Legislative Update by State Senator Caryn Tyson

March 22, 2024



The Budget is so full of pork, you’d think it’s a bacon factory.  It increases spending 13.9%, over $1.2 billion, in just one year.  There are some good things in SB 514 – the budget, but the waste far outweighs the good.  The final budget bill will be put together in conference committee.  Maybe this year, waste will get trimmed.  The SB 514 passed 24 to 14.  I voted No.


Tax Relief for a second time this session passed the Senate.  The first time was CCR 2284 that was vetoed.  The second time was SB 539 that passed with a bipartisan veto proof majority.  It would provide property, income, and sales tax relief for Kansas taxpayers, but the House buried it in committee.  They introduced a tax bill of their own, HB 2844, Monday, held a hearing on it Wednesday and put the contents of HB 2844 in a shell, SB 330 which is a Commerce bill.  They passed it out of House Tax on Thursday.  It’s difficult to say what will happen, but what we do know is that this bill moves to the left and is a smaller tax cut for Kansans.  There is over $3 billion in the state coffers so I am working for maximum tax relief.  Kansans need it, especially with cost of food, fuel, and other necessities.


County On License Plate would be required on a majority of license plates and would authorize First City of Kansas (Leavenworth) distinctive license plates.  HB 2498 passed unanimously.


Occupational Licensing would be expedited, and fees waived for military service members and spouses residing or planning to reside in Kansas.  HB 2745 passed unanimously.


Kansas Commission On Veterans Affairs Office would be reestablished as the Kansas Office of Veterans Services.  The Veterans Claims Assistance Program would be updated to include references to the federal Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers.  HB 2760 passed 40 to 0.


Peer Support Counseling is with peers of similar experience.  It would by expanded allowing law enforcement, emergency services, or the Kansas National Guard to utilize more resources for peer support and extend privilege to discussing a critical incident.  HB 2557 passed 36 to 4.  I voted Yes.


Silver Alert for a missing person would be expanded to include anyone over 18 diagnosed with an intellectual disability.  Currently, silver alert is for elderly who are missing.  SB 371 passed unanimously.


Ignition Interlock Devices are required for a person convicted of DUI.  Currently, they pay a monthly fee for the device and the manufacture pays a fee to the Highway Patrol.  SB 493 would establish another fee fund that would be paid by the convicted person to the Highway Patrol for administering the program.  This increased cost will not be a deterrent from drunk driving.  “I don’t think that you shall see, a fee that doesn’t tax you or me.”  It passed 28 to 12.  I voted No.


Kansas Credit Unions would be able to operate outside the state.  A suspended board member may apply for review that has to occur within 60 days.  It would allow the Credit Union Administrator to collect civil penalties.  There are several other provisions in the HB 2561 that passed 40 to 0.


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


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