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Contact Susan

In Topeka:
State Capitol, Room 149-S

At home in Beloit:
921 N. Mill Street
Beloit, KS 67420

About the 107th

Committee Appointments

Dear Friend:

Let me start out by saying how very, very sad I am for the students, teachers, and support staff for the closure of the school buildings. I truly hope we can think outside the box and find ways the kids can continue to learn. To the seniors and their families, I am so sorry. Please know we will never forget you for the sacrifices you are making. 
We have been working diligently on the business of Kansas, which I have detailed below as my normal newsletter. However, I know this is not normal. The governor has prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people, and there are 125 members of the House of Representatives, not to mention the staff required to run the chamber. It’s time for us to finish our work and go home!
The only item we must pass by statute is the budget. As a member of Appropriations Committee I was involved in an all day meeting last Friday putting the budget together and passing it favorably. While we await the Senate’s work on the budget, we have rather quickly moved to get legislation in place to help the people of Kansas during this crisis. Our work so far includes: 
  • A resolution to extend the governor’s budgetary authority beyond her current declaration.
  • Extended unemployment benefits from the current 16 weeks to 26 weeks.
  • Allowed school districts to continue to pay teachers and personnel during the shut down of school buildings.
  • Gave authority to Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Marla Luckert the power to delay court hearings if it’s in the best interest of health and safety. This is intended to handle speedy trial and statute of limitations issues that could possibly release of accused criminals due to court closures. 
Hopefully we pass the budget soon and go home to our families to begin social distancing.
We are so blessed in Kansas to have the Kansas Health & Environment (KDHE) Secretary Dr. Lee Norman, a nationally renowned expert on biosecurity, emergency management, and homeland security. He also serves as an advisor to the US Secretary of Defense. I could share many more of his accomplishments (including a military career), but you get the idea. This is the man who advises the governor.
Please consider the source when you see something – especially on social media – about the virus.  Here are a few good sources you can rely on:  KDHE has established a phone bank for questions regarding COVID-19. The number is 866-534-3463. 
Necessity is the mother of invention, right? People are getting very creative! Most schools across the state are now closed. Here are some resources to help your sanity remain intact! 
  • Virtual Tours: Museums, national parks, zoos, the Great Wall, and even Mars!
  • Music: Berlin Philharmonic, Opera companies from around the world!
  • 100 Ideas: From journaling to texting exes, this has quite a variety.
  • Kids & Parents: Activities & educational links
The Lincoln County Farm Bureau legislative coffee schedule for this Saturday, April 21st, has been cancelled.
Thanks to Payton Breese and Lewis VanMeter for serving as legislative pages!
A timely innovation: Meet Scout, the driverless package delivery bot! Amazon is asking the legislature for permission to allow these devices to operate on sidewalks and some streets.
On the House Floor - This week’s Calendar. Times below are unless otherwise noted in the Calendar. Watch live here.
The House passed these bills and sent them to the Senate for deliberation:

The House’s version of the new transportation plan, the Eisenhower Legacy Plan, (House Substitute SB 173) passed 103-16, I voted YES. The bill is different from what the Senate passed, but there are plenty of components I support. For example, our constantly changing transportation environment is not a good match for a set-in-stone 10-year plan like our previous plans. This new plan sets out a 2-year rolling time frame of priorities and requires regional public input sessions every two years to gauge and reset priorities. I look forward to seeing what the Senate and House put together as a compromise. 
  • HB 2571: Under current law, a spouse of a law enforcement officer is not allowed a drinking establishment license. This bill would allow such a license provided the establishment is not in the same county where the law enforcement officer works. Read hearing testimony here. It passed the House 108-12, I voted YES.
  • HB 2490 would change current law to allow taxpayers to carry forward operating losses for up to 20 years instead of the current 10 years. View hearing testimony here. It passed the House 118-2, I voted YES.
Appropriations – Listen Live 9 am weekdays
Since the beginning of the month, we’ve hosted more than a dozen budget reports from subcommittees and debated and passed the transportation plan described above.
  • HB 2522 would create the Rural Hospital Innovation Grant Program for rural hospital transitional assistance grants. All counties are eligible except Douglas, Johnson, Sedgwick, Shawnee and Wyandotte. Grants would be used to assist hospitals in changing healthcare delivery models to meet the needs of the communities served. For every $1 of state funds awarded, counties must provide a $2 match from private stakeholders, which could include hospital foundations or other organizations. We passed the bill out of committee and it is ready for House consideration.
Children and Seniors – Listen Live 1:30 pm weekdays
We had 2 bills set for hearings this week that had to be cancelled to prioritize other work. I have been assured the normal deadlines do not apply and we will have an opportunity to work those bills when we return. I am most determined to get HB 2404 through the process to establish the Kansas senior services task force.
Taxation – Listen Live 3:30 pm weekdays
We held hearings on a number of important bills in committee for consideration and some will be worked when we return for veto session(brief descriptions below). We heard and passed one bill to the full House:
  • HB 2517 would allow property owners to apply to their county commissions for an abatement or property tax credit levied against “agricultural improvement properties” destroyed or heavily damaged by natural disasters. The bill defines agricultural improvement properties as farm buildings or structures, including barns, sheds, grain bins or outbuildings. The structures must be used to produce livestock or crops. 
  • HB 2685 would require sales taxes to be collected from all sales of digital property and subscription services (like Spotify or Netflix).
  • HB 2720 would reinstate the food sales tax rebate of up to $240 for households making less than $40,000.
  • HB 2656 would discontinue the apportionment of the countywide sales tax to cities. All countywide sales tax revenue for general purposes would now be retained by county commissions. 
  • HB 2727 would require the Legislature to repeal or suspend existing sales tax exemptions of equal or greater value to any new sales tax exemptions that go into effect. The bill would also levy a sales tax on personal services (nails, hair, spa, etc). 
  • HB 2567 and HB 2542 are bills to reduce the amount of Social Security income taxable by the state. 
Please feel free to contact me about these or other legislative issues. Thank you for the opportunity to serve and represent you in Topeka.


Rep. Susan Concannon
Copyright © 2020 Paid for by Concannon for Kansas, Tamarah Pruitt, Treasurer, All rights reserved.

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