The KBA Advocate is the weekly KBA legislative newsletter that contains up-to-date information on legislation that impacts your practice. It is only published when the legislature is in session and is sent to all KBA members electronically via the KBA Weekly.
The Kansas Legislature returned Monday, January 8, 2018. Traditionally, the first week is rather uneventful. The primary goal of legislators and committees is to acquaint themselves with chamber rules, committee assignments and new staff members. However, this year, committees began meeting and hearing proposals almost immediately. For instance, the House is already considering K12 spending initiatives while the Senate grapples with other K12 issues.
There are also two pre-filed bills aimed at gun laws. One, HB 2442, introduced by Rep. Vic Miller (D-Topeka), would prohibit “bump stock” attachments for semiautomatic firearms such as the one used in the Las Vegas mass shooting this past summer. The other, HB 2243, introduced by Rep. Boog Highberger (D-Lawrence), would create a new crime of abandoning a firearm.
The Office of Judicial Administration also introduced a pre-filed bill, SB 261, which transfers the duty of property appraisals from a judicial administrator to the director of property valuation.
It is also important to remember that 2018 session is an outbound year which means that bills introduced during the 2017 session carry over and can still be granted hearings and passed through the normal legislative process.
The KBA will continue to monitor the following bills:
To stay informed on the 2018 Legislative Session, you can visit www.kslegislature.org
There you can find bills, meeting times/dates, committee rosters and ways to contact your legislator. You can also find a helpful session planner.
At the KBA website – www.ksbar.org – you can find the 2018 Bill Tracking Chart, legislative testimony and an interactive legislative map.
Look for weekly KBA Advocate every Tuesday. This blog will summarize the previous legislative week. Also, please follow us at @KansasBarLeg for live twitter reactions to the 2018 session.
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The Kansas Legislature formally adjourned Sine Die yesterday bringing the total days in the Capitol to 114, tying the record for the longest session in Kansas history. However, the end did not come without some rumbling of a veto override of the governor’s veto of two provisions consolidating certain aspects of KanCare. The Governor made the line-item veto when signing the state budget on Sunday. The line item veto focused specifically on modifications to the Medicaid services for Kansans with disabilities. The Governor said in a statement that the language was overly broad, and the administration wanted to work with stakeholders before any changes were made. See; http://kansaspublicradio.org/kpr-news/governor-brownback-signs-kansas-budget-blasts-spending-levels
This veto drew a quick response from Rep. Jim Ward who supports the consolidation on some KanCare systems and believes the legislature has a vital role in overseeing services provided to the most vulnerable Kansans.
These two line-item vetoes bring the veto tally to six for the session, two tax bills, three KanCare-type proposals and one on lottery vending machines. The legislature was only able to override the tax proposal. To override, the Senate needed to have 27 votes and the House needed 84. The prospects were unlikely.
Despite the two line-item vetoes, the Governor did sign off on the state budget, although a bit begrudgingly. The Governor stated that “I am signing the budget, despite my concerns about excessive spending, to avoid a break in core functions of government and to provided state workers with well-deserved pay increases.” Gov. Brownback believes the budget is bloated in areas and failed to make any of the consolidations/cuts championed by the efficiency study. See; http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2017/jun/25/kansas-gov-brownback-signs-156-billion-state-budge/
How the court rules will determine if a special session is needed. Some in the Capitol believe that the court will uphold the first-year funding but find the second year inadequate. This would give the legislature the summer off, but would leave a seriously pressing issue to be decided in 2018—an election year.
The 2017 Legislative session will officially close on June 26th when both chambers adjourn Sine die. This will bring the running day total to 114 days, tied for the longest in Kansas history. So, what did we get for these 114 days?
The bill, Senate sub for HB 2002, has an all fund total of $15.6 billion over the three-year span and $6.4 billion for just FY18. The bill makes the following expenditures:
-Adds $141.4 million to KPERS;
-Adds a 2.5 % raise for all employees with less than five years of service and 5.0 percent adjustment for state employees who have not had a pay adjustment in five years; and a 2.5 percent adjustment for judges and non-judicial staff in FY 2018;
-Add $20.3 million for Home and Community Based Services;
-Add $10.5 million for community health centers;
-Add $4.6 million for Osawatomie state hospital;
-Add $1.1 million for KS BIDS Habeas Corpus proceedings.
The legislature passed a tax plan, SB 30, that will cover the expenses listed above. Over the next two years the tax plan is expected to increase revenues by $1.2 billion dollars.
