Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Laws

The Governor recently signed several bills. Despite common belief, that does not mean that a bill goes into effect as a law right away. A bill becomes law upon its effective date. There are two clauses in a bill that declare its effective date: either the bill declares it is effective upon publication in the statute book, or it declares it’s effective upon publication in the Kansas Register.

If a bill states that it will become effective “upon publication in the statute book,” that means it will be effective July 1, 2011. If the bill states that it will be effective “upon publication in the Kansas Register,” that means it will be effective upon the next publication of the statewide weekly newspaper, the Kansas Register. The Legislature’s website is now listing the date bills have been published in the Kansas Register when you search through to a bill’s history. In order to find the bill history, go to and click on “bills and laws” from the tabs along the top. Then type in the bill number you wish to search for in the “filter” box at the right. If you do not know the bill number to a bill, call the Legislative Hotline at 800-432-3924. Our staff can look it up for you and walk you through the search.

You can find the Kansas Register at the Secretary of State’s website at:

See the news releases from Governor Brownback’s office regarding bill signings:

See the full list of bills that have been signed by the Governor:

See a list of the bills still awaiting the Governor’s signature at:

See a short summary of bills either passed or soon-to-be signed in the 2011 Preliminary Summary of Legislation - Supplement II:

Article contact: Kim Harp

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tornado Safety

Recent weather events across the South are a painful reminder to us all that we live each day with the uncertainties of weather around us. Springtime storms can spawn tornadoes or straight winds that wreak havoc over large areas cutting off power, water and immediate access to medical/governmental/commercial services. Knowing the best actions to take in protecting yourself during a tornado and being prepared for possible periods of time after a disaster without basic services at hand can make a big difference in riding out the storms of spring and summer.

Below are links to information on tornado safety and disaster preparedness with a couple informative resources for children.

Tornadoes: Nature's Most Violent Storms
(National Weather Service)

Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Lightning: Nature's Most Violent Storms
(16 page booklet from the National Weather Service)

Tornado Safety / by Roger Edwards
(U.S. Storm Prediction Center, Norman, Oklahoma)

Tornado Safety Rules
(KSN TV news)

Family Preparedness Plan
Disaster Supply Kit
(From the Weather Channel. Help protect your family against potential weather disasters and emergency situations by compiling an emergency supply kit)

How to Assemble a Disaster Preparedness Kit
(A short video from FEMA on putting together a kit for families)

Editorial: Take cover, not footage
(An editorial from The Topeka Capital-Journal on the need for putting safety before videoing oncoming twisters)

Weather Safety DVDs
(The National Weather Service in Wichita will provide safety videos for free in a DVD format if you live in the state of Kansas. Just fill out the form below to select which DVD you would like mailed to you)

Wichita Weather Talk Request Page
(When available meteorologists from the National Weather Service in Wichita will come to your function to provide a weather safety talk free of charge. Please fill out the form below to request a talk)

Weather Education
(Information for children, teens and young adults. Materials range from coloring books, puzzles and games, to lesson plans, brochures, satellite images, and career information for weather related fields, such as meteorology, hydrology and climatology)

Playtime for Kids: Tornadoes
(Information for children on tornadoes)

Tornado in a Box Display
(The Tornado in a box was constructed to be a visual aid for, WFO Wichita KS, public weather training programs)

Article contact: Bill Sowers
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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Recovery efforts- helping our neighbors

We Kansans know natural disasters and we know that it takes help from our community, friends and family to pull through. Our neighbor states are facing long-term recovery after tornadoes, storms and floods. Several Kansas counties are facing severe droughts. If you are among the fortunate who are not facing Mother Nature’s wrath, and you wish to help your Kansas and southern neighbors, look to these resources to find ways to help.


Looking for a good organization to donate?

List of charities given a seal by the Better Business Bureau:

Have goods to donate? Find out what needs are first from the National Donations Management Network:

Don’t get scammed! If you are contacted to donate for a charity- make sure it’s registered and legit by going to: or or

Make sure that whomever is soliciting for funds gives you the required information about their organization:

There are organizations that are exempt from registering with the Secretary of State:

Unlawful acts in charitable funds as applied to the planning, conduct or execution of any solicitation or charitable purpose:

How your government helps during a recovery:

Kansas Governor Brownback declares drought:

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides emergency loans for drought-stricken areas:

Individual Assistance information from the Kansas Adjutant General, Division of Emergency Management:

The Kansas Adjutant General, Division of Emergency Management can send response personnel during times of disaster and recovery:

View all states that have disaster declarations:

Get updates on natural disaster and recovery efforts:

Federal recovery assistance:

Recovery information from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):

FEMA helps you locate your family immediately following a natural disaster:

Tips for rebuilding after a disaster:

Rebuilding libraries, historical societies, museums and other important cultural organizations vital to communities:

Article contact: Kim Harp

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bob Dole

Bob Dole is as much a part of the political landscape of Kansas as the Flint Hills are a part of the Sunflower State’s physical landscape. A constant presence in public life since the early 1950s when he was elected to the Kansas State House of Representatives, he is known the world over as a man of strong character and deep convictions with a wry sense of humor and a cooperative spirit that understands the ins and outs of the political process in passing legislation.

Recently Dole was honored at the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C, a place dedicated to those Americans who fought during that global conflict over 60 years ago. The former senator has been a prominent supporter of the Memorial and chief among its fundraisers. A bronze plaque will grace the Memorial honoring Dole near its visitor center.

The links below provide resources on The Man From Russell offering different views into his life, public and personal:

(A short bio from the Congressional Biographical Directory)
DOLE, Robert Joseph, (husband of Elizabeth H. Dole), a Representative and a Senator from Kansas; born in Russell, Kans., July 22, 1923; graduated, Washburn Municipal University, Topeka, Kans., with an undergraduate and law degree in 1952, after attending Kansas University 1941-1943 and University of Arizona 1948-1949; during the Second World War served as a combat infantry officer in Italy; was wounded twice and hospitalized for thirty-nine months; awarded two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star with an Oak Cluster for military service; admitted to the bar and commenced the practice of law in Russell, Kans., 1952; member, State house of representatives 1951-1953; county attorney of Russell County 1953-1961; elected as a Republican to the Eighty-seventh Congress and to the three succeeding Congresses (January 3, 1961-January 3, 1969); elected to the United States Senate in 1968, reelected in 1974, 1980, 1986, and 1992, and served from January 3, 1969, to June 11, 1996, when he resigned to campaign for the presidency; majority leader 1985-1987, 1995-1996; minority leader 1987-1995; chairman, Committee on Finance (Ninety-seventh through Ninety-eighth Congresses), Special Committee on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Ninety-ninth Congress); chairman, Republican National Committee 1971-1972; advisor, President’s Delegation to Study the Food Crisis in India 1966; advisor, U.S. Delegation to Study the Arab Refugee Problem 1967; advisor, U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization 1965, 1968, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1979; member, U.S. National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization 1970 and 1973; member, Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe 1977; advisor, GATT Ministerial Trade Conference 1982; member, National Commission on Social Security Reform 1983; member, Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday Commission 1984; unsuccessful Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States in 1976; unsuccessful candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 1988; unsuccessful Republican nominee for President of the United States in 1996; awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on January 17, 1997; chairman, International Commission on Missing Persons in the Former Yugoslavia 1997-2001; national chairman, National World War II Memorial 1997-2004; engaged in the practice of law in Washington, D.C., 1997-

Bob Dole Official Website

Robert J. Dole, Tributes Delivered in Congress
(1996 publication)

Dole Institute of Politics
(located at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS)

Dole Portrait Unveiling

Electoral History of Bob Dole
(Wikipedia, 1950-1996)

U.S. Presidential Election, 1996,_1996
(Wikipedia. Dole was the presidential nominee of the Republican Party)

U.S. Presidential Election, 1976,_1976
(Wikipedia. Dole was the vice-presidential nominee of the Republican Party)

Bob Dole Quotes

World War II Memorial

Sen. Robert J. Dole Scholarship Program
(Recognizes Kansas high school students who have demonstrated leadership and community involvement)

Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center, Wichita, KS

Robert J. Dole US Courthouse, Kansas City, KS

Article contact: Bill Sowers
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