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Contact Susan

 
In Topeka:
State Capitol, Room 149-S
785-296-7644
susan@concannonforkansas.com

At home in Beloit:
921 N. Mill Street
Beloit, KS 67420
785-738-8087
susan@concannonforkansas.com


About the 107th

Committee Appointments

Dear Friend:

A busy week was followed by some down time at home, which was followed by a slow week as we gear back up for the last half of the session. 
 
I was recently appointed to a National Conference of State Legislators task force for fiscal leaders and attended a conference with other state fiscal leaders in Chicago last week. It was very informational and will be a good source of ideas and best practices for fiscal leadership across the country.
Thanks to the National Guard Armory in Concordia for a tour – this photo was so neat to take, I was so honored to be in the presence of such honorable public servants. Sen. Elaine Bowers and I were joined by Lt. Col. Molly Gilock and Cloud County Community College’s president, Dr. Adrian Douglas.
I was lucky to run into some Bethany students visiting the Capitol - Go Swedes!
If it has to be cold, at least it makes the Capitol look even prettier!
Under the Dome
The most important issues of the session haven’t had hearings or even conversations, which made the first half of the session frustrating. 
 
Medicaid Expansion
Over the past five years, multiple committees have held hearings, informational briefings, and other educational opportunities around the issue of Medicaid Expansion. The House and Senate passed a bill in 2017, which was vetoed by Governor Brownback. The House failed to override the veto by 3 votes. The Senate never had the opportunity to vote to override. This isn’t an issue that’s unknown in the Capitol. 
 
However, the House Health & Human Services committee hosted a dog and pony show, pitched as a “roundtable discussion” held over the course of three days this week, which was simply a reiteration of everyone’s existing and entrenched positions. With more than 40 people around the table, it was still good to hear all the arguments. 
  • I was relieved when my colleague, Rep. Jim Kelly vented his frustrations as a Representative of a community who has lost one hospital and is close to losing another. 
School Finance
The Senate Select Committee on School Finance held a hearing on the governor’s school finance plan (SB 142) Wednesday and passed it out without much hoopla. I am concerned that the lack of conversation implies an ulterior motive as many have rumored to seek a complete rewrite of the first school finance plan deemed constitutional in nearly 20 years. I will keep you updated as this bill moves forward in the Senate.

Floor ActionFloor CalendarFloor Livestream
I’ve discussed the tax bill (SB 22) in previous newsletters, but it was brought to the House floor for full debate on Thursday. The final version that passed the House included:
  • Removing the restriction under current law preventing Kansas individual taxpayers from itemizing deductions for state income tax purposes unless they also itemize deductions at the federal level. This is referred to as decoupling;
  • Discontinuing the tax on deferred foreign income. The bill would require certain deductions used in determining federal adjusted gross income for repatriated income be added back for Kansas income tax purposes prior to figuring Kansas adjusted gross income. In addition, global intangible low taxed income would not be subject to Kansas income tax; and 
  • Collecting sales taxes on all internet purchases for companies with Kansas revenues in excess of $100,000.
It passed the House 76-43. I was in Chicago participating in the national fiscal leaders’ conference and missed this vote. Fortunately, I will have another opportunity as this bill differs from the Senate version, so it will go to a conference committee to negotiate a compromise and come back to the House for a final vote.
 
HB 2167 would allow landowners to sell their deer hunting permits to non-residents based on a transfer system that would be created by the Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. Each landowner would be limited to transfer one permit. This is a good opportunity for Kansas landowners and tourism businesses to recruit hunters from out-of-state. It barely passed 63-60, I voted YES. I have heard some strong opposition since that vote, so I’m passing along the information to Senator Bowers for her use. You can read more about it here
 
HB 2084 includes technical amendments to the Kansas 911 Act and public safety answering points (PSAPs), which are 911 call centers, as well as a small increase in the service fee to improve NG911 (next generation 911) services throughout rural Kansas. Additionally, technology is changing quickly, so the bill would allow the Kansas 911 Coordinating Council to adopt rules and regulations for establishing training standards and programs related to technology and operations of various statewide next generation issues without coming to the legislature each time. It passed 94-29, I voted YES.
 
