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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:

Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs on their big win! The legislature was adjourned today, as were many KC-area schools to celebrate the end of a 50-year Super Bowl drought.

With the first month of the decade under our belts, the Kansas legislature is making good headway on new bills as well as continuing work on last year’s bills. It has been a big week under the dome. You’ll see my committees have been uncharacteristically busy for January, holding back-to-back bill hearings and reports from state agencies. 

Legislative Coffees
  • Mitchell County: Saturday, February 8, 9 am at Zion Lutheran (621 N Mill St, Beloit)
  • Cloud County: Saturday, February 15, 9 am, (next to the old Alco building at 1401 E 6th Street, Concordia)
If you don’t have big plans for Valentine’s Day, don’t miss the Kansas Legislature series on Smoky Hills Public TV! Yes, I’m spending my February 14, 8 pm
Yes, I’d like you to hire me again this year to keep it up in Topeka. I filed for re-election and ask for the opportunity to continue to serve you! The Primary election is August 4 and the General is November 3.
Introducing my session Intern Becca Nyman and Office Assistant Fran Lusk.
The legislature hosted a seminar on civil discourse for all members a few weeks ago. The weather did not cooperate, but we still had more than 40 legislators participate. It’s a good start to remind us that we’re all in this together, despite the political currents.
How cool to welcome my great-niece Addison Sibley to the Capitol as a contestant for the Happy Birthday Kansas Student Photo Contest! The theme was "Going to School in Kansas" - she won 1st place for 6th grade among more than 700 entries in grades 1-12.
It was an honor to recognize the Kansas Ag & Rural Leadership program on the House floor. Rep. Ken Rahjes and I are the only alumni currently serving in the House!
Floor Action - This week’s Calendar.
Times below are unless otherwise noted in the Calendar.
There has been no activity on bills before the full House, but we were fortunate to host the Kansas Teacher of the Year finalists. Their inspiring stories remind me how our teachers’ commitments to Kansas students have built the state we enjoy today.
 
State of the State
Speaking of Smoky Hills, they posted Governor Kelly’s address on YouTube. You can read the full transcript here. Highlights include: 
  • Her ribbing of Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers about his Twitter following nearly being beat by the First Cat of Kansas, Frances.
  • Her support for the USMCA trade agreement and the Department of Commerce’s work to restore Kansas’ role in international trade.
  • A new transportation plan that focuses on a two-year rolling schedule rather than a 10-year plan with little flexibility to adapt to changing transportation modes and population changes.
  • Property and sales tax relief.
  • Refocusing the corrections system toward rehabilitation and workforce training, hiring additional officers to solve staffing shortages, and enhancing services for substance abuse and mental health.
  • It was an honor to host our Senator, Elaine Bowers on the House floor for the State of the State address.
Governor's Budget - Budget Office Overview
Economic experts estimate Kansas will take in more than $900 million than was budgeted as of July 2020. Keep in mind, this is the result of tax reform in 2017 after years of neglect (and resulting lawsuits) from the state not doing its fundamental job. I support using this money to continue restoring the basic functions of state government. There is much work yet to do within our foster care system, understaffing in corrections and short-supply mental health facilities, as well as maintenance work still pending on Kansas roads (as my tires remind me). 
 
I don’t agree with everything in the governor’s budget, but here are a few common-sense proposals:
  1. Early debt payment: The legislature skipped KPERS payments and borrowed from multiple sources to sustain the 2012 tax cuts. By paying down more than $600 million in these debts, we can save $200 million in interest payments in future years. 
  2. Sales Tax Relief: When sales taxes were increased in 2013 (again, to cover losses from the 2012 tax plan), they were increased across-the-board, and the low-income food sales tax rebate was eliminated. This proposal would reinstate a food sales tax rebate as follows: 
                               
  3. Medicaid Expansion: The plan includes $17 million for the Kansas portion of Medicaid Expansion, with the federal government bringing the remaining 90% of the funding to provide access to health care for low-income Kansans making less than $30,000/year for a family of four.
  4. Schools: Continuing funding for the existing formula and increasing funding for special education and mental health.
Growing the Kansas Economy
Each corner of our state needs to thrive for all of us to grow. I’m looking forward to helping with the Department of Commerce’s new Framework for Growth economic development plan and hope you will join me: 
  • Please take the survey to ensure each corner of the state is represented. 
Committees
Children and Seniors – Listen Live 1:30 pm weekdays
I have my committee booked to the gills this year. Over the last few weeks we’ve had a few bill hearings and many agency and industry updates: 
Bills: 
  • HB 2229 would remove restrictions on what can be admitted as evidence when that evidence is obtained using an electronic monitoring device that is placed in a resident’s room in an adult care home. The bill is a compromise between families wanting to video monitor their loved ones’ care and the liability concerns of elder care facilities. It passed out of committee last year and awaits House consideration, but we are trying to hammer out a compromise and hosted another informational briefing.
  • HB 2438 would allow the State Child Death Review Board to participate in a free national database to track child deaths. The legislation also would permit the Board to share information with law enforcement, as well as county and district attorneys, for investigation and prosecution purposes.
Agency Updates:  Appropriations – Listen Live 9 am weekdays
The first month of session is always catch-up time, where we are presented with the actions of various departments since we adjourned in May of last year. 
A few examples of agency updates: 
  • Commerce: Rural Opportunity Zones, Economic Development Initiative Fund
  • Administration: Docking State Office Building – what to do with it. Here are graphics of some options on the table.
  • Department of Health and Environment’s Laboratory Program
  • Midwestern Higher Education Compact’s plans for a children’s health tour and mental health facilities tour
Industry updates:  Taxation – Listen Live 3:30 pm weekdays
We are off-and-running into the deep weeds in Tax Committee – already burying ourselves in tax formulas. These are fairly complex, but I will attempt to break them down into English: 
  • HB 2278 would create a new two-bracket income tax rate system based on a complex formula. One rate would be for those earning $50,000 and under ($100,000 for married filing jointly), and the other bracket would be for those over those thresholds. The formula would be based on taxable income and the number of filing periods. The Kansas Society of CPAs testified the bill would disproportionately impact those with incomes under $45,000, with no change in taxable income for those earning more than $95,000.
  • HB 2442 would remove the compensating use tax line from state tax filings for 2020. Use taxes are on items purchased from other states which do not collect Kansas taxes. At this point, the Department of Revenue requires remote sellers doing business in Kansas to collect and remit applicable sales and use taxes, so the line could be considered redundant. 
  • HB 2466 would require paid tax return preparers to sign and include their IRS Preparer Tax Identification number on tax returns they prepare starting in 2021. Certified Public Accountants or individuals employed by a CPA firm would be excluded from the bill’s requirements. Beware the father-in-law with TurboTax!
  • “Decoupling” is back: HB 2005 would allow taxpayers to itemize deductions on their state tax returns even if they did not itemize on their federal tax returns. As you might recall from last year’s tax discussions, currently, taxpayers can only itemize on their state returns if they did so on their federal returns. However, with federal tax changes increasing the minimum deduction, many filers no longer itemize their deductions on the federal form, which eliminates the benefit of itemizing on state taxes. 
In addition to the bill hearings, members heard informational briefings on Rural Opportunity Zones, itemized deductions, consensus revenue estimates, and a review of tax-related legislation currently pending in conference committees. 
Thank you for the opportunity to serve and represent you in Topeka.

Sincerely,

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


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