Kansas Legislature

KASB Legislative Roundup, Thur. May 14

The House Committee on Taxation Thursday evening approved a bill that would give local governments, including school districts, more authority to issue no fund warrants to cover expenditures in excess of current revenues caused by, or resulting from, a federal, state or local disaster or emergency, including a financial, public health or disaster emergency, declared by a federal or state official.  No funds warrants are basically short-term bonds issued to cover unanticipated expenditures that exceed revenues. The bill would require the borrowing to be repaid within five years through a special tax levy. Current law allows no fund warrants to...

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KASB online session Monday to provide advocacy update on numerous education issues

KASB will conduct an online legislative and advocacy update at noon Monday, May 18 to review budget issues, the 2020 session and State Board of Education developments.  This session is available to all who receive the KASB News Briefs, including board members, educators, advocates and media.   There is no registration fee but pre-registration is required. To register in advance for this meeting, go to this link.  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.  The session will feature updates on state and federal issues as the Legislature prepares for a one-day end of session on...

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KASB Daily Legislative Roundup, Wed. May 13

Republican legislators leaders on Wednesday blasted Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, over her executive orders during the coronavirus pandemic, and then extended the state emergency disaster declaration to May 26, instead of June 13 as the governor wanted. Meeting as the State Finance Council, Republicans also said they plan to rewrite the state’s emergency management law when the 2020 session convenes for its final day on May 21. Holding significant majorities in the Legislature, Republicans made it clear Kelly would need to abide by the changes to continue using emergency authority during the pandemic. During the meeting, Senate President Susan Wagle,...

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Budget, tax and other committees meeting this week in preparation for one-day mini session

Republican legislative leaders have scheduled several committee meetings this week -- including budget and tax panels -- to prepare legislation for the one-day end of session. Education leaders must stay vigilant to developments since the coronavirus pandemic has caused an historic drop in state revenue and K-12 funding makes up half of the state budget. The latest revenue estimate shows Kansas faces a $1.27 billion revenue shortfall for the remainder of this fiscal year and the next fiscal year, which starts July 1. Legislators approved a budget earlier this session before the COVID-19 crisis swept the state and nation.  Gov. Kelly...

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Senate Republican leaders announce committees will start meeting

Senate Republican leaders Thursday announced several committees will start meeting to prepare legislation for the one-day session finale on May 21. “Given the situation we are in with only one day of floor debate, our dedicated committee chairs agree it is their responsibility to hear full testimony and bring thoroughly vetted bills to the floor for quick debate,” said Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita. Wagle has directed the chairs of the Senate Judiciary, Commerce, Tax and Financial Institutions and Insurance committees to meet as soon as possible. The news release from Wagle, Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, and Senate Vice...

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Legislature to reconvene on final day of session, May 21

House and Senate leaders on Wednesday decided the Legislature will return May 21, the official last day of the 2020 legislative session. But it remains unclear, what, if anything, legislators will get done.  During a meeting of the Legislative Coordinating Council, there was no discussion about revising the state budget, which faces a $1.27 billion revenue shortfall brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.  Gov. Laura Kelly has said current fiscal year spending should be in good shape because of strong ending balances, but problems arise in fiscal year 2021, which starts July 1. Kelly has stated she wants to protect funding...

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Decision expected on return of 2020 Legislature

Kansas legislative leaders will meet Wednesday, May 6, at 3 p.m. for discussion and possible action on reconvening the Legislature.  The committee room is not open to the public because of social distancing policies, but can be heard by accessing the Statehouse audit stream: (1) Go to www.kslegislature.org. (2) Click on “Audio/Video” in top right corner by Search Bar. (3) Select “Statehouse Live & Archive.”  When the regular session adjourned early in mid-March, the House and Senate were scheduled to return for the “veto” or final wrap-up session on April 27, but the decision on when and if to reconvene was...

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KASB staff members show appreciation for teachers

Nearly all of us have had a teacher who inspired us to do our best, or maybe prodded us to do at least a little better. In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Day, KASB staff offered recollections about their favorite teachers. We hope you enjoy these testimonials and that they will help you reflect on your own school careers and honor those teachers and school staff who went the extra mile. Amanda Rollenhagen, Controller Ms. Virginia Wolken, Erie USD 101 High School Chemistry and Physics. She helped many students understand the concepts action and reaction. She believed in her students and...

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Nationwide call to action this week on internet access for students

Education advocacy groups from across the nation will mount a call to action this week urging Congress to support students who don’t have home internet access (the “homework gap”). The event is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, May 7.   KASB will offer talking points and other important information prior to the advocacy day. Members should contact Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran and Representatives Roger Marshall, Steve Watkins, Sharice Davids and Ron Estes to encourage their assistance in closing the homework gap.  The nationwide push will center around the Senate version of the Emergency Educational Connections Act, which would provide $4 billion...

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As projected, April tax revenue falls 51 percent from April 2019

As predicted, Kansas tax collections for April fell a whopping 51 percent, or $611 million, below April 2019, officials reported Friday. The astounding decrease was expected because of tax deadline extensions due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Kansas Department of Revenue. On April 20, the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group met to revise state revenue projections. The group’s April estimate was only one-tenth of one percent below the actual total. The newest revenue estimates show the state will fall an estimated $1.27 billion short of earlier projections over the current and next fiscal year, which starts July 1. With school funding making...

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