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.

Meeting with Judge Kavanaugh
This week, I met with Judge Brett Kavanaugh to discuss his qualifications to be the next Supreme Court justice. Our discussion further affirmed he is a man of integrity and intellect with a deep respect for the Constitution. I look forward to his confirmation hearing next month.

Questioning FCC Commissioners in Commerce Committee Hearing
As a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, I participated in an oversight hearing for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday. During the hearing, I questioned the FCC Commissioners on economic competitiveness issues dependent on rural communities’ access to high-speed broadband, including the long-term sustainability and predictability of the Universal Service Fund’s High Cost Program and the Mobility Fund Phase II’s eligibility map. These issues remain critical to allow broadband providers in rural Kansas to effectively target federal resources to close the Digital Divide. Investment in and deployment of broadband in our largest population centers is well-established, but many in rural communities are currently unable to connect to the rest of the world. I am thankful to have the opportunity to ask these important questions and look forward to working with the Commissioners to resolve these issues. Click here to view my full questioning.


Honoring the Life of Ed Rolfs
This week I attended the funeral of my long-time friend Ed Rolfs of Junction City. Ed had a distinguished career in banking, leading Central National Bank for a number of years. He was also a dedicated leader in his community having served in a number of community and state-wide civic organizations, was deeply involved in his church, and was a veteran of World War II and the Korean Conflict.

Ed served his country, community, business and family in a dedicated fashion – he will be truly missed. His work ethic, strong moral values and innovative spirit made Junction City and the entire state of Kansas a better place. Robba and I are praying for the Rolfs as they celebrate Ed’s life together

Introducing the DRIVE-Safe Act
This week, I joined my colleagues Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) in introducing the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE-Safe) Act to address the driver shortage in the trucking and logistics industry, and enhance safety training and job opportunities for young truckers. Currently, federal law prohibits those under 21 who have obtained a commercial driver’s licenses from moving goods from state to state. The DRIVE-Safe Act would not only create a training program that, once completed, would allow young drivers to operate a commercial vehicle across state lines prior to their 21st birthday, but also ensure younger drivers are trained beyond current standards while instituting rigorous safety standards and performance benchmarks. If passed, the DRIVE-Safe Act would open up new career opportunities previously unavailable for our young Kansans.

Meeting with Mayors from Across the State
On Thursday morning with a number of city officials from across Kansas in my Washington, D.C. office. We discussed a number of issues including the effects of the trade tariffs, immigration and the need for high-skilled labor, the importance of career and technical education, and transportation and infrastructure. In addition, I provided an update on my work to preserve train service on the Southwest Chief. Thank you to the city officials from Dodge City, Emporia, Great Bend, Lawrence, Leavenworth, Lenexa, Manhattan, Newton, Olathe, Overland Park and Prairie Village, as well as the League of Kansas Municipalities for our discussion.

Hosting Kansas Listening Tour Stops in Yates Center and Fredonia
Wilson County
Thank you to residents of Wilson County for attending my Kansas Listening Tour stop on Friday. At the townhall meeting in Fredonia, we discussed a number of issues including agriculture and the importance of the Farm Bill, education, healthcare, economic development and veterans’ healthcare and the VA MISSION Act. I answered questions regarding the escalating trade war and its effects on Kansas farmers, ranchers and manufacturers, the role Congress plays in tariffs decisions, as well as potential collaboration between state and federal officials on Lake Neodesha. Thank you to Susan John of Fredonia Regional Hospital for hosting my visit and to Neodesha Mayor Terry Harper, State Senator Bruce Givens, and former State Representative Mary Compton for attending.

Woodson County
I appreciate the many Yates Center residents who took time to visit with me during my Kansas Listening Tour in Woodson County. In Yates Center, we discussed many of the same issues and I had the chance to hear from various residents on issues important to them. Thanks Woodson County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dakota McNett, USD 366 Superintendent Greg Brown, Treasurer Theresa McNett, board clerk Glenda Howard for taking time to visit with me.

Coffey County

On Friday, I stopped in Burlington to visit local businesses and organizations to discuss issues facing Burlington and Coffey County. I also shared an update on things I'm working on in Washington, D.C. Thanks to the many Burlington residents for taking time to visit with me on Friday.

Now Accepting 2018 Service Academy Applications
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

Society of American Archivists
Cliff Hight of Manhattan
Ryan Leimkucher of Manhattan
Matt Veatch of Lawrence

League of Kansas Municipalities
Joe Andrasek of Great Bend
Mike Boehm of Lenexa
Michael Copeland of Olathe
Kendall Francis of Great Bend
Carl Gerlach of Overland Park
Danny Giefer of Emporia
Leroy Koehn of Newton
Tom Markus of Lawrence
Mark McAnarney of Emporia
James Meilr of Hays
Linda Morse of Manhattan
Mark Preisinger of Leavenworth
Kent Smoll of Dodge City
Dee Smoll of Dodge City
Laura Wassmer of Prairie Village

Capitol Tour
Stephen Armstrong of Wichita
Hannah Balman of Salina
Luke Balman of Salina
Rosanna Bauman of Garnett
Kristina Figy of Andover
Toni Figy of Andover
Cliff Hight of Manhattan
Lindi Hight of Manhattan
Kellen Hight of Manhattan
Leah Hight of Manhattan
Mara Hight of Manhattan
Brynna Hight of Manhattan
Wade McDowell of Hill City
Suzie McDowell of Hill City
Lexie McDowell of Hill City
Aaron McDowell of Hill City
Brody McDowell of Hill City
Robin Ritsema of Hays
Wayne Voss of Hays
Kellie Voss of Hays
Aaron Voss of Hays
Jordan Voss of Hays
Ethan Voss of Hays
Erica Weishaar of Wichita

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,

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