Kansas Common Sense
Jan 09 2023
This week, I was joined by my family as I was sworn in to serve Kansans for a third term in the United States Senate. Representing Kansas in the U.S. Senate is one of the greatest privileges of my life and a solemn responsibility I do not take lightly.
As the 118th Congress begins, I took the time to reflect on those who have served before me and on the significance of the duty Kansans have placed with me. I am humbled by this responsibility and look forward to continuing to advocate for Kansas values in Washington, D.C.
2022 in Review
Throughout the past year, I visited with thousands of Kansans across the state. I am grateful to each of you for these conversations and for the insight you offer into the many issues we are facing as a country.
I am also reminded of one of the most important tasks for my office: helping Kansans navigate and resolve issues with federal agencies through casework. Please do not 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. You can learn more about how to do this here.
Recognizing National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day
Today, we recognize and thank the members of law enforcement who risk their lives daily to protect us, our families and our neighbors. These officers of every rank and position work around the clock and under difficult circumstances to protect and serve our local communities, often without the recognition they deserve.
As the lead Republican on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Department of Justice, I am committed to making certain our law enforcement officers have the resources and support they need to do their jobs effectively and safely. To these law enforcement professionals who daily sacrifice to keep our country safe, thank you. They deserve our respect and gratitude, and I hope all Kansans will join me in thanking them for their selfless dedication and tireless work to protect our communities.Topeka Selected for New Veterans Home
This week, Topeka was announced as the site for a proposed new veterans home to be built adjacent to the Colmery-O’Neal U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. This home would include 72 private rooms, divided into “households” and “neighborhoods” for the purpose of increasing community between residents.
The Topeka area is home to many of our nation’s heroes, and this new veterans home will strengthen an already-strong veteran community. With close proximity to Colmery-O’Neil, veterans will have access to quality VA health care and resources. I will work with the VA to help secure the needed resources to complete this home.
You can read more in the Topeka Capital-Journal here.
Touring National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan
This week, I visited the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan to get an operational status update from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Just this week, it was announced that the facility completed commissioning and final construction this past December and has entered the operational endurance period. During this phase, final testing and validation for operation procedures, safety protocols and equipment functionality will be conducted in preparation for NBAF to become fully operational.
NBAF is a $1.25 billion research facility that is already employing 240 employees and will eventually have roughly 400 personnel on site. To help fill this demand for trained personnel, NBAF has started to collaborate with local educational institutions like Kansas State University and Manhattan Area Technical College. Thank you to Dr. Alfonso Clavijo, NBAF Director; Dr. Kenneth Burton, NBAF Deputy Director; Patrick Moylan, NBAF APHIS Operations Director; Katie Pawlosky, NBAF Communications Director; Stephanie Jacques, NBAF Public Affairs Specialist; Steve Witte, Biologics Development Module (BDM) Director and Tony Losito, Security Director. I look forward to continue working with them to help NBAF achieve it’s mission.
Visiting the University of Kansas Health System Saint Francis Campus
I stopped by The University of Kansas Health System Saint Francis Campus in Topeka this week to visit with hospital leadership. The Saint Francis campus expands the high-quality services provided by The University of Kansas Health System to our state’s capital where the staff provide competent and compassionate care to the Topeka community and surrounding area. I appreciated CEO Scott Campbell, Janete Sheiner, Todd Blackinton, Jackie Hyland and Lisa Arvidson for providing me with a tour and for the incredible work they do at the Saint Francis Campus.
Visiting The Pad Restaurant in Topeka
It was great to visit with Troy Mentzer, owner of The Pad Restaurant, in Topeka on Friday! Troy is a third-generation owner of the restaurant, which his grandfather opened in 1961 as a drive-in. Today, Troy, his wife and their kids continue the family tradition passed down from his parents and grandfather.
Kansans in the Office
Spencer Dickerson of Salina
Youssef Ezer of Manhattan
Jack Byrne of Wichita
Austin Magette of Paxico
Heartland Credit Union Association
Michael Murray of Topeka
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