by Rep. Pam Curtis, D-32nd Dist.
The second week of veto session was quite busy. While the major issues are still to be addressed, the K-12 Education budget committee continues to work on a school finance formula in attempts to comply with the Gannon ruling on adequacy.
The Senate ran a tax plan on Thursday, and Kansas House Democrats continue to stand behind our message – schools first.
Earlier this year I was appointed to serve on the Joint Information Technology Committee that met on Wednesday. We had a presentation on the Kansas Fusion Center and are very much focused on issues related to cyber security.
I also served on the House Tax Committee to fill in for a representative who had a conflict. We heard and worked several bills one of which will provide an exemption to the local property tax lid for employment benefits costs.
It is a special honor to serve as your state representative. I both value and need your input on the various issues facing state government. Feel free to contact me with your comments and questions. My office address is Room 452-S, Kansas Statehouse, 300 SW 10th, Topeka, KS 66612. You can reach me at 785-296-7430 or call the legislative hotline at 1-800-432-3924 to leave a message for me. Additionally, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
On House floor
Several Conference Committee reports passed through the House, and on Friday, three bills were debated, including:
H Sub for SB 126: An act establishing the foster care task force. A product of the work of the House Children and Seniors Committee to help improve the Kansas foster care system.
HB 2380: An act concerning sales and compensating use tax; relating to city and county retailers’ sales tax, Marion County. The bill was amended on the floor to remove some sales tax exemptions as well as provide a decrease in sales tax paid on food in 2020.
SB 201: An act concerning consumer protection; relating to the Kansas consumer protection act, definition of protected consumer; relating to the Kansas no-call act, restricting use of automatic dialing-announcing devices.
A fourth bill was up for consideration Friday – HB 2418 – an act concerning health and health care; establishing an on-site state employee health clinic; making and concerning appropriations for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018, for the department of administration. It was pulled from general orders at the last moment, likely because it could have been a vehicle in which to bring back a Medicaid expansion debate.
Senate tax plan dies on floor
On Thursday, the Kansas Senate ran an amended version of HB 2067, a tax plan that was largely similar to what the House nearly voted on last week – this bill would not have solved our fiscal issues last week, nor would it this week. It is imperative that we address school funding first.
The bill did not pass in the Senate, with a final vote of 18 in favor and 22 voting no. Kansas Democrats in the legislature will continue to work towards a fair tax plan.
Kobach appointed to Trump voter fraud team
Just one day after a federal judge ruled against Kris Kobach, mandating that he turn into the courts the plan he prepared for a meeting with President Trump, Trump appointed Kobach to a new Voter Fraud Task Force.
The Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has consistently claimed rampant voter fraud exists nationwide, but has not been able to produce any evidence thus far. He is the only SOS in the nation with prosecutorial powers.
Filing deadline for local election candidates approaches
Anyone interested in running for local office in Kansas – take note. The filing deadline for candidacy is June 1, 2017. If you would like to file, or know someone who would, please find all the details you need and the filing paperwork here, www.sos.ks.gov/elections/elections_upcoming.html.
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Kansas State Library, https://kslib.info/
Kansas Legislature Website, http://kslegislature.org