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.

Robba and I hope that you were able to spend quality time with loved ones during these holiday celebrations. The New Year brings us many new opportunities, and I’m looking forward to serving Kansans in 2019. We wish you a happy New Year!

2018: By the Numbers
Here is a quick look – by the numbers – of some of my and my office’s work in 2018. 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 or veterans’ affairs, or if you have other concerns regarding federal issues. We are always here to help in both our Kansas and Washington, D.C. offices.


Ensuring Kansas Students Have the Opportunity to be Our Nation’s Future Astronauts
I penned an op-ed to the Wichita Eagle this week on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 Mission, which sent humans around the moon for the very first time.

Following NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and NASA Astronaut Don Pettit’s visit to Wichita in early this month, I reiterated my commitment to helping make certain NASA continues to inspire our future innovators and has the tools it needs to recruit and retain top talent. Through my role as an appropriator, I will continue prioritizing and providing resources for forward-thinking and sensible programs to help young people in Kansas connect with NASA.

I am doing all that I can in Congress to help today’s students prepare for the jobs of tomorrow – jobs that may just land on Mars. Click here to read my op-ed in the Wichita Eagle.

Highlights from My 13th Kansas Conservation Tour
In November, I hosted stakeholders from across the state in Southeast Kansas to discuss land and water conservation practices, and to hear firsthand from conservationists and producers on their own methods. This year marked the 13th Kansas Conservation Tour I’ve hosted, and these Conservation Tours always help inform the work I’m doing in Washington, D.C. Our Kansas farmers and ranchers care deeply about leaving their land better off than they found it. See highlights from the day and hear more about the work being done by Kansans:

Visiting Cloud County
On Wednesday, I was in Cloud County for a community visit in Miltonvale and to tour the Blosson Municipal Airport in Concordia. In Miltonvale, I visited with local residents, business owners and community leaders during stops at the Post Office, First National Bank, Kountry Kafe, City Hall and Twin Valley Telephone. Thanks to the many Miltonvale residents who took time to visit with me on Wednesday.

Following my time in Miltonvale, I was in Concordia to tour Blosser Municipal Airport with local elected officials and community leaders. During my tour, I learned of their pending grant application with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The airport is in need of infrastructure improvements that would include a wider and longer runway to accommodate for larger aircrafts. As a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations that allocates and oversees FAA funding, I take seriously the requests of Kansans to receive back a portion of their federal tax dollars. The airport in Concordia serves local businesses and has the potential to provide emergent healthcare transportation and facilitate local economic growth. I’ll continue to work with the community and the FAA to make certain this airport serves the needs of the community and region. Thank you to those who joined in the conversation, to Judge Tom Tuggle who helped organize my visit, and to State Senator Elaine Bowers for attending.


Listening to Constituents in Phillipsburg
On Friday, I was in Phillipsburg at the Huck Boyd Community Center to visit with local residents. During our conversation, we discussed issues important to folks from across Phillips County, including the government shutdown and the effect it is having on local residents, the VA MISSION Act and veterans’ healthcare, issues surrounding ethanol, the recently-signed Farm Bill, the new USMCA trade agreement, local Head Start funding, funding opportunities for rural areas through various federal agencies, recent Congressional action to curb the opioid epidemic, Amtrak and the Southwest Chief and measures I supported in the Farm Bill that will provide rural Kansas and the ag community better resources to support mental healthcare. I also fielded a number of questions and provided an outlook on the new Congress and priorities that I’m looking forward to pursuing in the New Year.

Thank you to the many residents, community leaders, business owners and elected officials for the productive conversation.


Visiting with Local Residents in Minneapolis
On Friday, following my townhall meeting in Phillipsburg, I was in Minneapolis to visit with area residents and business owners. During my stop in Minneapolis, I was at Ottawa County Health Center, Bennington State Bank, Farm Bureau Financial Services, the Davidson Agency, the local Chamber of Commerce, American Family Insurance, Minneapolis City Hall and Mitchell County Government offices including the County Treasure, the Register of Deeds and the County Clerk. Thank you to the many community members who made time to visit with me on Friday. Opportunities like these better inform my way in Washington, D.C. and will guide my work in the upcoming 116th Congress.

Attending Riley County Police Department Swearing-In Ceremony
On Monday morning, I attended the swearing in of the new director of the Riley County Police Department, Dennis Butler. Dennis comes to Riley County and Manhattan from Ottawa, Kan. where he served as the Chief of Police. He also currently serves on my U.S. Service Academy Board, where he helps guide my decisions on nominations to our U.S. Service Academies. I am grateful for Dennis' continued service to our state and law enforcement agencies. I look forwarding to seeing his impact on the Manhattan community, Riley County and the whole region.

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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