Feb. 20, 2018 Legislative Update

Small Business at the Statehouse On Tuesday, the Topeka Chamber, the Wichita Independent Business Association and the National Federation of Independent Business co-hosted a small business day at the Statehouse. Small business owners from across the state, including several members of the Chamber’s Small Business Council, gathered to hear from Senate President Susan Wagle, House Speaker Ron Ryckman, Senator Taxation Chair and 2nd District Congressional Candidate Caryn Tyson and Governor Jeff Colyer. Attendees learned about the school finance litigation and the legislature’s possible response to it. They also heard the new governor’s perspective on what it will take to grow Kansas’ economy in the future. Key on his mind, as on every business owners’: developing a… Read More

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My Float Experience

MY FLOAT EXPERIENCE WITH MIDWEST FLOAT               By: Jensen Moore Floating was a new experience for me- not the run of the mill “wow, that’s new” experience, but the “I never knew this feeling existed and I don’t have the slightest inkling as to what to expect- and that really intimidates me” experience. What is floating? For those of you that don’t know (and I would take that to be the majority), floating is a self-care practice that involves literally floating in a soundproof tank or pod that is designed for short-term sensory deprivation. Midwest Float, Topeka’s local float center, utilizes 850 lbs. of… Read More

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February 12, 2018 Legislative Update

State of the State 2.0 Last Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Jeff Colyer addressed a joint session of the legislature. His policies seem generally aligned with those of the Brownback administration. He announced nothing which would require amending the former governor’s proposed budget, which Colyer presumably helped draft. He pledged to work with lawmakers to keep schools open without raising taxes and to improve health care for Kansans. Colyer described his program entitled “My (Re)Employment Plan” designed to help fired or laid-off Kansans assess and improve their job skills and find a new job quickly. He repeated his commitment to upgrade transparency in government and followed-up later in the week with several… Read More

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Hazel Hill Presents Single Origin Chocolate

From the local chocolatiers at Hazel Hill Chocolate Traditions comes a new line of chocolate that emphasizes the flavors of the product’s single origin. The aptly named Single Origin Chocolate is made from raw cacao sourced from separate regions from around the world. The individual bars are named from their place of origin, which include Sur Del Lago from Venezuela, Sambirano from Madagascar and Lam Dong from Vietnam. “This is something that not many in my field are doing,” that being “taking heirloom cacao with regional flavor and using them for food,” says owner Nick Xidis. Utilizing its own separate kitchen, located in the lower level of the shop, Hazel… Read More

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February 5, 2018 Legislative Update

Governor Coyler Sworn-in Jeff Coyler was sworn in as the Governor of Kansas last Wednesday afternoon on the first floor of the Statehouse. The new Governor has alluded to setting a new tone in the Governor’s office, though the particulars of what that will mean remain obscure. He did quickly make some staff changes appointing, for example, Johnson County representative Larry Campbell as his new budget director and dubbing previous budget director, Shawn Sullivan, as his new Chief Operating Officer. He has also indicated a desire to repair relations between the governor’s office and the legislature.  Governor Coyler will be offering new rules this week addressing sexual harassment in state… Read More

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February 1, 2018 Legislative Update

New Governor Following the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Governor Brownback as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, he resigned as Governor of Kansas at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 31. Lieutenant-Governor Jeff Colyer succeeded him in a swearing-in ceremony in the Capitol rotunda. Observers are curious to learn how their new Governor will compare in his policies and outlooks to his predecessor.  Coyler has suggested for months that he will bring a new tone to the Governor’s office but it is tough to gauge what that means in terms of his approach to school finance or Medicaid Expansion, for example. He has been more involved in certain issues than is typically… Read More

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January 22, 2018 Legislative Update

School Finance The legislature continues to study possible ways to address the supreme court’s school finance ruling. Lawmakers are loath to raise taxes, especially in light of last year’s tax overhaul and this year’s elections. Last week, the House Appropriations Committee was told that one way to find the $600 million over five years which the court seems to be demanding would be to implement an 18% across the board budget cut in overall state funding. This is scarcely more palatable than raising revenues; one legislator flatly received the report as “insightful.” The legislature has engaged a professor from Texas A&M to study the cost of providing constitutionally adequate school funding… Read More

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Self-care & Wellness: Oshnik Yoga

For many of us, a very specific image comes to mind when thinking about yoga: a person stretching his or her fabulous body into a seemingly impossible pose, their face as calm as a Hindu cow. Moreover, some people find the superficial traits reflected in this image (that of being poised, flexible and strong) to be the ultimate attainment for practicing yoga. However, while it is true that this practice can reinforce these physical attributes, yoga can also help develop mindfulness- an exercise that can help improve physical and mental health as well as overall well-being. In this edition of our Self-Care & Wellness blog series, the Chamber would like… Read More

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East Topeka Learning Center – Focus Groups

In an effort to advance the process of the East Topeka Learning Center project, GO Topeka has partnered with Ketchum Global Research & Analytics to glean information directly from the Topeka community. The project started by reaching out via a telephone survey asking for volunteers to be a part of a focus group. Many who were called were receptive to being a part of a 90-minute focus group. The objectives of the focus groups are to further understand the needs of East Topeka community residents in their own words in regards to the East Topeka Learning Center project and validate the findings and market segments from the survey. Some of… Read More

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Self-Care and Wellness: Midwest Float

Self-Care and Wellness: Midwest Float In the hopes of making it a truly happy holiday, we often undertake a myriad of responsibilities on the behalf of others: we schlep relatives from the airport at odd hours, fight the crowds at the super market to get that special ingredient that was conveniently forgotten during the last trip, and – on top of maintaining your personal and professional schedules – somehow find time to clean and decorate the house for company. So, is it any wonder that to many of us the season “to be jolly” ‘tis also the season for stress and anxiety? In many cases, holiday stress can be attributed… Read More

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