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.

Here is a quick look – by the numbers – of some of my work in 2017. Throughout the year, I had the opportunity to listen to and hear from thousands of Kansans across the state, and I took your thoughts, advice and insight back to Washington. Thank you all for being so engaged this year.

In addition, one of the most important things my office can do for Kansans is help you with casework and with maneuvering federal agencies. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office if we can be of any assistance regarding Social Security, Medicare, veterans’ affairs or have other concerns regarding federal issues – we are always here to help.

Speaking at the American Farm Bureau Federation Annual Meeting
I had the privilege of speaking at the 99th consecutive American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) Annual Convention this weekend. I updated the audience on the upcoming Farm Bill, outlined the consequences to ag from the recently passed tax reform bill, and discussed my recent meeting with Secretary Ross regarding NAFTA. I also urged the audience to communicate to the President the importance of NAFTA to rural America and ag markets.

Speaking at Rotary Clubs Across Eastern Kansas

Garnett Rotary
On Tuesday, I spoke with members of the Garnett Rotary Club about the importance of NAFTA to Kansas ag producers, preserving our rural way of life and caring for veterans through the Veterans CHOICE Program. We also discussed Dodd-Frank and financial regulations, as well as healthcare. Thanks to everyone who attended and engaged in this discussion.

Winfield Rotary
I had a productive conversation with Winfield Rotarians Wednesday afternoon, where our discussion focused on NAFTA, the farm bill, closing the digital divide, the Veterans Choice Program and tax reform. Thank you to Dean Kennedy for arranging my visit and to everyone who attended for hosting me and sharing your perspectives.

Topeka Downtown Rotary
On Thursday, I spoke with Topeka Downtown Rotarians about the current issues facing Washington. Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts with me. I will keep them in mind as I work on our nation’s pressing issues in Washington.

Touring the New G&W Foods in Iola
This is what every rural community wants: a local, fully-stocked grocery store. Congratulations to Iola community leaders and G&W Foods on the opening of this new store.

Touring Monarch Cement Company
I toured the Monarch Cement Company in Humboldt with Mayor Nobby Davis and City Administrator Cole Herder on Wednesday, where we discussed Department of Labor and Department of Transportation regulations that affect the company. I enjoyed hearing more about Monarch’s summer and winter break programs, where the company hires dependents of its employees to work at the plant, leading to generations of family employment at Monarch Cement Company.

Additionally, I had the opportunity to speak with many Monarch workers and to tour the new facility expansion. I will take our discussions, especially about the importance of apprenticeships and technical skills training development, back to Washington with me.

Visiting the South Central Kansas Workforce Alliance
On Wednesday, I toured the South Central Kansas Workforce Alliance (WA) in Wichita. The WA develops a competitive workforce by offering veterans services, assistance to people with disabilities, GED resources, resume reviews, mock interviews and skills assessment and testing, which is funded in part by Department of Labor federal job training funds. The WA will take on special significance as it helps Spirit AeroSystems fill 1,000 job openings over the next couple of years.

Thank you to WA CEO Keith Lawing and his board of directors for the kind invitation to visit and to Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell for participating and for his distinguished leadership in our state's largest city.

Visiting the New Douglass High & Sisk Middle School
I toured the new Douglass High School & Sisk Middle School on Wednesday with Superintendent Rob Reynolds. I enjoyed touring the new facility – especially the library – and discussing educational challenges and achievements in Douglass County.

Thanks to Superintendent Reynolds for hosting me and for his dedication to making certain Kansas students receive a quality education, and to all the students who welcomed me on my visit.

Participating in the Mark Arts Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
I was back in Wichita Saturday where Robba and I were pleased to participate in the Mark Arts Center ribbon cutting ceremony, named in honor of Mary R. Koch, a longtime benefactor of the local arts community. The new 40,000 square foot center – which houses state-of-the-art technology, art and educational studios, as well as an innovative teaching kitchen for those interested in the culinary arts – was made possible by the generosity of the Koch family foundations and a community-wide capital campaign. This beautiful facility will also house a permanent collection of more than 5,000 works of art, in addition to offering classes for both adults and children. I look forwarding to seeing Mark Arts continue to inspire Kansans to think creatively, develop their talents and enjoy the fine arts. Art is an important part of our cultural heritage and is worth celebrating. Thank you to the donors and leaders of the community fundraising drive for your hard work.

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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