Kansas Legislature News

The following Kansas Legislature news links come directly from online news sources via RSS feed. It’s not edited, and any individual Kansas legislative news item may or may not necessarily reflect Shannon’s views or stands on any particular issue. We’re merely providing you with news about the Kansas Legislature as a public service.

Kansas Supreme Court: Lawmakers Finally Put Enough Money Into Schools
14 Jun 2019 at 1:46pm

The Kansas Supreme Court on Friday effectively ended a nearly decade-long lawsuit by ruling that state lawmakers finally sent enough money to local school districts. “The State,” the justices wrote, “has shown its proposed remedy substantially complies with our mandate.” But the court wants to make sure lawmakers follow through with promises to add hundreds of millions of dollars a year in funding. The justices didn’t fully dismiss the lawsuit, so any future disagreements could take a shortcut directly back to the state’s high court.


Top GOP lawmakers hold up nearly $10M for Kansas prisons
5 Jun 2019 at 1:43pm

Top Republican legislators are holding up nearly $10 million in funds for Kansas prisons that corrections officials say they need to deal with overcrowding. GOP leaders in the Republican-controlled Legislature expressed strong reservations Wednesday about plans by Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly's administration to ship inmates to private prisons outside Kansas. They also expressed doubts that a plan to move adult female inmates into empty space in a juvenile corrections center is legal.


State revenue beats estimates by $77M in May, up $158M for fiscal year
4 Jun 2019 at 1:42pm

Kansas tax collections for May exceeded revised estimates by $77.1 million, adding to a state general fund cushion for the fiscal year that ends July 1. Numbers provided by the Kansas Department of Revenue show individual income tax collections were $278 million in May, about $68 million above estimates and nearly $7 million more than the same month last year. Retail sales and use taxes added to the surplus. However, corporate income tax collections dropped to $11 million, about $9 million below a forecast that mirrored last year’s collections.


Kansas taxpayers left with $1.4 billion deficit despite governor’s veto
1 Jun 2019 at 1:40pm

Those saying the current trajectory of state spending won’t lead to a deficit or tax increase aren’t being honest. A new profile prepared by the Kansas Legislative Research Department (KLRD) shows the state budget creates a $1.4 billion deficit over the next four years. This happens regardless of Governor Kelly’s veto of the tax windfall bill. Another way to look at the state budget is through a profile that accurately reflects reality. Most Kansas media reports on the budget don’t include the fact that state law must maintain a 7.5 percent ending balance.


INSIGHT KANSAS: The first quarter comes to an end
31 May 2019 at 1:37pm

With last Wednesday’s sine die end to the 2019 legislative session, we can make an early assessment of Kansas politics, the Legislature, and especially Governor Laura Kelly. If a governor’s term consists of four legislative sessions, this is roughly the end of first quarter. We can’t know what ultimate outcomes will be, either for policies or politics, but we can see some trends and try to understand how the remainder of the game shapes up...


The Latest: Kansas lawmakers override vetoes of budget items
29 May 2019 at 1:33pm

Republican legislators in Kansas have overridden Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s vetoes of several spending items in the next state budget, including an extra payment to the state’s public pension system. The GOP-controlled House voted 86-30 to override all of Kelly’s budget vetoes at once. Republicans leaders had two more votes than they needed and picked up a few Democratic votes. The vote in the Republican-controlled Senate was 27-11.Kelly had argued that her veto would make the state budget more stable by building up the state’s cash reserves. The biggest spending item she excised was a...


Kansas House falls short in bid to override governor’s veto of tax bill
29 May 2019 at 1:31pm

The Kansas House fell six votes shy of overriding Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto of legislation granting multinational corporations a state income tax exemption on overseas earnings and enabling Kansans to itemize deductions on state tax returns while claiming an elevated standard federal tax deduction. The $240 million, three-year package vetoed by Kelly would have earmarked future revenue gains from an expanded sales tax on internet transactions to buying down the state’s 6.5 percent sales tax on groceries.


Kansas lawmakers closing session with budget, tax and judiciary intrigue
25 May 2019 at 3:08pm

Expiration of the 2019 legislative session in Kansas won’t resemble the frequently sleepy ceremonial affairs that inspire less-than-full attendance by House and Senate members for close of another year’s political dueling at the Capitol. This edition of “Sine Die,” a Latin term used to label the final day of annual sessions in Kansas, will feature an attempt by Republican leadership Wednesday to put Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on her heels on potent judicial, tax and budget issues. The Senate will plunge into several attempts at overriding line-item budget vetoes issued by Kelly. The most...


Governor Vetoes 2nd GOP Tax Cut Plan
17 May 2019 at 3:04pm

Gov. Laura Kelly has vetoed a tax cut plan from the Republican-controlled Kansas Legislature. It’s the second veto from the governor in two months.  The cuts in the current bill were about half the size of the cuts asked for in the original bill the legislature first tried to pass. It’s likely to lead to a Republican attempt to override the veto before the legislative session ends.  Kelly says the bill would “decimate” the state budget.


Kansas Lawmakers Had A Deal To Expand Medicaid Next Year, Until They Didn't
12 May 2019 at 3:01pm

A deal to clear the way for Medicaid expansion next year that some Kansas lawmakers thought they had brokered in the waning hours of their just-finished legislative session appears to be unraveling. Instead, the conservative leaders and moderate rank-and-file Republicans find themselves splitting in an intra-party fight. The handshake deal, he said, committed the Senate to voting on a compromise expansion bill at the outset of the 2020 session. Importantly, he said, Senate leaders also agreed to leave the writing of the bill to a bipartisan committee of House and Senate members rather tha...