Legislative update from Rep. Pam Curtis, D-32nd Dist.

Rep. Pam Curtis

by Rep. Pam Curtis

It was a pleasure to visit with students from Schlagle High School who were at the Capitol for “Kick Butts Day” to talk with lawmakers about smart tobacco policies and to advocate for tobacco prevention.

They were very well informed and talked about education and access being key to prevention. I appreciate Rebecca Garza from Healthy Communities Wyandotte bringing this group of young people by to visit with me.

Gov. Laura Kelly held a news conference on Thursday with business leaders and kicked off a seminar on the economic benefit of Medicaid expansion. “Carolyn Watley, an executive with the Kansas City Chamber, said expansion would add 600 jobs in her region and bring in tax revenue and economic benefits that would total $126 million in Johnson and Wyandotte counties.” Medicaid expansion is an important issue in our community and in our state and I remain hopeful that we will be able to move this issue forward this session.

If you are interested in advocating for Medicaid expansion, a “Rally at the Capitol – Expand KanCare Now! is planned for 2 p.m. March 19. Additionally, a meeting “Time to Act! Medicaid Expansion in Kansas” is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. March 19 at Tapatio Mexican Grill, 151 S. 18th St., Kansas City, Kansas.

Both of these events are sponsored by Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, a statewide coalition focused on increasing access to healthcare through expansion of KanCare. Additional information about medicaid expansion is available at: http://ExpandKanCare.com.

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 at the Statehouse 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 email me at: pam.curtis@house.ks.gov.

Brownback tax plan 2.0 passes House

Senate Bill 22 made its way to the House floor this week. As previously described, Senate Bill 22 is a repeat of the failed Brownback tax experiment. It is a massive tax giveaway to giant, multi-national corporations, at the expense of working Kansans.

It will cost Kansans a minimum of $207 million in the first year alone and will fester to over $493 million over the next three years. That is half a billion dollars and could be far more if corporations exploit it. We should wait until at least April for the Consensus Revenue Estimates to come out before we make any significant changes to our tax code.

In the House Taxation Committee, two amendments were added as an attempt to dress up this monstrosity of a bill. The first addition is an internet and digital goods sales tax. The digital goods provision was removed. Internet sales tax warrants valid discussion on its own, not latched onto a bad bill. The second amendment is a 1 percent food sales tax reduction, which was added as a thinly veiled attempt to make it more difficult for the governor to veto the bill. Kansans need thorough discussion and meaningful change, not a political ploy.

On the House floor, amendments were attempted and struck down that further showed the true colors behind this bad bill. Democratic representatives posed amendments to reinstate working class deductions, eliminate the corporate tax handout, and substantially increase the food sales tax cut. This shows that many of our Republican colleagues are not really interested in addressing the needs of working Kansans.

Overall, Senate Bill 22 is a disastrous return to the failed Brownback tax plan that bankrupted Kansas. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.

This week on the floor

This week, the House worked several bills on the floor. All of these bills passed through the chamber. They include:

HB 2160: Provides sales tax authority for Wabaunsee county.

SB 22: Kansas itemized deductions, election, providing for deferred foreign income, global intangible low-taxed income, business interest, capital contributions and FDIC premiums income tax modifications; sales and compensating use tax, imposition of tax, nexus, remote sellers, marketplace facilitators, rate of tax on food and food ingredients.

State Library of Kansas

Getting ready to apply for college? Improving your test scores just got easier with LearningExpress Library, available from the State Library of Kansas. LearningExpress Library is an easy to use online resource that includes practice tests and tutorials for PSAT, ACT and SAT as well as AP. There is no charge to use LearningExpress and no limit to the number of times you can take the practice tests. Becoming familiar with and comfortable with the testing format and the types of questions helps to improve test scores. Go to https://kslib.info/LearningExpress click on College Preparation Center.

My Legislative Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/PamCurtisKCK.
My Twitter account, https://twitter.com/pcurtiskck
My website, https://www.curtisforkck.com/
Kansas Legislature website, http://kslegislature.org/

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