The session is progressing. The Legislature is approaching turnaround in the next week. Turnaround is when all bills not in exempt committees must be worked and sent to the other house. Last week, I was able to work on three bills that would protect privacy, restrict taxing authorities, and provide a process to amend our Constitution.

The first bill deals with drones and protecting our privacy. The bill had a hearing in the Committee on Natural Resources. With this bill, I want to protect everyone’s privacy without stifling innovation. It has been reported that drones will be an $85 billion dollar industry in precision agriculture. We don’t want to stop the potential in agriculture and other business, only to protect your privacy and prevent anyone from spying on you with this new technology. The testimonies on the bill had some good ideas so the chairman decided to create a subcommittee. I will be chairing the subcommittee.

The second bill introduced was to put the taxing authority of the extension districts back to the county commissioners. The extension district currently can raise your property taxes, without working with or input from the county commissioners. The extension district spans multiple counties and if its members decide to raise the mill levy for the district, it will raise the property taxes for all counties in the district. Extension is an important part of agriculture for which much good is done, so the bill will not impact the district organization, other than returning the taxing authority to the county commissioners. This bill will have a hearing next week.

I am on the steering committee for The Mount Vernon Assembly, a national steering committee to work on the process with rules that will protect our Constitution in the event an Article V convention is called. The Constitution gives the states authority in Article V to call a convention to amend the Constitution in the event the federal government either won’t or if our federal government gets out of control. There were more than 100 legislators from 32 states at our first meeting. We have another meeting in June in Indianapolis to further define the process and create rules. The Kansas bill would provide a process for the state to appoint delegates to an Article V convention if one is called.

Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, represents Franklin County and the 12th District in the Kansas Senate.