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Neighbors are concerned about Westar putting bigger power poles in northeast Wichita

Westar Energy is upgrading a transmission line that connects three substations in northeast Wichita, but residents aren’t looking at new electric poles as an improvement. “People are very disturbed about this,” says state Rep. Gail Finney. Wichita City Council member Brandon Johnson organized a meeting with Westar representatives, area residents and community leaders on Thursday. “It got very intense,” Finney says. Continue reading

Voting Made Easy with KSVotes.org

Democratic candidate for Kansas Secretary of State, Brian "BAM" McClendon, has developed a tool (KSVotes.org) to make it easier for voters to check their voter registration, register to vote if their registration isn't current or if the voter hasn't registered to vote before, and to request an Advance Ballot from their County Election Officer.  McClendon was previously the VP of Engineering at Google, building the teams and programs behind Google Earth, Google Maps, Street View, and Ground Truth.    Continue reading

From The Wichita Eagle: Gail Finney wants your vote but doesn’t need it. There’s a method to her madness.

This is Rep. Gail Finney’s sixth election for the Kansas House, and each time she has rented space on a prominent billboard at 13th and Hillside, in the heart of the 84th District. Whether she’s needed the billboard or not. See, she doesn’t have an opponent in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. And once she wins that, she doesn’t have an opponent in November’s general election, either. So does the billboard act as insurance in case of a write-in uprising? Well, no. “Even though I don’t have an opponent, I’m still going door to door, meeting people,” Finney said. “I believe in keeping my name out there. I don’t want them to think their legislator isn’t working for them.” Continue reading

Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez Draw Thousands In Wichita To Support James Thompson

About 4,000 people attended a political rally Friday at Century II in Wichita in support of James Thompson, one of two Democrats running in Kansas' 4th Congressional District. But perhaps the biggest draws at the "Unite for America" rally were Vermont senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who both endorsed Thompson in his second bid for Congress. Sanders said this year's midterm election is a chance for the state to send a message to Washington. Continue reading

Occupy ICE protesters make a single demand

After five days of camping near a processing center for undocumented immigrants, members of Occupy ICE ICT issued a single demand. They demanded that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility at 555 N. Woodlawn be inspected by a select group of elected officials. Those officials include Democratic state Rep. Gail Finney. Rep. Finney told The Eagle that she has been trying to get in touch with ICE, but has not reached anyone. Earlier Friday, she went inside the facility at 555 N. Woodlawn, but said no one was there. The lack of a response from ICE has raised frustrations, Finney said. Continue reading

To legalize or not? Here's where candidates for Kansas governor stand on pot

More than half of the major candidates for Kansas governor support legalizing medical marijuana – a change that appears more likely after Oklahoma voters approved medicinal use on Tuesday. Medical marijuana in Kansas is no longer the distant goal for supporters of marijuana legalization and reform that it once was. But what happens may ultimately depend on who is elected governor. Marijuana has been a prominent issue in the Democratic race. That, as well as Oklahoma’s decision, are raising the odds that Kansas lawmakers will take a serious look at the issue next year.   Continue reading

Kansas government job applications won't ask about criminal history

Job applications for Kansas agencies will no longer ask whether someone has a criminal record, after Gov. Jeff Colyer signed an order Wednesday to “ban the box.” The ban-the-box movement seeks to stop employers from automatically asking job applicants if they have criminal histories. Supporters say asking about criminal records on applications unfairly stigmatizes individuals with records years – even decades – after their convictions and makes it more difficult for individuals released from prison to be employed.   Continue reading

From The Wichita Eagle: New law will require police in Kansas to track how they use seized property

In Kansas, police can take your property if they believe it’s connected to a crime without a conviction or charges. Law enforcement often gets to keep the property and decide how to spend the proceeds. Now, Gov. Jeff Colyer has signed into law a bill that will require police to report what they take and how they use the seized property. “This will allow us to better protect Kansan’s property rights, while also ensuring law-enforcement have the tools they need to be effective," Colyer said in a statement.   Continue reading

Kansas lawmakers honor women in politics as more line up for 2018 elections

The Lawrence Journal-World recently reported ceremonies by Kansas lawmakers honor women in politics. More women have lined-up to run for the legislature in 2018 than in any previous year. But, State Representative Gail Finney (D-Wichita), noted that all of the key leadership positions in the Kansas House are filled by men.  At a time when more women are getting actively engaged in state and local politics, Kansas lawmakers on Monday will honor a number of groundbreaking Kansas political women, many of whom are still serving in the Legislature. Continue reading

Turnaround Time!

This past week was the Kansas Legislature’s "turnaround" week, which is the first deadline for legislation becoming law. During this time, nearly 100 bills were debated and closed over a three-day period in the House of Representatives. Bills passed out of the House now go to the Senate for consideration. Included in this legislative update are a few interesting bills that passed in the House.  For a more comprehensive list of 2018 legislation, please visit www.kslegislature.org. Continue reading