Few candidates consistently live up to their conservative principles when it’s unpopular or difficult. Jesse Burris is exactly the kind of conservative who does live up to those principles. He doesn’t act without carefully considering how issues impact your values, life, and religious freedom. He is the legislator I can depend on to think through things from every angle.

That is why Family Policy Alliance of Kansas is proud to endorse Jesse Burris for Kansas House District 82.

He works to understand how the legislation that he votes on is first, constitutional and second, if it  will help his constituents. He has consistently voted for life, fighting to pass Value Them Both. Jesse has spent countless hours raising awareness on why the Value Them Both constitutional amendment is so important in light of our state’s Supreme Court’s decision in Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt. He is one of the first to understand the intersection between Medicaid expansion and the Court’s newly created right to abortion.

We were honored to host Jesse and his wife at Family Policy Foundation’s Statesmen Academy last year. At that conference attendees were challenged to live out their faith courageously and strategically in their state capitols. These are traits that Jesse already possessed but have become even more evident over the last several years.

Representative Jesse Burris has stalwartly defended life and refuses to budge. He has defended his country. And he consistently stands for families and works to make the lives of his constituents better. Jesse thinks deeply and seeks to do the right thing in everything he does.

Jesse is who the 82nd district needs defending their God given rights in Topeka.

For the babies,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

Dear Friends,

We are proud to endorse Eric Smith for House District 76.

Eric Smith is thoughtful, humble, and willing to ask the hard questions. He doesn’t back down when faced with difficult decisions. He has consistently stood for life in the legislature. He sits on the prestigious House Federal and State Affairs Committee where most life related cases are heard. Eric isn’t afraid to ask abortion activists the hard questions, that make them listen. He helps educate his fellow committee members and the public in a kind but firm way.

This is why we were excited to invite him to join us at the Family Policy Foundation Statesmen Academy in 2019. This is an exclusive event where legislators are challenged and encouraged to live out their faith in how they think and interact with their fellow legislators, their families, and their communities.

Eric is the type of legislator who knows where his strength and victory come from. Topeka can be a frustrating place, especially when things like Value Them Both should be enacted but get blocked by several opportunistic legislators. Eric is the type of legislator who, even amid pitched battles and setbacks, calmly reassures all of us that the fight must and will go on.

But these are not just traits he exhibits as a legislature, but also within his community. He has courageously defended his community for over a decade as a law enforcement officer and he is a member of his church board. He clearly loves the Lord and seeks to honor him in how he serves at the Capitol.

Eric is the kind of conservative that you need in Topeka – compassionate, courageous and steadfast.

For district 76,

Brittany Jones, Esq,
Director of Advocacy

It looks like the 2020 legislative session took its final bow last week. Legislators came back for two days to discuss a COVID relief bill that is very similar to the bill Governor Kelly vetoed just two weeks ago.

The notable differences were that the bill extends the governor’s powers until September 15th with oversight from the State Finance Council (a committee chaired by the governor), allows counties more latitude in the decisions they make, does not allow the Governor to close businesses unilaterally, protects Kansans from forcibly being involved in contact tracing, and allows some oversight in how the governor can use federal dollars. The legislators I spoke with were not totally satisfied with the bill that passed, but recognized that it was a necessary bill that did allow us to control some of the governor’s actions.

There was a move in the House to insert Medicaid expansion into the COVID-19 Relief bill by Rep. Jim Ward (D-Wichita). When the amendment was ruled not germane to the bill, Rep. Ward challenged the ruling. Thankfully, his challenge was roundly rejected by a majority of legislators. All but one Republican voted to sustain the decision of the Rules Committee against the amendment.

This session will almost certainly go down in the record books as one of the oddest in Kansas history. It started out with two main topics – Value Them Both and Medicaid expansion. In the end, neither measure was passed, largely because the worst of COVID-19 occurred right when most of the legislative work usually gets done in March.

We are thankful for all those in the House and Senate who fought so hard to pass Value Them Both early in session. We are especially appreciative for the dedicated work of Senators Susan Wagle and Eric Rucker who carried the bill in the Senate and Representatives Susan Humphries, Renee Erickson, and Susan Concannon who carried the bill on the floor in the House. House Speaker Ron Ryckman and House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins were an indispensable part of our work on the bill this year. We look forward to working with them next year to pass Value Them Both, to provide women with basic protections.

We would like to take a moment to honor the work of Senate President Susan Wagle who has been a stalwart defender of life over the last 25 years. Most recently she carried Value Them Both on the Senate floor and was key to the passage of the Amendment in the Senate. We thank her for her commitment to life in Kansas. Even though she will no longer be working with us in the Senate, we look forward to her continued involvement in the movement to protect life.

As an organization, this session is one that did not turn out like we had planned, but we are excited about turning our focus towards elections and next legislative session. Further, we know that this is not the end of the amendment but is only the first round. We look forward to coming back next session with a legislature that is even more committed to life.

We eagerly anticipate continuing to work with you over the next several months to elect men and women who will defend life, the family, and religious freedom.

