LIST OF ISSUES
The 10th Amendment of the Constitution says: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Blake Carpenter still believes in states' rights and the role it plays in our government today. A government closer to its citizens will always be more responsive than a large centralized government on the other side of the country.
On January 20, 1981, President Ronald Regan said this during his inaugural address: "It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the Federal establishment and to demand recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the Federal Government and those reserved to the States or to the people. All of us need to be reminded that the Federal Government did not create the States; the States created the Federal Government." Blake believes these words still ring true today. One of Blake's primary goals in Topeka is to try and bring more power back to the state and closer to the people.
Air Rifle Legislation
In the Fall of 2015, the Derby school district removed an air rifle club that had been in operation at one of its facilities for 30 years. There was never an accident or incident during this club's activities, but they were still barred from the school facilities. The club was an after school event that taught kids gun safety and how to use air rifles properly.
While walking the district in the Fall, Blake heard from constituents about their displeasure in the decision. Blake introduced and carried legislation during the 2016 legislative session to remedy the issue. The bill number was originally HB2468 and was later amended into HB2502. The bill passed the Senate 32 to 6, and it passed the House 92 to 28. This bill now allows 4-H and Daisy clubs all across the state to use school facilities for practices and tournaments. With this bill kids will have a chance to possibly go on and play this sport in college or the Olympics. The first gold medal won at the 2016 Olympics was by Ginny Thrasher for air rifle shooting.
Blake has stood firm for your Second Amendment rights while serving in Topeka. Every law abiding citizen has the right to purchase, carry and own a firearm. There are four important words in the Second Amendment: "Shall not be infringed."
Blake has been endorsed by the NRA (National Rifle Association) and given an A+ Rating! Blake was one out of only a handful of legislators to receive the A+ rating this year.
The A+ grade means:
A legislator with not only an excellent voting record on all critical NRA issues, but who has also made a vigorous effort to promote and defend the Second Amendment.
During the 2019 session, Blake introduced HB2326. Presently, Kansas has an issue with some of our reciprocity agreements with other states regarding our conceal carry licenses. This bill will fix those reciprocity issues and while this bill was being carried on the House floor an amendment was added to it. The amendment will allow 18, 19, and 20 year old's to receive training and obtain their conceal carry permits. Currently, Kansas law allows 18, 19, and 20 year old's to open carry, but not conceal carry. HB2326 passed the House with a vote of 83-41 and is waiting to be worked in the Senate.
Blake believes life is precious and will defend the vulnerable with action, not just words. Every life is created for a purpose and as such, Kansas should be known not just as a state that protects life, but one that actively promotes a culture of life. Blake has been endorsed by Kansans for life.
During the 2016 legislative session, Blake co-sponsored transparency legislation. Currently, people can listen to floor debates live, but not committee hearings. For the first time in 2017, legislative committee hearings will be live streamed over the internet.
All of our children deserve a quality education. Kansas invests half of the state general fund each year in our schools, so they have the ability to provide a quality education to Kansas students. At the same time, it is irresponsible to merely focus on funding levels without any discussion of how funds are spent or student outcomes are achieved. Blake's goal in Topeka will be to ensure more of those education dollars are spent in the classroom – reducing waste and improving results for our children. Blake knows we must re-establish the control of our school system at the local level – with parents, teachers, and administrators working together to provide the best solutions for our communities. Kansas is too diverse to implement a one-size-fits-all approach, and the solution is to put the control back into the hands of parents and local school boards. During Blake's tenure in office, a majority of the debate in the state house has been over K-12 education. Blake is committed to finding solutions to this challenging issue that arises every year in the legislature.
In 2018, Blake introduced HB2539 which placed requirements on individuals who sought statewide elected office. Blake gave this testimony in the Senate committee as to why we needed a minimum set of standards pertaining to age and residency. One additional item that was mentioned in his verbal testimony was that even incarcerated individuals could run for office because we did not have a law saying that they could not. During the 2018 governor's race we saw individuals from out-of-state file for the office of govenor and in one case someone filed their dog to run. HB2539 was passed and signed into law May 18, 2018.
During the 2019 session, Blake helped amend SB129 into SB130 during an elections committee meeting. SB129 allows for Sedgwick County residents to vote at any polling place on Election Day. Under the old system in Sedgwick County you could vote at remote polling stations for the two weeks leading up to Election Day, but on Election Day you have to report to a specific precinct to cast your vote. The old method of having to vote at specific places on Election Day was producing approximately 1,600 provisional ballots. Allowing Sedgwick County residents to vote at any polling place on election day will cut down on provisional ballots. The system also has security measures to prevent double voting. SB130 was passed and signed into law on April 15, 2019.