The bill is expected to increase SGF receipts as follows: ● FY 2018—$591.0 million; ● FY 2019—$633.0 million; FY 2020—$617.4 million; ● FY 2021—$584.4 million; and ● FY 2022—$590.3 million.
The plan accomplishes this with the following adjustments:
-Three tiers of income tax: 3.1%, 5.25% & 5.7%.
-Eliminate Glide Path to Zero
-Elimination business pass-through exemption (LLC Exemption).
-STAR Bond authority extended for 3 years; 1-year moratorium on new projects.
-Medical, mortgage interest and property tax deductibility reinstated; 3-year phase in.
-Child care tax credit reinstated.
The bill is retroactive to January 1, 2017 with modified rates for this year: 2.9%, 4.9% & 5.2%. The new income brackets are as follows:
The legislature also passed a new school finance plan. this plan resembles the old formula and rescinds the block grant approached passed some years ago. The basics of the new formula include:
-Base Aid for Student Excellence (BASE) per pupil spending of $4,006 for school year 2017-2018, $4,128 for school year 2018- 2019, and adjusted each year thereafter according to the average percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all urban consumers for the Midwest region during the three immediately preceding school years.
-A 33% cap on the Local Option Budget (LOB) by a resolution of the school board when the BASE is less than $4490.
All tolled the Kansas Legislature introduced 688 bills, 93 Resolutions and 24 Concurrent Resolutions. The legislature passed 111 bills, the governor signed 108 bills, vetoed 2 tax bills and allowed 1 bill (conceal carry) to become law without his signature. This works out to just of 18% of all bills introduced became law.
You can review all bills passed to date (6.20.17) here:
The Kansas Legislative Session ended this past weekend but not before tying the record for longest session in Kansas history. The session was extended due to tax, budget and school finance issues. Both chambers passed a tax plan and then began work on the budget.
The tax plan (CCR for SB 30) passed in the House Chamber first on a vote of 69-52 while the Senate was nearly there when they adopted the bill 26-14. The tax plan will raise $591 million in FY 2018, and $633 million in FY 2019, but it will run into some issues four years out.
Key components of the tax package are as follows:
- Three tiers of income tax: 3.1%, 5.25% and 5.7%.
- Eliminate Glide Path to Zero
- Eliminate the business pass-through exemption (LLC Exemption).
- STAR Bond authority extended for 3 years; 1-year moratorium on new projects.
- Medical, mortgage interest and property tax deductibility reinstated; 3-year phase in.
- Child care tax credit reinstated.
The bill is retroactive to January 1, 2017 with modified rates for this year: 2.9%, 4.9% & 5.2%.
The new income brackets are as follows:
$30,000 - $60,000 5.25%
Late Monday night (June 5th), as the Senate was about to vote on SB 30, the Governor issued a statement that he would veto the measure upon receipt. True to his word, he vetoed the bill midday Tuesday.
To override a gubernatorial veto, both chambers must garner 2/3 majority of its members. The Senate requires 27 votes, and the House requires 84.
The governor's Tax Plan Veto was overridden by the Senate on a 27-13 count and by an 88-31 vote in the House.
Regarding the judicial branch, I am happy to report that HB 2041—extending the judicial branch surcharge fund—was approved by the Governor on May 26th. As approved, bill also contained provisions from HB 2053, dealing with debts owed the courts and the process for collecting those debts.
In addition, the judicial branch requested an extension of the DUI reinstatement fee to help fund its budget. The court receives a percentage of the fees collected for reinstatement of a driver’s license following a DUI conviction. Annually, this amounts to nearly $950K. The House passed this bill on April 7th on a 72-52 vote. The conference committee added necessary language to HB 2041 raising the fee from $59 to $100, so the court will receive its increase of $41 per reinstatement, that will go toward nonjudicial personnel salary fund.
The remaining judicial budget issues concern personnel increases. The Omnibus Budget Conference Committee came to an agreement around midnight on Friday, June 9th to provide all state employees a pay increase of 2.5%. This is a move in the right direction, but it is far from the $20 million requested by the Judicial Branch, and its off by 9% from the original House position.
With the passage of the state budget, the Kansas Legislature ended a 113-day session. If you count Sine Die, the largely ceremonial final day of the legislative session, the 2017 session ties the record. The legislature dealt with some awfully large items this year including rolling back the 2012 tax policy, closing the LLC loophole, drafting a new school finance plan, creating a foster care task force and addressing human trafficking laws, to name a few. What consequences legislators face remain to be seen, but the election is only 17 months away.
Special thanks to the hardworking staff of the Kansas Revisor’s Office, Legislative Research, Post Audit, IT, Legislative Coordinating Council and Administrative Services. We couldn’t do it without these dedicated public employees, nor would we want to.
