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A special tribute

The Kansas Senate presented a Resolution to Angel Shaver, Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2013, on Kansas Day. She is one of the hidden jewels in the state of Kansas.

Shaver wears many hats and participates in numerous ways in the WaKeeney community while being a mother and wife. She is involved in and works for her church, teaches piano, participates in PTO, has worked with Girl Scouts, and maintains two blogs -- about living her life as a person with a disability, and about her faith journey.

She loves to travel and hopes to empower and support other women, and especially serve as a role model encouraging people not to let challenges prevent them from reaching goals. It was my pleasure to present Senate Resolution No. 1776 to Shaver with her husband, Eric, and her children, Hannah and Noah.

She would be a wonderful speaker for schools, civic organizations, community groups, religious gatherings and others who need a meaningful program.

Mortgage registration

The Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee is considering SB 298, which would repeal state imposed mortgage registration fees. The fee discriminates against Kansans borrowing money to purchase a home, business or land. Buyers paying cash are not required to pay the fee, which can range from several hundred dollars for home-buyers, to thousands of dollars for purchasers of commercial real estate or agricultural loans. The inequity of the tax probably is unfair to borrowers who are charged the fee. Farm Credit Systems are not subject to the tax. The Tax Committee is supporting a more reasonable approach to funding the needs of the register of deeds offices across Kansas.

Part of the compromise on SB 298 would phase out this tax through five years and would consider increasing what counties now charge for recording mortgages and other documents filed with county registers of deeds offices. This is a controversial issue without an easy solution. Kansans deserve a transparent fee statute for county services that is fair to all borrowers.

Notes from the office

We still have a couple of openings for Senate pages for 2014. They are both Mondays, Feb. 17 and 24. Let us know if there are any young people, seventh to 12th grade, who are interested.

Sen. Ralph Ostmeyer, R-Grinnell, represents

the 40th District.

ralph.ostmeyer@

senate.ks.gov