Kansas is one step closer to ensuring that women can compete on a level playing field. Yesterday, Kansas became the fifth state in which the legislature has ensured that girls opportunities in sports will be protected through the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. The Senate passed the bill 26-11. The House passed the bill 75-44 in a late-night vote Thursday.

The bill is headed to the Governor’s desk. The Governor should sign this bill into law and ensure that women’s opportunities do not evaporate.

But she needs to hear from you! It’s easy on our action center.

Senator Renee Erickson and Representative Barb Wasinger powerfully stood for girls on the floor. They were joined by grandparents, parents, and former student athletes all spoke about how important this law is for our girls.

We cannot sit idly by and let opportunities for our girls be erased. In fact, a bill that re-enforces that girls will have a place in Kansas should draw women to Kansas as a place to run a business and raise their families.

Governor Kelly has not been known to be a pro-family governor, but this bill has support from Democrats and radical feminists across the country.

Ask her to support our girls today!

For a fair playing field,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

It’s the whirlwind of the last week of the regular session. This is the week where bills are repackaged and brought before the legislators to vote up or down. There are several topics that I want to highlight for you today!

Your legislators need to hear from you again on the following:

  1. Educational Freedom – An educational freedom bill was passed through the House last week. It has been tightened and repackaged in S.B. 175. It should be headed to the floor soon! Contact your legislators today and let them know to support this bill. It’s easy on our action page.
  2. Fairness in Women’s Sports Act is still alive, but we need your help to get it over the line. This is a winning issue – which is why the Left is attacking it so hard. Women should have every opportunity. This is not an area we can cave to those who do not have women’s best interest at heart. We have the momentum! Reach out to your legislators on our action page today! Let’s score a victory for girls in Kansas.
  3. Election Integrity – The Senate debated and passed H.B. 2183 last week which will add protections to our election process to ensure the integrity our voting process moving forward. These are common sense measures to ensure that there aren’t loopholes for bad actors to exploit. You can find your legislators on our action page.

We are so close to the end of session. There are a lot of moving parts at this point in the session. We are so thankful for your partnership as we work to protect your family values in Kansas. It’s been a very successful session so far, but there is still a lot of work to be done before we get to the finish line.

Running with endurance,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

Today, the House Federal & State Affairs Committee passed a bill that is deceptively called a “medical” marijuana bill. However, as it was passed out of committee, it would essentially allow anyone to obtain marijuana for almost any reason at all.

Medical Marijuana is typically used as a step towards fully legalizing recreational marijuana. But in this case, proponents of the bill didn’t even really try to hide what they are doing by bypassing amendments that would have added regulations and medical oversight to the bill. There is nothing “medical” about the bill as it exists.

As other states have been legalizing marijuana over the last decade, the harms are no longer just hypotheticalthey are real and documented.

Here are just a couple harms that we’ve seen from other states:

These are just a few of the problems associated with legalizing marijuana. Not to mention this is still a Schedule 1 drug under federal law along with ecstasy and heroin.

Contact your Representatives and Senators today and let them know that you do not support marijuana coming to Kansas!

This legislation is dangerous for our families.

Our families deserve better,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

I am hearing that your letters supporting Fairness in Women’s Sports are pouring into the Senate! Today, the bill passed the Senate Education Committee by a vote of 6-3. It now goes to the Senate floor.

It is imperative that you let the Senate know TODAY to support fairplay for girls. Girls should not be bullied out of their opportunities by the NCAA and other powerful interest groups. Our girls deserve better.

Let your Senator know that you support Women’s Sports NOW! It’s easy on our Action Center.

With last week being one in which the world recognized International Women’s Day and March being Women’s History Month, it is vital that we stand up today for Kansas women. Fairness for women is under attack at both the federal and state level. Stand with our girls today!

For Women,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

Getting the Fairness in Women’s Sports bill out of committee was delayed last week and the Committee needs to hear from you TODAY.

Kansans agree that women should have a fair playing field! And the Senate can do something about it!

We’ve been talking about our number one priority for the rest of this session – Fairness in Women’s Sports – you need to know that it is going to be voted on in the Senate Education Committee very soon.

Let the committee know that you support Women’s Sports NOW! It’s easy on our Action Center.

With last week being one in which the world recognized International Women’s Day and March being Women’s History Month, it is vital that we stand up today for Kansas women. Fairness for women is under attack at both the federal and state level. Stand with our girls today!

For Women,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy


The following OpEd by Brittany Jones and Elizabeth Patton
was published by the Wichita Eagle on March 11, 2021.

The past year has highlighted how important it is to bridge the opportunity gaps in our educational system. As these gaps were exacerbated by pandemic-related school closures, working parent, single parents, students, teachers, and thousands of other Kansans worked through various levels of frustration attempting to navigate unchartered waters.

The island of commonality was that we all want our children to succeed. And we know the key to their success is a quality education. We also know some students thrived in virtual and hybrid learning while others struggled.

