Lobbyist Report: April 2019

As far as the federal level goes, I don’t have much to say, as things are crazy day by day, but I do encourage you to read the newspaper, watch the news on TV or on your computer or phone, to be as informed as you can be. All I can add is that appointed officials are being fired nearly every day.I’d also suggest looking at different news channels, as there is a tendency for the stations to be biased one way or the other. It is hard to sort out what is true and what is false, especially with the many accusations of “fake news” these days, so it is up to you try to find the middle ground. I’m really struggling with it.
The Democrat Convention, also called Washington Days, was at the Ramada Inn in Topeka on March 1st and 2nd. Thanks to Sis for setting up the hospitality suite.
You can still order Vote Like a Biker t-shirts, but you’ll have to call Reliant Apparel in Topeka and pay in advance. They can ship them to you for a fee. Their contact information is: Reliant Apparel 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. Just tell them you are with ABATE of Kansas and would like to order the ABATE Vote Like a Biker shirt. You can get them in whatever color you want, I got the yellow/green in both long sleeve and short sleeve.
In the Kansas legislature, the bicycle community got HB2088, the negligent driving bill, introduced to the House Committee on Transportation, which recommended passage by the full House. However, House leadership simply did not act on it, so it died again this year. We will work on getting it submitted and passed again next session.
SB17, the bill to eliminate an exemption for “M” licensing or learners permits during the 60 day period a temporary license is in effect, passed the Senate Committee on Transportation, passed the Senate Committee as a whole, and was heard at the House Committee on Transportation on March 6th. It was heard by the Committee of the whole on the floor of the House, passed, and Governor Kelly signed it into law on March 20th.
I thought that the hands free driving bill would be introduced again this year, but I can find nothing that indicates it was reintroduced this year. Maybe next year, as distracted driving continues to be a huge contributor to crashes. Both Chambers did pass the KPERs payment, which Governor Kelly signed, along with the school finance bill, but the tax bills, Medicaid expansion, and other major legislation is still up for discussion.
April 5th was the start of a month long break, although there will be some committee work being done. The full legislature will reconvene the first of May.
As reported previously, the Congressional Senate has passed a resolution regarding motorcycle profiling. Work is being done on the House side to get them to pass a similar resolution.
Oh, on a non-political topic, if you did not know it, on April 1st grocery and convenience stores are allowed to sell 5% beer. This was a result of the Uncork Kansas initiative in 2017. Kansas was one of only a handful of states that did not allow that, requiring that only 3.2% beer be sold. Wine and spirits will still be sold only by liquor stores.
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. Personal relationships go a long way in pretty much every endeavor, be it work, personal, or legislative in nature. Anything you can do to connect me with your local legislator would be greatly appreciated.

Steve Christenberry, Lobbyist
ABATE of Kansas