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Dear Friend: 

The extensive newsletter to walk through the dozens of bills we heard and passed in my committees this week has pretty much been scrapped to focus on recent events. Nearly everything we did last week was overshadowed by three major actions:

  1. The House and Senate votes to pass the tax bill described below;
  2. Governor Brownback’s veto of the bill; and finally,
  3. The House vote to override the veto and the Senate’s vote to uphold the veto.

Please keep reading under “In the News.”

Around the District
Please join me for a legislative forum at the Tonganoxie VFW, 9 am on March 4th

Brad Rahe, Superintendent of  Schools, Mulvane. We worked together as Principals in Independence, Kansas.

Steve Splichal, Eudora superintendent.

Contact Rep. Karleskint
At the Capitol:

300 SW 10th, Room 512-N
Topeka, KS 66612

About the 42nd
Leavenworth County
Douglas County

Legislative Resources
Kansas Legislature
Kansas Cash (find unclaimed property)
Register to Vote
Vote By Mail
Constituents Becky Plate and Eric Magette came to visit but I forgot to get pictures!

In the News
Veto of tax bill
In my
last newsletter, I explained the tax plan passed by the House Taxation Committee, which provided fixes to the 2012 tax experiment that’s caused our financial problems. As I was repeatedly told needed to happen as I knocked on doors during the election, this bill added LLCs back onto the income tax rolls and restored a third tax bracket:

Since we’ve last spoke, that bill has been through the entire legislative process. The House (76-48) and Senate (22-18) passed the bill and it was sent to Governor Brownback for consideration. At the Kansas Chamber of Commerce dinner this week, he announced he would veto the bill, in favor of his plan to use one-time dollars and alcohol and cigarette tax increases. The next day, the House voted to override that veto (85-40) but the Senate was three votes shy of override and supported the governor’s veto (24-16). I voted YES on both the bill and to override Governor Brownback because it provided a structural fix to our budget crisis. It’s not reasonable to use one-time money and continue to allow 330,000 businesses to not pay their fair share.
Medicaid Expansion
For the 82 percent of Kansans who favor expanding Medicaid and the 100-plus hospitals who have urged legislative support, the day finally came where the Kansas House debated this important legislation.
Rep. Susan Concannon (R-Beloit) has led the way on this issue for four years and proposed an amendment to
HB 2044 for the expansion of Medicaid. Debate ensued for more than four hours with a final vote of 81-44. I voted YES.
During the campaign, I consistently heard from the district that this was an issue they wanted supported. Access to quality health care in rural Kansas is important and we have to make sure our small hospitals are reimbursed for the care they provide. Expanding Medicaid helps with this. The bill now goes to the Senate for further action.
Related Articles:
Wichita Eagle:
Kansas Senate fails to override tax bill veto
Topeka Capital-Journal: Brownback tax veto stands after Senate fails to override

On the Floor
Beyond the hours spent on the veto and Medicaid expansion, a number of other interesting bills passed the House and are headed to the Senate for consideration:
If you’re applying for a job as a law enforcement officer, you’re asked a series of questions about your criminal history, and are not considered if you have previous convictions
. HB 2069 adds to that deferred judgments for misdemeanor domestic violence and other misdemeanor offenses that reflect on the applicant’s honesty/trustworthiness to that definition. PASSED 121-1.
The House worked on a number of license plate bills
  • HB 2257 would create an armed services occupation medal license plate, allowing people who were recipients of the Army Occupation Medal or the Navy Occupation Service Medal to receive such plates, as well as surviving spouses. PASSED 124-0.
  • Currently veterans can only get such license plates if they are entitled to compensation for service-connected disabilities of at least 50%, for loss of use of one or both feet, for loss of use of one or both hands or visual impairment of both eyes. HB 2174 would allow eligibility for the disabled veteran license plate if the veteran submits proof to the director of vehicles that s/he has a permanent disability. PASSED 124-0. 
  • HB 2148, would create license plates designated for autism awareness as well as the 4-H Foundation. It passed the House 120-5, I voted YES. Here’s how the plate will look:

There were a few interesting bills related to vaccinations:
  • HB 2030 would allow licensed pharmacists and interns to administer any vaccination to all people 6+ years of age. Current law allows them to do so for people 18+ only. Especially in rural areas, this will be a huge help to ensure our children are protected. PASSED 120-2.
  • HB 2205 would add meningitis to the list of vaccinations required for Kansas schoolchildren. The devastating effects of meningitis on those impacted. The vaccine is recommended for preteens and teens 11-12, with a booster 16 years old. PASSED 104-20. (Background)
Currently, only public employees have access to unemployment insurance records in the performance of their official duties. HB 2054 would allow public officials, agents, or contractors of a public official to have access to such records. PASSED 93-29. I voted YES.

2187 would add common sense restrictions on people who reside, work, or volunteer at child care facilities, to include people who have been convicted of arson, sex offenders, and those who have committed acts of physical, mental or emotional abuse or neglect. PASSED 125-0. (Background)
HB 2160 would allow young people preparing to age out of foster care to set up and use Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) for qualifying vehicle expenses and start-up costs, like rent and utility deposits. PASSED 125-0.

HB 2102 is a big win for local control and certainly seemed like a no-brainer! Currently, counties with population over 8,000 are required to hold board of county commissioner meeting on the first Monday of every month. This bill eliminates this provision and requires all counties regardless of population to hold monthly board meetings on a day chosen by the board. PASSED 124-1.
If you’ve ever had trouble remembering to return your mail ballot, this bill is for you.
HB 2158 changes the deadline for acceptance of advance voting ballots. Requires ballots received by mail to be treated in a way as consistent as possible with other advance ballots if: 1) They’re postmarked as mailed before the election and 2) They’re received by the time of the last USPS delivery on the third day after the election.  PASSED 123-2. (Sup note)
Due to legislation in recent years to strip local authority from our cities and counties, local governments cannot prohibit the placement or number of political signs on private property or unpaved right of way on city or county roads during the 45-day period before an election. HB 2210 amends the law to refer to “temporary” signs instead of “political” signs and allows local governments to regulate them. PASSED 100-25, I voted YES. (Background)
It is my honor and privilege to serve you in Topeka. Please do not hesitate to contact me about these or other legislative issues.


Rep. Jim Karleskint
Serving rural Leavenworth & Douglas Counties
Copyright © 2017 Paid for by Karleskint for Kansas, Lois Meadows, Treasurer, All rights reserved.

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