The lesson is that, in extraordinary times or ordinary times, flexibility and options are the keys to success.

As has been made painfully clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, not all Kansas families have the same options or access, and our one-size-fits-all system is not well-equipped to provide innovative educational solutions as diverse and unique as our kids are.

The legislature is considering a measure that would, in a limited way, address these challenges. Lawmakers should move quickly to send it to the governor, and she should sign it into law.

The bill would expand our current tax credit scholarship program to more families and also establish education savings accounts for certain students, allowing them to use their share of state per pupil funding in multiple ways, including private schools, virtual schools, tutoring, textbooks, services, programs, activities, classes or any other resources or programs provided or contracted by a school district, and other education-related expenses.

Our long term goal is to extend the opportunity to participate in ESAs to all families, but starting with at risk kids is still an important step. Expanding educational opportunity represents a rising tide that lifts all ships by allowing more families to customize the educational path of their children. A personalized education should be a standard feature of our educational system, not the exception to the rule. That is why we believe that to unleash the extraordinary potential of every child, all kids should have the option to customize their education  and find the educational environment that best works for them.

That would transform the status quo in a way that provides each Kansas student with the unique opportunity they deserve.

This bill has a broader vision than open or closed, and it adds another critical piece to the puzzle of lifting all Kansas kids.  It’s a good bill and the legislature should pass it.

We urge all parties to consider the world beyond the pandemic, and the opportunities for innovation we could make available to our children if we open our eyes to the possibilities.

We believe every kid counts. Every kid should have access to an education that fits their unique learning style, that prepares them for the kind of future they want to have.

Who our kids want to become should not be limited by where they live, where their parents work, or by anyone’s idea of who they are.

There is no silver bullet here, but significant and intentional policy changes can make all the difference in the lives of so many kids. Families want flexibility, options and opportunity. Our question to the legislature: If not now, when?

Elizabeth Patton is state director of Americans for Prosperity-Kansas Brittany Jones is Director of Advocacy at Family Policy Alliance of Kansas.

 

 

We’ve reached what is known as turn around week at the Kansas Capitol. It’s the week in which bills are supposed to be out of one chamber unless they have been made exempt. This means legislators are on the floor for hours at a time, trying to get bills passed out of their chamber.

We’ve been talking a lot about our number one goal for the rest of session, The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, but I wanted to let you know about some of the other things that are on the move in the legislature.

Educational Freedom

Expanding opportunities and access for families has been a top priority in the Capitol this year. The pandemic made it painfully clear that families need options, especially for those in the lowest socio-economic groups in our society.

The pandemic only exacerbated problems for kids who were already struggling in school. In both the House and Senate, bills have been introduced that will provide options for low-income families and for at-risk kids. Already the Senate has passed a bill expanding the low-income tax credit scholarship for kids. This program is currently helping over 500 students receive a better education.

Last week in the House, a bill was introduced that includes the low-income tax credit scholarship and an education savings account (ESA) for at-risk children. ESAs empower parents to use their tax dollars to educate their children in the way that is best suited for their child. Because not every family has the resources to make this choice for struggling children, ESAs empower parents to be able to take these steps. This particular ESA is crafted to help children who are most at risk.

The Senate also considered a bill known as the Back to School Act which would require that students be given an in-person option by the end of the month. As testimony on this bill has shown, many kids are struggling with virtual learning and need access to an actual teacher. A one-size-fits-all approach has never worked for education, and it’s not working now.

Emergency Powers Bill

The Kansas Emergency Management Act (KEMA) has been a hot topic since last March. This is the area of state law that allows the Governor to make emergency declarations. While the legislature has discussed re-authorizing the state of emergency to control the Governor’s powers for the COVID-19 pandemic several times, both Chambers are now discussing how to re-write KEMA for future emergencies.

Twelve months into this, we are all looking forward to life returning to a least a semblance of normal. But even as we prepare for the current emergency declaration to end on March 31st, we must learn from the last year and figure out a way to ensure our laws are flexible enough to allow the governor and the legislature (present and future) the room to respond appropriately while not over-ruling individual liberties. Striking this balance is even more difficult when an emergency seemingly goes on endlessly.

The current bills that the House and Senate are working on to fix KEMA, while not perfect, have many good provisions to protect our God-given freedoms. We have worked with stakeholders to ensure that there are checks on the governor’s power and that businesses and religious freedom are protected in the bill.  Another important issue is ensuring that the abortion industry is not allowed to remain open while businesses, churches, and other components of our society are shut down. The House and Senate are now in discussions about how to merge their two different bills.

Bills of Concern

Two bills that we are concerned about are the sports wagering bill and a bill to legalize medical marijuana. The widespread use of gambling and marijuana have detrimental impacts on families. While the bills presented to the legislature currently attempt to lessen these impacts, they both open the door even more to both of these harmful industries.

