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The Proehl Perspective

Dear Friend:

The Turnaround deadline means all bills have to be passed from their original house and “turned around” to the other chamber by this week, or they die for future consideration. Most committees did not work this week, so I left that section out, and you will not see a link for next week’s calendar because the legislature is out of session all next week, returning on Monday, March 6.
 
The extensive newsletter to walk through the dozens of bills we heard and passed in my committees this week has pretty much been scrapped to focus on recent events. Nearly everything we did last week was overshadowed by three major actions:
  1. The House and Senate votes to pass the tax bill described below;
  2. Governor Brownback’s veto of the bill; and finally,
  3. The House vote to override the veto and the Senate’s vote to uphold the veto.
Please keep reading under “In the News.”

Around the District
I'm sorry I didn't get this out in time to alert you to the legislative coffee sponsored by the Montgomery Farm Bureau in Independence this morning! It was a nice turnout and a good conversation about many of the topics included in today's update.
 
I encourage you to take this opportunity to complete my online survey if you haven’t done so already. I’m planning to shut it down at the end of the month.
 

I’m considering a collage of Clifton Eck’s (of Bartlett) page pictures over the years. I’m not sure how many years he has been a page, but I know I have a lot of photos. Thank you for your commitment to our state, Clifton!

It was nice to see Nancy Clubine and Crystal Addis, the County Treasurers from Montgomery and Labette Counties at County Treasurers’ Day at the Capitol. 
 

Contact Me:

January-May in Topeka:
State Capitol, Room 581-W
Phone: 785 296-7639

At home in Parsons:

510 Pine Ridge Road
Parsons, KS 67357
Phone: 620-421-1804
Email: rproehl@labettebank.com

It was an honor to welcome the Labette County High School Career & Technical Education team to the Capitol to showcase their immense talents:
In the News
Tax Bill
The tax bill (
HB 2178) passed House Taxation Committee, the full House, and then the full Senate last week, and was sent to Governor Brownback for his consideration. He vetoed the plan, the House overrode that veto, but the Senate sustained it by three votes. Retroactive to January 1, the bill would have:
  • Repealed the LLC, S-corp, and sole proprietor tax breaks enacted in 2012, which exempted them from most state income taxes;
  • Allowed certain non-wage business income losses starting in tax year 2017;
  • Restored itemized deductions that were repealed by the Legislature in 2015, notably the deduction for medical expenses will once again be 100% deductible;
  • Reduced the lowest income tax bracket to 2.7% for individuals making less than $15K and couples making less than $30K;
  • Established a 5.25% rate for individuals making between $15K and $50K and $30K-$100K for couples; 
  • Restored the third tax bracket for those making more than $50K for individuals and $100K for couples, with a rate of 5.45%; and
  • Eliminated the “March to Zero” scheduled income tax reductions.
The key factor to remember in this plan is that all three tax brackets are lower than they were in 2012. I voted YES to override Governor Brownback’s veto, it passed 85-40, but the Senate failed to override, 24-16
 
I submitted an explanation of vote in the House Journal:
  • MR. SPEAKER: Since the day the tax cut was first proposed and adopted in 2012 I have been convinced that plan went too far, too fast. It created an inequitable tax system and destabilized state revenues. As elected officials we have an obligation to spend the people's tax money wisely and reduce taxes when possible. But we are also obligated to responsibly fund government and to provide those services that the people of Kansas need and expect. Sub HB 2178 corrects the excesses of the 2012 tax cut and puts our fiscal house in order. I vote yes on Sub HB 2178. – DON HINEMAN, RICH PROEHL, DON SCHROEDER, JAN KESSINGER, LINDA GALLAGHER
Related Articles:
Wichita Eagle:
Kansas Senate fails to override tax bill veto
Topeka Capital-Journal: Brownback tax veto stands after Senate fails to override

Medicaid Expansion
MEDICAID EXPANSION:
After much procedural drama, Medicaid Expansion had its day on the House floor. For years, health bills were banished from consideration because a bill to expand Medicaid to needy Kansans would be germane (the same topic as the underlying bill) to amendments.
  • Jargon Alert – germane: In order to amend language onto a bill, the amendment and the bill must have substantially the same topic. The “germaneness” of an amendment can be challenged and then is considered by the Rules Committee. The Rules Committee specifies whether the amendment is germane to the bill and his/her ruling can be challenged by the body with a vote to abide or overrule the chair’s decision. (In other words, what is germane is what the Rules Chair and the body decides by vote.)
Fortunately, this year, the votes exist not only to force debate on these issues, but to pass legislation. Rep. Susan Concannon (R-Beloit) has led the way on this issue for four years and proposed an amendment to HB 2044. The original bill allows Medicaid reimbursement for rehabilitation services provided at clubhouses (original testimony here), and after hours of debate, the amendment passed on a voice vote and the amended bill passed 81-44, I voted YES. It now goes to the Senate for further committee hearings.
 
