The legislative process is starting and by the time you read this, I will have headed for Topeka and will have been sworn in Jan. 12.
I hope to keep you informed on the issues in front of the legislature, and therefore will try writing a weekly or biweekly column. I can’t promise a column every week; time will tell.
I’m a first-year legislator and know it is likely to be a mammoth process in a year with truly mammoth issues in front of us.
The economic crunch, the issue of a new coal-fired power plant at Holcomb, and a host of other matters loom big for this session.
I’m also told the legislative leaders want to tackle the current year’s budget shortfall within the first two weeks of the legislative session.
For me, this first step of being sworn in is not a small step nor a mere formality. We are expected to uphold the constitutions of Kansas and the United States, and I take that duty seriously.
I perceive it is also my duty to act ethically in all things, and to listen to what the people in the 70th Representative District are thinking.
As I prepare for the legislative session to begin, I am reading all I can about the operations of the legislature, and I am attending information sessions about upcoming issues.
I am aware that as a freshman representative, I know a lot less about the legislative operations than the “veterans,” but I do not need to be schooled on what the priorities of Kansas and the 70th District are. I have learned a lot from the campaign trail and I believe I have a feel what the folks of the 70th District are looking for.
No one in Topeka can tell me about this district. No one in Topeka has an upper hand on what’s better or best for us. If that were the case, we wouldn’t need representatives to speak for our districts.
As I start my service to you as your representative, I ask you to keep in touch with me, show up when I am in your community and let me know your thoughts on the subjects of the day. If you cannot attend, I ask that you write (letter or e-mail) and express your views.
I also ask that you keep in mind there are other people in the district with ideas different from yours. I will do my best to sort through your differing opinions and figure out how to reconcile them so the legislative process works for all.
As I indicated during the campaign, I did not run for this office because of an axe to grind or a pet bill to pass that would benefit me or a buddy. I ran to assure quality representation for this district, in the context of what is right for the entire State of Kansas; and with your help, I will accomplish that. Our state government is not for the few, not for the insiders. It is for us all.
I will be serving on the following committees: Judiciary, Juvenile and Corrections, and Education. I look forward to representing you.
You may contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 201 Meadow Lane, Marion, KS 66861. In time, the state will allocate a legislative email address, as well.