Legislative Update by State Senator Caryn Tyson

Caryn Tyson


February 9, 2024


The Budget starts with the Governor proposing spending for departments and agencies.  The legislature then has hearings and considers the requests with minimal information.  Some states like Ohio, will work on budgets for months without working on any other legislation.  That does not happen in Kansas.  While working on all other topics of bills, legislators also work on the budget.  The Governor’s proposed budget is presented the day after the State of the State speech, which is usually the second or third week of session.  This process needs to be changed so that legislators have more information and more time to research and consider the spending.


The Senate has the standing committees look at the corresponding departments budget.  When working on the Department of Commerce budget, a motion was made to give $28 million of Kansas taxpayer money for the World Cup Soccer Tournament coming to Chiefs stadium.  The money will go to a non-profit with no guard-rails on how the money will be spent.  The World Cup will have teams practicing in Kansas, some could be as far away as Manhattan.  A few of us did not support this spending but it passed out of committee.  I did make a successful motion to cut Public Broadcast System (PBS) funding by 10% because the taxpayer funded station pushes their political agenda using tax dollars.  PBS has some good programs on cooking, sewing, travel, history, and many other topics.  However, a couple of the PBS stations in Kansas choose to push a political agenda without showing both sides of an issue.  If they choose to do so tax dollars should not be funding it.


Proposed Pay Increases for the legislature has made national news.  It’s a massive increase that myself and others are trying to block.  A commission was formed and proposed the increase.  I understand there needs to be some increase so that we get legislators from different walks of life who can serve.  But the commission’s proposal is over a 90% increase in one year.  If the legislature doesn’t take action, the increase goes into effect next year.  There was an attempt to go around leadership by pulling the resolution to block the increase out of committee and force a debate on the Senate floor.  It needed 24 votes but only received 21.


Tax Cuts were vetoed by the Governor because she refused to sign into law tax policy in CCR 2284 that she calls a “reckless flat tax experiment, taking us back to Brownback years”.  How can this be true when several states have this policy, including Colorado, Michigan, Kentucky, North Carolina, Utah, and others?  “North Dakota looks to follow lead of Idaho, Georgia, Arizona, and Mississippi, becoming [the] nation’s 24th flat tax state,” according to a 9/2/22 Forbes article, “More States To Join The Flat Tax Club.”  Let’s be clear, a flat tax is what people are calling a single rate and that is what is being proposed in Kansas. More accurately, Kansas could be considered a dual rate proposal because low income amounts will not be taxed at all.  The Governor is wrong that CCR 2284 would be a “failed experiment”.  There are red and blue states that have adopted a single rate income tax.  Kansas would tax Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) at 5.25 after subtracting $12,300 ($6150 for individual).  This subtraction makes it a tax cut for all.  It is proven policy, not reckless, not an experiment, and would not break the state – there is over $3 billion in the state coffers.


Remember, over 341,000 low income filers would pay $0 state income tax, Social Security would be exempt from state income tax, there are inflation busters on income taxes and homeowners’ property taxes.  Hopefully legislators from all parties will vote for the veto override and put the people of Kansas above politics.


It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.



2 thoughts on “Legislative Update by State Senator Caryn Tyson”

  1. There is a reason there are $3B in the state coffers, it’s called Laura Kelly. Republicans are laughing stock all over the Country. I am with the programs Governor Kelly supports.

  2. First off there is absolutely no reason to give any money for soccer. So that should be off the table. Sick of government giving away tax money. It’s not theirs to give away.
    Can’t really make an educated comment on legislature pay increase because I didn’t look to see what they are paid now although 90% sounds pretty high I don’t know if it would be or not.
    A Flat tax is exactly what should be passed. In reality it should be passed at the federal level also. Better yet do away with any personal income tax and have a state and federal sales tax and get government out of peoples lives. To Whomever said something about Kelley being responsible for the state having 3 billion dollars. The state should not have any extra money. And that doesn’t mean spend it. It should go back to the tax payers. That does not include the people who don’t actually pay anything in.

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