Molly takes the oath of office Monday

Sen. Molly Baumgardner took the oath of office Monday Jan. 12 in the Senate chamber in Topeka as the 2015 Legislature got under way. The Baumgardner family attended the ceremony. Click on this link to see the photo.

Panel finds concensus on open records reform

The Wichita Eagle, Sept. 11, 2015

A state panel is coming to a consensus about how to reform the state’s open records law so it can’t be skirted by government officials using private e-mail or devices.

Sen. Molly Baumgardner, R-Louisburg, and Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, say the determining factor for whether a document is considered public should be the content of a record rather than where it’s stored.

“We haven’t agreed on language yet, but there is consensus in the committee that it’s about content, not location,” said Baumgardner, who is chairing a study committee on the issue for the Kansas Judicial Council. “I mean, on iPad I could have public (documents) as well as private … so it’s not the device, it’s not location. It’s content.”
Read the entire article by clicking on THIS LINK.

ABLE Act Becomes Law

TOPEKA | Governor Brownback has signed into law HB 2216, the Kansas Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Savings Program.

The initiative will provide individuals living with disabilities a new way to save for their future, and I'm humbled and proud that it was the first measure I've sponsored during my time in the legislature. 

The Kansas ABLE savings accounts will be administered through the Kansas Treasurer's Office, and will allow disabled individuals and their families to save for their child’s future education, health and wellness costs, housing, transportation and related expenses in a tax-deferred savings account comparable to a Roth IRA. 

Assets in ABLE accounts will be sheltered from asset tests for Medicaid and Social Security Disability benefits within limits established by federal legislation.

Children and adults whose disability occurred before age 26 and who meet Social Security disability standards or have a disability certification will be eligible to have an ABLE account. Friends and relatives will be able to contribute up to $14,000 per beneficiary each year. (SEE a photo on the Photo Page)

Lawmakers pass block grant bill to fund schools

TOPEKA | The Kansas Legislature has approved a bill that supports a solution to the broken school finance system that has diverted money away from classrooms and tied the hands of school administrators statewide for 23 years.

The House passed the measure Friday 64 to 57 and Senate followed suit Monday (March 16) by passing the bill 25-14. The governor is expected to sign it into law.

Most Johnson County lawmakers voted for the bill_ Substitute for Senate Bill 7.

The plan utilizes block grants for two years, installing unrivaled local control and empowering school districts to direct money to the classroom. The grants will give unrestricted “General State Aid” to school districts; effectively unlocking funds currently confined by the school finance formula in categories like general state aid, supplemental general state aid, capital outlay state aid, virtual school aid, and the amount of employer KPERS obligations. They also unlock money in the ancillary school facilities tax levy, the cost of living tax levy, and the declining enrollment tax levy.
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Sen. Molly Baumgardner (R-Louisburg) was on hand when Gov. Sam Brownback signed SB 95 into law during a ceremony today (April 28, 2015) at the Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa. The bill is the Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. (Video by Jim Sullinger Strategies LL

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During the 2015 legislative session that began Jan. 12 in Topeka, the senator will periodically publish an e-mail newsletter regarding issues being considered by lawmakers. If you'd like to receive her newsletter, sign up by clicking on the link below.

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Molly participated Saturday June 26, 2015, in the Faith and Freedom picnic sponsored by the Olathe Republican Party. In this video, she discusses here views on faith and freedom and what they mean to her. (Video by Jim Sullinger Strategies LLC)


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