Category: Capitol Ideas

Budget plan moving slowly forward?

Things are finally starting to move on the budget and tax plans. Although the budget is primarily in a holding pattern, talks about taxes are front and center as the budget shortfall issues are addressed. The Appropriations committees met early in the week, mainly to review what is on the table and to get an update on the current budget […]

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Budget solution still an elusive target

For most of the week, the Legislature was still idling as we waited for the Budget and Tax committees to finally engage the gears and start moving things along. Late in the week, the Tax committee began hearings on a variety of bills to explore different tax options to close the budget/revenue gap. This part of the legislative session typically […]

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Without tax increase more cuts inevitable

Legislators are back in Topeka to begin the wrap-up session for 2015. Wednesday afternoon, the House will reconvene to finish up the big issues, meaning the budget and proposed tax changes. A lot has happened during the nearly month-long break. First and foremost is the consensus revenue estimators met and released their estimates for the remaining months of 2015, and […]

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Legislators have lots of issues to address

This is scheduled to be the last week of the regular legislative session for 2015. Often it seems as though time goes slowly, but suddenly the end of the session is here. Budget and tax issues are still not completely settled, so work continues on those issues when we return. Normally only the Appropriations and Tax committees meet during this […]

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Committees still processing new bills

This is the last week that non-exempt committees can meet, so the session has begun to wind down. A number of will be bills passed out of committees yet, so the list will grow. Currently, more than 40 bills await full House action. Several bills that have been high profile are not on the list, but that does not mean […]

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Block-grant bill has both good and bad

As I look at the legislative calendar, this is already week nine for the session. Obviously, things are moving along as the days are getting longer and spring is in the air. Our calendar says it is only two weeks until the scheduled end of regular session, known as first adjournment. The budget is coming along and, if everything goes […]

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Legislators gear up for second-half push

The mid-point of session, known as turnaround, is now past and we can move on to the next phase of the legislative process. In the House, we only have a couple of weeks to consider Senate bills and then the process of conference committees begins. Conference committees work out differences between Senate and House versions of bills and the bills […]

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Not a lot of answers at turnaround week

This was turnaround week. We were on the floor all day Wednesday and Thursday. Because it took so long to adopt rules, we have not had much action on the floor until last week, so the backlog of bills waiting action is large, about 80 of them. Not all of them will see action this week but those that do […]

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Committees keeping guv’s wishes intact

As the pace is picking up for this session, issues become more difficult to follow. Committees are kicking out bills rapidly now and the number of bills waiting floor action is large. Bills continue to be introduced, although at this point they must go through an exempt committee rather than a regular committee. Exempt committees are Appropriations and Taxation, which […]

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Few ideas surfacing for budget solution

For some reason, the atmosphere seems to be changed slightly in the Capitol this week, perhaps because the rescission budget was passed and signed by the governor. Now we can move on to the regular budget issues for 2016 and 2017. The budget hole is large for 2016, and if anyone has a good idea how to fill the gap, […]

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