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.

Working to Support Kansas Law Enforcement
Inviting Attorney General William Barr to Kansas
On Wednesday, I hosted Attorney General William Barr to tour key facilities in Topeka and Wichita and to meet with state and local law enforcement. In Topeka, we visited the Kansas Intelligence Fusion Center and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation’s Forensic Science Center. Both facilities work in partnership with agencies and jurisdictions throughout Kansas, and we heard an update on their work to assist law enforcement in solving and fighting crime in every corner of the state.

In Wichita we joined staff of the U.S. Attorney’s office to discuss ongoing partnerships to fight and prosecute crime and met with folks at Wichita State University engaged in work between the university’s Law Enforcement Training Center and the ATF. Both components in Topeka and Wichita are vital to Kansans and to the professionals who work to protect our communities. Most importantly, in both Topeka and Wichita, we spent time with law enforcement officials to hear firsthand how we can best support them at the federal level.

As the chief appropriator of the Department of Justice, I’m committed to working with Attorney General Barr to make certain our law enforcement personnel have the tools they need to do their jobs and keep communities safe across Kansas and the country. An essential part of keeping our communities safe is creating partnerships between federal, state and local law enforcement to accomplish their mission.


I’m proud of the work we’ve seen from all across the state to increase collaboration for the safety and well-being of Kansans. Attorney General Barr has a deep appreciation for our men and women in uniform, and I thank him for meeting with Kansas law enforcement during his time in our state.

Photo by Jaime Green of the Wichita Eagle.

Announcing the Reopening of DEA’s Garden City Office
On Monday morning I joined officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Garden City Police Department to announce the reopening of the Garden City DEA field office. The reopening of this office will enhance efforts by local law enforcement to get drugs off the streets and stop the flow of contraband to the rest of the country.

Since its closure in 2017, we’ve worked to demonstrate the region’s need for this office, and through my role as the chief appropriator for the DEA, I’ve worked to make certain there are the necessary resources to complete the reopening. I look forward to seeing the many benefits this office will provide to Southwest Kansas and the entire state. To read more from the Garden City Telegram on this reopening and what it means for the region, click here.

Speaking on the Legacy of President John Bardo at Wichita State
On Friday evening, I joined Wichita State University officials and Wichita community leaders to honor the legacy of Dr. John Bardo in the official renaming ceremony of the Experiential Engineering Building to the John Bardo Center. As President of Wichita State University, Dr. Bardo led a period of unprecedented growth for the school that spread to the community and the entire region. During my remarks, I noted the significant impact throughout the Wichita State community by Dr. Bardo and expressed my deep gratitude for his service to Wichita.

Autism CARES Act Signed Into Law
This week, the president signed the Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education and Support, or the CARES Act, into law. I am pleased to be a cosponsor of this legislation that is the strongest-ever package of federal support for research, services and training for the autism community.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), autism impacts an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States, and often comes with lifelong health and quality of life challenges. Additional research funding in this legislation will improve our understanding of autism through research at the National Institutes of Health, the CDC and the Health Resources and Services Administration. Ultimately, through these important investments, we will be able to better care for this unique and vibrant community. Click here to read more on the CARES Act.

Celebrating Spirit AeroSystem’s Partnership with Wichita State
On Friday, I attended the grand opening of the Spirit AeroSystems Research Collaboration Center which is housed at the Wichita State University (WSU) Innovation Campus. The center establishes a unique partnership between Spirit and the university through the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) and WSU Tech. This partnership will accelerate and enhance Spirit’s research and development objectives as well as applied learning opportunities that better prepare students for the aviation and aerospace industries.

As co-chair of the Senate Aerospace Caucus and as a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, I look forward to working further with these two exceptional organizations to further solidify Wichita’s place as the Air Capital of the World. Congratulations to all those who made this special occasion possible, and special thanks to Spirit CEO Tom Gentile and WSU Vice President for Research and Technology John Tomblin for their leadership.     

Watching the K-State Game
On Saturday, I was at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan to watch K-State play the Baylor Bears. This week’s game was “Fort Riley Day” and honored the men and women who serve in the 1st Infantry Division and at Fort Riley. The K-State Marching Band paid tribute to those serving our military around the world with a halftime performance that included the military anthems for each branch of the armed forces. During the game, I had the opportunity to visit with good friends Van Witthuhn, Eldon Stoecklein, Pat Parke, Carolyn States and Carol and Eric Hartman. EMAW!

