Advocate for Health Care and More

This week in the Kansas Legislature looks to be busy, and we're asking supporters to take an action to let legislators know what is important to Kansans with regards to our issues. Please take at least one of these steps this week, on an issue, or issues, that matter to you. Show up in Topeka, email your legislators, or call leadership. It's your Legislature, let them know what you think.

Expanding Access to Health Care

On Wednesday. which is Valentine's Day, the Senate Committee on Public Health and Welfare is holding a hearing on Senate Bill 38 (SB 38), which would expand Medicaid access in Kansas to 150,000 working Kansans who fall in the coverage gap right now. Last week, along with our partners, the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, we asked you to call our new Governor, Dr. Colyer, to ask him to support expanding KanCare (Kansas' version of Medicaid). Thanks to everyone who did.

On Friday, we held a drop in Step Up advocacy event where we wrote valentines to legislators, both on the committee and in leadership. We will deliver the dozens of valentines directly to legislators. Everyone on the Committee will get one (we didn't want to leave anyone out!) and we have many others to deliver, too.

What you can do: On Wednesday, day after tomorrow, we will gather outside the hearing room at the Statehouse in Topeka, with many other concerned Kansans, to show our solidarity with those who cannot get health care because they fall in the coverage gap. We'd like you to join us! RSVP to our event, and come with us to Topeka!

Gun Safety

The two gun-related bills that passed the Kansas House are now up for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs. One is great, prohibiting domestic violence perpetrators and those under a restraining order from owning firearms. The other, a reciprocity bill to recognize the firearms permits of other states, also lowers the age of concealed carry to 18. Reciprocity is also coming up in the U.S. Congress, and if both were to pass, Kansas teenagers could legally carry concealed, loaded weapons anywhere in the country.

A gun safety lobbying day is planned for Wednesday (the same day as the KanCare hearing above), but the bills are being heard on Tuesday in the Senate Committee.

What you can do: Connect with your Kansas Senator and let them know you support gun safety, and if you're in Topeka on Wednesday for KanCare, make your voice heard at the gun lobby day, too!

Other Issues

Still no word on a plan to meet the Supreme Court's requirement that Kansas fully fund public education. We continue to watch and listen closely to legislators, educators, and advocates as they work to determine steps to move forward, but the deadline is getting closer.

There also has not been much forward movement on voting rights legislation, or the transparency proposals put forward weeks ago by legislators. We will continue to monitor these issues and let you know their status.

What you can do: Until there's an action, you can talk about the issues with your friends and neighbors. Make sure they are as informed as you are about what matters. You can always keep track of legislation related to the issues we support on our Kansas Legislative Tracker page.

Thank you for all that you do. Change begins with you. It starts here.

Do more than vote.

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