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Doc Eplee’s House Calls

As we near the halfway point in the legislative session, the House of Representatives has been busy churning through bills in committee and debating legislation in the full House of Representatives. So far, very little has been controversial and we have been able to pass some meaningful legislation on to the Senate.

March 5th is the Turnaround deadline, by which the House should complete their work and send the legislation passed by the House to the Senate. At that time, we’ll have roughly three weeks to consider the work of the Senate.

I would, again, like to encourage you to watch the legislative action in Topeka on the Legislature’s YouTube page. While we may still struggle with a few technology glitches here and there, the virtual session is going well and Kansans can finally see first-hand the questions, discussions and debates that lead to a piece of legislation.

I hope this newsletter is informative. I look forward to hearing from you about the issues you are concerned about and feedback on anything the Legislature is debating. Thank you, again, for the opportunity to serve you and your family. If I can ever be of assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me.

State Capitol
300 SW 10th St., 352-S
Topeka, KS 66612
Office: 785-296-8621
Cell: 913-367-5910
john.eplee@house.ks.gov
kansansforeplee.com

The Highland Mission

While most of the legislation addressed in Topeka impacts Kansas as a whole, I always appreciate the opportunity to work on issues a little closer to home. I am proud to be partnering with Rep. Ponka-We Victors, D- Wichita to return the Highland Mission to the Iowa tribe of Kansas and Nebraska. The mission was originally built on their tribal land back in the 1800’s. The site is currently owned by the Kansas Historical Society and was used as a museum until 2008. It has been sitting vacant ever since. The Historical Society supports the transfer of property and I hope to help make this happen through legislation this session. I recently had an opportunity to tour the facility. It would serve the tribe well as a museum to host cultural and educational events.

Economic Recovery Loan Deposit Program

This week, the Kansas house passed SB 15, a measure with broad support from the business community, to help struggling businesses through a loan deposit program. Our economy will not recover from this pandemic without successful businesses and low-interest loans will certainly help businesses get back on their feet, hire employees and reinvest in their business. In addition, the bill targets rural Kansas with a tax deduction to lower interest rates for agriculture land and rural housing. This is a great initiative to help reinvest existing dollars into rural communities. I voted Yea on SB 15.

The Kansas Framework for Economic Growth

Governor Kelly announced the comprehensive economic development strategy as part of her State of the State address earlier this year. I share the Governor’s goal to prioritize economic development following the pandemic. The administration just released the a report on the new plan. I look forward to learning more about what this plan means for our community.

Medicaid Expansion & Medical Marijuana

As many of you know, I have been a proponent of Medicaid Expansion because I believe it is good for the health of many Kansans and good for our local hospitals. This year, the Governor has proposed expanding Medicaid in combination with legalizing medical marijuana. Unfortunately, this proposal does nothing to appeal to those who oppose Medicaid Expansion and actually may cause supporters to waiver in their support. These two issues should be considered independently of each other as this proposal is not likely to pick up traction in the 2021 Legislative Session.

Unemployment Fraud

Unemployment fraud remains a big issue for Kansans, especially now that tax documents are being distributed to those who received a fraudulent unemployment claim in their name. If you, or someone you know, receives an unemployment claim you believe to be fraudulent, please report it at: www.dol.ks.gov/fraud. If you receive a 1099 tax form, learn more at: www.dol.ks.gov/ui-faqs/1099g-forms

Death Penalty Repeal

I joined a bipartisan group of legislators to cosponsor legislation repealing the death penalty in Kansas. Our community is strongly pro-life and I support life until a natural death. The death penalty is permanent and we as humans are not perfect. The cost of a mistake is a human life and that is far too high of a price when considering human error in the process. I look forward to an opportunity to debate this legislation both in committee and in the full House of Representatives.

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Copyright (C) 2021 Paid for by Kansans for Eplee, Patsy Porter, Treasurer. All rights reserved.

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