Related Articles:
Topeka Capital-Journal:
House votes to approve bill expanding Medicaid in Kansas; teacher tenure bill also passes
 
On the Floor
Beyond the hours spent on the veto and Medicaid expansion, a number of other interesting bills passed the House and are headed to the Senate for consideration:
 
The House worked on a number of license plate bills we saw come through the Transportation Committee:
  • HB 2257 would create an armed services occupation medal license plate, allowing people who were recipients of the Army Occupation Medal or the Navy Occupation Service Medal to receive such plates, as well as surviving spouses. PASSED 124-0.
  • Currently veterans can only get such license plates if they are entitled to compensation for service-connected disabilities of at least 50%, for loss of use of one or both feet, for loss of use of one or both hands or visual impairment of both eyes. HB 2174 would allow eligibility for the disabled veteran license plate if the veteran submits proof to the director of vehicles that s/he has a permanent disability. PASSED 124-0. (Background)
  • HB 2148, would create license plates designated for autism awareness as well as the 4-H Foundation. It passed the House 120-5, I voted YES. Here’s how the plate will look: 
 

There were a few interesting bills related to vaccinations:
  • HB 2030 would allow licensed pharmacists and interns to administer any vaccination to all people 6+ years of age. Current law allows them to do so for people 18+ only. Especially in rural areas, this will be a huge help to ensure our children are protected. PASSED 120-2.
  • HB 2205 would add meningitis to the list of vaccinations required for Kansas schoolchildren. The devastating effects of meningitis on those impacted. The vaccine is recommended for preteens and teens 11-12, with a booster 16 years old. PASSED 104-20. (Background)
If you’re applying for a job as a law enforcement officer, you’re asked a series of questions about your criminal history, and are not considered if you have previous convictions. HB 2069 adds to that deferred judgments for misdemeanor domestic violence and other misdemeanor offenses that reflect on the applicant’s honesty/trustworthiness to that definition. PASSED 121-1.
 
Currently, only public employees have access to unemployment insurance records in the performance of their official duties.
HB 2054 would allow public officials, agents, or contractors of a public official to have access to such records. PASSED 93-29. I voted YES.
 

HB 2186 repeals the Uniform Arbitration Act currently used in Kansas and replaces it with the Uniform Arbitration Act of 2000. Additionally, an amendment was added to reverse actions take in recent years to strip teachers of due process rights. Even though most of our school districts continued to include due process in their teacher contracts, I was happy to support this amendment for teachers across the state. The amendment passed 66-59, and I voted YES on the amendment and the bill. PASSED 72-53. (Background)
 

HB 2102 is a big win for local control and certainly seemed like a no-brainer! Currently, counties with population over 8,000 are required to hold board of county commissioner meeting on the first Monday of every month. This bill eliminates this provision and requires all counties regardless of population to hold monthly board meetings on a day chosen by the board. PASSED 124-1.
 
If you’ve ever had trouble remembering to return your mail ballot, this bill is for you.
HB 2158 changes the deadline for acceptance of advance voting ballots. Requires ballots received by mail to be treated in a way as consistent as possible with other advance ballots if: 1) They’re postmarked as mailed before the election and 2) They’re received by the time of the last USPS delivery on the third day after the election.  PASSED 123-2. (Background)
 

HB 2048 enacts “Erin’s Law” which requires school districts to adopt a plan to address child sexual abuse in all schools grades K-6. PASSED 88-34. I voted YES.
 
HB 2187 would add common sense restrictions on people who reside, work, or volunteer at child care facilities, to include people who have been convicted of arson, sex offenders, and those who have committed acts of physical, mental or emotional abuse or neglect. PASSED 125-0. (Background)
 

HB 2160 would allow young people preparing to age out of foster care to set up and use Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) for qualifying vehicle expenses and start-up costs, like rent and utility deposits. PASSED 125-0.

Due to legislation in recent years to strip local authority from our cities and counties, local governments cannot prohibit the placement or number of political signs on private property or unpaved right of way on city or county roads during the 45-day period before an election.
HB 2210 amends the law to refer to “temporary” signs instead of “political” signs and allows local governments to regulate them. PASSED 100-25. (Background)
It is an honor to represent you in Topeka. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments.

Sincerely,

Rep. Rich Proehl
Kansas House District 7
Serving Labette and Montgomery Counties
Copyright © 2017 Paid for by Rich Proehl for Kansas House, Sandy Manners, Treasurer, All rights reserved.


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