Susan Wagle

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Susan Wagle
SusanWagle 2019.jpg
President of the Kansas Senate
Assumed office
January 14, 2013
Preceded byStephen Morris
Member of the Kansas Senate
from the 30th district
Assumed office
January 2001
Preceded byBarbara Lawrence
Member of the Kansas House of Representatives
from the 99th district
In office
January 1991 – January 2001
Personal details
Born (1953-09-27) September 27, 1953 (age 65)
Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Tom Wagle
EducationWichita State University (BA)

Susan Wagle (born September 27, 1953) is an American politician who serves as a Republican member of the Kansas Senate, representing Kansas' 30th district since 2001.[1] She was elected President of the Kansas Senate in 2013.

Early life[edit]

Wagle was born on September 27, 1953, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Her family moved to Wichita, Kansas when she was four.

She received her bachelor's degree in 1979 from Wichita State University. From 1979 to 1982, she taught special education for Wichita Public Schools before starting numerous small businesses with her husband Tom in the Wichita area.

Political career[edit]

Kansas House[edit]

In 1990, Wagle was elected to the Kansas House, representing District 99 in Sedgwick County, Kansas. In 1994, she was elected as the first female speaker pro tem and was reelected to the position in 1996. Wagle ran for Kansas Speaker of the House in 1998 but lost by two votes to Robin Jennison.

Roles within the Kansas House of Representatives[edit]

1993-1994

Vice Chair of Public Health & Welfare

1995-1998

Chair of Interstate Cooperation

Chair of Select Committee on Broadcasting

1999

Chair of Federal & State Affairs

Kansas Senate[edit]

Wagle was elected to the Kansas State Senate in 2000.[2] She was elected senate president on December 3, 2012, winning 23–9 over Sen. Steve Abrams of Arkansas City and in 2013 she was sworn in as the 47th Senate President of Kansas. Wagle was reelected as senate president in 2016, defeating Sen. Ty Masterson by a vote of 23–7. She is one of four senate presidents in Kansas' history to serve a second term.

A cancer survivor, Wagle is the first female president of the Kansas Senate and the first senate president from Wichita.[3]

Roles within the Kansas Senate[edit]

2001-2004

Chair of Public Health & Welfare

2005-2008

Chair of Healthcare Strategies

2010

Chair of Business & Labor

Vice Chair of Local Government

2011

Chair of Commerce

Vice Chair of Joint Committee on Economic Development

2013-2016

Vice Chair of Commerce

Chair of Interstate Cooperation

Chair of Organization, Calendar, & Rules


Wagle served as a delegate to the 1996 Republican National Convention. She served as the National Chairman for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in 2006 and currently sits on their Board of Directors. In 2019, Wagle was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Senate President's Forum.

Issues[edit]

Abortion[edit]

Wagle is pro-life. As Speaker Pro Tem, Wagle passed the first pro-life legislation in Kansas, The Women's Right to Know Act, which gives women seeking a late term abortion more information on fetal development. She received the Kansas Catholic Conference Silver Angel Award in recognition for passing the first pro-life legislation in the state.

Wagle sponsored legislation banning dismemberment abortions in Kansas. The Kansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act prohibits a person from performing, or attempting to perform, a dismemberment abortion unless it is necessary to preserve the life of the mother.

In 2019, Wagle along with other pro-life members of the Kansas Senate led efforts to pass a resolution condemning New York's Reproductive Health Act, which allows for late-term abortions.

Sexual Harassment Reform[edit]

In 2017, Wagle led the effort to update policies to combat sexual harassment at the Kansas Capitol.[4] Wagle worked with the Kansas City based Women's Foundation to implement policy changes such as mandatory training sessions, allowing for anonymous reporting, and policy to protect interns within the Statehouse.[5]

Government Accountability[edit]

In 2018, Wagle cosponsored legislation with Kansas Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley that worked to bring more transparency to state contracts. The bill required lobbyist registration for anyone attempting to influence officials in state agencies or the executive branch over a state contract.[6]

As Commerce Committee Chairwoman, Wagle began an investigation into the Kansas Bioscience Authority (KBA) in 2011. The KBA was founded under Governor Kathleen Sebelius with the goal of spurring growth in the bioscience sector. Wagle called for an investigation due to excessive spending on salaries, benefits, travel, and entertainment.[7] Wagle noticed a stark difference between the state's 12-year investment and its final return. She called for an audit and review for the abuse of taxpayer dollars which ultimately led to the shutdown of KBA for findings of misspent funds.[8]

Community involvement[edit]

Wagle served on the Board of Directors for Victory in the Valley, a Wichita-based nonprofit that provides support to cancer patients and their families. Wagle became involved after spending numerous hours there with her son Paul during his cancer treatments. Wagle has also served on the Board for Youth Entrepreneurs Kansas, a nonprofit that provides high school students, particularly at-risk students, with a business and entrepreneurial education to help them become contributing members of society.

Personal life[edit]

Wagle lives in Wichita with her husband, Tom, together they have seven children and 15 grandchildren.

[edit]

Legislation sponsored or co-sponsored by Wagle includes:[9]

  • Constitutional amendment to have supreme court justices' appointments subject to consent of the senate.[10]
  • A bill to ban dismemberment abortions[11]
  • A bill to create a budget stabilization fund[12]
  • A bill regarding the right to bear arms[13]
  • A bill increasing transparency within the executive branch[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Senator Susan Wagle – President of the Senate". Kansas State Legislature 2013–2014. Kansas Legislative Information System and Services. Retrieved October 20, 2015.
  2. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  3. ^ "Sen. Susan Wagle first Wichitan elected Senate president". Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  4. ^ "Political opposites raising awareness of #MeToo in the Kansas Legislature. But is anything changing? - KLC Journal". May 4, 2018. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  5. ^ "Kansas City group offers ideas to rid Kansas Capitol of sexual harassment". Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  6. ^ Kite, Allison. "Kansas Senate president proposes transparency measure for executive branch". Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  7. ^ "Kansas Bioscience Authority officials' raises, bonuses scrutinized". Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  8. ^ "Here's what Bioscience Authority's portfolio sold for". Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  9. ^ Legislation Archived June 21, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ Bill 1612[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "SB 95 - Bills and Resolutions - Kansas State Legislature". www.kslegislature.org. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  12. ^ SB 1614[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ SB 1611[permanent dead link]
  14. ^ "Kansas bill aims at anyone trying to sway executive branch. Register 'like a lobbyist'". Retrieved October 29, 2018.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Stephen Morris
President of the Kansas Senate
2013–present
Incumbent