Regarding sports wagering, we are opposed to the expansion of gambling because it preys on the poor, essentially becomes a regressive tax, and causes families to remain impoverished unnecessarily.

We recognize that medical marijuana is slightly different than recreational marijuana, but it has been shown countless times across the nation to be a first step for the industry to force its way into the state with disastrous results. We do not want to see the big marijuana industry wreck our society like we have seen in Colorado and Washington.

Pray

One final note, we are half-way through a 90-day session. The legislators are tired. They have put in many long hours and dealt with a multitude of different topics. And especially this session – they are increasingly isolated since it is harder to get into the Capitol because of COVID protocols. Whether you agree with your legislators on policy, I encourage you to pray for your legislators by name. Pray for wisdom, pray for perseverance, and pray that they will stand for good and reject evil.

For families,

Brittany Jones, Esq
Director of Advocacy

This session has been all about standing up for women! First, with the swift passage of Value Them Both that if passed on a public ballot will ensure that women are not left alone to be exploited by the abortion industry. And now with a hearing on the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act to protect women’s place in sports. A coalition of female athletes, conservative organizations, and even radical feminist stood up for opportunities for women in the hearing on Tuesday!

The opponents wanted to drag us into talking about a lot of other things. But the bill is very simple – it is laser focused on ensuring that women have a place in sports – a place that they had been denied until the 1970s.

As an aspiring young athlete, Barb Ehardt, an Idaho Representative and the sponsor of the original Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, was told “Women don’t do that!” That is not the case anymore. Instead, most parents do all they can to encourage their little girls to get involved in sports.

Decades of research shows that women who are involved in sports are more likely to excel academically, graduate from college, and become leaders in their chosen profession.

Several brave athletes shared personally what athletics have meant to them.

Caroline Bruce McAndrews who was a 2004 Olympian, shared that all her siblings swam at the highest level in our nation, but she nor her sisters were ever able to come close to competing with their brother.

Jessica Steffens, a current KU law student, shared how Division 1 basketball allowed her to get the world’s best education at Yale University.

Callie Hicks, a former KU pole vaulter, shared the extreme statistical height differential for male and female pole vaulters – four whole feet! We don’t just need to tell women they need to try harder to overcome biological disadvantages (as some opponents stated) we need to continue to protect a space for fair play for women.

The media won’t tell you these women’s stories. Instead, they will try to make this bill about something that it’s not. Don’t be fooled by the tactics of the extreme left. Even radical feminist agree that women’s sports should not be erased!

How has women’s sports impacted your life? Reply to this email to share your story with us. Reach out to our legislators on our action page and urge them to #SaveGirlsSports by supporting S.B. 208.

The opposition wants to silence us by calling us horrible names, but together we can stand for fairness for women. Join the movement!

Likewise, I hope you’ve heard about our opposition to the Federal Equality Act that will erase women, religious faith, and traditional values across the spectrum. This bill is being voted on TODAY in D.C. and has implications for women’s sports, education, abortion, private organizations, business, and many other segments of our society. Let the Kansas U.S. Congressional delegation know today that you oppose the Equality Act. It’s easy on our action center!

For Fairness,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

It has been an odd week with the bitter cold and with the passing of two men (one local and one national) who have been vital to the conservative movement, State Senator Bud Estes (R-Dodge City), and conservative radio host, Rush Limbaugh. We are in prayer for both the Estes and Limbaugh families.

Even with the bitter cold outside, there has still been a decent amount of activity inside the Capitol that affects family values. Here are some of the bills that are winding their way through the legislature that may be of interest to you and your family:

Educational Freedom:

Election Integrity:

Vocational Freedom:

Medical Marijuana

Be on the lookout for more information about how we are working to protect mothers and babies through Value Them Both. And there is still time to contact your Senators about the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.

There is a lot of activity in Kansas and we are so thankful to partner with you in protecting faith, family, and freedom!

For Kansas,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

It’s a busy week in Topeka. One bill that is getting a lot of emphasis is the expansion of the Student Tax Credit Scholarship and we need your help to get it passed. This program has given hundreds of students an opportunity for a better education.

This is an existing program that allows taxpayers to get a tax credit for donating to a Scholarship Granting Organization. These organizations then provide scholarships to kids who come from low-income families and come from the lowest performing schools.

The expansion of the program will allow even more students into the program by broadening which families qualify based on income and what schools they attend. This will allow more students to receive the benefit of this program and use private funds that are already being held by the scholarship granting organizations.

This is a simple way to help low-income families and kids. Why wouldn’t we want to invest in our kids through this simple program? A better education is a pathway for many of these kids to invest in our communities and economies in the future.

Ask your Senator to support the Student Tax Credit Scholarship. It’s easy on our action center. S.B. 61 will heard on the Senate floor tomorrow.

Contact your Senator today!

So all kids thrive,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy