Lobbyist Report: July 2018

Hi all: While I realize this won’t get to most of you until the August newsletter, I hope you were able to celebrate Independence Day with friend and family, and took some time to remember our fallen and current service members. Firework demonstrations and parades are cool, but that I s not what we should be celebrating, only a way to do so.
I don’t know what to say about goings on at the federal level. Our Kansas Congressmen and women are extremely concerned about trade wars due to tariffs imposed on other countries (who appear to plan to retaliate by imposing tariffs on the US). They went into effect July 1, and a trade war has already begun. In Kansas it would affect the farmers raising cattle and hogs, as well as those growing grain crops, not to mention manufacturing and the aircraft industry in Wichita. Harley and Polaris have already announced that they are shifting motorcycle production targeted toward Europe to plants outside the US. Then there is the immigration debacle, resignation of the EPA Director Scott Pruitt, and the list goes on.
In Kansas, with the August 7th Primaries coming quickly, the debates and town hall meetings for state offices are well under way. The last day to register to vote in the primary elections is July 17th, and the last day to register for the general election is October 16th. I hope you have registered and plan to vote. Be sure to question candidates for the various positions about their positions, and if you can, go to the debates and town hall meetings and ask questions. Remember that in the Primary Election Democrats will be voting for Democratic candidates and Republicans will be voting for Republican candidates. The run off will occur in the General Election. The Kansas Supreme Court did rule on the education funding issue, and allowed schools to stay open this fall but will require additional funding once the 2019 session gets here.
Please read Coop’s MRF report in the newsletter. I also encourage you to join the MRF (Motorcycle Riders Foundation) and the American Motorcyclists Association (AMA), to stay abreast of what happens on the national front. The MRF’s Meeting of the Minds is in Denver, in September, and of course we will have the MID-South MILE in Oklahoma in October.
I am researching legislation being proposed in other states to see what might be applicable in Kansas. I will be sending a list of possibilities to the Board before the October meeting. Once the elections are over and we know who will be in office at the Capitol next year we’ll start working with the bicycle community on the negligent driving bill.
As always, please contact me with your legislative concerns and also your legislative contacts. It is always nice to be introduced to a legislator by someone who has a relationship with that person. My contact information is in the newsletter.

Steve Christenberry, Lobbyist
ABATE of Kansas