Kansas Common Sense

Happy Independence Day!
I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Independence Day! The freedoms we enjoy as Americans are protected under the U.S. Constitution and by the veterans and servicemembers who have sacrificially served to protect our freedoms.

Solar Kiwanis Pancake Feed
To celebrate the Fourth of July, I joined the Solar Kiwanis club for their annual pancake feed. Each year, this pancake feed attracts members of the community, and allows them to come together. This year, nearly 400 individuals attended! Thanks to the Kiwanis Club for all they do for the Manhattan community.

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Supporting Wichita’s Workforce
Many Kansans are paying close attention to Boeing’s recent announcement that it reached an agreement to acquire Spirit AeroSystems in Wichita. I have remained in touch with Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun, Chairman of the Board Steven Mollenkopf, and Interim CEO of Spirit AeroSystems Pat Shanahan, as the community navigates the next steps in the process.

I have also spoken with several key leaders within the defense industry who partner with Spirit. The defense industry has rapidly grown in Kansas over the last several years with the intent to diversify the portfolio of work performed in Wichita. Critical defense suppliers nationwide have made significant investments in the Wichita area through partnerships on important defense programs, and we must ensure that Boeing does its part to support the ongoing defense programs and future diversified growth in the area.

The Air Capital of the World has a talented aerospace workforce that is contributing to our national defense. I look forward to working with all parties involved to encourage a successful transition for the workforce and community. 

On Monday, I joined KWCH, KSN and KAKE to discuss the announcement. Watch my interview on KAKE, here.

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Read more about the impact to Wichita’s defense work in the Wichita Business Journal, here.

Welcoming Lockheed Martin Space to Kansas
On Tuesday, I was pleased to welcome Aaron Garfield, Head of Procurement for Lockheed Martin Space, to Kansas. During his time in Wichita, Mr. Garfield visited several local aerospace manufacturers as Lockheed looks to expand its supply chain footprint. In November, I hosted Robert Lightfoot, Executive Vice President of Lockheed Martin Space, to Wichita, and we toured a division of Perfekta Aerospace where Lockheed announced a contract for the company to provide parts for its Orion Spacecraft as well as components for its defense programs. This visit with Lockheed comes as follow-up to continue exploring opportunities to expand in the Wichita area. During his visit, we met with Harlow Aerostructures, Metal Finishing Company, C.E. Machine and Aero Tech Engineering.

Thank you to Aaron for spending time in the Air Capital of the World and for recognizing the important role Kansans are playing in space programs. Thank you also to Jeff Fluhr and his team at the Greater Wichita Partnership for their leadership and for hosting the visit.

You can read more about the visit here in KSN.

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Demanding Answers on the VA’s Community Care Policies
I led 19 of my Republican colleagues in calling on the Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Denis McDonough, to address growing concern about actions VA is taking to restrict access to community care for veterans across the country. Veterans deserve timely, quality, accessible health care, in VA medical facilities and in the community. I am concerned by the number of Kansas veterans I am hearing from who are experiencing increased difficulties in recent months accessing VA care in the community and are being asked to drive farther, wait longer, or forgo their preferred care and treatments because VA is denying them the choices they are owed. I asked Secretary McDonough to act quickly to change course, follow the law, and honor the choices of veteran patients to have greater control over the health care they earned and deserve as a result of their honorable service.

You can read the full text of our letter here.

Joining AgriTalk to Discuss the Border and Farm Bill
This week, I joined AgriTalk to discuss the southern border and farm bill framework. These are issues I constantly discuss with Kansans during my visits home to the state and I will continue to work to secure the border and support our ranchers and farmers. We also talked about my visits to rural communities 

You can listen to my interview here.

Announcing Federal Resources for Chanute Police Department
I was in southeast Kansas on Friday to announce federal investments for the Chanute Police Department to upgrade the radio communications for the department. I appreciate Chanute Police Chief Chris Pefley for joining me to share how these funds will be utilized to improve officer safety and enable officers to better serve the community. It is imperative that we give our law enforcement officers all the tools and support they need as they risk their lives daily to keep us safe.

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Providing an Update to Kansas Bankers Association
While in Chanute, I had the opportunity to address the Kansas Bankers Association at their financial town hall meeting. I was able to meet with southeast Kansas lenders to discuss developments both in the Senate and in the banking regulatory environment. It was great to discuss the importance of access to capital and a secure banking system for sustaining local economies in Kansas. I want to thank KBA President and CEO Doug Wareham, KBA Chairman Mark Schifferdecker from Girard and all those in attendance for a fruitful discussion on the issues impacting banking in Kansas.

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Visits across Kansas
Millennium Machine and Tool
Monday afternoon, I was in Newton where I visited Millennium Machine and Tool. With upwards of 100 employees, Millennium has been providing high-quality, machine-made parts to customers in the aerospace, agriculture, automotive, military and recreation industries since 1998. Thank you to owner Kris Wondra and business development manager Nick Messer for an informative tour and conversation. Thank you also to Harvey County Economic Development Director Beth Shelton for joining me.

