Welcome to the legislation section of KAAA. We strive to provide you with the latest news from the Capitol. Check these pages often for updated information concerning legislative updates, session schedules, the legislative agendas, and many more.
Action on the Federal level:
- Changes in the Kansas delegation
In the Kansas delegation to Congress, we will see two new faces and one familiar face in a new position. Former Lt. Governor Tracey Mann replaces Dr. Roger Marshall as the Representative for the First District and State Treasurer Jake LaTurner replaces Steve Watkins in the Second District. Marshall replaces retiring Senator Pat Roberts.
Senator Jerry Moran is now the senior senator from Kansas and will be up for re-election in 2022. Senator Moran will be entering his eleventh year in the Senate (elected in 2010 to replace Sam Brownback when he ran for Governor) after serving as Representative in the First District.
Representative Sharice Davids in the Third District (KC suburbs of Wyandotte and Johnson counties) will be starting her second term in January and Representative Ron Estes in the Fourth District (Wichita and surrounding counties) will be starting his second full term. (Congressman Estes replaced Mike Pompeo in 2017 when Pompeo was appointed director of the CIA.)
- Where the Kansas delegation fits in the congressional power structure.
With the retirement of Senator Roberts, Kansas lost the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee and one of the most senior senators on the Hill. Senator Moran, entering the fifth year of his second term, becomes Kansas’ senior senator and is moving up in seniority among Senate Republicans. The runoff for the two Georgia Senators on January 5th will determine if Senator Moran and freshman Senator Marshall will be serving as part of a narrow Republican majority or in the minority.
Congresswoman Davids will be the only Kansas house member serving in the majority this session. Congressman Estes will now have two classes of new members below him in seniority, while incoming freshmen Mann and LaTurner will be getting oriented to Washington and the House.
- What is the agenda facing the Kansas delegation
After the 2020 election, Congress will be reorganizing and sorting out what they think they can and/or should do. Usually, there is a period of “feeling out” their own party’s priorities and testing their opponents. This year will probably be quite different! Covid-19 policies and legislation will be first on everyone’s agenda – negotiating compromises and maneuvering to pass one’s priorities will dominate from the start.
For the Kansas delegation, stand-alone agricultural policies will probably be lined up with hundreds of other bills put on hold while the pandemic and economic issues are addressed. Senators and Representatives from the rural, agricultural states will need to be active participants in the discussions on what things will be dealt with – and funded – in the anticipated Covid Relief Package (or whatever it will be called). Rural broadband will be a hot topic. The necessity of adequate internet infrastructure to address healthcare, telework, and online education needs in rural America is sure to be a broadly supported piece of any proposed package.
Our communications with our Washington officials can easily side with rural broadband for the benefits above and also as an exciting technology for the advancement of our industry. We do have concerns, however, that many in rural areas do not. Conversations we have with our representatives should probably always include mention of tower marking requirements as part of funding/authorizing infrastructure.
Convenes on January 11, 2021
Committees and information can be found here:
To see a list of Senate and House Committees including a Find Your Legislator search engine, http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2021_22/committees/standing/.