Senator Hilderband’s Weekly Newsletter Feb. 8

State senatorRichard Hilderbrand13th district
communications from the state capitol
February 8, 2019∙ Week Four
HARD FACTS:
·      U.S. employers added 304,000 jobs in January, soaring past Wall Street’s expectations for an increase of 165,000 jobs (Fox Business).
·      University of Kansas officials say crime reported on the Lawrence campus in 2018 dropped to the lowest level in 10 years (AP News).
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.
Easy registration and self-supplied password is necessary and helps you save your practice tests and tutorials. If the page above asks for a Kansas Library eCard number, you may get one at any library in Kansas. Most people will be automatically recognized as being in Kansas and will not need this step.  Questions: kslc@library.ks.gov or 785-296-3296.
FLOOR ACTION
KPERS $115 MILLION TRANSFER(SB 9): Senate Bill 9, transfers $115.0 million from the State General Fund to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement Fund. The payment in its’ entirety will be paid to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS)-School group. This bill passed the Senate 40-0. I voted in favor of this bill
Stopping the tax increase (SB 22): Senate Bill 22, was introduced in response to the federal windfall Kansas is expected to receive as a result of Congress passing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017. Senate Bill 22 addresses both individual and corporate income taxes by decoupling from certain federal tax provisions. This will allow individuals the ability to itemize when using the federal standard deduction on their tax return.
Senate Bill 22 will provide Kansans the right to deduct interest on their mortgage, property taxes, and health care expenses. The legislation also provides incentives for businesses to invest and create jobs in Kansas by protecting Kansas companies from an unintended tax increase. This bill passed the Senate 26-14. I voted in favor of this bill
GOVERNOR KELLY’S EDUCATION FUNDING PLAN
The Senate Select Committee on Education Finance began hearings for Senate Bill 44, Governor Laura Kelly’s education plan. The bill would add $92 million per year to the $949.4 million the Legislature has already promised K-12 through the year 2023. The $92 million is an inflation figure, which is factored at a flat rate. The Senate Education Committee will continue hearings for Senate Bill 44 on Tuesday, February 12th at 1:30 pm.
KANSAS FARM BUREAU 100TH ANNIVERSARY
On Thursday, members of the Kansas Farm Bureau gathered at the statehouse to celebrate the bureau’s 100th anniversary.In 1919, the Kansas Farm Bureau was established as a grassroots organization to strengthen and correlate the work of county Farm Bureaus to promote the development of the most profitable and permanent system of agriculture; the most wholesome and satisfactory living conditions; the highest ideals in home and community life, and a general interest in the farm business and rural life. The Kansas Farm Bureau has advocated and served Kansas farmers and ranchers through a wide range of programs, including agriculture education, leadership development, legal defense, rural development, and international trade. Through its work, the Bureau has played a critical role as the Voice of Agriculture in Kansas.
JAG-K DAY AT THE STATEHOUSE
Thursday, February 7th, was JAG-K advocacy day at the Kansas Statehouse. Jobs for America’s Graduates, Kansas is a non-profit organization that partners with students facing multiple barriers to success. The curriculum emphasizes graduating from high school and preparing students for post-secondary education or entering the workforce directly. The JAG-K program had a 97% graduation rate in school year 2016-2017.
Students, educators, and program directors presented an overview of the program in front of the Senate Education Committee on Thursday before being recognized on the Senate floor during session.
The above chart shows data from the 2017-2018 school year.
NEXT WEEK
Monday –
·      Informational hearing on Medicaid: Amerigroup, Frank Clepper – [Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee; February 11 at 9:30 am]
·      Discussion on: School Safety Drills by Office of the State Fire Marshal, Doug Jorgensen and Kansas State Department of Education, Dale Dennis – [Senate Education Committee; February 11 at 1:30 pm]
Tuesday –
·      Hearing on: Senate Bill 42, amending the meaning of the terms “rebate” and “interest” as used in the real estate brokers’ and salespersons’ license act – [Senate Commerce Committee; February 12 at 8:30 am]
·      Hearing on: Senate Bill 82, updating the state banking code – [Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee; February 12 at 9:30 am]
·      Informational briefing on Vaping/E-Cigarettes, Dodi Wellshear, KS Academy of Family Physicians – [Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee; February 12 at 9:30 am]
·      Hearing on Senate Bill 77, requiring the department for children and families to offer services to children with problem sexual behavior and to such child’s family – [Senate Judiciary Committee; February 12 at 10:30 am]
·      Hearing continuation on: Senate Bill 44, appropriations for the department of education for FY 2019, 2020, and 2021; increasing BASE aid for certain portion of property used for residential purposes from such levy – [Senate Select Committee on Education Finance; February 12 at 1:30 pm]
Wednesday –
·      Hearing on: Senate Bill 90, extending the tax credit under the center for entrepreneurship act to financial institutions and increasing the annual tax credit limit for all contributors – [Senate Commerce Committee; February 13 at 8:30 am]
·      Hearing on: Senate Bill 67, establishing the unclaimed life insurance benefits act – [Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee; February 13 at 9:30 am]
·      Hearing on: Senate Bill 70, allowing for temporary permits for the selling and serving of alcoholic liquor – [Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee; February 13 at 10:30 am]
Thursday –
·      Hearing on: Senate Bill 60, amending Kansas real estate commission licensing provisions for brokers and sales persons – [Senate Commerce Committee; February 14 at 8:30 am]
·      Hearing on: Senate Bill 91, establishing the golden years homestead property tax freeze act providing refund for certain increases in residential property taxes and allowing homestead property tax refund for renters – [Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee; February 14 at 9:30 am]
·      Informational briefing on Foster Care: Interim Secretary Laura Howard – Department for Children and Families, Rachel Marsh – St. Francis Community Services – [Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee; February 14 at 9:30 am]
·      Presentation and Update on: Southwest Power Pool; Mike Ross, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Public Relations – [Senate Utilities Committee; February 14 at 1:30 pm]
Thank You for Engaging
Thank you for all your calls, emails, and letters regarding your thoughts and concerns about happenings in Kansas. Constituent correspondence helps inform my decision-making process and is taken into great consideration when I cast my vote in the Kansas Senate. I hope you’ll continue to engage with me on the issues that matter most to you, your family, and our community. If you are on Twitter or Facebook, I encourage you to follow along with the #ksleg hashtag for real-time updates on legislative happenings in Topeka.
Please know that I am fully committed to addressing the current issues in our state, and I am proud to be your voice in the Kansas Senate.

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