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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:

Thanks for your patience as I took the long weekend to relax and recoup after a "memorable" Sine Die session.

Do you have your haircut scheduled? I’m wearing my mask and washing my hands a lot, but at least the mop on top will soon be tamed. This should be Personal Services Appreciation Week as they open up for appointment-only services.
2020 Legislative Session is Adjourned

The final day of the legislature was awkward for everyone as we attempted to navigate debate and voting while maintaining social distancing and focusing on not shaking hands after not seeing colleagues for two months. It also became record-breaking as the longest Sine Die session in legislative history – 23.5 hours.
 
House members were allowed to stay in their offices to listen to debate, and were called to the chamber in groups for voting purposes. Senators sat in their regular desks on the Senate floor – far less than 6’ apart, and far more than 10 people were gathered.

It was the most exhausting night I've ever spent. And I have three children! I brought some sewing and listened to audiobooks to help me stay awake. For the most part, I stayed in my office and watched floor action on YouTube in between votes. 
Veto & Special Session

The COVID-19 bill detailed below included “must pass” language to extend the emergency declaration, which allows more flexibility for federal and state funds and services, and liability provisions for health care providers.

We do not know when this crisis will end, however, and I have serious concerns about giving any governor (regardless of party) a wide-open highway with no oversight. To that end, the legislature added “guardrails” to provide guidance for appropriations and increased local control for counties. I did not agree with all of these provisions, but my #1 priority was to ensure Kansans’ health, so I voted for the necessary components to spite the bitter pill.
  • Requiring the same regulations in Pawnee County with no cases and Wyandotte with 1,300 cases (and a highly transient metro area) does not make sense. Each county has a county health official working in close contact with the state health department, with a good read on the needs of the county.
Governor Kelly quickly vetoed the bill and called a Special Session of the legislature to begin June 3. Considering we did not have a traditional veto session, it is likely the Special Session will take a number of days. My hope is we will get done what needs to get done and leave the rest for when we know more about this virus.
Open Season

As with game hunting, there is a season, and the end of the legislative session marks the beginning of campaign season, and this year theme is similar! While this is a particularly contentious election season, I hope you will remember the hard work I have completed on your behalf. It is an honor to serve our communities and I would love to have your support. If you can donate your time, talent, and or treasure, I am grateful in advance for your generosity!
Property Tax Changes

A few years ago the legislature capped local governments’ ability to raise taxes. This placed a significant strain on communities. Growing areas could not expand to meet the needs and shrinking areas still had the same infrastructure to support.
 
The Conference Committee Report for HB 2702:
  1. Extends the deadline for 1st-half property taxes due from May 10 to August 10.
  2. Repeals the cap mentioned above,
  3. Requires cities to hold a public hearing for property tax increases which exceed the previous year’s rate, and to
  4. Notify taxpayers 10 days in advance of the hearing. 
Considering all taxing districts are subject to the Kansas Open Meetings Act, they are already doing this, but the notification piece is new and will add some additional cost to county clerks. Our Tax Committee recognized that now is not the time to ask more of our local governments, so we pushed the effective date out two years to give them time to adjust. The conference committee removed that portion to go into effect THIS January.

The report passed the House 89-28 and the Senate 35-2. With the cities and counties still in opposition to the bill, I voted NO.
COVID-19 Authority (VETOED)

S Sub HB 2054
This bill has two key functions – funding and emergency declarations: 
  • Funding: Currently, Kansas is set to receive more than $1 billion in COVID relief funds. Because the legislature’s primary role is to appropriate, this bill moved the fund from the governor’s office to the Legislative Coordinating Council (LCC). 
  • Declarations: The bill prohibits any further COVID-related emergencies be declared through the end of 2020, unless the governor requests it from the State Finance Council (SFC), and receives at least six votes from the Council. If the governor declares a state of emergency under the Kansas Emergency Management Act (KEMA), business closures are permitted up to 15 days. The Council must approve closures beyond 15 and up to 30 days at a time. 
It passed the House 76-34 and the Senate 27-11, I voted YES.
Modified Phase 2 & Cases Update

Governor Kelly announced a modified Phase 2 of the reopening plan to allow for groups up to 15 to gather as of Friday, just in time for Memorial Day weekend. 
Please wear a mask and stay safe!

Sincerely,

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


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