I have spent a lot of time talking to numerous people about the issues that I will be most involved in this year. Many times it is these types of conversations and relationships that one builds on to be successful in anything one might do during the session. I always say that the most important thing to success in the political realm is the good relationships one builds in order come to consensus.
Listed below are the bills that I plan on sponsoring. This is not to say that there might not be others, but these are the things I currently have working. In addition, one thing that many people don't realize is that most of the time individual bills do not get done by themselves. Usually there is just not enough time to get through all the bills that are offered. Many time bills are made into amendments that are added to other similar bills in order to get done. So for those things that I support I continually work to find a place for it so I can ensure it gets done in some form.
I know I have been seen, heard and quoted some lately in the press regarding the Kansas City School District and its future. As things are still a little fluid there I'm not ready to give a full accounting of things quite yet. However, I am committed to ensuring that the kids in Kansas City do not lose any more years of learning due to the dysfunction of their adult leaders and that those actions do not negatively impact the surrounding districts.
Have a great weekend.
Martin Luther King Day Celebration
I will have the privilege of joining many others around the nation on Monday of being a part of an event celebrating Martin Luther King Day. William Jewell College will be holding an event at 10:00 AM on campus at Gano Chapel. I will making some brief remarks during the event. The featured speaker will be Patricia Okonta, a Liberty High School graduate.
Student Proposed LegislationLocal students work to get the law changed
I am preparing to file a bill later in the month that would put on the ballot a Constitutional change to allow 17 year olds the ability to vote in a primary election if they will be 18 at the time of the next General Election. This was brought to my attention by the AP Government classes at Liberty High School and Liberty North High School and their teacher Kurt Gates.
After much research on the part of the students and finding out that several other states allow this in some capacity I decided to support the students' efforts. Besides working to change existing law, it is proving to be a great lesson in the legislative process, both in theory and reality.
Currently, the students are contacting my fellow House members to let them know about the bill and to ask them to support or co-sponsor. I have talked to the classes about the best way to do that and good strategies. Once the bill is filed, I will hopefully get a hearing in Committee and have some students testify on behalf of the bill and then work some more on lobbying for the bill.
I have received many compliments already on the students' efforts and am receiving a lot of commitments for co-sponsors. Let me know your thoughts and I will pass it on to the students so they are aware of the feedback.