Loud Light’s Kansas politics recap: death penalty, redistricting, and healthcare staffing
The Pitch has partnered with a local political awareness organization called Loud Light. Their goal is to engage and empower individuals from underrepresented populations to build community power. And impact decision-makers. Each week of the year that the Kansas statehouse is in session, they release a short video recapping what the legislature is up to.
Knowing the nitty-gritty of what’s happening with your representatives is the only way to stay involved with the way local government affects your life. You can donate to support Loud Light’s work by clicking here.
Here is this week’s video transcription:
I’m Davis Hammet with Loud Light. Here’s what happened in the 2nd week of the 2022 Kansas legislative session.
Sen. Pres. Masterson (R) introduced a Congressional Redistricting Map dubbed “Ad Astra 2” that carves Lawrence into the rural big 1st, breaks apart the KC metro area by slicing up Kansas’s most racially diverse county Wyandotte, and results in a bizarrely gerrymandered district 2. Masterson (R) gave the public less than 24 hours to submit testimony and on Friday declared an emergency so that the Senate could immediately pass the map. During debate Sen. Corson (D) raised concerns that the map may illegally break apart communities of interest and dilute the voting power of minorities to which Sen. Masterson (R) replied “it’s not legal, it’s political.” The House may debate the “Ad Astra 2” map as early as Tuesday.
The legislature quickly passed a bill extending Gov. Kelly’s (D) executive order allowing medical professionals with recently expired or out-of-state licenses to help fill staffing shortages at nursing homes and medical facilities.
The Kansas Supreme Court has affirmed the death sentence of the Carr brothers. The court ruled that Kansans inalienable right to life and liberty are forfeitable if convicted of capital murder. The legality of the death penalty has changed many times in Kansas and the state has not executed anyone since 1965.
There are lots of committee hearings this coming week including bills to lower the sales tax on food to zero, ban no-knock warrants, regulate kratom, ban the Governor from making improvements to the KanCare system, making it harder to build renewable energy farms, and creating a Kansas Youth Advisory council. Stay tuned, stay engaged, and until next time, thank you so much Kansas!