It was a fun gathering on Sunday ~ our first 2019 Action Afternoon ~ at the KCMO Central Library! We had a good time getting to know more people who are in this fight, shared excellent conversation and re-energized ourselves while hearing from our allies and partners at Moms Demand Action and writing letters to elected officials in both Topeka and Jefferson City. If you couldn't make this one, we'll be continuing to get together on the 2nd Sunday of each month. Hope to see you soon!
Also this week, we celebrated International Women's Day. We'd like to salute YOU -- whether you're a woman who's been in this fight for a long time, a newly activated woman, or someone who supports the women in your life -- THANK YOU. And keep it up.
In Kansas, the House passed SB22, sending it to conference. This bill is an agglomeration of tax cut provisions, affecting everything from sales tax on food to the repatriation of foreign income. With the Kansas economy already in triage, the measure seems highly irresponsible (See 11 Q&A about SB22 from the Kansas Center for Economic Growth). Many believe this is a poke to spar with Governor Kelly later in the spring as budget battles heat up. See how your Representative voted here, then contact them to THANK them for their NO vote, or hold them accountable for their YES vote.
The plot further thickened on school funding (Wichita Eagle). The plaintiffs in the years-long school funding suit have said that there was a mistake in the funding amount proposed in Governor Kelly's budget. The Kansas Department of Education says there was no mistake. The difference could mean ongoing time in court, even with additional funding for inflation.
Meantime, Medicaid expansion has yet to come to the floor for debate.
What you can do: We MUST put pressure on Legislative leadership to take action. Contact the following people via phone or email and demand action on any of these three issues... or another of your own concern:
And in Missouri -
Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft recently concluded his investigation of Attorney General turned Senator Josh Hawley, determining that Hawley did not break the law when he hired an out-of-state PR firm to run the Attorney General’s office for him because the PR professionals were hired “to advance his priorities as attorney general and there was no evidence showing the consultants were used to promote him as a candidate.” (KC Star)
Unsurprisingly, questions remain about the integrity of the investigation: The Star reported this week that Ashcroft included John Sauer, Hawley’s former first assistant in the A.G.’s office and a major donor to Hawley’s campaigns, on the investigation, allowing him to sit in on interviews, and notifying him in advance which A.G. staff would be questioned.
Ashcroft also allowed the PR consultants to answer his questions in writing rather than in person. “Mary Graw Leary, professor of law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and a former assistant U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts, … questioned Sauer’s participation in the interview process, saying ‘it would not make sense to have a loyalist to the subject of the investigation present for the interviews.’” We agree.
What you can do: Contact Secretary of State Ashcroft and tell him to reopen the investigation, this time with no Hawley insiders.
Phone: (573) 751-4936
This week, the House passed HR.1, the For the People Act, which we've discussed before. It's a sweeping package of pro-democratic, pro-voting, and anti-corruption measures. Our area representatives voted on party lines, so please remember to contact your Democratic representative and thank them for their vote supporting putting power back in the people's hands... and tell your Republican representative you're disappointed in their vote to maintain the anti-democratic status quo.