Mid-Week Update on Legislation

Mid-Week Update on Legislation

Governor’s Tax Bill.  The Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee
finished hearings but took no action Wednesday on SB 78, which maintains the current state sales tax rate and repeals
the mortgage interest and property tax deductions from state income tax; and
also enacts a new set of income tax rate cuts. 
The bill is designed to first raise revenue to cover a projected
shortfall in the state general fund and avoid cuts in K-12 education and other
programs; but to continue a multi-year elimination of state income taxes.  Hearings begin today on the same proposals in
HB 2110 in the House Taxation
Committee.  KASB will testify as a proponent
of the proposals to raise revenue immediately, but not further income tax
reductions that could lead future cuts in education funding.
Property Tax Vote.  Yesterday, the House Tax Committee voted to
recommend HB 2047 without
amendment.  The bill would require school
boards and other local governments to take a separate vote before budgeting and
spending more property tax revenue than the previous year if raised due to
growth in valuation.  The vote must be
published in the county newspaper.  The
bill is not designed to limit what can be spent.  KASB testified against the bill because school
funding is already covered by various state limits and required public votes
and notifications, and the publication requirement would add cost.  However, KASB indicated the bill would likely
have little practical effect because boards already vote annually on district
budgets.
Limits on Lobbying.  KASB will testify today in the Senate Ethics,
Elections and Local Government Committee as an opponent of SB 45, which would prohibit the use of state appropriations for
certain lobbying and public campaign activities.  KASB will explain the bill is unclear on its
actual intent, but argue school boards should have the ability to represent the
concerns of their constituents in the political process.
Statewide Mill Levy.  KASB will testify today a proponent of SB 23 in the Senate Education
Committee, which extends the statewide 20 mill levy for school districts for
two additional years.  Without renewal, school
district general funds would lose approximately $575 million.
Dyslexia Services.  KASB will testify Thursday as an opponent of SB 44 in the Senate Education
Committee.  The bill would require
districts to provide specific services to students upon a written statement of
from a licensed physician, psychologist or psychiatrist stating that a child
has been diagnosed with dyslexia, regardless of whether the child has been
identified by the school.  If the school
does not provide certain services within six weeks, the district must pay for
such instruction by a third party selected by the parents.  KASB believes schools are already required to
identify such students and opposes state requirements for students with
disabilities that exceed federal requirements.
Military Student
Count
.  The House Education Budget
Committee holds a hearing Thursday on HB
2109
, which extends the second count date for military families through the
2017-18 school year.  Under current law,
this provision expires at the end of the current school year.
Supplemental
Appropriations for State Aid
.  The
Senate Ways and Means Committee announced a hearing tomorrow on SB 76, making supplemental
appropriations to the state budget.  This
includes $21.3 million in general state aid required to maintain the base budget
per pupil at $3,838 for the current school year.
Next week’s schedule of hearings and committee action will be available by tomorrow – as always, subject to change.