J.R. Claeys | Salina's Representative
NEWSROOM
Rep. Claeys created a Director of Unmanned Aircraft Systems position in KDOT Aviation, and proposed a tax credit for engineers to support development of the industry in Salina.
Rep. Claeys is responsible for a Kansas Highway Patrol recruitment and retention plan that resulted in one of the largest recruiting classes in history at the KHP Training Academy in Salina.
Rep. Claeys led the effort to reform government programs by rooting out waste while looking for more efficient delivery of the programs and services we expect from our state.

Salina, Kans. -- Today, economic development in Kansas took a huge step forward with the announcement of Colonel Robert Brock as the state's new director of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). As chairman of the House Transportation and Public Safety Budget Committee, I worked with the Secretary of Transportation and our research universities to create this new state-level position. Now we have in place a talented and experienced director who can move the UAS industry forward in Kansas and continue to build on our nationally-recognized UAS programs.

Colonel Brock brings a depth of experience to this position that will allow him to hit the ground running. A Kansas native, he commanded the first Air Force UAS squadron for special operations. His unit, the 3rd Special Operations Squadron, was recognized as the model UAS organization in the Department of Defense. Colonel Brock understands the potential UAS has and he has the experience and talent to direct the growth of the industry in Kansas.

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Salina, Kans. -- Rep. J.R. Claeys (R-Salina) invited the Secretary of Commerce, Antonio Soave, and the Kansas Department of Transportation Aviation Director, Merrill Atwater, to Salina to discuss the next steps in the development of the unmanned aircraft systems industry in Salina. The visit included stops at the Kansas State University Bulk Solids Innovation Facility and the campus of Kansas State Polytechnic at the Salina Airport.

Salina business leaders involved in the downtown redevelopment project, representatives from the university, city, airport authority and chamber of commerce all participated in a wide ranging discussion on the UAS industry and the steps necessary to grow aviation jobs in Salina.

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Salina, Kans. -- Rep. J.R. Claeys this week had a proviso added to the budget that will create the Kansas Unmanned Aircraft Research Triangle between the state's research universities, including Kansas State Polytechnic in Salina.

"The new UAS Research Triangle will offer opportunities for growing industry in the region and right here in Salina," said Claeys. "Combining the strengths of each of our university programs to compete will result in more wins across the state."

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Salina, Kans. -- Rep. J.R. Claeys (R-Salina) is proposing a plan to incentivize attending a Kansas college for an aviation engeneering degree or a degree in a field related to the manufacturing of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

"Growing jobs in Salina requires a skilled workforce," said Claeys. "The high-paying engineering and technical manufacturing jobs in aerospace are coveted across the country, but we have an advantage in Salina."

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Salina, Kans. -- Rep. J.R. Claeys (R-Salina) chairs the committee responsible for raises for public safety agency employees over the past year. The Kansas Highway Patrol, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Corrections officers statewide are receiving, or will receive raises designed to address problems with recruitment and retention in those agencies.

"Anyone in business can tell you that turnover and staff shortages cost more money in the long run," said Claeys. "Over the last two sessions we've improved public safety in Kansas by addressing needs across the state, and at home in Salina."

Salina is home to the Kansas Highway Patrol Training Academy, which just last year had a graduating class of six. The next class may set a record number of graduates at over 40.

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Salina, Kans. -- Kansas House Republicans made a commitment to the people of Kansas to root out government waste and hold government agencies accountable for every dollar spent. That commitment is being kept through thoughtful study of how our government agencies operate and where we can provide better service at a lower cost.

As a fifth generation Kansan, born and raised in Salina, I know we have the tools to be the best state to live, work and raise a family. As Kansans, we know the value of hard work, and in our families we engage in sound budgeting practices that we expect from our government. Kansas House Republicans share your values and are working toward budgets that are balanced and free of unnecessary, wasteful spending.

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Salina, Kans. -- Representative J.R. Claeys (R-Salina) will serve as Chairman of the Kansas House of Representatives committee responsible for the budgets of the Kansas Department of Transportation, the Kansas Highway Patrol and the Kansas National Guard, all with a sizable presence in Salina and Saline County. Claeys was recently reelected in a landslide to his second term representing west Salina and northwest Saline County in the Kansas House of Representatives.

"I’m honored to represent several Salina institutions in the state budget process," said Claeys. "Salina is home to the KHP, the Army National Guard and a KDOT District Headquarters, and the region is home to an Air National Guard Range as well as two interstate highways critical to our state’s infrastructure."

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Salina, Kans. -- Representative J.R. Claeys (R-Salina) received an appointment to the Joint Committee on Information Technology as the single selection of the Chair of the House Committee on Appropriations, Ron Ryckman, Jr. (R-Olathe). The committee is made up of five members of the House of Representatives and five members of the Senate.

The Joint Committee on Information Technology is established by statute to study the use of technology by state agencies and review new governmental computer hardware and software acquisition proposed by state agencies. The committee reviews implementation plans, including all information technology project budget estimates and three-year strategic information technology plans that are submitted to the joint committee to study the progress and results of all newly implemented governmental computer hardware and software, information storage, transmission, processing and telecommunications technologies.

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Paid for by Kansans for Claeys, Mark Hassman, Treasurer