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Kansas State Senate


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Victory
Petitioning Sam Brownback, Kansas State House, Kansas State Senate

Stop the horror of dog racing from returning to Kansas!

Greyhound racing promoters are trying to pass legislation designed to re-open all three Kansas dog tracks! House Bill 2537 seeks to encourage these long-closed facilities to come alive again with thousands of slot machines. Owner Phil Ruffin, a Las Vegas billionaire, would be allowed to keep as much as 68% of the profits – but only as long as he offers live dog racing. We cannot let this happen! Greyhound racing has killed and injured thousands of dogs nationwide in only the past few years. Tell Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and the state legislature not to let it back in the state. Commercial greyhound racing began in Kansas in 1989 with the opening of Wichita Greyhound Park and The Woodlands. A third track, Camptown, opened in 1995 but closed just six months later. All three facilities experienced catastrophic financial losses and thankfully, live dog racing ended with the shutdown of The Woodlands in 2008. But the dogs paid the price until the very end. In the last six-month season of racing at The Woodlands, eighty dogs suffered broken legs and backs and other injures. A total of nineteen dogs were killed. Greyhound racing is a dying industry, illegal in 40 states. Greyhound racing proved to be a bad experiment for Kansas, with a 95% decline in gambling forcing the facilities to close. It makes little sense to bring this industry back. And slot machine subsidies are anti free-market and do not work. This idea has been tried in multiple other states and failed. The state of Iowa was losing $14 million a year promoting greyhound racing, and today West Virginia, which also subsidizes the industry, has seen attendance levels drop by as much as 99%. The tracks in Florida lose a total of $35 million a year on dog racing, because wagering has declined by almost 100% in the last remaining big dog racing state! The dogs lose, too. Since 2008, the year that dog racing ended in Kansas, nearly 14,000 greyhound injuries were reported in other states, including broken backs and legs, spinal cord paralysis and death by cardiac arrest. Now is not the time to bring back this cruelty to our state. Tell Governor Brownback and the Kansas State House and Senate not to bring the cruel practice of greyhound racing back!

GREY2K USA Worldwide
117,767 supporters
Petitioning Kansas Governor, Kansas State Senate, Kansas State House

Pass Srinivas’s Law -- hate crime legislation that honors the life of the Kansas engineer

  I am a Physician in New Jersey. Born and raised here in the United States, I strongly believe there is no place for hate in our country. I’m a mother to three young children and I want them to grow up in an America that treats everyone equally and is safe for every citizen, regardless of color, gender or race -- like I did. Today, I am afraid the America I’ve known is in danger of slipping away. In the past month, violent hate crimes against the Asian-American community have spiked across the country -- injuring 1 and killing 3, including Kansas-based engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla. Witnesses reported his killer loudly interrogating him about his immigration status and screaming “Get out of my country!” before firing the fatal shots. Although this murder was clearly a Hate Crime, Kansas doesn’t have a hate crime statute at this time. We are calling on the Kansas State Legislature to provide the kind of leadership that will set the example for others and will be the best tribute to late Srinivas and his family. Please pass the legislation, and name it Srinivas's Law, that will enable Srinivas’s murder to be prosecuted by the state as the hate crime it so clearly is. No one and no community should live in fear because they are an immigrant -- or because they are of a different race or color. Please sign and share this petition telling Kansas State Legislature to send a message to all Americans by passing Srinivas’s Law -- hate crime legislation that will ensure his killer will be punished for the racial bias he coldly demonstrated before ending Srinivas Kuchibhotla’s life. 

Dr. Kavita Gupta
78,710 supporters
Petitioning Donald Trump, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Department of Veterans Affairs, Alabama State Senate, Alabama State House, Alabama Governor, Florida State Senate, Florida State House, Flo...

