Special Session 2016 Keeps Schools Open

The legislature reconvened last month after being called back by the governor to address a recent Supreme Court decision. This is the second special session since 2011, both being completed in two days. (The other special session fixed murder sentencing guidelines because the “Hard 50” law was declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court.)

School Finance Fix

In a focused special session, the Legislature passed a bipartisan fix to the recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling regarding equity among school districts. The court found an inequity between rich school districts and poor school districts. Within the Courts ruling, they found the inequity between the 286 school districts amounted to $38 million or 0.0097% of a record $4 billion already spent in K-12 funding. To fix this, the legislature reverted back to the old Local Option Budget which decreased funding for 77 districts, increase aid for 169 districts, and 40 districts wouldn’t be affected.
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WELFARE REFORM 2016

House Republicans on Thursday announced new proposals to the Hope Act, Kansas’ nation leading welfare reform bill passed during the 2015 session.

View a graphic on proposed Hope Act changes.

Among the several additional proposals was a cross-check of lottery winners receiving cash, food assistance or child care. The proposal would allow DCF to cross-check lottery winners who win $10,000 or more with welfare recipient. Winners would also be required to verify their income and resources.

Other proposals include verifying the identity of all people living in a household receiving cash, food and child care assistance.

Current law only requires verification of identity for the person applying for the entire household. Another proposal would require the monitoring of persons who have lost their electronic benefits card numerous times. These new proposals will be added to last year’s welfare reform and the policy changes it ordered.

View a graphic on welfare reform.


Keith discussed efforts to change the way Kansas Supreme Court justices are chosen as well as the effort to keep property taxes down. He was interviewed in May, 2016, for a Comcast Newsmakers broadcast.

Dismemberment Abortion Ban

The legislature approved a law last year banning a controversial abortion procedure that kills unborn children by tearing their limbs off one at a time.
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School spending up, taxes down in Olathe

 Some naysayers said Kansas legislators couldn’t cut taxes and increase school spending at the same time. Well, they were wrong. In addition to cutting taxes, Republican conservatives have increase school spending every year that Sam Brownback has been governor.
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Economic Reforms in Kansas working for Olathe

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Kansans for Life

KFL PAC logo"We are very grateful for the pro-life work that you have done in the Kansas House and your commitment to protect vulnerable human life."

The Kansas Chamber PAC

Kansas Chamber PAC logo"The Chamber PAC is committed to supporting hard-working candidates who will fight to make Kansas the best state in the nation in which to live and do business."

"A" Rating Kansas NRA PAC

Kansas NRA logo"A" rating means: Solidly pro-gun candidate. A candidate who has supported NRA positions on key votes in elective office or a candidate with a demonstrated record of support on Second Amendment issues.

Kansas Farm Bureau

Kansas Farm Bureau logo"VOTE FBF was established in 1993 to help elect friends of agriculture and rural Kansas. It has had a more than 90 percent success rate for helping endorsed candidates be elected to office."

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Let the Band Play On

Keith's commitment to serve the community doesn't stop with his important role as a member of the Kansas House of Representatives from Olathe and Lenexa. He's also a member of the Olathe Civic Band.

Candidate Forum July 18

The Olathe Chamber, in conjunction with the Lenexa Chamber and the Johnson County Public Policy Council (JCPPC), is hosting a Kansas Legislature Primary Candidate Meet-n-Greet event on July 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. This is a chance to meet Rep. Esau.

  The event is being held at the Olathe Community Center, 1205 E. Kansas City Road. Candidate introductions and host questions will take place from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Spring Elections to Move to Fall

The Senate approved a bill Friday (Feb. 27, 2015) that would move municipal elections from March to August for primary elections and April to November for general elections. The vote was 21-18.

This shift would make our local elections uniform with our state and national elections. Local elections would remain nonpartisan.

Under the Senate’s version, local elections would be held in odd-numbered years beginning in 2017. One exception was provided.

Cities could hold an election in even-numbered years for the purpose of staggering terms of office or having three-year terms of office.

By moving the elections, supporters said voter turnout would be increased substantially and more candidates will participate in the election process. Spring elections normally garner very low turnout.

A similar bill has been introduced in the House. It would also allow voters to mark a “straight line” party ticket, thus saving time at the polls. It was later approved and has become law. Keith was the major sponsor of this bill.

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Rep. Esau wants to keep you informed about what's going on in the Kansas Legislature. So, he writes a weekly column during the legislative session that he e-mails to his list. To sign up for that list, fill out the form below.

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