Kansas Common Sense


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Celebrating our Independence Day
It was a privilege to celebrate America’s 241st birthday at the Derby Independence Day Parade. It was wonderful to see friends, honored veterans and active duty service members stationed at McConnell Air Force Base. Thanks to Rent-A-Center founder Tom Devlin for providing a beautiful 2002 red Ford Thunderbird. Thank you also to Eric Sexton for driving me in the parade.

Hope everyone had a safe and happy Independence Day!

Hosting Kansas Listening Tour Stops in Rooks, Haskell and Seward Counties
Thank you to everyone who joined me in Rooks, Haskell and Seward counties this week. A number of topics were discussed including healthcare, veterans issues, transportation and the national trade agreements that affect our local Kansas economy. As always, I am appreciative of the way Kansans conduct themselves during these important discussions and I value the input from all Kansans on our nation’s most pressing issues.

In Palco, I want to thank all the local residents for welcoming people who traveled across the state to their community and Brenda and Jerry Lucas and Taylor Keller for allowing me to use the McKenna Youth & Activity Center for the meeting. Located in the middle of downtown Palco, the McKenna Youth & Activity Center was built in 2014 after a donation to the community by Palco native, Everett McKenna, was gifted to build a facility where folks could gather together, listen to music, dance and enjoy each other’s company. The McKenna Youth & Activity Center features a 70+ seat theater, exercise and workout facility, meeting room, game room and kitchen.

For my stop in Sublette, my gratitude goes out to Haskell County Clerk Pam Carrion for her assistance in setting up the event. It was also great to see many other locals including County Treasurer Nancy Weeks and County Sheriff Troy Briggs.

In Liberal, I would like to thank President Dr. Ken Trzaska and Jessica Bonsall for allowing SCCC to host this town hall.

Meeting Kansans in Hiawatha
I visited Hiawatha this week to meet with folks and hear their thoughts on the Senate healthcare bill and how Obamacare has impacted them. I made stops at NEK-CAP, Inc., Frontier Farm Credit, the USDA Farm Service Agency, Brown County Conservation District, Brown County Courthouse, Citizens State Bank & Trust, the Chamber of Commerce, Hiawatha Community Hospital & Family Practice Clinics, and The Bread Bowl To Go.

Receiving the Vietnam Veterans of America Legislator of the Year Award
In Palco, I was honored to be presented with the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Legislator of the Year Award for 2016 from VVA member and Natoma resident Larry MacIntire. Larry, the VVA, and I worked together for several years on the Toxic Exposure Research Act, which was signed into law in December of 2016. This critical legislation prioritizes studying the potential connection of toxic exposures to health conditions affecting descendants of veterans who were exposed to toxic substances during their military service. Those who dutifully serve our country do not expect their choice to serve will negatively impact the health of their children or grandchildren, and often the impacts of toxic exposure do not appear until long after veterans have returned home. VVA and veterans like Larry have worked hard to address these painful wounds of war for future generations, and I appreciate their commitment and advocacy on behalf of those who have served our nation.

Reports of Cyberattacks Targeting Nuclear Power Plants – Including Wolf Creek in Kansas
Reports of cyberattacks on the Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corporation in Burlington, Kan. and other nuclear power plants across the country are deeply concerning and a serious threat to national security. Our nation’s energy companies fuel the American economy and must be protected from bad actors trying to disrupt our energy sector networks. I am working with the appropriate authorities to learn more about the cyberattacks at Wolf Creek and ways in which our federal government can work more closely with the private sector to protect our critical infrastructure systems from cyberattacks.

Visiting St. Francis Health Center in Topeka
This week, I was in Topeka checking on the wellbeing of St. Francis Health, which was at risk of closing just a few months ago. The newly-forged partnership between KU and Ardent will make certain St. Francis can continue to serve Topeka patients for years to come. The future looks bright for the hospital. Our conversations also gave me the chance to take the temperature on the proposed changes to our healthcare system. Thanks to all who took the time to share their thoughts with me.

Touring New Facilities at FHSU
I had the opportunity to meet with Fort Hays State University interim president, Andy Tompkins, and Robbins Banking Institute Dean Mark Bannister last week. After the meeting, I toured the new Robbins Banking Institute and Dane G. Hansen Scholarship Hall. The Dane G. Scholarship Hall will provide a living and learning space for the entrepreneurial scholarship students and is designed to inspire and support our next generation of entrepreneurs. I was very impressed with the facility and look forward to all the great ideas that will come from these students.