Congress: Let all children of U.S. military service members unite with their families

I’m Jenifer Bass, a U.S. Navy veteran, who served for 10 years mostly in the Asia-Pacific region. It was due to my travel between ports in countries like Japan and Thailand that I first encountered Amerasian children ,and descendants, of U.S. sailors and military contractors previously stationed overseas. In the Philippines alone, more than 52,000-plus children were born and left behind after the U.S. Navy withdrew the last of its military personnel in 1992. Right now, the U.S. government won’t legally recognize them as U.S. citizens, despite having been born to an American parent. The Philippine Embassy won't help them either. Today, there are estimated to be more than 250,000-plus children. Many Amerasians are caught in a no-man’s land of discrimination and poverty -- most left behind by U.S. sailors who are unaware that they’ve fathered children overseas. My friend John Haines is one of these sailors. In 2011, John discovered he was the father of a half-Filipino daughter, Jannette. He attempted to unite with her through the American Homecoming Act -- but was frustrated to learn that the Act did not apply to Filipino children of U.S. service members. Today, all John wants is to  be united with his daughter and grandchildren. He, like so many other veterans are living with a “hole in their hearts” as they search for ways to unite with their children. There is hope. The Uniting Families Act of 2017 creates a specialized visa allowing military veterans and eligible civilian contractors to sponsor their children and grandchildren for U.S. citizenship. Blood relationship must be proven by DNA test and the total number of visas granted will be capped at 5,000 each year. The issue takes on more urgency as so many of our veterans from our wars in Southeast Asia are getting older and dying each day -- without the chance to connect, or in some cases, reconnect with their own children.  John’s daughter Jannette has already undertaken the DNA testing process, conclusively proving her relationship to her American father. All she’s waiting for is the opportunity to permanently unite with her father. There is a PBS documentary, "Left by the Ship" (2010), documenting a day in the  life and the personal struggles as a Filipino Amerasian on the never ending search for identity and their struggle to connect to their American military fathers. Please sign this petition to tell Congress that these families cannot wait another day. Pass the Uniting Families Act of 2017 now!

Jenifer Bass
33,092 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Kansas State Senate

Do not legalize discrimination; overturning House Bill No. 2453

We count as people, I swear. In Kansas, they are voting to decide if we count as people enough to have all of our basic rights respected. There is a bill out, you can read it here, that is so disturbing as to be vomit inducing. It is saying, literally, if you claim religious beliefs, you can fire someone for being gay. You can retract their loans. Kick them out of school. Kick them out of their homes. Including foster care. It's saying that not only do you not have any legal recourse, but if you try to bring them to court you have to pay for their legal fees. It says that despite the massive discrimination against LGBT people, they don't deserve legal protections because someone's religious views are more important then people's lives. This is disgusting. What you are saying if you allow this to pass is one out of ten Americans (roughly 11% of the world's population is a part of the LGBT community) should avoid Kansas for their own safety. Their friends and family should avoid Kansas in order to be in more progressive areas. And any business with more then ten people should likely avoid your state. It's going to be an economic and marketing disaster for Kansas. It will tell the world that your state doesn't understand progress or common decency. This is going to do nothing but add to the discrimination of a population that's already dealing with so many other problems. Huge portions of the LGBT population attempt suicide because of the discrimination we face (including more then half of all trans women), and 90% of LGBT people have lost jobs, housing, or educational loans because of people who use the lord's name in vain to hide their own homophobia behind the glory of God. Either overturn this bill or admit you don't care about the deaths of God's creatures in your own state, because the LGBT population needs you to step up and admit we're human. As humans we deserve the same basic rights as anyone else. Because we count as people, I swear.

Harriet Smith
22,853 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Kansas Governor

Oppose the Kansas House Bill 2453

This bill is designed to protect businesses and people from refusing services and goods from the LGBT community. It promotes discrimination against the LGBT community, and anyone else that does not hold the same values of certain religious groups.

