Lots going on around our communities right now. Hope you will get out and support our neighbors and their efforts and events.
Larry and I lost two good friends this week. One was our age and died unexpectedly. The other a lovely lady who had lived a long life. Just helps keep things in perspective that it’s faith and family that matter most!
IT’S THE CRAZY SEASON!
The election is only two weeks away and even I’m tired of seeing ads! If you live in the 54th District, you are probably getting lots of negative postcards about me. They have lied about everything from my positions on taxes and guns to abortions. But that’s politics!
What concerns me is that they make it sound so true! I have heard that even churches are handing out position papers on abortion that are lying about me. Now that’s disappointing! So if you see something that bothers you and you want to know my position on an issue, just write and let me know. I’d be glad to visit any time. Last minute attacks will always be out there, and I will be here to set the record straight!
KANSAS HEALTH CARE COMPACT
Several of you asked me to write something about the bill passed this last session on the Kansas Health Care Compact. Here you go:
The Kansas Legislature passed a bill that asked Congress to allow Kansas to join other states in a compact to suspend all federal rules and regulations regarding Medicare and other medical services and transfer the decision making authority (and the money in a block grant) from federal to state authorities. Kansas and 8 other states made this request.
Kansas would make its own rules and regulations and manage the funding for Medicare if approved. Kansas could also choose to honor or ignore mandates from the federal government on diseases, infections, drug recalls, and other health care matters.
The bill was submitted to the US House of Representatives in March 2014. It requires approval of the US House and Senate. There is some debate as to whether or not it needs Presidential approval.
Since there is no plan in place, it is not clear what kind of Medicare coverage Kansas would have if the state took it over. Right now Kansas gets about $7 billion in Medicare benefits and that money would come to the state to manage for the 400,000+ Kansans on Medicare. Lots of unanswered questions, like what happens when you travel to a non-compact state and need health care, would places like the Mayo Clinic accept Kansas Medicare, etc. We’ll have to watch and see how the bill progresses and what might happen after the mid-term elections in Congress.
The Kansas legislative research group has updated its budget forecast with September revenue results. They now project that Kansas will have a deficit of about $260 million by June 30, 2016. The state has to balance its budget by the end of the fiscal year and cannot run a deficit.
The Kansas Policy Institute advises the Governor on economic matters. They have a suggestion to resolve the projected $1 billion plus deficit we face by 2019. KPI President Dave Trabert said their recommendations are:
- cut $1 billion from transportation funds over the next 4 1/2 years
- reduce funding to K12 schools by $138 million before June 30, 2015
- cut state colleges and universities by $38 million before June 30, 2015
- take some of the sales tax money that supports highway funding and transfer it to the general fund
In response, some school districts are already making plans for mid-year budget cuts. I think we can manage this without gutting transportation and schools. But in any case, whoever is in charge in January will have to deal with an immediate $260 million deficit for the 2016 fiscal year.
If you have community events coming up, let me know. This email goes to nearly 3000 homes in Shawnee, Osage, and Douglas counties. I’d love to help you get the word out! Just remember to send your activities ahead of time.
- Saturday, Oct. 25: Tecumseh Kiwanis Club pancake feed and silent auction at Tecumseh United Methodist Church from 7 am to noon. $5 at the door. Kids 6 and under free.
- Saturday, Oct. 25: The Wakarusa Presbyterian Church hosts its 23rd Annual ham and bean feed from 11:30 am to 2 pm at the church (10135 SW Jordan Rd). You get great ham and bean soup, corn bread, salad, dessert and drink. Other soups available. This one is yummy!
- Sunday, October 26: Hog Roast at the Auburn Community Center, 121 W 11th St, starting at noon. You can also enjoy the Prairie Pickers from 1-5 pm.
- Thursday, Oct. 30: Commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of the Blue at Topeka Cemetery (10th and California). 4-6:15 pm. Events include re-enactors, tours, music, and comments from Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, Adjutant General of Kansas. One of the re-enactors is Randy Durbin, from Overbrook, who portrays General Thomas Ewing. Lots of fun for those who love Kansas history!
- Saturday, Nov. 1: Berryton Kiwanis Club pancake feed and silent auction at the Berryton United Methodist Church from 7 am to noon. Blueberry pancakes available. You’ll like them!! Free will donation.
- Wednesday, Nov. 5: Tecumseh Community Dinner at the Tecumseh United Methodist Church. Free will donation for dinner featuring ham, au gratin potatoes, vegetable, roll, dessert and drink.
- Tuesday, Nov. 11: Annual Turkey Dinner at Clinton Presbyterian Church from 5 to 8 pm or they run out. Turkey, dressing, and the works. Don’t miss this one!
- Saturday, Nov. 15: Auburn Ladies Day Out from 9:30 am to 2 pm at the Auburn Civic Center. Get your Christmas shopping started early with vendors like Premier Design Jewelry, Pink Zebra, PK Country Designs, Avon, Tomboy Tools, Wendy’s Wreaths, and more.
- There is story time every Thursday evening at the Auburn Library from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. No charge!
- Poultry and small animal swap meet at Tractor Supply Company at 710 NE HWY 24 the third Sunday of every month. Great way to support local farmers as there are fresh eggs, live birds and rabbits as well. No buyer or seller fees. Just don’t sell the same stuff the store sells.
- Enjoy BUNCO at the Carbondale Community Building once a month on Monday and Wednesday afternoons. Call 785-836-7478 for details about dates, prizes, treats, etc.
- The Berryton Pickers are at Berryton Baptist Church the first Saturday of the month from 7 to 9 pm. Bring snacks and have some fun!
- Swap meet the last Saturday of the month from March through October from 7 am to noon at Premier Farm and Home at 900 SW University Blvd (just west of Forbes Air Field). Baby chicks, laying hens, guineas, roosters, rabbits, ducks, geese, eating eggs, hatching eggs, and more! For more info call Karl at 785-547-5046.
- Country and ballroom dancing at Croco Hall on Thursday nights from 6 to 9 pm. For information call Edwina Hamersky at 379-9538.
- NEW: Hometown country music at JR’s Hitching Post Opry in at 205 W Maple in Quenemo. Saturday nights at 7 pm. Adults $13; $6 kids 7-14. Under 6 free