Education Movement Ahead?

Topeka CapitolLast week in Kansas politics had a few bright moments, but mostly it was still setup for the biggest issues still to come. While progress was made on stopping the Convention of the States, and Kris Kobach's defense of his citizenship requirement for voter registration faltered, we got muddled direction on gun safety from legislative leaders, and still no news on education finance, the deadline for which looms closer and closer.

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Message to Legislators on Constitutional Amendments

We have just sent this message to all 165 Kansas State Legislators, concerning Constitutional amendments and other measures that have been introduced or proposed for action in the Legislature. In short, MainStream will find it virtually impossible to support legislators who support any of these or similar measures.

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Ready to act?

There is no more powerful force in the world than the collective will of the people. In a democracy, that will is expressed at the ballot box, but also on the streets, in neighborhoods, at coffee shops and libraries, in conversations and when you contact your government representatives. To protect our democracy, citizens need to show up. That's why we ask you to do more than vote.

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Kansans in the Dark

Keeping Kansans in the DarkIf you've followed MainStream, you know we educate, advocate, and act on behalf of a number of issues. This session, we've done a lot of work on health care access, gun safety, voting rights, and women's reproductive health, among others. Our mission to advocate for Kansans is broad. But there are a few themes that touch all aspects of our advocacy. One of the most important is good governance, the idea that government should be free of corruption, be effective, be representative of constituents.

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Testimony: Oppose repealing the Kansas DREAM Act

HB 2643 is a bill that would repeal the Kansas DREAM Act, which has given the resident undocumented children of undocumented immigrants (DREAMers) in-state tuition rates to Kansas universities since 2004. This bill tries to surreptitiously repeal that act in a single line, while purportedly doing enough harm already by removing undocumented foster children from the tuition assistance already given to Kansas foster children. MainStream opposes both provisions of this legislation, and is testifying at the hearing this afternoon. Here is our testimony, as submitted.

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Hang on tight, it's turnaround

This week promises to be a roller coaster in the Kansas Legislature. Thursday, February 22nd is Turn Around Day, the day when (most) bills need to be passed by at least one chamber (the House or the Senate), to be considered this session. We say "most," because there are several exempt committees that can still introduce bills after this deadline, ostensibly to handle budget and appropriations issues that crop up towards the end of a session. But exempt committees have been known to introduce other bills, and the committee and floor amendment process can always resurrect "dead" proposals.

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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.

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So Much To Do...

Here we go. Kansas politics has started to heat up last week and this one. Still no substantive movement on school finance, but last week saw action on gun bills with mixed results, and this week begins a push for expanding health care access for Kansans. Oh, and we have a new Governor. Read on.

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Testimony: Oppose exclusion of women's health from telemedicine

A telemedicine bill is being heard in committee this afternoon in the Kansas Legislature. HB 2512 lays out some procedures and policy for telemedicine in Kansas, but one section stands out. It specifically excludes abortion-related prescriptions and procedures, and gives no legal or medical reasons for doing so. MainStream is opposing this bill as written, because of the arbitrary exclusion of legal medical options around women's health.

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Testimony: Support lower food tax

SCR 1604 is having a hearing today in committee in the Kansas Legislature. This legislation would introduce an amendment to the Kansas Constitution (and thus would need voter approval) to progressively lower the sales tax on food, until it reaches 2%. This would bring it near at least two neighboring states that already have a 0% sales tax on food. MainStream supports this effort, and has submitted the following testimony to the committee.

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