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.

Praying for Fallen Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Kunze
Robba and I join Kansans in praying for Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Kunze who was killed in the line of duty on Sunday. We respect and admire the courage of our law enforcement as they work to make this state a safer place, and we grieve the loss of a dedicated public servant.

Delivering the 178th Landon Lecture at Kansas State University
It was an honor to deliver a Landon Lecture at Kansas State University on the anniversary of the devastating September 11, 2001 attacks. I’m grateful to President Myers and Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh for the invitation and to all who attended Monday’s discussion. In my Lecture, I shared my story of September 11, 2001 and how that day not only broadened my perspective and shaped me as a legislator, but refocused us as a nation on the things that bind us together, rather than pull us apart.

May we never forget the way we united in the aftermath of those attacks and may we renew our commitment to respecting one another, to working together for the common good and to answering the call to serve. Watch my full Landon Lecture here.


Hosting a Senate Aerospace Caucus Event in Washington
As co-chair of the Senate Aerospace Caucus, I hosted an event on Tuesday to honor Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama for his significant contributions to the aerospace and defense industries. My Caucus Co-Chair Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, AIA President and former Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning, and Raytheon CEO Dr. Tom Kennedy also joined me to thank Senator Shelby, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Defense Subcommittee, for his leadership during the appropriations process and his focus on securing stable funding for our servicemembers and our national defense. 

Hosting AG Sessions in Kansas to Meet with Law Enforcement
As chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies that oversees Department of Justice funding, I invited and hosted U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in Kansas to discuss crime prevention with Kansas law enforcement personnel at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas City, and toured and gave remarks at the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center (KLTEC) in Hutchinson.

It was an honor to be with Attorney General Sessions and law enforcement officials across the state who have dedicated their lives to making Kansas a safer place. KLETC is imperative to training future law enforcement officials, and I expect the Department of Justice to take actions that seek to support and enhance the capacity of local law enforcement and foster a culture of shared goals, burdens and responsibilities.

Last year, there were more murders in Kansas than any year since 1959, a trend that must be reversed. I appreciate Attorney General Sessions for announcing grants for body-worn cameras to the Wichita Police Department and for enhancing drug court services, coordination, management and recovery support services in Cowley County. Not only will this increase public safety, but it will also provide critical support in combatting opioid and methamphetamine addiction.

During his visit, Attorney General Sessions announced the following Department of Justice grants awarded to Kansas entities to help combat violet crime: 

  • $700,000 for the Kansas City Police Department to continue its Violent Crimes Task Force.
  • $428,424 for Cowley County to enhance drug court services, coordination, management of drug court participants and recovery support services. In July, Sen. Moran issued a letter of support for this grant proposal.
  • $100,500 to the Wichita Police Department to purchase 67 body-worn cameras for its officers.

Touring NBAF with DHS Secretary Nielsen
On Monday, I toured the construction site for the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility (NBAF) at Kansas State University with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Senator Pat Roberts. DHS is working closely with the Department of Agriculture to make certain this facility remains on time and on budget to be operational in 2021. Secretary Nielsen assured me that though the USDA will have the primary responsibility of operating the facility, DHS will remain invested in the mission of protecting our nation from biological threats and will rely on the expertise of those at NBAF to keep our nation safe. I’m looking forward to seeing the impact of this facility at K-State, in Manhattan and the region, as well as our world.

Visiting with Great Bend High School Students
On Thursday, I toured Great Bend High School to meet with students and teachers and to hear firsthand from student leaders about the new school year and the work of the impressive student body. I expressed my appreciation to the various teachers who do so much for our communities and our schools – I am so grateful to the many teachers I had over the years, and I enjoyed getting to see the impact they’re having on the future leaders of our state.

Thank you to Senior Class President Darian Harbaugh and to Student Council President Lakin Pafford for leading my tour. Thanks also to Assistant Principal Daryl Moore and Principal Tim Friess for taking time to visit with me.

Continuing my Kansas Listening Tour in Rush County
Thank you to the many Rush County residents who took the time to visit me on Thursday during my Kansas Listening Tour stop in La Crosse. Thank you to the various business owners, organization leaders, county officials and numerous residents for providing feedback on recent action in the Senate and for allowing me to update them on the work I’m doing in Kansas and in Washington. I was also happy to visit with students at La Crosse Elementary, who I’m pictured with below.


