by Rep. Pam Curtis, D-32nd Dist.
It was a big week in the House, with both a tax bill and a school finance bill hitting the floor for debate. A budget bill has yet to be addressed on Day 101 of the 2017 session.
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As previously covered, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the state was not adequately funding schools. In its ruling, the court charged the Legislature to write a fair funding formula and to fund that formula based on constitutional requirements by June 30, 2017. On Wednesday, the House voted on HB 2410, a bill meant to address the court’s ruling. The debate was spirited and amendment-heavy, lasting four-and-a-half hours.
The underlying bill provided woefully inadequate funding and Democrats made an attempt to substantially increase that funding. Unfortunately, the attempt failed to pass. At the end of the debate, the amended bill resulted in good policy for the formula, but did not provide adequate funding for the formula. The bill will now go to the Senate floor for debate.
Monday evening, a tax package was offered on the House floor. SB 30, in this version, repealed the LLC exemption, removed the glide path to zero, and instituted a third tax bracket. Those falling into the highest income tax bracket would be Kansans earning $60,000 or more, rather than the current $100,000 threshold. Tax rates on the three brackets would have been raised to 5.7 percent for the top bracket, 5.25 percent for the median bracket, and 3.1 percent for the lowest income bracket. Monday’s plan would have also altered the low-income exclusion threshold from single filers earning less than $2,500 to a threshold of $5,000.
After thorough debate on the House floor, that version of SB 30 failed to pass, with a final vote of 53 – 68. An amended version of SB 30 will potentially be debated in the coming days.
Bills passed through the House
Sub HB 2277: An act concerning alcoholic liquor; creating common consumption areas designated by cities and counties; authorizing common consumption area permits; relating to club memberships.