About the Author
Joseph N. Molina III
Legislative Services Director
Legislators are starting to trickle in to Topeka to wrap up the 2016 legislative session. The main goal is to figure out how to balance the state budget after a poor Consensus Revenue Estimate. The new forecast has the state $347 million below previous estimates. The governor has proposed three ideas on closing the gap, but none include raising revenue. The main contributors for closing the gap would be shifting money from KDOT and KPERS. All three proposals call for a 3 percent, or $17 million, cut to higher education, a transfer of $185 million from KDOT and the possibility of delaying a KPERS payment. It should be noted that this is not tied to the governor’s authority to borrow up to $100 million from KPERS with repayment this fall with 8 percent interest.
One option would also allow the state to sell off future tobacco payments. This idea was roundly criticized by advocates for children.
One option would also allow the state to sell off future tobacco payments. This idea was roundly criticized by advocates for children. Another option would be an across-the-board cut for all state agencies, K-12 education and Medicaid. See; http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2016/apr/20/new-kansas-revenue-forecast-expected-spur-budget-c/
Adding to the pressure is yesterday’s announcement by Standard & Poor that Kansas has been put on a credit watch with the intent to lower the state’s credit rating based on poor revenue numbers. See; http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article73789707.html
The idea of closing the LLC loophole has gained some momentum over the break, but the governor is still not ready to support the action. How members of the legislature (who are up for re-election) and the governor (who is not) broker a compromise remains to be seen.
The legislature has competed some of its work by passing several bills prior to the break. Here is a summary put out by the Kansas Legislative Research Department. One more summary will be released after the session closes.
To break up the routine committee meeting process, the Kansas Bar Association is hosting a CLE at the Capitol again this year. This CLE is free to any lawyer-legislator. Special thanks to the Kansas Disciplinary Officer for presenting this CLE. The CLE will take place at noon on May 4.