We have reached Turnaround - the midpoint of the legislative session! Much of this session has been dominated by two topics - the Value Them Both Amendment and Medicaid Expansion - but things picked up recently as we approached mid-session deadlines.
In fact, the Senate passed a total of 56 bills this week. The bills covered a wide range of Kansas topics including property tax, protecting women and girls from human trafficking, providing funding for at-risk school children, holding DCF accountable for the educational outcomes of foster care children, and allowing sports wagering in Kansas – just to name a few.
Below is a list of some of the major bills we passed this week:
SB 294: Establishes the Truth in Taxation Act that requires notice and public hearing requirements prior to approval by a governing body to exceed its certified tax rate for property tax purposes. Passed the Senate on a vote of 39-0.
SB 264: Providing for removal of person from county appraiser eligibility list due to termination in one or more counties and for notification when person no longer holds office of appraiser. Passed the Senate on a vote of 40-0.
SB 272: Prohibiting county appraisers and the state board of tax appeals from increasing the valuation of county appraised property in valuation appeals. Passed the Senate on a vote of 40-0
SB 295: Prohibiting property tax valuation increase solely as the result of normal repair, replacement or maintenance of existing structure. Passed the Senate on a vote of 38-1.
SB 266: Requiring appraisal courses for county appraisers and BOTA members to be courses approved by the Kansas real estate appraisal board. Passed the Senate on a vote of 29-11.
SB 283: Authorizing sports wagering under the Kansas expanded lottery act. Passed the Senate on a vote of 23-15.
SB 308: Allowing the on-farm retail sale of raw, unpasteurized milk so long as certain labeling and advertising requirements are met. Passed the Senate on a vote of 37-3.
SB 402: Requiring registration as a sex offender for certain violations of the crime of breach of privacy. Passed the Senate on a vote of 40-0.
SB 337: Expanding the provision of the ACT college entrance exam and work keys assessments to students enrolled in nonpublic schools. Passed the Senate of a vote of 39-1.
Governor Again Proposes to Reamortize KPERS Much like last year, Governor Kelly has proposed to reamortize KPERS as a part of her budget plans.
Governor Kelly’s KPERS amortization plan "Take 2" is similar to the plan she proposed in 2019 and similar to a plan proposed by the Brownback administration in 2017. At the time, then-Senator Kelly opposed it and said, “would unravel all the work done to ensure the financial stability of KPERS.” Senator Kelly also went on to criticize Governor Brownback for “short-term thinking.”
We agree with then Senator Kelly, the plan is “short-term thinking” that will in fact “unravel the work done to ensure the financial stability of KPERS.”
Here are a few key points:
Kelly’s short-term KPERS budget gain would save $130.9 million but would end up costing the state billions of additional dollars.
Kelly’s controversial amortization plan extends payments an additional 10 years and adds $4.4 billion in interest payments.
KPERS Board opposes Kelly’s plan to amortize KPERS. The KPERS board voted on Friday, January 17, 2020 to oppose Kelly’s plan to amortize.
Current KPERS schedule calls for Legislature to pay $702.0 million in 2021. Under the Gov’s amortized plan the KPERS payment would be reduced to $515.0 million in 2021 but adds 10 additional years to the payment schedule and $4.4 billion in interest payments.
This week, the House rejected the governor's plan and I don't see much appetite for it in the Senate, either.
Visitors to the Capitol Several School Groups have paid a visit to Topeka in the last few weeks, Arkansas City, Wellington and two groups from Winfield were seen in the Capitol. If you plan on coming to Topeka please let us know, we would love to visit with you.
Upcoming Forums, Coffees, and Visits Your elected House and Senate members will be scheduling community visits during the last of March and the month of April. As we get the schedule completed, we will send out emails and post the time and locations of our visits on social media. We welcome all to attend, we are looking forward to visiting with you about your items of interest.
Contact Me in Topeka Here is how you can reach me in Topeka:
Room: 541-E Seat: 14 Phone: 785-296-7381 Email: Larry.Alley@senate.ks.gov
State Web Portal: http://kslegislature.org/li/b2019_20/members/sen_alley_larry_1/
Ways & Means Assessment & Tax Commerce Education
For previous newsletters, visit my website at http://www.alleyforkansas.com.
Conclusion If you have questions about any of these bills or have questions about any topic and would like to know if the legislature is addressing, don’t hesitate to ask and I’ll get the answer for you.
Looking forward, this week we will be heading back to Topeka on Wednesday. We will then have about a month until we are concluded with the regular part of the session. Look for another update in about two weeks!
Sincerely, Larry Alley