HB 2198 would allow for expedited partner therapy, which means to prescribe antimicrobial drugs to a sexual partner of a patient clinically diagnosed with sexually transmitted disease. A healthcare provider who diagnoses the patient can provide expedited partner therapy if the provider determines the patient’s partner is unlikely or unable to seek testing and treatment. It passed 89-35, I voted YES.
 
HB 2144 would create the Community College Taxpayer Transparency Act and require any student fees be charged for a specific purpose be listed on students’ billing statements. Revenues from the fees could only be spent on the specified purpose of the fee. In addition, the bill would require community colleges to identify courses that are fully transferable to four-year state colleges and publish the information on their website. A detailed description of the required data is in the bill’s supplemental note. It passed 84-40, I voted YES.
 
The following bills passed the House unanimously: 
  • HB 2006 authorizes the Department of Commerce to create a public database for tracking and reporting on the expense, efficacy, and return on investment (ROI) for tax incentives of more than $50,000. This is an important topic as we work to ensure the incentives we provide have a tangible dividend for Kansas taxpayers in terms of jobs and economic development.
  • HB 2279 would require law enforcement agencies provide information to domestic violence victims when officers respond to domestic violence calls and make arrests, including arrests for protective order violations. For example, agencies must tell victims the earliest time someone could be released from custody; if the person is being bonded out; and any available services within the jurisdiction to monitor custody changes of the person who was arrested. In the case of someone bonding out, the bond would be on condition that the person have no contact with the alleged victim for at least 72 hours. 
  • HB 2191 would authorize the transfer of any electronically stored information anywhere in Kansas to anywhere within or outside of the state so devices can be examined. Current law requires a warrant be executed in the jurisdiction of the judge issuing it. However, when a warrant is issued for information stored on your phone, that phone often crosses in and out of jurisdictions, depending on your travel patterns. This is a major change that reflects technological shifts and their impact on the judicial system.
  • HB 2360 would allow businesses to request a Kansas Bureau of Investigation national criminal history record check on anyone who is employed by the business and provides care with unsupervised access to children, the elderly or individuals with disabilities. This is current practice, but no longer authorized by the federal government. This bill is necessary to give state authorization to continue the background checks currently performed.
Committee Work
Due to last week’s turnaround deadline, committees were relatively slow because all our bills had to be passed out to the House for consideration and we spent the week debating bills on the House floor.
 
AppropriationsLive Audio
The committee spent last week hearing budget reports for various agencies, including: Finally, this week the Transportation & Public Safety and Ag & Natural Resources Budget Committees presented portions of their budgets to the committee. 
 
Children & SeniorsLive Audio
HB 2346 would change state standards for free school-administered vision screenings. Some of the changes would modify the frequency of visions screenings to specify the grade levels and circumstances under which the screenings would occur; provide for vision screenings for students in accredited nonpublic schools; and require screenings performed by someone who must follow the most recent state vison screening guidelines. We passed the bill out of committee and the House passed it 113-11, I voted YES.
 
TaxationLive Audio
HB 2345: Current law prohibits any city or county from approving a budget with property tax revenues in excess of the prior year, adjusted for inflation, unless approved by a public vote. This bill would create an exception when the amount of funding for budget does not exceed the highest level of funding from any of the preceding seven calendar years, adjusted for inflation.
 
HB 2086 would create the Kansas Mechanical Amusement Device Tax Act. Beginning on January 1, 2020, all operators and distributors of mechanical amusement devices would be required to obtain an annual license from the Department of Revenue, and pay a $50 annual tax on each device. A mechanical amusement device would include pinball, shuffleboard, bowling games, radio-ray rifle games, baseball, football, racing, boxing games, coin-operated musical devices and coin-operated pool tables.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve and represent you in Topeka.

Sincerely,

Rep. Susan Concannon
R-Beloit
Copyright © 2019 Paid for by Concannon for Kansas, Tamarah Pruitt, Treasurer, All rights reserved.


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