State senator Richard Hilderbrand 13th district
communications from the state capitol
March 2, 2018 ∙ Week Eight
Quote of the Week:
“Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand;
the spines of others are often stiffened.”
– Billy Graham
- Report: Changes in federal tax laws will boost Kansas revenues. A new report projects that Kansas will collect more than $505 million in additional revenues over the next three years because of changes in federal income tax laws. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2018/feb/15/report-changes-federal-tax-laws-will-boost-kansas-/
- Kansas Implements Changes to ABLE, 529 Accounts. Individuals living with a disability can now roll funds saved within a 529 Education Savings Account into their ABLE Account. Additionally, Learning Quest 529 Education Savings Account holders can utilize their funds for K-12 education tuition. These changes came about due to tax reform on the federal level. Like with past federal tax changes, the Kansas Department of Revenue will implement the changes as prescribed by Congress. http://www.koamtv.com/story/37549429/ks-implements-changes-to-able-529-accounts
- Tax receipts for February totaled $373.1 million, $41.58 million above February 2017 and collected nearly $27 million more in taxes than anticipated in February. https://www.ksrevenue.org/cms/content/03-01-2018-Fiscalreceipts.pdf
- Total tax receipts are $612.7 million above last year at this time. https://www.ksrevenue.org/cms/content/03-01-2018-Fiscalreceipts.pdf
- Individual income tax collections for the fiscal year are $268.97 million above expectations, totaling at $1.99 billion. https://www.ksrevenue.org/cms/content/03-01-2018-Fiscalreceipts.pdf
- Since the fiscal year began in July, the state has collected $4.3 billion in taxes which is $275 million more than expected and a surplus of 6.8 percent. https://www.apnews.com/199d6f5de21640b29d62a0044f47509d
PRESENATION ON K-12 EDUCATION FUNDING:
On Friday February 23rd, Dr. Lori L. Taylor gave a preliminary presentation to a joint session of the Kansas Senate and House of Representatives on the methods, data, and analysis plan for her research on K-12 education funding in Kansas.
Dr. Taylor was hired by the Legislature in December to act as an expert witness and to investigate whether Kansas’ K-12 funding is adequate. This comes after the Kansas Supreme Court declared the current funding level is not enough and gave the legislature an April 30th deadline to create a new funding system.
Taylor, a native Kansan, holds a BA in economics and a BS in business administration from the University of Kansas and received her PhD in economics from the University of Rochester.
She is currently a professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and works as the Director for Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy. Taylor’s research is focused in school finance and she has consulted for numerous state legislatures and state and federal agencies on the topic.
During Friday’s presentation, Taylor outlined her study’s objective to estimate the level of spending required to produce a given outcome within a given educational environment. Taylor explained that she is looking at many different factors of school finance such as differences in spending, student outcomes, student needs, labor costs, geographical differences, and many other variables. One major variable Taylor will investigate in her research is student achievement relative to spending per pupil.
Taylor is expected to deliver her results to the Legislature by March 15th, a few weeks before the court mandated deadline.
I had the opportunity to attend the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce First Friday Legislative update on March 2nd, at the Kansas Crossing Casino, and on Saturday March 3rd, I had the opportunity to attend the Fort Scott Area Chamber of Commerce Legislative Update at Mercy Hospital in Fort Scott.
TASK FORCE ON SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER
On Thursday, Governor Jeff Colyer issued an executive order creating a task force addressing substance use disorder. The objective of the task force is to gather information regarding substance abuse in Kansas, particularly regarding the growing number of opioid and heroin overdoses in the state along with methamphetamine addiction. The task force will work to find useful resources and initiatives to fight drug abuse. It will also examine practices for prevention and treatment along with recovery options for at-risk individuals through early detection and education.
Since 2012, more than 1,500 Kansans have died from opioid or heroin overdoses and more than 100 Kansas residents continue to die each year. In 2016, drug poisoning was the cause of death to more than 300 people in Kansas, with 95 deaths caused by methamphetamine alone. The task force acknowledges that substance abuse is an illness which not only impacts the lives of those addicted but also their families and surrounding communities.
