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Dear Friend:

GCCC National Champion Broncbusters Recognized
On Wednesday, January 18th the Garden City Community College football team and coaches were recognized on the House floor for their extraordinary achievement of winning the 2016 National Junior College Athletic Association National Football Championship. I had the opportunity to speak with the entire team for a few minutes upon their arrival at the Capitol and was pleased to be able to honor them in the House Chamber later with these words and presentation of a certificate:
“I am before you today to recognize the 2016 National Junior College Athletic Association National Champion Football Team, the Garden City Community College Broncbusters. Joining me are: Dr. Herbert Swender, College President; John Green, Athletic Director; Coach Jeff Sims; Nathan Roy (Mascott); Miranda McPhail(Cheerleader); Sean Callahan (All conference offensive lineman from Gardner/Edgerton, Kansas); Trey Minter (Nation's leading rusher and All American Tailback); Mike Hughes (Defensive Player of the Year and All American)

The Broncbusters enjoyed an extraordinary undefeated 2016 season that culminated in winning the National Championship game in the El Toro Bowl game against Arizona Western by a score of 25 to 22 on December 3rd. Great teams have great leaders. Coach Sims was recognized as Coach of the Year by the American Community College Football Coaches Association, National Junior College Athletic Association and the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference.

Garden City Community College offers terrific opportunities for students to attain an affordable high quality education with both outstanding academic and vocational programs. Now the community and students have another reason to be proud of the college. Please join me in congratulating the 2016 National Junior College Athletic Association National Champion Football Team, the Garden City Community College Broncbusters.” 

 

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Serving the citizens of GreeleyHamiltonKearny, 
and parts of FinneyGrant, and Haskell Counties in Western Kansas.
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Committees:

Committee Work Begins
 
With many new members this year, much of the committee work thus far is focused on providing committee members with foundational information about the subject matter focus of the committee.  Hearings on proposed legislation will begin in earnest next week.  Tax and budget hearings began last week.  It is necessary for the legislature to address a budget shortfall for the current fiscal year that ends on June 30th.  The Governor has offered his suggestions and the Appropriations Committee will consider the recommendations of the Governor in developing a solution.  It is becoming increasingly clear that the pattern of the past few years where delaying payments to the Kansas Public Employee Retirement System, delaying payments to schools, cutting payments to Medicaid providers, cancelling road projects and any number of other transfers or delays are not being well received by members of the legislature or the public.
 
I expect we will once again use extraordinary steps to balance the current fiscal year budget.  Picking the least bad of many bad options appears to be what lies ahead.  Once the current fiscal year is balanced, work will begin on budget and tax plans for the next two years.  The goal will be structural balance of the budget.  What this means is the legislature will seek to assure an adequate revenue stream to meet budget requirements.  Operating efficiencies, targeted budget adjustments and increased taxes will all undoubtedly be a part of the discussion.  We are very early in the process.  It is impossible to predict exact outcomes, but I expect we will see restoration of business taxes, an increase in personal income tax rates and possibly restoration of the deductibility of home mortgage interest and health expenses.  Other items being discussed as possible targets for increase includes: cigarette, liquor and gasoline tax.  The enormity of the challenge ahead can’t be overstated.  Arriving at solutions that are able to receive a majority vote in each legislative chamber and gain the signature of the Governor is always a challenge.  The challenge is even bigger when making changes to tax policy. 
 
Constituent Note
 
I received a note from a long-time supporter and constituent this week that I thought I would share.  This is generally the message I am hearing from many people:
 
Dear Rep Jennings,
Thank you for the hard work I know you will put in during the session.
Please:
Raise my income taxes!
Restore funding to schools, social services and roads.
Restore the fiscal reputation of our beloved state.
 
Visitor to the Capitol
 
It is always great to see folks from home in Topeka.  I enjoyed a visit from Bill Simshauser, Lakin last week.  We had a good discussion about the challenges being faced by farmers and ranchers.  Water issues will continue to be very important policy discussions in Topeka with far reaching implications for producers.  I appreciated Bill’s thoughts and invite others to provide input regarding agricultural issues.

 
Please feel free to drop in at my office located in Room 151S of the Capitol, call me at my Topeka office at 785-296-7447 or email me at: russ.jennings@house.ks.gov during the session. 
 
Thank you for the opportunity to serve!


Sincerely,

Rep. Russ Jennings
District 122
Serving Southwest Kansas
Copyright © 2017 Paid for by Jennings for Southwest Kansas, Judy Jennings, Treasurer, All rights reserved.


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