Written by Rep. Bob Brookens Tuesday, 28 February 2012 16:03The House passed a host of bills this past week and sent them to the Senate for consideration. Likewise, the Senate sent their bills over to us, so House committees can hold hearings and consider their body of work.
Most of the bills with real meat and potatoes have yet to be tackled by either house. Income tax cuts, the budget, KPERS and the school-funding formula have yet to be brought to the floor of the House or Senate.
The House has passed its own redistricting map (see my previous columns), and the Senate has pumped out a proposed new congressional district map, both made necessary by the 2010 census and the constitutional mandate of one person, one vote.
The Senate has yet to adopt its own redistricting map.
The House passed...
Written by Rep. Bob Brookens Tuesday, 21 February 2012 15:44We’ve been fed numbers from those supporting a “march to zero” on income tax, suggesting the movement is essential for Kansas’ economic growth. Here’s a host of facts for you to digest this week that seem to suggest otherwise. You can decide for yourself how Kansas compares with other states in a number of categories.
How does Kansas compare with the no-income-tax states in economic growth? Consider these areas (results are expressed in percentages unless otherwise noted):
• Change in real per-capita gross domestic product from 1997-2009:
New Hampshire, 20.5
South Dakota, 47.6
• Residential real estate...
Written by Rep. Bob Brookens Tuesday, 14 February 2012 16:03The House passed its redistricting map. The 70th District will retain all its former territory and gain Hope, Solomon, Elmo and surrounding townships in western and southern Dickinson County.
I look forward to meeting and talking to the good folks of Dickinson County, in addition to those in Butler, Chase and Marion Counties. I hope to have community meetings throughout the new District this winter/spring.
In this column last week, I said I believed that none of the proposed U.S. congressional maps affected Butler, Chase or Marion counties. I can still say no map is expected to affect Dickinson, Chase or Butler. I have discovered there is a map floating around that proposes to move all of Marion County into the Fourth District, which...
Written by Rep. Bob Brookens Tuesday, 07 February 2012 18:33During this past week, the House of Representatives passed a bill to eliminate “use-it-or-lose-it” for water rights in areas where water is in short supply and is closed to drilling new wells.
Currently, a person must pump water for irrigation or other purposes at least every five years, whether the water is needed or not, or risk losing the right to use it later.
We hope this change in policy will encourage conservation in dry parts of Kansas, particularly in the area using the Ogallala Aquifer. It does not impact us in central Kansas; our water sufficiency did not indicate a need for this change, and we can watch how this bill works before considering other changes.
We also passed a bill modifying the method to allow swine...
Written by Rep. Bob Brookens Tuesday, 31 January 2012 14:58The past two weeks I have written about tax issues. I said in my column last week I would emphasize this week what I’m for, so here goes. In a policy statement on “The Brownback Pro-Growth Plan,” Gov. Brownback mentions five principles guiding his proposals:
(1) Taxes at the federal, state and local levels are a complicated hodge-podge of taxes, credits and special interests cobbled together through the years. He says we must streamline and modernize tax policy to fund core government functions, emphasizing business growth and encourages greater financial investment in Kansas. I totally agree.
(2) The Kansas tax code is complicated; it picks too many winners and losers; it attempts too much social engineering. The code should be...
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