It's an honor to serve you in the legislature as your 38th District state representative.
State Representative Willie Dove38th District ReportIt's an honor to serve you in the legislature as your 38th District state representative.I have been appointed to the Education, Education Budget and Federal and State Government Affairs committees. Since taking the oath office on January 14th, I have been working on a number of challenging issues:House Bill 2023 amends the Public Employee Relations Act to make it unlawful for a public employee organization to fund political activities. It ends the automatic deduction from workers' paychecks for union dues. It does not forbid public employee unions. Workers can still support their unions by making voluntary contributions of their dues. But workers who may disagree with their union's political aims, no longer will be forced to have dues withheld from their paychecks. I see this as a First Amendment issue.The House has passed the following bills and sent them to the Senate:*HB 2029 would allow a driver facing license suspension to submit a written request to the Division of Motor Vehicles for restricted driving privileges to necessary places like work, school, the doctor, or drug or alcohol counseling.*HB 2022 allows an employer to withhold money from an outgoing employee's final wages for such things as unreturned property, an overpayment from payroll, and replacement of merchandise or uniforms. The withholding would be after the employee was given written notice of the reason.*HB 2028 amends provisions of the Standard Asset Seizure and Forfeiture Act, allowing a forfeiture proceeding brought by the attorney general to stay in Shawnee County.*HB 2060 prohibits prisoners from receiving refunds for food sales taxes or homestead property tax.Last week, we debated HB 2059 which would make several adjustments to income and severance tax provisions enacted during the 2012 session. It would allow partners or Subchapter S shareholders to compute their interests as they do on their federal returns. Concerning the severance tax, the 2012 legislation set a 50-barrel-per-day threshold for exclusion from the severance tax exemption for oil. The new provision clarifies that such exclusion would be determined based on the initial six months of production from each well.Recently, I accompanied fellow members of the House and Senate Education Committees to southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma to get a firsthand look at charter and technical schools. We visited Walton Rural Life Center and Tuttle Technology Center. Tuttle's programs ranged from auto mechanics to nursing to computer science. Students spend part of their day on core education requirements and the other on post-secondary education. Tuttle's dropout rate in 7%, significantly lower than in the rest of the state. Walton focuses on K-4th grade, with the largest class size at 25. Walton features project-based learning, and avoids teaching to a test. One of its projects is raising chickens and selling the eggs. Students develop a business plan with proceeds going to the school. It teaches real-world application for math skills. I now have a better understanding of these nontraditional teaching schools and the lessons that can be drawn and applied to other parts of our state.State General Fund receipts are exceeding estimates as we pass the halfway point in Fiscal Year 2013. The latest figures show a 2.7% increase in revenues from expectations.Native American Kansas veterans were honored recently during Native American Legislative Day at the Capitol. Tribal leaders and councils from the Prairie Band, Potawatomie, Kickapoo, Sac and Fox, and Iowa Nations of Kansas and Nebraska were presented with a proclamation from the House honoring their military service to the United States.In an effort to streamline government, Governor Brownback recently issued an executive order moving the Kansas Juvenile Justice Authority to the Department of Corrections. The governor believes this reorganization will put an increased emphasis on safety in addition to continuing to provide programs to reduce juvenile recidivism. Either the House or the Senate can vote to disapprove of the executive order within 60 days of its issuance. The House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee voted to approve of the action.In the same vein, the administration is proposing a bill to merge the state Department of Transportation and the Kansas Turnpike Authority. The Transportation Committeees in the House and Senate will schedule hearings on the proposal in the next several weeks.Please contact me regarding any of these issues or others that you may have concerns about, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The 38th District belongs to you. Thank you for allowing me to serve.