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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The More We Know

There is no more true fact in politics than this: when voters have all the information they need, they make better decisions about who represents them in government. Politics is weighed down with images of smoke-filled back rooms, fat cats and lobbyists, scandals and corruption. Transparency is paramount in building the confidence of voters in their government, and igniting a real revolution in voter engagement.

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Protect an Undeniable Right

This week, MainStream is hosting, in collaboration with Indivisible KC, a forum on voter suppression. We will have tremendous guests, including from the ACLU, Leave Crosscheck, Loud Light, and the Kansas House of Representatives, who will discuss the issues surrounding voting rights and voter suppression.

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A Steady Start

The Kansas legislative year got started with a... whimper last Tuesday with still-Governor Sam Brownback's State of the State speech. But legislators have already hit the ground running with bills covering everything from mundane regulations to honorary holidays to substantive suggestions tackling the state's biggest problems.

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2018 Starts Now

This is a momentous year for Kansas politics. We will see the results of the most recent local elections play out in school boards and commissions across the state. We will endure a state legislative session fraught with political maneuvers calculated to impact the Governor's race in November. We will see jockeying at the statewide level for Congressional positions in the balance. And through it all, the average Kansan will be ignored, belittled, or pandered to.

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It starts here

A message from Carol Marinovich, the President of the Board of Directors of the MainStream Coalition.

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