Hosting Kansas Listening Tour Stops
Seward County
On Monday, I was in Liberal for a stop on my Kansas Listening Tour. During this townhall meeting, I discussed a number of items with folks from Seward County including my work to increase veterans’ access to healthcare through the VA MISSION Act, the need for Congress to pass USMCA, the current farm economy, crop insurance, immigration reform, access to mental healthcare, the need for updated infrastructure, rural broadband and gun violence. Thank you to all those who attended for their productive conversation, and to the Liberal Lions Club for their hospitality.

Meade County
On Monday afternoon, I hosted a Kansas Listening Tour stop in Meade County. During this stop, local residents and I discussed a number of issues including healthcare in rural communities, veterans’ access to care, agriculture and the need to pass USMCA for farmers and ranchers, immigration, gun violence, rural broadband and my work to make certain rural America can thrive. Thanks to those from across Meade County for taking time to share their thoughts and ideas with me on Monday.

Visiting with Impressive Kansas Students to Hear About Their Educational Opportunities
Plains Elementary School
Prior to my Meade County Listening Tour stop, I joined students and staff of Plains Elementary School. A special thank you to Plains Elementary School 5th grade students Emilee, Lindanis and Juanluis for the great tour of their school. These bright, curious and passionate students represented PES so well and are a testament to the dedicated and caring teachers in their lives. During our tour, they demonstrated a number of ways students and teachers are employing new and innovative methods of thinking and learning and provided a robust update on their activities and things happening in the community. They also asked impressive and insightful questions on current topics in public policy, matters before the Senate as they relate to their community and even expressed a desire to one day have careers in public service.

I was pleased to have the Commissioner of the Kansas State Department of Education, Dr. Randy Watson, along for the tour, as well as State Board of Education member Jean Clifford, USD 483 Superintendent Elton Argo and Principals Ryan Kisner, Dan Frisby and Kurt Stanfield. A special thank you to Bri Frisby for the kind invitation to join these students for the day.

Riley County High School
On Thursday, I joined student leaders to tour Riley County High School, home of the Falcons. While touring the school, students and administrators discussed the programs they’ve implemented to prepare students for their next steps in life. Riley County High School’s programming emphasizes both technical education, through numerous agriculture, woodworking, and welding courses, as well as college preparatory programs allowing students to capitalize on their time in school and earn credits towards a college degree. Rural schools across Kansas are working to address the shortage in our state’s workforce by continuing to prioritize STEM education and create career pipelines for students after they graduate.

Newton High School
On Friday, I was in Newton where I joined student leaders for a tour of Newton High School. During the tour, I heard updates on fall activities, NHS athletic teams, different things happening in the classroom and new programs and courses. We visited a number of career and technical education-focused classrooms where teachers are working to prepare students for the workforce and various secondary educational paths. My time at Newton High School came just ahead of Department of Education Assistant Secretary Scott Stump’s tour of the high school – specifically geared toward their career and technical education offerings. I know that Mr. Stump will be as impressed as I was with the quality of work, commitment from students and dedication of teachers at Newton High School.

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 the spring 2020 session are due October 25. 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 and to apply.

Kansans in the Office

Carl Brandt of Overland Park
Nancy Brant of Overland Park
Ben Overesch of Overland Park
Carly Overesch of Overland Park

American Veterinary Medical Association
Dr. Cary Christensen of Overland Park
Dr. Garry Cowan of Wichita
Libby Schneider of Logan
Capitol Tour
Marilyn Claussen of Alma
Verne Claussen of Alma
Joe Grasela of Leavenworth
Joseph Grasela of Leavenworth
Maggie Keenan of Leawood
Matt Keenan of Leawood
Mary Leigh Myers of Delia
Rod Manges of Manhattan
Shelley Manges of Manhattan
Tylor Provine of Manhattan

FCCLA State Executive Council
Ella Burrows of Satanta
Karlyn Gustin of Auburn
Brooke Nafziger of Goessel
Jerry Stuckey of Moscow
Judy Stuckey of Satanta

Kansas Principal of the Year
Principal Greg Rosenhagen of Cheney

Midwest Transplant Network
Jan Finn of Westwood
Salama Gallimore of Westwood

MOARC and Kansas City Council
Mike Lally of Overland Park
Terry Leeds of Overland Park
Tom Poer of Overland Park
Tom Roberts of Overland Park

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,


Newsletter Sign-up Form

Note: Fields marked with an * are required.