2018 Legislative Update #5
April 30 is the deadline for state lawyers to get their arguments into the Supreme Court with regard to ongoing education funding lawsuits. The House leadership has hired an outside ‘expert witness’ who is due to give their opinion to the House mid-March. While the Education funding committee has looked at some specific reforms, leadership appears to be waiting for testimony to proceed.
Experts came into the Tax committee to brief members about the anticipated impact of Federal tax reform on Kansas revenues and tax procedures. There have been top level early estimates of these tax reform measures actually increasing Kansas revenues. We typically have a high degree of conformance to the Federal tax code, so we must decide where we will remain in conformance with the tax modifications made recently and where we will not.
Colyer Announces Lt. Governor
Tuesday evening – two weeks after his inauguration – Governor Colyer announced his pick for Lieutenant Governor, western Kansan Tracey Mann from Salina. Lt. Governor Mann ran a failed campaign for US Congress in Kansas’ First District in 2010, losing the primary to then-State Sen. Tim Huelskamp.
Medicaid Expansion Hearing
A hearing was held on Wednesday in the Senate Health and Public Welfare Committee on Senate Bill (SB) 38. The bill, titled the KanCare Bridge to a Healthy Kansas Program, would expand Medicaid services. SB 38 would expand Medicaid services to include adult applicants under 65 years of age, who are not pregnant and whose income does not exceed 133 percent of the federal poverty level ($16,040 for an individual, or $32,718 for a family of 4).
Medicaid expansion passed through both the Kansas House and Senate last year, but was vetoed by then-Gov. Sam Brownback.
Bills on the Floor this Week
Most bills debated on the floor were administrative in nature, such as the bill passed through that requires more advanced notice be given to the bank commissioner when a bank is going under. Some bills of interest:
HB 2506: This bill will allow cities, as well as certain organizations as authorized by current law, to take temporary possession of abandoned property for purposes of rehabilitating the property. This is controversial because it allows slightly quicker seizure of blighted property in a city, where the process can extend out for years currently.
HB 2476: This bill will create and amend law related to the sale of alcoholic candy and to the sale of microbrewery “growlers”. The “alcoholic candy” was the focus of the debate, and defines it as candy with content greater than 0.5 percent alcohol by volume. Currently candies injected or infused with higher alcohol content can be sold in candy and grocery stores and is viewed as a way to get around alcohol laws.
Women's Community Y hosted it’s 11th Annual Chocolate Event at the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum on Saturday. Lots of people and LOTS of chocolate - both sweet and savory. Money raised helps programs for the youth in Leavenworth.
Father David Visit
I was honored to have Fr. David McEvoy from Leavenworth Immaculate Conception and St. Joseph Church be my guest to give yesterday’s Legislative invocation in Topeka! A much needed inspiration for a long day!
My Honor to Serve Leavenworth
It is a special honor to serve as your state representative. I value and need your input on the various issues facing state government. Please feel free to contact me with your comments and questions.
My office address is Room 559-S, 300 SW 10th, Topeka, KS 66612. You can reach me at (785) 296-7522 or call the legislative hotline at +1 (800) 432-3924 to leave a message for me. Additionally, you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow the legislative session online at www.kslegislature.org.