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Herington
On Monday, I had the opportunity to make a stop in Herington to visit with folks in the community. I was able to stop by the Carnegie Public Library, the Central National Bank, the Heartland Care Clinic, City Hall and the local school and pharmacy. I appreciate the conversations I had with the folks around town.

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Chanute Pharmacy
This week I paid a visit to Cardinal Drug Store in Chanute. It is concerning to hear about the challenges facing our community pharmacists, threatening their survival and ability to serve their communities. Our community and independent pharmacies needed Congress to act on pharmacy benefit manager reform, and I will continue bringing that request back to my colleagues in the Senate. Additionally, reforms to the 340B drug pricing program and codifying contract pharmacies is long overdue. I am working with my colleagues to soon introduced legislation that will provide protections for these important arrangements that offer additional revenue to pharmacies.

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Washington

On Friday morning, I visited the Washington County Courthouse and met with County Clerk Diana Svanda, County Treasurer Denae Jueneman, Register of Deeds Chase Brazzle, Economic Development Ryan Kern, Clerk of District Court Susan Bruna, County Appraiser Lance Leis and Magistrate Judge Jason Cohorst. Later, I met with City Manger Carl Chalfant and Emergency Services Manager Randy Hubbard. I also stopped by United Bank & Trust, Timber Struck Woods, Clarity Eye Care, the Washington County News, Washington Health Mart and Drug, the Health Department and Library. My last stop was at FNB Bank where I received a tour from Deb Oleschlager, Karen Stewart, Pushaun Portenier, Connie Delay and Sara Burgstrom.

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me.

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Clay Center
This week, I visited KCLY/KFRM Radio in Clay Center with Trish Scoboda to discuss the state of Kansas agriculture and my visits to rural communities. I also visited City Hall where I got to hear what has been going on in the area and met with workers at Edward Jones, Ryan and Mullin law office, United Bank & Trust. I also met with County Clerk Veronica Carmona, Register of Deeds Susan Mall, County Attorney Joel Mason, County Sanitarian Marlene Stamm and County Treasurer Christine Swaim while at the Clay County Courthouse. I also stopped by Citizens National Bank to visit Kathy Coleman, Karla Swenson and Lanita Laffery.

Thank you all for your kind hospitality.

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Capitol Tours
Jackson Allen of Manhattan

Craig Baldwin of Clearwater

Casey Blokzyl of Clearwater

Mindi Blokzyl of Clearwater

Xavier Blokzyl of Clearwater

Aleena Blokzyl of Clearwater

Pastor Jeremy Bower of McPherson

Kari Bower of McPherson

Jayna Bower of McPherson

Haven Bower of McPherson

Joah Bower of McPherson

Khai Bower of McPherson

Javeyah Bower of McPherson

Kaelynn Bower of McPherson

Colby Brown of Prairie Village

Jessica Brown of Prairie Village

Garrett Brown of Prairie Village

Isaac Brown of Prairie Village

Austin Elley of Gardner

Jenice Elley of Gardner

Taylor Elley of Gardner

Peter Geers of Olathe

Benjamin Goodman of Olathe

Clint Goodman of Olathe

Katherine Goodman of Olathe

Maxwell Goodman of Olathe

Tara Goodman of Olathe

Tracie Hahn of Wichita

John Hall of Sublette

Misti Hall of Sublette

Kaylyn Hall of Sublette

John Hall of Sublette

Larry Hall of Sublette

Beverly Hall of Sublette

Charles Heinrichs of Haysville

Brain Holmes of Louisburg

Terry Holmes of Louisburg

Lori Hunt of Overland Park

John Kille of Leawood

Angela Kille of Leawood

Arcelia Kille of Leawood

Leif Kille of Leawood

Liam Kille of Lawrence

Daisy Klein of Hillsboro

Roxi Klein of Hillboro

Ty Klein of Hillsboro

Violet Klein of Hillsboro

Oswald Lemke of Lawrence

Ashley McGalliard of Manhattan

Loretta Meyers-Roberts of Olathe

Matthew Melchor of Manhattan

Brianna Murphy of Olathe

David Murphy of Olathe

James Murphy of Olathe

Shannon Murphy of Olathe

Paul Nefzger of Wellington

Tracy Nefzger of Wellington

Jessica Nefzger of Wellington

Austin Nefzger of Wellington

Caleb Nefzger of Wellington

Joe Pruessner of Kansas City

Caleb Pruessner of Kansas City

Meredith Quimby of Sublette

Brenda Rice of Emporia

Marjan Sadeghi of Overland Park

Kirk Taylor of Lansing

Michelle Taylor of Lansing

Samuel Taylor of Lansing

Chik Hon Yim of Lenexa

Keaden Yim of Lenexa

Keifer Yim of Lenexa

Lee Shun Yim of Lenexa

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