Legislative update from Rep. Pam Curtis

Opinion column

Rep. Pam Curtis

by Rep. Pam Curtis, D-32nd Dist.

On Monday, the Greater Kansas City Chamber held a luncheon for legislators at the Capitol. Joe Reardon, president-CEO, and his team gave an excellent presentation about the Kansas City region’s economic importance to Kansas.

Much of the information they provided is available online in the new Greater KC Report at https://dashboards.mysidewalk.com/the-kansas-city-report. There were a lot of good questions and discussion about the opportunities and challenges facing the region. We very much appreciate the opportunity to have these important dialogues.

We had a very special Wyandotte County-Leavenworth County Delegation Luncheon on Tuesday. KCKPS students, who were at the Statehouse for Citizen Lobby Day, joined us to hear a presentation from Kansas University Health Systems.

It was great to have the students join us to learn about the new campus on Strawberry Hill where adult mental and behavioral health inpatient services are offered. We also heard about the new proton cancer treatment. KU Health Systems will be the first in the region to provide lifesaving proton therapy in Kansas City to cancer patients.

It was a pleasure to attend the annual Travel Industry Association of Kansas (TIAK) celebration “Destination Statehouse” on Wednesday. It was an enjoyable evening learning more about the attractions in Kansas and the economic benefit of the travel and tourism industry to our state. I was stumped by one of the trivia questions. “Do you know how much a buffalo hunter in the 1800s made a day?” My three guesses were way off – surprisingly the answer was $100 a day.

Aaron Coleman, a student at Johnson County Community College and my nephew, spent the day “shadowing” me to learn and experience firsthand the legislative process. If you are interested or know of a student that would be interested in spending a day or part of a day with me at the Statehouse please let me know.

It is a special honor to serve as your state representative. I value and appreciate your input on issues facing state government. Please feel free to contact me with your comments and questions. My office address is Room 452-S, 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. You can also e-mail me at pam.curtis@house.ks.gov

First vote of the 2020 session
The first vote on the House Floor of the 2020 Session was taken on Monday. HB 2426 will make technical amendments to provisions in the Code of Civil Procedure, Small Claims Procedure Act, and Code of Civil Procedure for Limited Actions to update and standardize statutory references. This bill was introduced by Rep. Highberger and passed through final action 114-0.

Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl win
Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs on their Super Bowl win. The Kansas City Chiefs won the 54th Super Bowl, on the 50th anniversary of their first championship. In celebration of the win, a parade took place in Kansas City, Missouri, on Wednesday. Because of the historic win, Speaker of the House Ryckman and Senate President Wagle closed the state legislature to allow legislators to attend the celebration.

COLA day at the capital
Members of the Kansas Coalition of Public Retirees gathered at the Statehouse this week for “COLA” day. Retirees spent the day talking with lawmakers about the need for a cost of living raise for those receiving benefits and urging support for HB2100. It has been 22 years since KPERS recipients have received a cost of living adjustment while at the same time the Consumer Price Index has risen by approximately 54 percent. It is important that we keep the promise to our public service employees including those that are currently working and depending on KPERS for their future retirement as well as those retirees who without cost of living adjustments struggle to make ends meet in the very communities they protected and served.

Constitutional amendment goes to final action
The proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution (SCR 1613) that would strip women of their bodily autonomy was debated on the House Floor Thursday morning. During the debate a “gut and go” amendment was brought forth that would have replaced the text of the constitutional amendment with the language in HCR 5004, a bill which grants personhood to all humans beginning at fertilization, effectively banning all abortion and making miscarriages a crime. The germaneness of said amendment was challenged and the rules committee ruled it not germane.

SCR 1613 was then moved to be recommended for passage. Moving any bill from general orders to final action requires a simple majority, whereas on final action, a Constitutional amendment requires two-thirds of the body’s votes, or 84 yes votes. The vote passed out of general orders 80-41. Friday, after being held in Call of the House for nearly six hours, the amendment failed 80-43 during final action.

House Appropriations begins to examine budget
The House Appropriations Committee has begun reviewing the governor’s budget proposal. Two policy pieces within the proposal particularly stand out as necessary and logical for Kansans.

The first is targeted food sales tax relief. Kansas has the highest food sales tax in the nation. This policy will replace the current non-refundable food sales tax credit with a new refundable food sales tax credit. If approved the measure will return $63 million back to the people of Kansas.

The other policy goal of the governor is property tax relief. This resumes transfers from the State General Fund back to the Local Ad Valorem, returning property taxes back to local communities.

State Library

Explora https://kslib.info/students is an online resource available from the State Library of Kansas. Click on the grade-appropriate icon for assistance with Middle School or High School homework or class assignments. Explora delivers high-quality articles from reputable publishers with no pop-ups or ads. Reading level indicators allow selection of material that matches students’ reading abilities. Broad topic overviews provide students with a starting point for their research.

My Legislative Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/PamCurtisKCK/?ref=bookmarks
My Twitter Account , https://twitter.com/pcurtiskck.
My Website, https://www.curtisforkck.com/?utm_campaign=2020ksleg4&utm_medium=email&utm_source=pamcurtis.

Kansas Legislature Website, http://kslegislature.org/li/.

One thought on “Legislative update from Rep. Pam Curtis”

  1. Rep. Curtis voted against allowing the legislature to keep common sense health and safety oversight over abortion clinics. The amendment is needed because the KS Supreme Court somehow “found” an unlimited right to abortion, even though it’s not in the Constitution.

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