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Veto Session Opens

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The Kansas legislature returns from a five-week spring break to wrap up the 2013 legislative session on Wednesday, May 8. And if they want to keep to an 80-day session, the legislature will need to close by Monday, May 13.


To avoid extending the session past 80 days both chambers will have to agree to both a tax plan and a budget. Traditionally, the Veto Session is a quick two- or three-day event that allows the legislature to review and, in some cases, attempt to override, any vetoes signed by the governor. In recent years, these last few days have been devoted to crafting a state budget. One of the main components of this year’s budget is the April Consensus Revenue Estimate. This estimate revised the November numbers and allows for a better FY 2014 picture. This year not much has changed. The estimators found an increase of around $30 million from the FY 2013 numbers but a small decrease of $10 million for FY 2014. So the estimate for revenue projections increased by $20 million for the remained of FY 2013 and FY 2014.


Decent news that should help both chambers close out the session. However, the Senate still needs the House to decide on extending the 1 percent sales tax. Extending the sales tax has been a top priority of the governor because it will help offset some of the tax cuts passed last session. Without the sales tax extension higher education is sure to see a larger than anticipated cut to funding. Other state funded programs will also feel the pinch.


On the budget side, Gov. Brownback has recommended several items be added to his original budget. They include $16 million to reduce the waiting list on medical services, sweep $9.5 million from the Children’s Initiative fund back into the state general fund and provide $422,000 to fund the 14th Court of Appeals position, which has remained vacant for several years. Starting July 1, 2013, the governor will be able to appoint a person to fill the position with Senate confirmation. The governor’s largest addition is the $202 million in bonds to help pay for Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan.

Besides budget/tax issues both chambers will be working on the omnibus liquor bill to correct some serious flaws before it takes effect. Liquor in the Capitol is one of those issues.


Finally the Kansas Legislative Research Department has released two 2013 legislative summaries. These are great resources to find new laws by specific category and they can be found at


For more information and to find other bills please review the updated Bill Tracking Chart.

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