Hosting Townhall and Attending Cherokee County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting
On Saturday, I hosted a townhall meeting and delivered the keynote address at the annual Cherokee County Farm Bureau meeting on its 100th anniversary in Columbus.

Thank you to the many Cherokee County residents who joined me during this Kansas Listening Tour stop. Our discussion covered many topics, including healthcare and Medicaid, support for our local healthcare providers, community pharmacies, as well as trade, tariffs and congressional input into tariffs and the ever-growing challenges of being a farmer. Thank you to the Cherokee County Farm Bureau for hosting my townhall, and to Kyle Rennie and Greg Mowdy for arranging my visit. Thanks also to Columbus Mayor Grant Spieth for attending.

Following my townhall meeting, I joined the 100th anniversary celebration of the Cherokee County Farm Bureau, where I spoke about the negative effects of escalating trade tensions and what I am doing in Washington to make it clear to administration officials and my colleagues that Kansans cannot afford a trade war. Additionally, I provided an update on the Farm Bill, spoke about the need for new markets for our producers, work we can do to keep family farms alive and vibrant, and how those of us in Washington can create policy that better enables communities and banks to support farmers and ranchers – especially during crises or disaster.

It was great to be joined by several local and state Farm Bureau officials, including Kansas Farm Bureau President Rich Felts. Thank you to Cherokee County Farm Bureau for the invitation to speak and to FFA groups from Columbus, Riverton and Southeast high schools for attending.

Now Accepting Spring 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 Spring 2018 are due Friday, October 19. 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.

Kansans in the Office

American Association of Christian Schools
Greg Rickard of Olathe
Tamara Rickard of Olathe

Asian American Hotel Owners Association
Mayurkumar Patel of Overland Park

American Maplan
Scott Farmer of Lawrence
Paul Godwin of McPherson

American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers Organization
Trevor Smith of Winfield
Mykel Taylor of Manhattan

Ari Storch
Matt Periu of Hutchinson

Aviation Technician Education Council
Jim Hall of Wichita

Growth Energy
Monte Abell of Phillipsburg
Trevor Hinz of Colwich
Joe Kreutzer of Phillipsburg
Denis Miller of Phillipsburg
Tom Willis of Liberal

Harvesters Food Bank
Karen Siebert of Prairie Village
Kimberly Svaty of Ellsworth

Kansas Cosmosphere
Jim Remar of Hutchinson

Kansas Farm Bureau
Paige Clawson of Satanta
Todd Coen of Wellsville
Rich Felts of Manhattan
Ryan Flickner of Manhattan
Ashley Goodman of Mayetta
Terry Holdren of Manhattan
Anna Luna of Plainville
Leigh Ann Maurath of Manhattan
Pam Meng of Troy
Kerry Wiebe of Whitewater

Kansas Hospital Association
Chad Austin of Topeka

Kansas Home Care Association
Jane Kelly of Topeka
Dave Kishler of Overland Park

Kansas Wheat
Justin Gilpin of Manhattan
Kyler Millershaski of Lakin
Kenneth Wood of Chapman

Midwest Biomedical Research Foundation
Roberta Rusconi of Kansas City

National Air Traffic Controllers Association
Jami Davis of Olathe
Allison Schwaegel of Olathe

National Alliance on Mental Issues
Sherrie Vaughn of Topeka

National Bison Association
Dick Gehring of Moundridge

National Farmers Union
Richard Boxum of Downs
Tom Buller of Lawrence
Keisha Conts of Emporia
Tom Giessel of Larned
Yvonne Guy of Topeka
Donna McClish of Wichita
Zack Pistora of Linwood

Jimmy Todd of Lenora

Capitol Tour
Jacque Abell of Phillipsburg
Christy Bukowski of Lawrence
Kyser Bukowski of Lawrence
Nathan Bukowski of Lawrence
Garry Hoy of Cassoday
Lisa Hoy of Cassoday
Teresa Kreutzer of Phillipsburg
Cheryl Pearce of Wichita
Gilbert Pearce of Wichita
Courtney Pfluke of Topeka
Melissa Pfluke of Topeka
Beverly Post of Emporia
Gary Post of Emporia
Debra Rogan of Salina
Donald Rogan Jr. of Salina
David Sanger of Larned
Jay Thomas of Overland Park
Paula Thomas of Overland Park
Debra Wilson of Garden City
Larry Wilson of Garden 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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