It is amazing how the tone of the legislature changed in just a few days.

This past week, the Senate President removed all the House bills that were ready for Senate action. She did this in response to the House’s not passing a resolution for a Constitutional Amendment vote in August. This is not how I envisioned the legislative process working. I voted for the amendment when it was in the Senate. It merely gives Kansans the right to decide (by a vote) if the legislature has final say or the

court system has final say in matters of abortion. However, it didn’t pass the House with the required two-thirds.

This reaction, in my mind, should not be how statesmanship and the legislative process is defined. Kansas is a great state and many things are positive about living here. But we have things we can fix and make life better. That is why I believe I’m here. We have work to be done, and we must exercise statesmanship to serve the state.

For the past four sessions, on Kansas Day, I have led the Senate in singing “Home on the Range,” our State Song. This year I did something a bit different. I talked Senator Julia Lynn into singing a duet with me on the main part, and the senators joined in on the Chorus. It was pretty good, if I must say so myself. Senator Lynn included a video with sound in her newsletter. Then one of her readers sent some information about the song to her. The song was derived from a poem written by Dr. Brewster Higley in 1872. Higley purchased property in what is now Butler County in 1871 on the banks of the Walnut River. Senate District 14 might have been the home to Bigley has he written the words to “Home on the Range!” Recording studios have not reached out to Senator Lynn or myself for further productions.

We had our first page of the session on January 30. Gunnar Truskett of Independence traveled to the State House with his mother to be a page for the day. He had the opportunity to take a tour of the Capitol and have his picture taken with the governor and myself.

Congratulations to the following cities on being awarded Department of Commerce Small Cities Community Development Block Grants:

City of Cambridge 182,000 water; City of Fredonia, $600,00 sewer; City of Udall, $494,360 library and wellness center; City of Yates Center, $400,000 fire truck.

Our Feb.12 pages arrived from El Dorado with Luke Claar, who graciously brought them. It is always an honor to give our future voters a glance into the political process.

This week, the Federal and State Affairs Committee took up sports wagering. This bill was drafted to allow the casinos in Kansas to allow a person to come into the casino and place a wager on most any sports activity in the country. You will also be allowed to use an app on your phone as well. I was able to get an amendment added that would funnel a portion of the State’s earnings to go to Eureka Downs. This bill is SB283 and should come out of committee on February 17 or 18; however, it will still have a long way to go.

The Madison High Seniors came to the Capitol on a field trip Feb. 12. While here, the seniors met with Senator Bruce Givens and Representative Joe Newland. A special thanks to the sponsors who brought them up, Lilah Serrer and Chelsea Smith.

Feel free to contact me at (785) 296-7678 or at bruce.givens@senate.ks.gov. It is a privilege to serve you. I’ll be posting things about KPERS, banks and credit unions and many other items on my website at www.brucegivens.com.

 

Bruce Givens, R-El Dorado, represents District 14, which includes all of Chatauqua County and part of  Cowley County.

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