Monday, December 22, 2014

TYSON: Protecting our state sovereignty

By CARYN TYSON, Kansas State Senator | 2/17/2014

Are you aware there is a state endangered species list and a federal endangered species list?

The Kansas Senate passed Senate Bill 276 on a vote of 30-10. This bill would restrict the lesser prairie chicken from being added to the federal endangered species list. I support this effort. This is just another example of how the federal government is trying to micro-manage the states.

Are you aware there is a state endangered species list and a federal endangered species list?

The Kansas Senate passed Senate Bill 276 on a vote of 30-10. This bill would restrict the lesser prairie chicken from being added to the federal endangered species list. I support this effort. This is just another example of how the federal government is trying to micro-manage the states.

If listed, the federal government would place restrictions that are invasive on land owners. It would restrict farmers in the way they plant or harvest and limit where we put our power lines and roads. We heard testimony in committee that the lower number of the lesser prairie chickens is related to the drought in Kansas and that they are a resourceful species. The birds are considered non-migratory and so the bill is challenging the federal government’s jurisdiction.

Another Senate bill, SB 255, would require anyone convicted of attempted murder to be sentenced to life in prison and would not be eligible for parole for the first 25 years of imprisonment. This legislation would help ensure someone who attempted to commit murder is not given a lighter sentence because the victim survives the attack. The bill passed unanimously.

The Senate discussed House Bill 2389, which places a time limit on appeals for death penalty cases. The measure creates a three and half-year time limit for appeals to be heard and decided by the court. It also sets limits on the length of documents that can be filed in a death penalty appeal. The bill passed by a vote of 27-13. I support the death penalty, however, I have concern over some of the limits imposed in this bill.

The House sent the Senate House Bill 2453, also known as the Religious Liberty Bill, for consideration. Since it is a House bill, I haven’t had the opportunity to study the bill. I support the Kansas Constitution and the definition of marriage between a man and a woman.

It is my understanding that the bill was introduced because of concern the U.S. 10th Circuit Court might rule on a lawsuit in favor of same-sex marriage and possibly rule against our state constitution. (Again, the feds over-stepping). The intent of the bill is to protect religious liberties in our state.

A majority of legislators support laws that define traditional marriage, protect religious institutions and protect individuals from being forced to violate their personal moral values. It’s important that all bills protect Kansans and that we avoid unintended consequences.

As always, it is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.    

 

Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, represents Franklin County and the 12th District in the Kansas Senate. Email her at Caryn.Tyson@senate.ks.gov or call (785) 296-6838.

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