April 30, 2022
The legislature began the 2022 veto session on April 25. It has been an unusual year and the schedule confirms this since the legislature will return May 23 and the final day of session will not be until June. The last day is usually in mid-May. The delayed schedule is a response to the Congressional map being challenged in court.
Sales Tax on Groceries, Conference Committee Report (CCR) 2106, passed the Senate unanimously and the House with super-majority. January 1, 2023, the state sales tax on groceries will decrease from 6.5% to 4%, in 2024 it will decrease to 2%, and in 2025 it will be 0%. The Governor’s plan never cut “sales tax on food”. It was sales tax on groceries. Groceries are to be defined as non-prepared foods with a few quirky items.
My updates do tend to focus on tax. As the Senate Tax Chairman, I have worked diligently to lower taxes in Kansas. Someone in the Capital commented to me that we wouldn’t have passed any tax legislation this year if I would not have been working on it. We have had some major wins this year, including lowering property tax for homeowners. (Hopefully, local governments will not take the savings from you by increasing local taxes.) The Governor took credit for it even though she never worked on it.
The legislature passed a budget that puts over $750 million in reserve. That money should be returned to the taxpayers – Kansans need it with inflation and skyrocketing prices. Let’s cut more taxes by passing CCR 2597. It would remove income tax on Social Security, increase the standard deduction based on inflation, and implement other common-sense tax solutions for Kansans.
Fairness in Women’s Sports, Conference Committee Report (CCR) 160, would have ensured participation in women’s sports is for biological women. For a second year, the Governor vetoed the legislation. The Senate had the votes for an override. However, the House fell three votes short of an override. I supported the legislation and the override. It will be interesting to see how much impact this has on 2022 elections.
The Parents’ Bill of Rights, CCR 58, would have been a first step for addressing Critical Race Theory (CRT), age-appropriate material, and transparency for parents of students attending elementary or secondary school in this state. The Governor vetoed the legislation. The Senate overrode the veto but the House fell short by 12 votes. I had introduced a bill banning CRT and the teaching of inaccurate history. Due to social pressure the bill didn’t even get a hearing. The Parents’ Bill of Rights was the only legislation to pass out of committee this year.
The Governor vetoed Welfare Reform CCR 2448, requiring able-bodied adults without dependents to complete an employment and training program in order to receive food assistance. The House and Senate were able to override this veto. I voted Yes.
A Constitutional Amendment will be on the November 2022 ballot, allowing voters to decide if the Kansas Constitution should be amended to require County Sheriffs to be elected, except for Riley County.
More legislation that passed can be found at www.KSLegislature.org. I’ll include more items in a later update.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.