Kansas legislators may get more money to mail political newsletters

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Kansas legislators may soon receive a large increase in their franking privilege budgets, allowing lawmakers to send more political mailings to constituents.

Top legislative leadership moved Wednesday to increase the budgets by 150%, intending for the extra money to be enough for each legislator to be able to send communications at least once a year to each registered household.

Will taxpayers be happy to pay for more political mailings in their mailboxes?

“I think the answer to that is an unequivocally yes,” said Senate President Ty Masterson, R-Andover. “Because we — your representative member — can’t even afford to send every households one communication that says this is what we’re doing.”

At the current budget, legislators can’t afford to mail newsletters to everyone in their district.

House Speaker Dan Hawkins, left, and Senate President Ty Masterson, right, confer ahead of a Legislative Coordinating Council meeting on Wednesday. The top two Republican legislators are backing a plan to increase the franking privilege budget for legislators.

“For most of our members in the House in the Senate, they end up writing a huge check out of their campaign funds to do this one mailing,” said House Speaker Dan Hawkins, R-Wichita. “And typically, even after they’ve written the check, they’re not sending it to every household in their district. Just me, for example, I usually send only to registered Republican and some unaffiliated voters.”

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