Had I told you that one of our most supportive and creative legislators was a young Republican, you might have scoffed. Had I added that his father is also a well known Republican politician, you might have questioned my grip on reality.
You would be wrong.
Senator Chris Walters (8th-Kan.) is in fact that person. He sponsored SB352, the bill providing for cooperatives that will make it easier for businesses and other entities to recycle materials. It meets a need for conscientious small businesses to take responsible, affordable action with their recyclable wastes. On Saturday, it was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and is headed to the floor.
Then he became the lead sponsor of SB520, creating the Local Energy Efficiency Partnership Act. There are four cosponsors: Blair, Miller, Snyder and Woelfel. This would create a funding mechanism at the local level for financing energy efficiency projects for businesses and commercial property owners. It has passed its first committee and is currently in Senate Finance committee.
But the most remarkable action so far is to vote against SB 423, the bill you’ve read about that rolls back much of last year’s landmark SB373, the response to last year’s water crisis in 9 counties. You may recall that 373 passed unanimously in both houses. The rollback vote today was 30-1. Three were absent.
So this week, thank Sen. Walters for his vote and his work and his willingness to take a creative approach to solve some of our environmental challenges. His office phone is (304)357-7866.