Lobbyist Report: December 2018

I will withhold comments about Congress and our Executive Branch, as it continues to be a chaotic mess, in my opinion. The MRF has established their 2019 Legislative & Regulatory Priorities, which I won’t go into detail as that is under Coop’s prevue but is also posted in the November/December MRF American Bikers Journal newsletter.
Canvassing for state wide ballots was completed on November 30th, both on the federal level and the Kansas level. While there were some closely contested races, I do not believe that changed the outcome of the elections, aside from now having a new Governor who will be appointing new cabinet members. One immediate example is that in Topeka Vicki Schmidt’s Senator position was today as I write this (11/29/18] was that the party elected Vic Miller, currently a House Representative, to take her place on the Senate side. That means that his representative position will be up for grabs. That being said, you may have a new representative as there has been a significant turnover in the Kansas House. I would encourage you to find out who your representative is and if they are new, contact them to become acquainted. As they say, it is not what you know, it is who you know. Kansas leadership positions have been voted on. Speaker Ron Ryckman, R-Olathe, will retain his position as Speaker of the House, and Rep. Dan Hawkins, R-Wichita, was elected as House Majority leader. Rep. Tom Sawyer, D-Wichita, was elected as House Minority Leader. Committee appointments will be likely in December, and office assignments are also forthcoming.
The Kansas Joint Legislative Transportation Task Force approved a relatively generic, non-controversial transportation plan for the next decade focused tightly on completing the incomplete and decade-old T-WORKS transportation plan. Parts of that plan also call for adoption of "modes" of transportation that are important to the state. Those modes include rail freight, passenger rail, mass transit, aviation and bicycle/pedestrian paths. Please take note that in this plan they don’t include cars, trucks, or motorcycles. I will access the plan as soon as I can and look into the details. Of course infrastructure is the big thing, with the state robbing KDOT funds to cover loss of taxes over the past 8 years.
I submitted the application for Bikers Under the Dome, which was approved and is scheduled for February 5th on the second floor of the Capitol Rotunda, where we have been the past two years. Thanks to Senator Hensley, who for the past two years has been our legislative sponsor. The fee for the event is paid so we are good to go. If any of you know of folks who would like to speak at the event, let me know. We will have a podium and a microphone. I have also contacted the Kaw Valley Bicycle Club with the hope we can get those folks to join us to meet with legislators, assuming we want to pursue the negligent driving penalty bill that did not get through both chambers this year.
Vote Like a Biker t-shirts: Tammy drew up a rendition for front and back of these shirts, which I sent to Reliant printing in Topeka, who mocked the design up. Any further design changes will cost, and putting the ABATE logo in the “o” in Vote will be too small to see since we added more verbiage on the front. I’m thinking it would be great if we could have our members purchase them if they plan to visit their legislators, or at Bikers Under the Dome. Prices would range from $19.50 to around $25 front back with plus sizes higher as one would expect, since orders will be individual rather than by bulk. Let me know if you are interested. Unless we can get a bulk order you’ll have to contact Reliant and order them on your own. Here is how to order them, and the cost. 631 S KANSAS AVE. TOPEKA, KS 66603
TOLL FREE (844) 224-7722 LOCAL (785) 783-8622 WWW.RELIANTAPPAREL.COM
Short sleeves are $22.50 before tax +$2 for plus sizes, and Long Sleeves are $25.50 before tax +$2 for plus sizes. Shipping is $6.95. The orders will take 3-5 business days to complete after the order is placed if you want it shipped to you. Not cheap, I’m afraid, but mostly due to not doing a bulk order. Allison at Reliant says the are true to size, so get the orders coming.
I again encourage our members to join the AMA and the MRF in order to have information on current state of affairs in Washington, and elsewhere. You can also get on their websites to sign up for email notifications.
As always, if you have personal contacts with your elected officials and can help connect me with them it would be appreciated, especially since we will have new legislators on board come January. Personal relationships go a long way in pretty much every endeavor, be it work, personal, or legislative in nature. There may likely be a number of changes in the Kansas House this year, so anything you can do to connect me with your local legislator would be greatly appreciated.

Steve Christenberry, Lobbyist
ABATE of Kansas