The task force will be chaired by Dr. Greg Lakin, Chief Medical Officer at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Membership will be comprised of heads from numerous state agencies, legislators, and professionals in industries such as education, law enforcement, hospitals, and more.
The Kansas Department of Transportation Division of Aviation along with the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education (KCAE) held their 4th annual Aviation Day event Thursday.
The day began with an economic development training event for city officials on how to best harness state and local resources to boost the aviation industry. During the Aviation Day event, legislators, manufacturers, suppliers, and aviation organizations gathered to discuss industry growth and opportunities and addressed development potentials for Kansas economic stakeholders.
The Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education highlighted industry development opportunities throughout the day, spreading awareness regarding STEM and aviation education through KCAE.
- Consideration of agency budget: Department of Education – [Senate Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education, March 5 at 11:30 am]
- Presentation on: High Enrollment Weighting: KSDE, Dale Dennis, Deputy Commissioner, Legislative Research Department & Revisor of Statutes – [Senate Education Committee, March 5 at 1:30 pm]
- Hearing on: HB 2511, Making commercial driver’s licenses renewable every five years – [Senate Transportation Committee, March 6 at 8:30 am]
- Hearing on: SB 400, tax lid exemption when taxing entity abolished and duties assumed by a city or county – [Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee, March 6 at 9:30 am]
- Hearing on: HB 2088, allow use of certified drug abuse treatment program for drug severity level 4 crimes – [Senate Judiciary Committee, March 6 at 10:30 am]
- Presentation on: FutureMaker Mobile STEM Lab – update on Hands on Experience – [Senate Education Committee, March 6 at 1:30 pm]
- Hearing on: HB 2486, allowing golf carts to be driven on certain streets at night – [Senate Transportation Committee, March 7 at 8:30 am]
- Hearing on: SB 415, depositing all state sales tax revenues from sales on the Kansas state fairgrounds into the state fair capital improvements fund – [Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee, March 7 at 9:30 am]
- Hearing on: HB 2501, establishing the health occupations credentialing fee fund – [Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, March 7 at 9:30 am]
- Hearing on: HB 2600, increasing the fees assessed by KDHE for certain radiation protection services – [Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, March 7 at 9:30 am]
- Hearing on: HB 2458, adding violations of the act for obtaining a guardian or conservator, or both, to the crimes of mistreatment of a dependent adult and mistreatment of an elder person, changing the felony loss thresholds and adding the crimes to the inherently dangerous felony list – [Senate Judiciary Committee, March 7 at 10:30 am]
- Hearing on: HB 2479, allowing criminal cases to be stayed during state appeal of writ of habeas corpus relief – [Senate Judiciary Committee, March 7 at 10:30 am]
- Hearing on SB 378, creating the crime of counterfeiting currency – [Senate Judiciary Committee, March 7 at 10:30 am]
- Discussion on: Joint Senate Select Committee on Education Finance & House K-12 Education Budget Committee- Dr. Jesse Levin, Peer Review of the LPA and Augenblick Studies (Skype Presentation) – [Senate Select Committee on Education Finance and House K-12 Education Budget Committee, March 7 at 1:00 pm]
- Hearing on: SB 367, sales taxation; treatment of coupons; certain cash rebates on sales or leases of new motor vehicles – [Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee, March 8 at 9:30 am]
- Presentation on: Concurrent Enrollment – KBOR, Dr. Blake Flanders, President & CEO – [Senate Education Committee, March 8 at 1:30 pm]
Below are links to make it easy for constituents to follow the Kansas Legislature:
Website – www.kslegislature.org. It is great for looking up bills, calendars, journals, as well as, the roster in each Chamber.
YouTube of Legislature – http://bit.ly/2CZj9O0 Did you know the legislature is now streaming its proceedings? The YouTube page has an archive of the sessions thus far – including the State of the State and the State of the Judiciary.
Committee Streaming – http://sg001-harmony.sliq.net/00287/Harmony/en/View/Calendar/ The Kansas Legislature is also streaming committees, with every committee room equipped with audio streaming technology.
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