Capitol Update: Union payroll deductions and judicial selection process

In an effort to keep our readers’ better informed about the state government actions that impact our communities, we’ll be featuring regular update columns from northeast Johnson County’s elected officials in the legislature: Rep. Barbara Bollier, Rep. Stephanie Clayton, Rep. Melissa Rooker and Sen. Kay Wolf. Check back on Mondays to find out what’s been happening the past week in Topeka. Rep. Clayton submits this week’s update:

Hello from Topeka! I am updating you from Week Three of the legislative session. As you have read from Representatives Bollier and Rooker, we are moving at a brisk pace in the Statehouse. I serve on three committees: Utilities and Telecommunications, Local Government, and Transportation and Public Safety Budget. In all three committees, we have been busy being updated on the functionalities of various entities affected by the actions that our committees may take. We are beginning to hear some bills in Local Government and Utilities and Telecom. Next week in Utilities and Telecom, we will begin hearings on a possible telecommunications de-regulation bill. The pace in Local Government will increase as well, and in Transportation and Public Safety budget, our committee chair has urged us to find reasonable areas to cut, so we are hard at work to accomplish that goal.

As of this writing, we have voted on our House Rules, as well as HB 2023. During the amendment process, I voted for several amendments to our House Rules, one that included a limiting of a practice called “bill bundling,” and another that went against a process called “Pay-Go.” Ultimately, these amendments to our rules both failed. I also voted against House Bill 2023, also called the “Paycheck Protection Act”, which sought to eliminate payroll deductions for public unions, which include our Teachers, Firefighters, and Police. I am a Republican who adheres to a limited-government philosophy, and I could not support that bill for this reason. I also believe the people I trust to teach my children, and keep me, my family, and my neighbors safe should continue to have the right to make their own decisions regarding what deductions they make on their own paychecks. While I and my other colleagues in the House who also represent Prairie Village voted against this bill, it did pass the House, and now awaits a vote in the Senate.

I have received a great deal of constituent communication regarding other issues as well, mainly Judicial Selection, and a proposed constitutional change to Article 6 of the Kansas Constitution. Those of you I spoke with during the campaign process made it very clear that in our part of JohnsonCounty, education is a top priority, as it is integral to our thriving local economy. I am keeping this priority in mind and will be voting accordingly.

In short, if I think a vote will help improve our education system, then I will vote for it, and work to encourage other colleagues in the Kansas House to support it as well. I encourage any of you who wish to communicate with me to reach me using one of the many venues available:

Communications from constituents have a tremendous effect on how I vote. I hope to hear from you.