Senate Scene 2021 Wrap-up - Legislature Adjourns Sine Die on May 26th
On May 26th, the Senate wrapped up the 2021 legislative session. Known in the legislature as Sine Die, it officially marks the final adjournment for the 2021 Legislative Session and ended on Day 86. The House sent 70 bills to the Governor with the Senate sending 46 bills for a total of 116 bills for the 2021 Legislature. The Governor vetoed 5 bills with no over-rides attempted in the Senate or the House. There was a total of 315 Senate bills introduced in 2021.
In a Senate Republican caucus following adjournment on the Senate Floor, Larry Alley from Winfield was elected as the new Senate Majority Leader. Barring a special session, the full legislature will return on January 10, 2022.
STATE GRANTS – SENATE DISTRICT #36
The Kansas Historical Society awarded $499,645 in Kansas Rural Preservation Grants to 15 projects in 13 counties – these funds will be used toward structural repairs, roof replacement, window restoration and masonry repointing. The Belrhost Bros. Hardware building in Sylvan Grove in Lincoln County was awarded $36,000 and the Post Office Block Building in Marysville was awarded $38,700 and the Historic Frankfort School in Frankfort (both in Marshall County) was awarded $50,000. The Kansas Historic Preservation Fund Grant through the National Park Service awarded nearly $230,000 in grants for 10 projects including the City of Lincoln for an ADA Improvement Plan for City Hall for $17,500.
The Department of Transportation announced $42 Million in infrastructure projects for 30 construction projects across Kansas for the KDOT Cost Share Program for 2021. Cost Share is a component of the 10-year Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Program (IKE). Two of these projects are in Senate District 36 – the City of Miltonvale for the Miltonvale City Street Improvements for Safety and the City of Phillipsburg for a runway extension.
REDISTRICTING IN 2021-2022
Every ten years, the Kansas Legislature looks at the US Census numbers and assigns committees to review and redraw the legislative boundaries for the state-both state offices and federal offices. The United States Constitution and federal statutes require a federal census to be conducted every ten years and congressional districts adjusted to the new numbers. The Kansas Constitution and state law also requires the reapportionment of the state senate districts, the state house of representative districts, and the school board districts in the state based on the census information.
In March, the US Census Bureau announced delays in the collection and distribution of information due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Previously, census data had been delivered to each state by April 1 the year after the census was completed. The new deadline for states to receive 2020 data is now September 30th, 2021. Expect rural districts in both the Senate and the House to grow in geographical size and urban districts to shrink due to population decline and shift. House and Senate Committees will begin to meet soon and use the data when available to build the new state and federal district maps. The Kansas Legislative Research Department has a page dedicated to redistricting and has posted data the state has a received to date –http://www.kslegislature.org/ use Research Department tab under the Legislative Resources tab then to Policy Areas and then Redistricting tab. You will find a listing of all counties since April 2010 to April 2019 with populations and percentage changes.
UNCLAIMED PROPERTY IN KANSAS
The State of Kansas has over $400 million dollars in unclaimed property waiting for the rightful owner to find and claim. Unclaimed property stats from the first of the year include 437,320 searches, $8,065,732.67 returned with the average claim paid at $1999.47. These holdings at the Treasurer’s office include bank accounts, cash, stocks, bonds, refunds (utilities), royalties, insurance proceeds and even safe deposit box contents. To search for your name, visit www.kansasastatetreasurer.com and enter your name or business name to see if your name is on this list. Senate District #36 has over 4000 entries in the thirteen counties it covers. If you would like more personal assistance, call 800-432-0386 or 785-296-4165.
KANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE
The Secretary of State is one of four state offices authorized by the Kansas Constitution. Although created by the state constitution, the duties of the office are defined by almost 1,000 state laws. Among the many duties of the Office of the Kansas Secretary of State is maintaining primary responsibility for administering elections, collecting certain records of Kansas businesses and publishing the official publications for the State of Kansas. The agency oversees cemeteries, Kansas Notaries and even Trademarks. As a result, hundreds of thousands of documents are kept by the Secretary of State. Generally, they fall into four categories – executive, legislative, elections and business. Several YouTube Videos highlighting the agency and brief clips on processes can be found on their website at www.sos.ks.gov.
GOVERNOR’S OFFICE OF APPOINTMENTS
The Office of Appointments assists the Governor with the appointment of over 1,000 individuals to serve on Kansas’ boards and commissions. All qualified and service-minded Kansans are encouraged to participate in our state's government by offering to serve on a board or commission or by recommending qualified candidates. Additional information can be found at https://governor.ks.gov/. Find the Serving Kansans tab where you will find a screen to apply for service. If you are interested in the opportunity to serve or would like to nominate someone, please call the office at 785 368-8500 or apply online.
OFF SESSION CONTACT INFORMATION
The 2022 Kansas Legislative Session will begin January 10, 2022, at 2:00PM when we will be back in our offices at the Capitol in Topeka. Over the summer and fall, I can be reached at my legislative email at firstname.lastname@example.org or my work email email@example.com. My work address in Concordia is 212 E. 6th St., Concordia, KS 66901 and if you are in Concordia, drop by. My daytime work number is 785 243-3325x2 or email me questions, concerns or ideas for legislative bills for the next session. Visit the Kansas Legislature website in the office session at www.kslegislature.org which has extensive information on legislators, committees, bills, past sessions, historical data, internships, and pages for next year. It is an honor to serve you in the 36th Kansas Senate District and please feel free to contact me anytime.