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.

Welcoming Ag Secretary Perdue to Kansas
It was a pleasure welcoming Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to Kansas on Wednesday to discuss issues facing farmers, ranchers and our rural communities. Sec. Perdue and I, along with Senator Pat Roberts and Governor Jeff Colyer, participated in roundtable discussions with Kansas agricultural leaders that primarily focused on the importance of trade and passing a new farm bill. As many farmers and ranchers face drought conditions, as well as continued low commodity prices, it is critical that we provide greater certainty for producers by successfully concluding negotiations on a modernized NAFTA, avoiding a tariff war that results in further retaliation against U.S. agricultural exports and strengthening the safety net in the next farm bill.

I also joined Sec. Perdue, Sen. Roberts, Gov. Colyer and U.S. Representative Roger Marshall (KS-01) for a tour of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) at Kansas State University to discuss the administration’s proposal to transfer the operation of the lab from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Once completed, NBAF will conduct world-class research on foreign animal diseases that threaten the nation’s livestock, agriculture and public health. NBAF will offer real opportunities for the talented young men and women of Kansas to protect our nation’s food systems, as well as make Manhattan the hub for ag research. As a member of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations subcommittee, I will continue to work closely with the secretary to make sure NBAF is sufficiently resourced and fully operational by 2022.

Participating in Grow With Google Wichita Event
On Wednesday, I was in Wichita to welcome Grow with Google to our state. Wichita is only the sixth city to host this unique event, which attracted upward of 1,000 job seekers, business owners and students for a day-long opportunity to receive hands-on training and tools to grow skills, a career or a business for the 21st century. It was exciting to witness a renewed entrepreneurial spirit on display in the Air Capital of the World. We all have a role to play in encouraging entrepreneurship in our local communities and I was pleased to see Google recognizing Wichita’s strength in this effort.

Special thanks to Rob Biederman and his Google colleagues for bringing this special opportunity to Kansas. Thank you also to Wichita State University, especially Wichita State Department of Education Dean Shirley Lefever, for serving as such gracious hosts, and to Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell for the kind introduction.

Hosting Townhall Meetings in Coffey and Lyon Counties
Coffey County
I hosted a townhall meeting at the new Lyon-Coffey Electric Cooperative facility north of Burlington on Tuesday. We discussed the importance of trade, banking, healthcare, how quality education and small businesses are necessary to keeping our rural way of life in Kansas possible and how the recently-passed VA MISSION Act will benefit Kansas veterans. We also discussed my ongoing work to delist the lesser prairie chicken, WOTUS, the farm bill, CRP acreage, crop insurance and commodity prices.

Thanks to Lyon-Coffey Electric Cooperative CEO Scott Whittington for hosting and to State Representative Eric Smith, Emporia Mayor Danny Giefer, Waverly City Council Member Tammy White and Kansas Electric Cooperatives’ Leslie Kaufman for attending.

Lyon County
At my Emporia townhall meeting, I discussed with Kansans the benefits of the recently-passed VA MISSION Act, what I expect to see in a farm bill, expanding rural broadband, pensions and immigration. Thanks to everyone who attended and shared their thoughts with me – and thanks to Ron Whitney for coordinating the event and to American Legion Post #5 for hosting our conversation.

While in Lyon County, I stopped by Americus to visit city hall, the post office, KansasLand Bank, Americus Township Library and Frontier Farm Credit.

Ensuring Extension of FCC Mobility Fund Phase II Challenge Process
As a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, I sent a letter with a bipartisan group of colleagues to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai requesting his support for a 90-day extension to the challenge process for the map of eligible areas for Mobility Fund Phase II support. The FCC’s presumptive eligibility map will help determine up to $4.53 billion in support for rural wireless broadband expansion over the next 10 years. 

Following our letter, Chairman Pai responded by announcing his support for this extension. I commend his leadership in prioritizing broadband expansion to rural and unserved areas based off of reliable mapping information. 

Additionally, I recently introduced the Mobile Accuracy and Precision Broadband, or MAP Broadband Act, with my colleagues in a similar effort to improve the challenge process. Reliable access to broadband is important to growing a business, strengthening a community or bringing an idea to market for Kansans, which is why it is imperative that the eligibility map for Mobility Fund Phase II support accurately reflects the areas in most need of these mobile services.

Now Accepting Fall Internship Applications
My own interest in public service was sparked by an internship for Kansas First District Congressman Keith Sebelius in 1974. As an intern, I had the chance to learn firsthand how a Congressional office operates and how the legislative process works. I am proud to be able to offer this same opportunity in my Senate office today, where I have interns year-round working closely with my staff on behalf of Kansans.

Applications for internships in my Washington, D.C. and Kansas offices for fall 2018 are due Friday, June 15. Congressional internships are open to qualified undergraduate and graduate students who have an interest in public service and have achieved academic excellence. Click here for more information.

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

Kansas Department of Health and Environment
Jeff Anderson of Topeka

Kansas Licensed Beverage Association
Jeremy Horn of Wichita

Capitol Tour
Lyman Adams Jr. of Hillsboro
Marie Adams of Hillsboro
Tyler Adams of Hutchinson
Janell Blaufuss of Wichita
Logan Boss of Leawood
Mary Clark of Buhler
Kevin Conley of Lenexa
Lisa Conley of Lenexa
Mya Conley of Lenexa
Ronan Conley of Lenexa
Violet Conley of Lenexa
Susan Courtney of Olathe
Marsha Dinkel of Hill City
Robert Dinkel of Hill City
Cheryl Donaldson of Leawood
Craig Donaldson of Leawood
Jackson Donaldson of Leawood
Peter Donaldson of Leawood
David Flint of Prairie Village
Donna Flint of Prairie Village
Leah Flint of Leawood
Megan Flint of Lenexa
Derek Hamilton of Olathe
Evan Hamilton of Olathe
Melanie Hamilton of Olathe
Jason Hannah of Lawrence
Lauren Hannah of Lawrence
Logan Hannah of Lawrence
Tenley Hannah of Lawrence
Delia Lister of Pittsburg
Gary Mackey of Rose Hill
Pam Martin of Great Bend
Amber Meyers of Wamego
Hani Moussa of Shawnee
Nicholas Moussa of Shawnee
Darin Musick of Olathe
Elaine Musick of Olathe
John Musick of Olathe
Luke Musick of Olathe
Linda Phipps of Galena
Joanna Sabally of Wichita
Lamin Sabally of Wichita
James Schneider of Belleville
Pat Silovsky of Milford
Anya Sutton of Leawood
Chloe Sutton of Leawood
Chris Sutton of Leawood
Olivia Sutton of Leawood
Caroline Thummel of Leawood
Cisley Thummel of Leawood
Joseph Thummel of Leawood
Rob Thummel of Leawood
Alexander Van Maren of Shawnee
Jadyn Walker of Hill City
Wendy Walker of Hill City

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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