Andrew Blubaugh
14,675 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Kansas Governor

Defeat Kansas House Bill 2453

Kansas is trying to pass a bill that would legally allow its residents to discriminate against gay couples.  In particular this bill would allow employees of both public and private companies to deny services to gay couples based on religious freedom. Governor Brownback states, “Religious liberty issues are ones that I’ve been around for a long time. … I’ve fought for religious liberty in many countries and with many different faiths,” Brownback said. “It’s basic in the Bill of Rights.” While religious freedom is important, the Declaration of Independence states, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." Please sign this petition so that those lawmakers who wish to deny any rights to a group of people know that we do not support them. Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2014/02/06/3271717/house-committee-approves-religious.html#storylink=cpy

Malik Idbeis
6,579 supporters
Closed
Petitioning President of the United States

Remove the penalty that prevents people with disabilities from marrying!

When we think of marriage equality, we think about the ongoing fight LGBT couples face, but another minority group must deal with the stark reality that they are better off living in long-term committed relationships, without marriage. Like LGBT couples, these couples are denied the right to over 1,100 rights afforded to married couples. They have been denied access into their loved ones hospital rooms, faced family disputes over wills and have been denied spousal benefits from their partners workplace or the government in the event of their partners death. These are people with disabilities. Many people rely on the government for medical and financial assistance. Without medical insurance they would have no way to live independently. They would be forced into nursing homes (some already are), which would cost the government significantly more than getting Medicare and/or Medicaid does. At the same time, this assistance comes with a price. The government expects married couples to share income and that affects any assistance the couple receives. For many, their spouse makes too much (even if they make meager SSDI payments). This cuts into the healthcare services these couples receive. For some, their able-bodied partners make too much to allow them to qualify for medical assistance, if married, but not enough to pay out of pocket for costly medical equipment, medicine, or any other needs the disabled partner has. Add in the fact that even when a person with a disability can work, the opportunity for quality medical insurance is hard to find, due to their pre-existing condition and you will understand why many couples with disabilities are forced to live in domestic partnerships. Also, if two people with disabilities marry and they are on SSI or SSDI, their payments are CUT significantly, making it hard for them to maintain independence and afford their own food, shelter, clothing or other necessities. The time to stand up is now!! Let your Senators and Representatives know you want to remove the income caps placed on individuals with disabilities, so they can keep the government assistance and still be able to get married. Every loving couple deserves the right to marry. No one should have to choose between their wheelchair and their love, their therapy and their love, their medication and their love, their ability to eat or have a roof over their head and their love!! Those are not choices!! Help make it possible for those with disabilities to share their love without being penalized!Join our fight for marriage equality for people with disabilities:https://www.facebook.com/MarriageEqualityForPeopleWithDisabilities

Dominick Evans
6,476 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Sam Brownback, Kansas State House, Kansas State Senate

URGENT: Keep Kansas dog tracks closed

Greyhound racing promoters are trying to pass legislation designed to re-open all three Kansas dog tracks!House Bill 2173 seeks to encourage these long-closed facilities to come alive again with thousands of slot machines. Owner Phil Ruffin, a Las Vegas billionaire, would be allowed to keep as much as 68% of the profits – but only as long as he offers live dog racing. We cannot let this happen!Greyhound racing has killed and injured thousands of dogs nationwide in only the past few years. Tell Kansas Governor Sam Brownback and the state legislature not to let it back in the state.Commercial greyhound racing began in Kansas in 1989 with the opening of Wichita Greyhound Park and The Woodlands. A third track, Camptown, opened in 1995 but closed just six months later. All three facilities experienced catastrophic financial losses and thankfully, live dog racing ended with the shutdown of The Woodlands in 2008.But the dogs paid the price until the very end. In the last six-month season of racing at The Woodlands, eighty dogs suffered broken legs and backs and other injures. A total of nineteen dogs were killed.Greyhound racing is a dying industry, illegal in 40 states. Greyhound racing proved to be a bad experiment for Kansas, with a 95% decline in gambling forcing the facilities to close. It makes little sense to bring this industry back.And slot machine subsidies are anti free-market and do not work. This idea has been tried in multiple other states and failed. The state of Iowa was losing $14 million a year promoting greyhound racing, and today West Virginia, which also subsidizes the industry, has seen attendance levels drop by as much as 99%. The tracks in Florida lose a total of $35 million a year on dog racing, because wagering has declined by almost 100% in the last remaining big dog racing state!The dogs lose, too. Since 2008, the year that dog racing ended in Kansas, nearly 14,000 greyhound injuries were reported in other states, including broken backs and legs, spinal cord paralysis and death by cardiac arrest.Now is not the time to bring back this cruelty to our state.Tell Governor Brownback and the Kansas State House and Senate not to bring the cruel practice of greyhound racing back!

