Written by Rep. Bob Brookens Tuesday, 29 March 2011 15:08By week’s end we ought to have crafted a budget to send to Gov. Brownback for his consideration. You may recall we did not pass out a budget last year until the veto session, and that could happen again.
Gov. Brownback worked hard from the time of his election to mid-January, laying out his budget proposal. His proposal would leave a $7.5 million ending balance and requires cutting more than $500 million from the budget (that’s the hole we’re in). If he doesn’t cut that much, we’d have to raise taxes to fill that hole.
Gov. Brownback does not substantially cut the judicial branch in his proposal, believing it already pared down its budget all it could.
Since Gov. Brownback proposed his budget, he has had to announce a round...
Written by Rep. Bob Brookens Tuesday, 22 March 2011 14:25As you read this, we are closing the first part of the legislative session. We meet for three days this week, then take two days off so conference committees can meet and hammer out House and Senate differences.
We come back Monday, March 30, hopefully to work on a budget and listen to conference committee reports on the conference committee work.
We will then head home for a four-week break while we await the governor’s action on the bills, and return for the veto session, starting April 27.
The Judiciary Committee partially worked the “immigration” bill last Monday, but we did not finish presenting amendments to the committee to modify the bill and make it acceptable to a majority of the committee. It was tabled before I could...
Written by Rep. Bob Brookens Tuesday, 15 March 2011 14:46The Judiciary Committee held hearings on the “immigration” bill that is based on the Arizona law about “illegal aliens.”
I learned there are people in Kansas who entered the country illegally, people who came legally and work legally, and some who came legally whose visa has expired and have yet to hear from the federal government about a visa extension—called “out of status,” but not “illegal.”
We also heard of “undocumented workers.” The bill has three components: E-verify, public benefits and enforcement.
• E-verify. The federal E-verify system was described in the hearing by one man as easy to follow and easy to use. Others, however, spoke of false reports, difficulty fixing errors (Have you ever...
Written by Rep. Bob Brookens Tuesday, 08 March 2011 14:43I need your input. The Kansas House is about to vote on a matter of seismic proportions in the near future.
We will soon vote on many pieces of tax legislation. None of them are likely to address the long list of exemptions from paying property or sales tax for this group or that entity.
The issue at hand: Should Kansas eliminate the corporate income tax? Should our corporations pay income taxes to support our system of government or should they be exempt to entice them into Kansas or because they create jobs and stimulate the economy?
Should Westar, Kansas community banks, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Boeing, Cessna, etc., pay no income tax?
I want to hear from you, no matter your view.
The Kansas Chamber advocates its...
Written by Rep. Bob Brookens Tuesday, 01 March 2011 16:18This last week was turnaround week in the Legislature. The House and Senate each completed their work on the bills that started in those respective chamber.
We completed our work about noon Friday and the House and Senate each sent its bills over to the other for consideration.
We did not meet this Monday or Tuesday to give the Revisor of Statutes office time to finalize and print all those bills. Our work starts Wednesday.
Sen. Jeff Longbine and I held legislative coffees in Hillsboro and Marion Saturday. We talked about some of the more significant bills passing through our houses. I will report on a few we talked about.
The House passed a bill setting the speed limit at 75 mph on four-lane highways. Three concerns have come to...
Page 7 of 17