Things can happen instantly in the Kansas Capitol and after 108 days of gridlock on taxes and school finance both chambers were able to push through both measures last night. The House acted first on both items passing school finance bill (CCR for SB 19) 67-55. The Senate adopted the same CCR for SB 19 on a 23-17 count. This measure adds around $295 million to K12 over the next two fiscal years. for many this is still not enough to satisfy the Kansas Supreme Court but others are willing to let this ride and make the court strike it down.
The Tax plan (CCR for SB 30) followed a parallel path by getting passed in the House Chamber first on a not close to veto-proof majority of 69-52 while the Senate is nearly there when they adopted the bill 26-14. The tax bill will raise almost $1.2 BILLION over the next two years but run into some issues four years out. The Senate passed the bill at 12:20 am this morning, less than a minute later Gov. Brownback issued a press release stating he intends to Veto the entire bill. This will force both chambers to attempt a Veto Override for the third time this session. The House garnered 84 votes on a different tax plan in the Spring but the Senate fell 3 votes shy. Then in April the House failed to override the Governor’s Medicaid expansion veto. How this override attempt progresses will determine if we spend the next week or so drafting a new plan that can either get 84/27 to override or something with a lot less taxes that gets us to 63/21/1.
The House Appropriations committee spent better part of last Thursday discussing tobacco securitization. There were two bills discussed, HB 2429 and HB 2430. Th first bill provided the framework for selling bonds based on the revenue generated from the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement while the second bill gave direction on where the funds would be used and for what time.
The shorthand is the state of Kansas will provide to a financing company $18 million per year for 30 years ($540 million total) in exchange for $320 million in FY18. That $320 million will be used to payback KPERS ($90 million +8%) & pay down KPERs in FY18. Thereby lowering the overall budget shortfall. The $18 million taken from tobacco settlement was originally earmarked for Children Initiative Fund and Key Funding. This $18 million will be replenished using fund received from the increase on sales tax on cigarette sales. This is a complex and controversial budget maneuver and it appears to have very little support. The main proponents were conservatives from both chambers and the KS Chamber of Commerce.
Both chambers also pushed thru a concealed carry bill that exempted some state hospitals from the July 1st mandate to either have security in place or allow concealed carry users to enter the premises. The bill exempts public hospitals, mental health centers and adult care homes to ban firearms. Colleges and universities are still subject to the July 1st requirement.
Finally, Sen. David Haley announced his candidacy for Kansas City, KS Mayor. He will challenge incumbent Mark Holland in the August primary. Should Sen. Haley win the election the Kansas Senate will be left without a member having any type of formal legal training.
The Kansas Legislature returns from a four day weekend, hopefully regrouped and refreshed to make a final push to end the session. When they return, it will be Day 102, the 4th longest session in Kansas history. Both chambers still struggle with a tax plan, but the House has at least passed a school finance plan that adds $280 million over the next two years. The bill, HB 2410, has several very good policy pieces but many are concerned that funding levels are far from adequate. Should the Senate concur with HB 2410, it could be signed by the governor before the week is out. Then it just needs to be approved by the Kansas Supreme Court. Should the court strike it down, we can expect to be back for a special session.
The Kansas Senate returns to debate its version of school finance, and should they pass their plan, both chambers will most likely head to a conference committee to hammer out the details. The Senate will also leap head first into the conceal/carry debate. There appears to be a compromise that state hospitals, primarily metal health facilities, will be allowed to continue their exemption from conceal/carry laws going into effect July 1st. The big issue is whether universities will also be exempt.
It is important to note that the House school finance bill was nearly amended to put “teacher due process” rights back into state law. Currently, due process is established by contract between individual school districts and teachers. The KBA is concerned with this provision because this provision was added to a bill introduced, by the KBA, HB 2186. The Senate did not take kindly to that amendment and decided not to run our bill on the floor. If the teacher due process amendment had been included in the school finance bill, we could have stripped it from HB 2186 and moved our bill through the legislative process. Alas, that is not the case, and the Senate has “gutted” HB 2186 and replaced it with the Senate school finance plan.
Finally, Rep. Pete DeGraaf (R-Mulvane) announced his resignation earlier this session due to health issues. Last week his son-in-law Jesse Burris (R-Topeka/Mulvane) was elected to succeed him. Rep.-Elect Burris is a licensed Kansas attorney who worked at the Kansas Department of Health and at the Kansas Secretary of State’s office. He plans to commute during the workweek and return home on off days. This addition brings our lawyer/legislator number up to 15.