GREY2K USA Worldwide
4,973 supporters
Closed
Petitioning Kansas Governor

Break up Kansas Electricity Monopoly: Promote Electric Competition for Cheaper Electricity

Kansas has a private monopoly utility structure that is failing to provide its ratepayers with competitive rates. Kansans overpay for electricity by 20%. We are proposing opening up the Kansas energy market to retail electric competition. Retail choice means: More competition, lower price Ability to lock in rates with fixed prices Greater price transparency Complete renewables options When this becomes available in Kansas, each household will have the opportunity to review prices and packages from a number of different providers and select the one that best fits their energy needs -- exactly like choosing a cell phone provider. We petition for: Retail choice: Electric competition to drive down rates for end users.  Unbundled billing: See line by line what you actually pay for. Visit KansasPowerToChoose.org or our Facebook site for more information.

Kansas Power To Choose
2,794 supporters
Petitioning Alabama State Senate, Alaska State Senate, Arizona State Senate, Arkansas State Senate, California State Senate, Colorado State Senate, Connecticut State Senate, Delaware State Senate, Florida Stat...

Require Amazon to Collect and Remit Sales Tax For All FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) Sales

Please require Amazon to collect and remit sales tax for all FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) purchases. Requiring the hundreds of thousands of small businesses to register in every state and collect and remit in all applicable states is not practical -- it is a complex, heavy financial burden on small businesses and it is causing states to lose billions of dollars in tax revenue each year. With E-commerce now playing such a big role in the local economies, and with Amazon being THE major player, it is time for new legislation to be passed so that these matters can be properly addressed, removing any doubt regarding State sales tax liability and nexus -- especially as it relates to Amazon FBA and similar programs. If Amazon FBA was recognized as consignment, from a sales tax perspective, as it should be, then this would solve a lot of the associated issues that we are currently seeing. Laws vary from state-to-state, but most states require that the consignee (the store, or, Amazon in this case) should collect and remit sales tax. Arguments regarding consignment, who the seller really is and who the 'supplier' is: 1. FBA 'Suppliers' (as they should be called, and not FBA 'sellers') do not choose how/where their products are stored/shipped. 2. Commission is paid to Amazon on each unit sold. 3. FBA 'suppliers' must adhere to Amazon policy. Suppliers do not have the right to refuse sale/shipment without consequence and do not collect any money on transactions (all transactions are handled and controlled by Amazon, the store owner, with the supplier having no participation in said transactions). 4. FBA 'suppliers' have no real relationship with the customer as nearly all communication is prohibited as per Amazon (this relationship is owned and controlled by Amazon, the real seller). 5. Amazon provides advertising for products that they sell, including FBA products. Suppliers have no say in that message or how it's presented. 6. Amazon charges a 'monthly, rental fee' (FBA subscription fee) to display FBA products at their property, as well as additional fees for special exposure (e.g. special ad types or brand page vs. window or end-cap at front of store), as well as additional fees for how the product may be presented (e.g. videos on listing vs. in-store display). 7. Product ownership does not transfer to Amazon (the store owner), but sits on Amazon's shelves until a buyer is found...at which point, the buyer should pay the appropriate sales tax (Amazon/the store owner, is responsible for collecting and remitting this, as they handle all transactions with the end-buyer and own the property where all merchandise is stored and sold). 