For Kansas,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

It’s been an interesting couple of months in Kansas, across our nation, and across the world. We’ve seen charges brought (and later dropped) against a barber trying to feed his family. We’ve seen churches being forced to close. We’re currently watching events unfold in some counties that are pretty clear violations of residents’ privacy. But we’ve also seen communities step up to celebrate weddings, birthdays, even the last days of school. We’ve seen churches feed hundreds of families who are in need during this time. How the body of Christ responds in a time of crisis says a lot about who we believe our God to be.

As Kansas now heads into the newly announced “Phase 1.5” of re-opening next Monday, the legislature is also coming back for one day next Thursday. This is day is called sine die. Sine die is often simply a ceremonial day where not much work actually happens. This year may be different.

Legislators are looking for ways to rein in the Governor. However, this may be difficult given the need to totally re-write the state’s emergency statute to provide oversight. We will also simultaneously be watching for any moves to pass Medicaid expansion without Value Them Both.

We will be there working with legislators to defend your God-given freedoms. As we prepare for next week, I ask that you take some time to pray for your elected officials. They are being asked to make difficult decisions that could have very dire consequences for many in our state.

As you continue to engage with your neighbors just remember that as we work to defend liberties, we need to engage with compassion and grace.

Praying for you and our leaders,

Brittany Jones
Director of Advocacy

We need you to act today to help us stop an effort to add sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) as protected classes to our current nondiscrimination laws. A hearing has been scheduled for this bill next Thursday, March 19. Your quick action is needed to oppose it.

Around the country, SOGI laws have been the impetus for bathroom privacy issues (allowing men into women’s restrooms and locker rooms) and attacks on small business owners (like cake baker Jack Phillips in Colorado and florist Barronelle Stutzman in Washington State.) We need our conservative legislators to stand strong on this issue.

Despite claims to the contrary, the legislation that has been introduced does nothing to protect everyday believers like Jack and Barronelle. When this legislation receives a hearing, it becomes a circus, painting people of faith as out of step with the times and as bigots.

This legislation has been introduced in the past in Kansas but this is the first time in several years that it has gotten a hearing. For the good of all families in our state and for protection of our religious liberty, we need you to let your legislators know that weaponizing our nondiscrimination laws, designed to protect all Kansans, is totally unacceptable in our state.

I ask that you contact the members of the committee TODAY and ask that they keep the faith in the people of Kansas. Thank you for taking action! And please share widely so others can make their voice heard, too!

If you can make it, the hearing will be Thursday, March 19th at 9:00 am in the Old Supreme Court Chamber on the 3rd floor of the Capitol in Topeka. We need to fill the room that day and people should plan to arrive early in order to get a seat. We also need people of faith who are willing to testify against this bill. If you are interested, please let me know by emailing me at kansas@familypolicyalliance.com.

Keeping the faith in Kansans,

Brittany M. Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

 

P.S. If you are an individual who can speak out for our freedom by testifying on this bill, I can help with arrangements but we need to act quickly – deadlines for arranging testimony are Tuesday, March 17th – email me for more details at kansas@familypolicyalliance.com.

We’re a little over a third of the way through the 2020 legislative session and have reached the week of session known as turnaround. Turnaround marks the part of session where bills must have made it through the chamber they originated in unless they have been otherwise “blessed” to be exempt from this requirement by leadership. This is where the legislature starts narrowing down what bills it will be considering going forward.

I wanted to take this opportunity to look at some different pro-family bills that may be of an interest to you that are winding their way through our legislature.

We are proud to partner with Americans for Prosperity of Kansas in discussing many of these important issues and their effect on the family at the upcoming Day at the Dome Rally. This rally will be held at the Kansas Capitol on Monday, March 9, 2020 at 10:30. If you are able, I encourage each of you to attend.

Further, we are continuing to work to educate legislators on the impact of Medicaid expansion on forced taxpayer funding of abortion. Without the Value Them Both Amendment, Medicaid will become a funding stream for the abortion industry. We are persisting in our work to ensure that Value Them Both appears on your August ballot, where it has the strongest likelihood of passing to protect both mothers and babies in our state.

Many of your legislators will be back in their districts over the next several weeks. I encourage you to reach out to them and encourage them to fight for life and families in Kansas.

For a Kansas where families thrive,

Brittany Jones. Esq.
Director of Advoacy

The House will be debating the Value Them Both Amendment TOMORROW. We’ve been talking about this amendment since May, and our legislative efforts all come down to this week.

So what can you do to help us get the Amendment through the House?

  1. Reach out again (or for the first time) to your representative via our recently updated action alert! They need to hear from you in the final hours of this debate.
  2. Call and leave a message asking your representative to “Let the people vote on life in August.” Find your state representative’s name and phone number by entering your zip and then selecting the Kansas tab.
  3. Attend the House Session on Thursday. The House goes into session at 9 A.M.
  4. Pray for the legislators – regardless of party or position – and for passage of the Amendment.
  5. Share this information with your friends!

This Amendment is all about ensuring that we can protect both mothers and babies in our state. It has been inspiring over the last couple weeks to see so many working together to get this Amendment across the finish line. We have the momentum – and with your engagement and God’s help, we will win this!

