Legislators Grapple with KanCare Findings and Tax Policy
Week two started off quietly but ended with a five-hour hearing on the LLC loophole. Thirty or so individuals representing all manner of interest groups testified last Thursday and continued Friday. It was contentious at times, with many arguing over a fiscal note that seems to downplay the impact closing the loophole would have on the budget. A smaller amount generated from closing the loophole would be a win for the governor because legislators would have to strongly consider his one-time payments to balance the budget. See:
The budget continues to the biggest piece of the puzzle.
The other big news is that the federal government found the KanCare program to be “substantially” out of compliance with federal law. This is sure to dominate the news cycle and cause more issues with the budget as efforts were made to change the KanCare payment structure to help alleviate budget issues. See: http://cjonline.com/news/state-government/2017-01-18/kancare-extension-denied-after-scathing-review-finds-noncompliance.
Legislators were very upset at the governor’s office for withholding this information, and many felt “blindsided”. See: http://cjonline.com/news/state-government/2017-01-19/lawmakers-furious-feel-blindsided-brownback-administration-over. Where we go from here on KanCare is impossible to predict, but everyone will be paying closer attention now.
In judiciary committee, the Kansas Attorney General provided testimony on SB 10 which criminalizes the filing of liens on public officials. The bill would make it “unlawful for any person to present to a recorder of record for filing in any public record any lien or claim against the real or personal property of a public official, when such person knows or reasonably should know that such lien or claim is false or contains any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or representation”.
This will create an issue for real estate attorneys and title insurance practitioners who frequently file liens on homes. The language will need to be modified before passage to address these concerns. The KBA is actively engaged on this issue, and we are working with the Kansas Land Title Association and the Kansas Realtors to make amendments.
In House Judiciary, a bill repealing common law marriage was introduced on the behalf of Charles Harris. This is a hotly contested issue, and the KBA is monitoring it closely.
The KBA also introduced four bills last Thursday. The first bill deals with mediation and arbitration provisions in trust instruments. That bill has an RS# of 17rs196. The second bill amends the transfer of death deed statute. That bill has an RS# of 17rs199. The third bill deals creating a new business entity type called Benefit Corporations. That bill has an RS# of 17rs170. Finally, the fourth bill amends the Uniform Arbitration Act of 1955. That bill has an RS# of 17rs438.
The KBA Bill Tracking Chart is online and updated bi-weekly.