Supporting Bipartisan Legislation to Empower Community Foundations, Charities and Nonprofits

I recently cosponsored the Charities Helping Americans Regularly Throughout the Year (CHARITY) Act, a bipartisan bill that would encourage charitable giving and make it easier for foundations and other tax-exempt organizations to conduct their charitable giving. I believe individuals who give of their time and resources can have the greatest impact on other people’s lives, and this legislation seeks to remove unnecessary barriers that make it more difficult for charitable organizations to fulfill their crucial work in our communities. The CHARITY Act would also make several charitable tax provisions permanent, including a law allowing taxpayers who are at least 70-and-a-half-years old to make charitable contributions directly from their IRAs. I am hopeful the Senate can pass this important legislation to strengthen charitable organizations’ service to their communities, both in Kansas and across the nation.

Attending the Leavenworth Rotary Club Meeting
I joined members of the Leavenworth Rotary Club at the Riverfront Community Center on Wednesday. I was pleased to hear about the group's plans for the new Rotary year and I was able to have a number of one-on-one conversations about healthcare. Thank you to Club President Tamara Sevcik and all who attended – great to see so many looking for ways to serve their fellow Kansans.

Touring Triumph Precision Components
On Wednesday afternoon, I toured Triumph Precision Components in Edgerton, Kansas. Triumph Precision Components specializes in machining and assembly of aircraft components made from various metal alloys. They supply many major airplane manufacturers and defense industry leaders. They recently moved into their facility in Edgerton located in the Logistics Park Kansas City (LPKC) in September of 2016. I was able to tour the facility and see first-hand how the specific machining and assembly operations work to supply Triumph’s large customer base. 

We sat down and talked about the importance of general aviation manufacturing to Kansas and our country. I updated officials with Triumph Precision Components on issues I am working on in the Senate Commerce Committee on behalf of the general aviation industry, including my opposition to privatizing Air Traffic Control operations within the FAA which could lead to costly new fees on business and general aviation users. We also discussed the importance of trade to their business and opportunities the company is exploring to support our national defense.

Thanks to Triumph Precision Components President of Edgerton facility Rick Moroski for inviting and giving me the tour. I also appreciate Crystal Lewis, Casey Mills, Joshua Smith, James Brown, Alan Blackman, Richard Vohs, Leroy Leep and Mark Bailey for joining me and giving me their perspective on the issues facing the company and their industry in general. 

Kansans in the Office

Capitol Tour
Brent Narges of Pittsburg
Sara Narges of Pittsburg
Andrew Narges of Pittsburg
Lauren Narges of Pittsburg
Madeline Narges of Pittsburg
Tim Carey of Hutchinson
Jean Carey of Hutchinson
Noah Streit of Rossville
Alan Streit of Rossville
Natasha Streit Rossville
Sierra Streit of Rossville
Emma Streit of Rossville
Julia Streit of Rossville
Alyssa Streit of Rossville
Matt Dean of Overland Park
Mary Dean of Overland Park
Niki Dean of Overland Park
Jason Risley of Olathe
Renee Risley of Olathe
Hannah Risley of Olathe
Hayden Risley of Olathe
Hallie Risley of Olathe
Eder Vanegas of Lenexa
Michelle Vanegas of Lenexa
Brian Inbody of Chanute
Jennifer Inbody of Chanute
Abrielle Inbody of Chanute
Alayna Inbody of Chanute
Loren and Linda Barton of Chapman
Brian Richardson of Olathe
Sharla Richardson of Olathe
Jordan Richardson of Olathe
Jace Richardson of Olathe
Jarrett Richardson of Olathe
Kim Wright of McPherson
Isabelle Wright of McPherson
Camilla Wright of McPherson
Jeff Wright of McPherson
Cathy Giessen of Overland Park
Henry Giessen of Overland Park
Mario Garcia of Shawnee
Marcus Kidd of Manhattan
Jeffery Bogner of Garden City
Ben Hopper of Manhattan
Avery Bolar of Prairie Village
Rhonda Neighbour of Lenexa
Robert Neighbour of Lenexa
Tori Neighbour of Lenexa
Bob Albert of Wichita
Nicki Albert of Wichita
Mia Albert of Wichita
Miah Albert of Wichita
Lizzie Albert of Wichita
James Fanning of Ottawa
Shannon Fanning of Ottawa
Dylan Fanning of Ottawa
Kolby Fanning of Ottawa
Edward Cronin of Shawnee
Josephine Cronin of Shawnee
Tyler Cronin of Shawnee
Garrett Cronin of Shawnee
Kenneth Lamp of Halstead
Annette Lamp of Halstead
Katherine Lamp of Halstead
Elizabeth Lamp of Halstead
Delinda Young of El Dorado
Terri Turner of El Dorado
Landon Fulmer of Buhler 

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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