For Life,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

On Kansas Day of all days, your state senators voted to reaffirm that our state is truly a pro-life state by voting 28-12 to pass the Value Them Both Constitutional Amendment. The Senate debated the issue for over four hours on Wednesday afternoon and evening and finally passed the amendment about 8 p.m.

Sen. Susan Wagle, the main sponsor of the bill, stood strongly to protect both women and babies on the floor, repeatedly stating that this amendment ensures that the most vulnerable in our society aren’t left to the predation of the abortion industry.

The opposition presented amendment after amendment, yet the pro-life senators stuck together and refused to allow the opposition to divide them.

Many senators did so much to make this happen, but there are several senators that deserve a special thanks for carrying the weight of the debate on the floor: Senators Wagle, Rucker, Tyson, Pyle and Baumgardner. If you live in one of their districts, please thank them – and any of the senators who voted for life.

We are thrilled by this victory. But there is no time for rest.

It now goes on to the House where it will be hotly debated. It is critical right now that you let your state representative know how important this is to you and to the future of Kansas. This is the biggest pro-life vote of our generation.

We have the momentum. With God’s blessing and your help, we’ll protect babies and moms all over our state.

For Kansas Values,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

P.S. Be on the lookout for updates about the amendment on our Twitter and Facebook pages. And please reach out to your representative TODAY through our new, updated action alert!


And please – share this as widely as possible with other pro-life Kansans. Thank you!

 

Value Them Both is moving. In fact, we had an all-day joint hearing with the House and Senate Federal and State Affairs and Judiciary Committees on Tuesday. This was an opportunity for both sides to express their position on the amendment. And indeed, both sides did.

Our key message was that Value Them Both simply ensures that the people of Kansas can establish basic safeguards around the abortion industry for women and babies. The abortion industry wants to be able to operate outside the bounds of the law as they have shown time and time again. This amendment simply takes the understanding of the law back to where it was before April of 2019.

Here is a portion of my statement from yesterday:

“If we want to ensure that women are given the most basic information about their doctor, that minor children are not left to make important decisions on their own, that women can know that they will enter a clean, safe facility, and that Kansas will not be forced to pay for abortions, we must ensure that the people have the right to regulate the abortion industry through the legislature. That is why we need the Value Them Both Amendment. Six other states have already passed similar amendments, and multiple other states are considering them this session. Let’s be a leader in valuing both women and babies and let the people of Kansas vote.”

Like a broken record, our opponents falsely claimed that the Value Them Both Amendment is a ban and would make it impossible for them to practice “safe abortions”. When asked how they knew it was a ban, they refused to answer. Further, when asked if they supported basic medical regulations on the “medical” practice of abortion, they claimed that they did.

Wednesday morning both committees passed the amendment out of committee favorably. The legislators from the committees who voted in favor of passing the amendment are:

If you know any of these legislators, be sure to reach out to thank them for their vote! The amendment now goes to the floor of both chambers for consideration.

Thank you to so many of you who showed up yesterday to support Value Them Both and those of you who contacted your legislators. Keep it coming. They need to know you care!

Valuing Them Both,

Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy

P.S. If you haven’t contacted your legislator, you can still do so! Your legislators need to hear from YOU!

The 2020 Kansas Legislature convened this week and just this morning a group of pro-life legislators held a press conference to introduce the Value Them Both Amendment. This amendment will ensure that we maintain the right to place basic regulations around the abortion industry to safeguard women’s health.

This is a pinnacle moment for the 2020 legislative session and the story of Kansas.

This is the chance for our state to decide whether it will continue to support life or allow abortion activists to turn our state into a travel destination for late term abortion.  Value Them Both proponents are asking the legislature to allow all Kansans to vote on this simple amendment that will restore to the people the ability to regulate an industry that has repeatedly proven itself untrustworthy.

Here was my statement at the Press Conference,

“Today, we stand united in support of passing the Value Them Both Amendment. Value Them Both was crafted based on the five other states that have passed similar legislation and has been tailored specifically to Kansas. Because of the Hodes & Nauser ruling, Kansas became the Wild West of the abortion industry, where all pro-life laws that protect women and babies are under threat. The Value Them Both Amendment simply returns power to the people of Kansas to place basic regulations on the abortion industry. We call on all legislators in Kansas to pass this amendment to let the people vote.”

Things will move quickly now that the bill has been introduced. A joint House and Senate committee hearing is planned for next Tuesday, January 21st at 9:00 am in the Old Supreme Court Room on the 3rd floor of the Kansas State Capitol. If you can attend, please do so (plan to arrive by 8:30) and plan to show your support by wearing purple. If you would like to read the text of the bill, the full text can be found here.

If you haven’t contacted your legislator yet, the time is now! You can easily contact them in our action center to urge them to support Value Them Both.

We are so thankful for our coalition partners throughout the state who have helped make this possible.

Kansas, let’s value them both!

Standing for them both,

Brittany Jones, Esq
Director of Advocacy