Holcomb Plant Permitting Decision, Shrinking Revenues to Impact 2008 Session
Happy New Year to you! I hope that 2008 brings to you and your loved ones good health, prosperity and humor.
Expect a contentious 2008 session as western Kansas legislators and energy industry lobbyists will be working hard to overturn KDHE Secretary Rod Bremby’s decision to deny Sunflower Electric operating permits for two coal-fired electrical generation plants near Holcomb. While the debate will most likely get nasty and could quash accomplishment on other issues, I am hopeful that Kansas will start putting in place pro-active, long term energy policies that not only provide a cleaner environment but also provide guidance on future econmic development activities.
In addition to energy, other key issues will also be considered. The Kansas Health Policy Authority has made a number of legislative recommendations concerning health care coverage for low-income uninsured Kansans, long term care, and healthy lifestyle initiatives. K-12 teachers’ salaries and benefits will most likely receive additional scrutiny as the state continues to struggle in hiring educators. Development of Kansas’ next Comprehensive Transportation Program, given an anticipated reduction in Federal revenues, will likewise generate much discussion, and illegal immigration will continue to be a hot topic.
Given falling state revenue collections combined with tax cuts and spending increases from last year’s session, you can expect to see little in the way of additional tax cuts this session. I will, however, be re-introducing legislation to establish a property tax deferral program for Kansas seniors meeting certain financial criteria as I have heard from both constituents and the AARP asking to see additional relief on this issue.
If you have a particular issue that you would like to see addressed, please let me know as soon as possible – it’s not too late to get some meaningful legislation introduced that can make a positive impact on our state.
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Thank you for letting me serve as your State Representative. I always appreciate knowing where you stand on the issues our state is currently facing. I can be reached at (785) 766-6862 (daytime) or (785) 865-2786 (evenings). My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you would like to be added to my e-mail newsletter mailing list, please send me your e-mail address.