8. et al. Amazon should be charging and then remitting the sales tax to all applicable states -- not the FBA seller. Not only would this eliminate any argument about complexity or what constitutes nexus amid the varying, questionable and ever-changing interpretations that each state has established, but convincing the States to get behind it should be easy if they only had to pursue one entity (Amazon), in lieu of the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that currently operate within the US marketplace. It is estimated that the majority of the FBA sellers that sell on the Amazon-US marketplace are operating on foreign soil, and do not have a legal entity that is locally established inside of the United States. How are the states going to force compliance if a foreign seller, using a foreign bank account, is operating outside of the jurisdiction of local law? This poses serious problems and creates an environment of unfair competition if foreign sellers can offer products 10% cheaper due to not having to collect and remit sales tax. If Amazon were required to collect and remit on all FBA sales, not only would this reduce costs, man hours and complexity etc., but it would be a lot easier to ensure compliance and remittance. States could get the tax dollars that they desperately need, instead of missing out as they do now. If things continue as they are, States will waste tons of money auditing individual sellers and pursuing legal action, all, unnecessarily. Since Amazon has decided to take full custody of its customer base and is essentially acting as consignment, this should put sales tax liability on Amazon's shoulders, not on FBA sellers. Since FBA sellers are currently required to collect and remit for all states where they are deemed to have a substantial nexus, then, in order to do that, they must first register their business in that State, apply for permits etc., and admit to having a substantial nexus. Just having a single box of inventory in one of Amazon's warehouses will be sufficient for establishing nexus for most applicable states. Amazon may move inventory around, however they see fit, and in doing so, will force FBA sellers to have nexus in those states, oftentimes, unknowingly. Once nexus is established for a particular state, it applies to ALL subsequent sales to that State -- so, if a seller wants to sell something on Ebay, and the buyer is located in the nexus state, then that seller would need to collect and remit sales tax, even if that inventory was stored in and shipped from their home. If FBA sellers are required to register in all of the applicable states and admit that they have a substantial nexus, they would then potentially be subject to Corporate/State income taxes for that state, use-tax for all products/services, franchise taxes, non-resident taxes, opportunity taxes and other, associated fees/taxes etc.. If non-local businesses have to admit that they have substantial nexus due to a single box of inventory, and if they have to remit in the same way (or worse) as a local business that is actually operating out of that state, then what other tax implications and responsibilities will they be subjecting themselves to? And wouldn't this put undue burden on FBA sellers? And isn't that illegal? Please require Amazon to collect and remit sales tax for all FBA (fulfilled by Amazon) purchases. Thank you.

American Citizen
2,106 supporters
Oppose the Kansas House Bill 2453

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me regarding House Bill 2453, a proposal concerning religious freedom with respect to marriage. I appreciate the opportunity to respond. After an initial review, and hearing from various members of the business community and public as well, I have grown concerned about the practical implications of the measure. While I support laws that define traditional marriage, safeguard religious institutions, and protect individuals from being forced to violate their personal moral values, I do not wish to pass a bill with unintended consequences. As Chair of our Senate Commerce Committee, I am uniquely involved in the business community and particularly sensitive to any adverse impact on its ability to continue creating jobs and growing the Kansas economy. As the process moves forward, I will work to find a fair balance between providing protections for all religions and addressing legal and practical concerns expressed by job creators and business owners. If we are able in the Judiciary Committee to craft a product with the kind of widespread appeal that this core issue deserves, we will proceed to full debate in the Senate and send the language back to the House for review. I encourage you to keep in mind that our system of legislative consideration is a long, deliberative, and ultimately thoughtful process. This is a critical factor in building strong public policy -- and I will remain committed to ensuring our actions are subject to rigorous scrutiny. Your views are an important part of any outcome. Senator Julia Lynn Kansas 9th District Assistant Majority Leader Commerce Committee Chair Julia.Lynn@Senate.ks.gov

— Julia Lynn, State Senator
4 years ago