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2010 Legislative Update (Download Your Copy)

Dear Friends & Neighbors,

I would like to dedicate this newsletter to my wife Tammi. She has been fighting a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer this past year. It is her support, often through her own deeds and actions, that has given me the strength to serve our district in what has been a most difficult time. She has a clear expectation that I would have the courage and voice to stand up for what I believed to be right and to speak out for those in need. I am very blessed to have had her model in her own life and her belief and action for many years that every citizen should have a voice with access to legislators and to the political process to make our state and nation a better place. She has never been afraid to stand up for her beliefs in helping children and families.

When considering our budget for the 2011 fiscal year, many of you asked that I work to minimize cuts to education, help our most vulnerable citizens, bring jobs to the state, and keep the public safe. I worked with a coalition of legislators to do just that. We found a better path out of the crisis. We avoided devastating cuts that would have moved our state backward. We stopped the immediate layoff of thousands of teachers, public safety officers, nurses, and other state employees who serve our families. We increased services for veterans and we prevented additional cuts to our colleges and universities. All in all, we made sure Kansas remains a great place to work, live, and raise a family and we positioned ourselves to take advantage of an economic turnaround.

Even though this was the toughest year I have spent in the Legislature surrounded by the bad economy, I am amazed that with bi-partisan cooperation, we found a way to pass many productive and positive policies. For me, getting the “Manhattan Tornado Victims Bill” through after two years work with local citizens was a big victory for the democratic process. That was followed by the passage of the Military-Community Communications Bill (HB2445) with great help from our County Commission. HB2445 positions Kansas well for the next BRAC and our ability to keep Ft. Riley open and strong. We also helped Ogden with the building of their waste water treatment facility by getting access across state land. All of these were far easier for me to help pass now that I have been around for six years and “know the ropes”. On the big picture front, we protected children in home day care, kept nursing homes open, implemented insurance coverage for children with autism, leveled the playing field on second hand smoke now that Manhattan passed its ordinance, and laid the groundwork for a statewide transportation plan that will put thousands of Kansans to work.

It has been my pleasure to serve as your State Representative this year.

Tom

 
     
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