March 24, 2023
Session 2023 is quickly coming to an end. There are a few more days of regular session, then conference committees will be the focus. Conference committees are six member committees, three from each chamber, that negotiate the differences in legislation that has passed both chambers. It is usually the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and Ranking from committees. However, the Senate President and Speaker may appoint whomever they want on conference committees.
Property Tax has been a focus for many, including myself and other legislators. The Senate Tax Committee passed Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 1610, limiting property valuations to a maximum 3% increase each year. If we can get the SCR passed in both chambers by 2/3 majority, it would be on the ballot for voters to decide. Hopefully, leadership will shepherd it through the process this session to let taxpayers vote and stop these massive valuation increases, which often result in higher property taxes.
Self-storage unit operators would be able to request towing of a vehicle, trailer, or watercraft when a storage unit payment is 60 days or more past due. The bill, SB 2042, passed the Senate 38 to 0.
Article V in the U.S. Constitution defines two methods to amend the U.S. Constitution. The most commonly known method is that an amendment to be initiated by U.S. Congress. The second method is when an amendment can be initiated by the states. There are a few groups working to initiate amendments through the state legislatures. The Kansas Senate debated a resolution that would call for an Article V convention for term limits, a balanced budget, and to reign in federal overreach. It always leads to healthy debate. The Kansas Constitution requires a resolution for an Article V convention to pass by 2/3 majority. There have been attempts in the past to disregard this requirement. I do not support those efforts. I do support states working to reign in our federal government, so I voted for the resolution. However, it failed on a vote 22 to 16. It needed 27 votes to pass.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.