Lansing lawmaker earns recognition for ‘pro-job’ stance
The Kansas Chamber of Commerce is hailing State Rep. Kenny Wilk, R-Lansing, as a "2005 Pro-Jobs Legislator."
"The reason we're here today is to honor, I think, one of the most extraordinary individuals I've had the privilege of working with in my short time in Kansas," said Lew Ebert, who has been president of the Kansas Chamber since 2002.
Kansas Chamber officials recognized Wilk on Tuesday at the offices of the Leavenworth-Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce. They were there on the inaugural stop of a 15-city tour intended to spotlight the chamber's efforts to create jobs in Kansas.
"I hope events like this draw some special attention to the fact that we have some great legislators that really want to see Kansas be a different state," Ebert said. "They want to see the economy grow. They're concerned that we're losing jobs, that we're losing population, that there's lagging economic growth, and they want to make a difference."
Ebert praised Wilk for his work on the 2004 Kansas Economic Growth Act, a landmark piece of legislation intended to make the state a leader in the burgeoning biosciences arena.
"There's probably not enough that's been written about how Kenny and his Senate colleague Nick Jordan collaborated to move forward the unique and innovative proposal," Ebert said. "Those are the kinds of things that Kansas has to do if we want to be a leader among states and a competitor among nations for jobs."
Ebert noted five areas the chamber is emphasizing with lawmakers: workers' compensation, health care costs, taxes, the legal system and unemployment compensation.
"In our view, we couldn't have a better individual working in the Statehouse than Kenny Wilk to help to move forward those issues," he said.
Wilk, a Republican who has represented the 42nd District since 1992, praised Ebert for his efforts in reinvigorating the Kansas Chamber and putting job creation on the front burner for lawmakers.
"I think it's important to understand when you're talking to Lew that when you talk business, you're talking jobs," Wilk said. "I think we all ought to be concerned about jobs."
In all, the chamber lists 63 state representatives and 20 state senators on its list of pro-jobs lawmakers from the 2005 Legislature. Wilk and State Sen. Roger Pine, R-Lawrence, are the only lawmakers on the list whose districts include parts of Leavenworth County.