Legislative Update from Brenda Dietrich


The 2022 legislative session began on Monday, January 10th at 2:00 p.m. and Senators immediately began work on a host of issues. The major requirements for this session are to complete the redistricting process and pass a budget. In even years, the Kansas Constitution limits the legislature to 90 calendar days unless extended by a supermajority of both chambers.   We took a Senate picture in the Chamber on Monday afternoon……below is a one of the many tries to get us organized!

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State of the State

On Tuesday evening, Governor Laura Kelly delivered her annual State of the State address in a joint session of the legislature.  She reiterated her desire for a one-time $250 tax rebate ($500 for joint filers) and a call to eliminate the sales tax on groceries and provide raises for state employees and law enforcement. 

Budget Introduced

On Wednesday, the governor introduced her budget which included the proposals mentioned above as well as a 5% pay increase for state employees, Medicaid expansion, and money for the renovation of the Docking office building in Topeka, remodeling a building for the Division of Emergency Management and constructing a new armory for the National Guard in Hays.

Currently, the state is sitting on a surplus of nearly $3.0 billion, which makes this year’s budget process a unique one. We were deficit spending when I was elected in 2016, so this is an unusual situation. While the election year will make it tempting to spend the money, I hope we can convince our colleagues to be fiscally responsible, which means using one-time revenue for one-time expenses, paying off debt (think KPERS) and passing tax policy aimed at helping Kansas families and boosting the Kansas economy.  We will have to be very careful and maintain a healthy ending balance to be our safety net when the economy takes a down-turn.

State of the Judiciary

On Tuesday afternoon, Chief Justice Marla Luckert delivered the State of the Judiciary address in a joint session of the legislature. In her speech, Justice Luckert discussed ways the courts have responded to the challenges posed by the pandemic, including the use of technology and online hearings.

An article discussing her speech can be accessed by clicking here.  Included in the link is a text of the speech.

Redistricting Process Begins

The Senate Redistricting Committee, chaired by Senate Vice President Rick Wilborn, had its first meeting of the 2022 legislative session on Wednesday.  Chairman Wilborn discussed the 14 in-person tours and numerous virtual tours that the legislature hosted throughout the late summer and fall, where they received a substantial amount of input from people from every corner of our state.  The committee also adopted its rules and guidelines for the mapping process.

Before the session is complete, the legislature must pass new maps for Congress, the State Senate, the State House of Representatives, and the State Board of Education.  The maps are treated like typical legislative bills, which means they must be passed by both chambers and be signed into law by the governor – or, if the governor vetoes the bill containing the map(s), the legislature can override her veto with a 2/3 majority in both chambers.

As a reminder, there is another avenue to solve redistricting disagreements.  In the 2010 cycle, the legislature could not agree on congressional or state legislative district lines.  On June 7, 2012, a federal court drew district lines instead.  House members have to file for re-election by June 1, so a June 7th decision is a little late!

Committee Assignments

During the 2022 Legislative Session, I will have a full load of Committee Assignments. I appreciate Senate President Masterson recognizing my desire to stay busy, continue learning, and better serve the people of this district through committee participation. Committees began meeting on Day 2 of the Session….January 11th.  I look forward to helping shape the policy coming out of these committees:
All of my committees met the first week of the Legislative Session. We heard presentations from different agencies, adopted committee rules, and had several bills introduced which committee chairs will decide whether or not to take forward and have hearings.

You can follow what is happening in Committee rooms and on the floor of the Senate Chamber on-line.  Here are the links:
Kansas Legislature YouTube – Here you can follow the legislature live as it happens, or access archives of past sessions and committee meetings.
Kansas Legislature Audio – Here you can listen in on session or committees when they are in session, or access prior committee meetings, as well.
Kansas Legislature website – - has extensive information on legislators, committees, bills, and past sessions.


Each year on the third Monday of January we observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Signed into law in January 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday is a celebration of Dr. King’s immeasurable contribution to the United States, and to humankind.  We also have an annual “March Around the Statehouse” to commemorate our commitment to Dr. King’s ideals.


Contact Me

If you have any questions about the activities in my committees or want to share your views on any of the issues before the legislature, please feel free to email me or call my office.  My Assistant is Linda Woodworth and she will be happy to help you if I am in Committee.

          Brenda Dietrich
          Room 223-E, State Capitol Building
          300 SW 10th St.
          Topeka, KS 66612
Paid for by Dietrich for Senate - Harry Craig, Treasurer
Copyright © 2022 Dietrich for Senate, All rights reserved.

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Dietrich for Senate
6110 SW 38th Terrace
Topeka, KS 66610

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