The 2013 Kansas legislative session is starting in just a few days and newly elected Rep. John Ewy, Jetmore (R) Dist. 117, is excited about the opportunities and experiences it will bring.
The 2013 Kansas legislative session is starting in just a few days and newly elected Rep. John Ewy, Jetmore (R) Dist. 117, is excited about the opportunities and experiences it will bring. "I met several other representatives in an orientation in Topeka a few weeks ago," Ewy said "and I'm really excited about working with all of them. It seems like they all have a great attitude about accomplishing what needs to be done. I feel like we are all pulling for the same things." Last year when Kansas voting districts were re-organized, the 117th District was expanded to include parts of Pawnee, Hodgeman, Kiowa, Edwards, Ford and Ness counties, Ewy felt he could represent the people in these districts well, and decided to run. In an interview with the Globe in July, Ewy said that part of the reason he decided to run was because he knows several people in the 117th District who's opinions he respected, and he knew he could call if he had questions. “You can't know everything about everything,” Ewy said, “so when I'm dealing with an issue in the House that I don't know a lot about, I know I have a friend, family member or former student who is an expert on that issue, and I can call them up and learn from them about what is going on.” Making new connections is still important to Ewy. He has received several letters from department heads, and other legislators since his election, and Ewy is saving each one to keep as a contact for the future. "As constituents have questions, or want information on issues, I'll know who to ask for information about the issue," Ewy said. "It's important that I know who to go to, so I can find the answer for the person who asked me." Representing Southwest Kansas, Ewy knows that there will be challenges when he gets to Topeka. The biggest one is being controlled by the federal government and their decisions. "We can tell our representatives in Washington how we feel about issues, but once they've voted, there's not much we can do on a state level," Ewy said. Another challenge is the state revenue. Ewy said that there are several important programs offered in Southwest Kansas, and he wants to try and make sure they all receive the funding they deserve, but there is only so much money to go around. Ewy is optimistic about the upcoming session though, and says that most of the legislators he's met so far seem like they all want the best for the state of Kansas. Although this is Ewy's first term, he doesn't see that as a disadvantage for him. Instead he is excited about making new connections, and working with his fellow legislators in the best interest of Kansans. "I think it's a benefit that many legislators are new this session," said Ewy, "we are all coming from different parts of the state with different knowledge and experience but we are all working together for the same goal- to make Kansas a better place."