Stronger and more engaged, together

We are all going through a lot right now, but I hope this finds you healthy and hopeful. It's a challenging time as we face difficult but important issues locally and nationally. At Mainstream we are committed to protecting our communities and continuing our advocacy efforts, all while figuring out the impact on the organization's long-term survival. We have spent the last week adapting to our new virtual reality, and working hard to continue providing the reliable information and effective action steps you’ve come to expect from Mainstream.

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Coronavirus

Politics is a social endeavor. In its best form, it involves coming together, discussing, and finding compromise that moves issues forward. Already in this Kansas Legislative session, we have seen that process grind to a halt with Sen. President Susan Wagle's refusal to do the work of the people if her personal goals are not met. Now, as the coronavirus threatens Kansans, Statehouse leaders debate about halting legislative work.

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You Make the Difference

This is a message from Michael Poppa, Executive Director of the Mainstream Coalition.


It has now been eight weeks since I joined the Mainstream team. As expected, it has been a roller coaster ride with the Kansas Legislature… and I am enjoying every minute, drinking straight from the firehose that is Kansas politics this year. I am also thankful to be surrounded by you—our dedicated members, volunteers, partners, and staff—who are the heart and soul of Mainstream. Together we’ve made headway on issues that directly impact Kansans through increased advocacy, education, and engagement. Thank you.

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Shenanigans

Several years ago we published a story about "shenanigans" in the Kansas Legislature. We got some feedback that the word was... not dignified. And yet, after the start of this Kansas Legislative Session in 2020, we can't think of a word more appropriate to describe what has happened.

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While we were protecting women...

The 2020 Kansas Legislative Session started with a bang when Sen. Wagle introduced the anticipated amendment to strip women's rights out of the Kansas Constitution. For the first month it stole all the oxygen out of the Statehouse, even while other bills were being introduced, and we attended four lobby days in two weeks.

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KSLeg Poised to Uphold or Strip Women's Rights

This morning the Kansas House of Representatives met to debate SCR 1613, the amendment to the Kansas Constitution to strip women's reproductive rights from our Bill of Rights. They voted to send it to a Final Action vote tomorrow, Friday.

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Women's Rights at Risk

Last night, the Kansas State Senate voted 28-12 to amend the KS Constitution to remove from it the right of every Kansas woman to determine her own health care. The amendment would put that right in the hands of the legislators. Now, it goes to the Kansas House of Representatives for their deliberation and vote.

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Testimony Opposing Tax Credit Scholarships, HB 2465

This is testimony Mainstream is providing in opposition to HB 2465, to expand the Tax Credit Scholarship Program, at the hearing on January 30, 2020. This would expand an existing program that already diverts public tax funds to support private and parochial schools.


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Testimony Opposing IrresponsibleTax Cuts, HB 2005

This is testimony Mainstream is providing in opposition to HB 2005, providing tax benefits to upper income Kansans, at the hearing on January 29, 2020. Under the guise of helping middle and lower income Kansans, this would take $50 million of tax revenue away from the state and return it to Kansans who can and do itemize on their tax returns.


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Taking Women's Rights Away

First, thank you to everyone who sent email to their Kansas legislators opposing the amendment to the Kansas Constitution to strip Kansas women of their right to make their own decisions about their health. This amendment explicitly gives that right to legislators.

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