The Advocate Jan 22


View this email in your browser

The Advocate – January 22, 2018

Week two of the 2018 Kansas legislative session is in the books. It was a short week with the legislature off on Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King holiday and Friday was “pro-forma,” meaning the day counts towards the 90-day allowance, but legislators were back in their home districts. The first weeks of every session are typically slower, with committees receiving required agency reports and holding informational hearings on a variety of topics.
The upcoming week appears to be more of the same. There are a few bill hearings scheduled, but not many, and more than a handful of committee chairs are telling legislators and lobbyists they do not plan to take action on legislation that they do not deem absolutely necessary.
It appears it is another session locked down by the K-12 funding lawsuit. It’s all about how much to increase funding after a sizable infusion of cash last session, which the Supreme Court said was not enough. Most critically, it’s about how to come up with the money. There is enormous frustration percolating from the issue of school finance amongst lawmakers. Other special interest groups and industries that rely on state funding are starting to voice their displeasure. Most recently, the six major trade associations representing the transportation industry released an op-ed stating that other essential state services are suffering because of the K-12 funding fights in Topeka.
It was Kansas Governor Parkinson that led the charge to increase the state sales tax back in 2010, in order to fund the government as well as provide a funding stream for a new 10-year transportation program. 4/10ths of the penny sales tax increase was to be devoted to the transportation program. That worked for a while, but a few years into the Brownback tax cuts, that 4/10ths (or about $400M per year) started being swept into the State General Fund to cover obligations other than highway work. The state’s transportation industry was initially relieved after last year’s income tax increase (the largest in state history), only to be once again disappointed when all the sales tax money was swept into the State General Fund for another two years. Those aforementioned transportation groups want schools funded but said in their letter, “It’s time for a more balanced approach. Legislators have a duty to support the essential priorities that protect our families and move our economy forward instead of being forced to the sidelines while one priority continually moves to the front of the line. Unlike the lawyers who think some families have to suffer, Kansans know the value of sharing the pie so that all essential priorities can be funded. Just like in our own homes, one member of the family shouldn’t keep taking more of the pie at everyone else’s expense.”

Senator Saves Senator
Perhaps it was all those years being president of a community college with an emergency medical technician training program that allowed State Senator Ed Berger (R-Hutchinson) to jump into action and perform the Heimlich maneuver when fellow Senator Dan Goddard (R-Parsons) was choking during a visit to the Topeka Country Club. Thanks to Sen. Berger’s quick action, the food was dislodged. We’re happy to report Sen. Goddard is doing just fine and didn’t even suffer any broken ribs, which was Berger’s first question after Goddard started breathing again.

High Performance Incentive Program (HPIP)
A bill has been introduced that will extend the number of years a firm has to cash in their income tax credits associated with HPIP program. Current law provides for a 15-year, use-them-or-lose-them time period for the credits. The bill would extend that period of time, but reduces to 75% of the value in years 16 and after.

Business Expensing Bill Introduced In Senate
A bill has been introduced in the Senate by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce to allow for the expensing of capital investments by Kansas businesses. Currently those investments are required to be depreciated over a number of years based on the type of investment. Kansas allowed expensing prior to the 2012 tax cuts that eliminated income tax on pass-through income for S-Corps, LLCs, etc. The new federal tax law also allows for expensing on federal returns.

New Wichita Area Legislator Selected
Former Park City Mayor Emil Bergquist, 62, a Republican, was elected by precinct committee members to succeed 91st House District Rep. Greg Lakin (R-Wichita). Bergquist won the election 17-1 over J.C. Moore of Kechi, who lost to Lakin in the 2016 GOP primary.
Lakin was appointed chief medical officer for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment by Gov. Sam Brownback and resigned his House seat. Bergquist, who challenged State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau in the past, should be sworn in this week.

This newsletter is a weekly update on business-related activities in the Kansas legislature, shared with you in partnership with the Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: