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.

Gun bills to the Senate

On Thursday and Friday, the Kansas House debated and passed two gun related bills. The first was a win for gun safety advocates. HB 2145, would prohibit any person convicted of domestic violence, or under a restraining order, from lawfully possessing a firearm. It passed the House unanimously on final action, 120-0 (with five Representatives absent).

The second bill, HB 2042, began as a reciprocity bill, that would recognize the concealed carry licenses of other states. It quickly received amendments that, in the end, resulted in it also extending the age at which a concealed carry permit can be obtained down to 18 (from 21), and requiring a permit to carry concealed weapons on a college or university campus. In the end, if passed by the Kansas Senate, this would mean that high school seniors (18 years and older) would be able to carry concealed handguns. While the additional requirement allowing colleges and universities to require permits is good, it pales in comparison to allowing teenagers to carry hidden, loaded guns. The amendment to lower the age was offered by Rep. Brenda Landwehr, and was adopted 82-42.

Another amendment, offered by Rep. Barbara Ballard, would have repealed campus carry entirely. Largely a formality (that measure couldn't pass last year, either), this amendment was rejected 53-69.

The final bill passed 76-44.

Not sure who represents you in the House? Want to get in touch with your Senator about their upcoming votes on these bills? Find them at

Our partners Grandparents Against Gun Violence and Indivisible KC are hosting a Prevent Gun Violence Advocacy Day at the Statehouse on Wednesday. Learn more and go show your support!

Expanding Health Care

A bill (SB 38) to expand health care access to an additional 150,000 working Kansas, including many veterans, will receive a hearing in the Kansas Senate on Valentine's Day. MainStream will be there, with testimony, and your Valentines for the Legislature. This Friday, we will host a Valentines for KanCare Step Up event. Come advocate for health care, fill out a valentine, and we will deliver them.

Our partners, the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, are hosting a special call-in event to the Governor (no, the new one, Dr. Jeff Colyer!) asking him to support KanCare expansion. Sign on to their action on their site: Call Governor Colyer

And if you're interested in showing up to the Statehouse on Valentine's Day, let us know, we'd love to have you come with us!

Speaking of a new Governor

Last Wednesday, Kansas finally saw the back of Sam Brownback. New Governor Jeff Colyer was sworn in by Kansas Chief Justice Lawton Nuss, and has begun his work to... well, we'll have to see. He has taken a decidedly moderate tone in the run-up to this moment, perhaps distancing himself from fellow gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach, who has indicated he would double-down on Brownback's policies. But the proof will be in the pudding, and his first chance might come with any statements he makes in regard to expanding KanCare.

Remember, it starts here. With you.

Do more than vote.

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