March 04, 2022
Senate Bill 282 started out as an Aviation Tax Credit bill. It passed out of the Tax Committee last year and was amended on the Senate floor last week. The bill would provide employers in aviation a tax credit beginning in tax year 2023 for tuition or certain program-specific course-fee reimbursements. There were several amendments that went on the bill: a housing development tax credits for suitable housing in communities that are in need of increased housing; up to $250 tax credit for teachers purchasing classroom supplies out of their own pocket; an income tax credit for any property tax increases for low income seniors and disabled veterans – basically freezing property taxes for qualifying Kansans; and increasing the $20,000 property tax subtraction on the K-12 20 mil to $65,000. The bill had some good and some not so good changes to the tax code, but overall it will help Kansas taxpayers so I voted Yes. It passed on a vote of 33 to 4.
Increased access to health care by expanding access to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs). Senate Substitute for House Bill (Sen Sub HB) 2279 removes the requirement that APRNs have to work with a physician and allows them to work independently. APRNs would be required to maintain malpractice insurance, as do doctors. The bill passed 30 to 7. I voted Yes to provide more access to healthcare in our rural communities.
Currently, Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) cannot be removed in Kansas. HB 2594 would allow the VIN plate for antique vehicles to be removed while restoring a vehicle. The bill passed unanimously.
Kansas Employment Retirement System (KPERS) funding has been and is still an issue. In order to pay some of the unfunded liability down, SB 523 would transfer $1 billion from the State General Fund to KPERS over a two year period. I voted Yes. We need to fix KPERS. The bill passed 28 to 12.
Foster care and adoption agencies issues have also plagued Kansas. In an attempt to address some of the problems, the Senate passed HB 2075 that would allow adoption proceedings to take place in a county where Department of Children and Families (DCF) or subcontractor has an office. This should help improve the adoption process and adoption of children in the foster care program. The bill passed 34 to 6. I voted Yes.
County election officers would be able to remove names from the registered voter list if a person has not voted in a four-calendar year period or does not respond to a confirmation notice sent by the county election officer. I vote Yes to clean up voter rolls. SB 439 passed the Senate 33 to 6.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.