Gov. Sam Brownback proclaimed March 20 as Kansas STARBASE Day. Former STARBASE students Ivon Owen and Jacob Williams, Concordia, and Haley Bowers, a senior at Kansas State University joined the adjutant general and his staff, STARBASE founder Barb Kosack, USD 333 Superintendent Bev Mortimer, STARBASE staff and board members while Brownback signed the proclamation.

Since its inception 22 years ago, more than 57,000 Kansas elementary school children have attended the STARBASE academies at five Kansas locations, with our students attending the academy in Salina. The program is taught once a week to fifth-graders for five weeks and teaches science and technology in a hands-on method and concludes with the launch of the rockets made in the classroom.

* Senate Bill 264 would require any school districts with upcoming construction projects beginning in January to include storm shelters in the student attendance centers. The storm shelters would need to be in compliance with the rules and regulations provided with the adjutant general. Proponents of the legislation believe it is another way of ensuring the safety of Kansas students.

* Senate Sub for HB 2023 is a pro-law enforcements and firefighter piece of legislation. The first-responders are involved in a number of high-stress situations that can cause serious health issues. Under the proposed legislation, if one of these high-stress situations causes a firefighter or law enforcement officer to have a heart attack or a stroke, within 24 hours, he or she is able to recover workers compensation. However, in order to prove a claim, the injured public safety employee would need to show the injury was caused by a specific event that occurred in the course and scope of employment, the coronary or cerebrovascular injury occurred within 24 hours of the specific event, and the specific event was the prevailing factor in causing the disease or injury.  Proponents believe the legislation is a common sense way of ensuring firefighters and law enforcement officers receive some much-needed support while putting their lives on the line for our safety.

* The Senate also voted on: SB 295, SB 320, SB 379, HB 2057, S Sub 2378, SB 366, SB 370, SB 396, HB 2597, HB 2715, SB 380, SB 422, SB 424, HB 2130, HB 2516, HB 2525, HB 2687, and HB 2152. Bills on the Consent Calendar include: HB 2591, SB 301, HB 2470, HB 2544, and HB 2611. For more information on these bills visit

Sen. Elaine Bowers, R-Concordia, represents the 36th District.