka

Vote Hemp
Muriel Bear of Lawrence

Western Kansas Child Advocacy
Vicki Hubin of Scott City

Capitol Tour
Sam Bartlett of Wichita
Cora Bartlett of Wichita
Nate Birkhead of Manhattan
Shannon Birkhead of Manhattan
Ethan Birkhead of Manhattan
Emma Birkhead of Manhattan
Eli Birkhead of Manhattan
Kristin Brighton of Manhattan
Rachael Buller of Newton
Daisy Buller of Newton
Lucy Buller of Newton
Janet Cooper of Manhattan
Steve Cooper of Manhattan
Morgan Davis of Hoyt
Laura DelToro of Hoyt
Larry DePew of Edgerton
LeiLoni DePew of Edgerton
Taylor Dryden of Gardner
Olivia Flowers of Mayetta
Katie Fry of Frontenac
Megan Fry of Frontenac
Ross Fry of Frontenac
Denise Grasso of Weir
Brandon Greenlee of Derby
Ellie Greenlee of Derby
Lily Greenlee of Derby
Rebecca Greenlee of Derby
Sydney Greenlee of Derby
Brenda Hainey of Mayetta
Jack Heinrichs of Emporia
Janet Heinrichs of Emporia
James Henry of Topeka         
Katie Hodges of Manhattan
Linda Hodges of Manhattan
Cheryl Jerome of Hutchinson
Rex Jerome of Hutchinson
Matthew Koontz of Newton
Jennifer Koontz of Newton
Caleb Koontz of Newton
Abigail Koontz of Newton
Laura McMillan of Edgerton
Henry Mitchell of Topeka
Heidi Mitchell of Topeka
Lauren Mobley of Munden
Cooper Mobley of Munden
Carolyn Nicks of Lenexa
Thomas Nicks of Lenexa
Sondra Owings-Priest of Hoyt
Jeff Patterson of Haysville
Jennifer Patterson of Haysville
Scott Patterson of Haysville
Tyler Patterson of Haysville
Chasity Rickel of Mayetta
Zac Surritt of Topeka
Mark Tipton of Hutchinson
Deb Tipton of Hutchinson
Kate Ward of Manhattan
Brianna Wilson of Topeka
Brittney Wilson of Topeka
Cindy Wilson of Topeka
Travis Wilson of Topeka
Otis Wise of Wichita
Peggy Wise of Wichita
Michael Navarro of Topeka
Michael Navarro Jr. of Topeka
Nico Navarro 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 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,

Newsletter Sign-up Form

Note: Fields marked with an * are required.