Kansas legislature

Articles about the Kansas legislature, both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Historic buildings bill on tap

Historic buildings bill on tap

A bill designed to protect two buildings in downtown Wichita has a legislative hearing this week. Last year a citizen group gathered signatures on a petition that would prevent the City of Wichita from disposing of two downtown buildings without an approving vote of a majority of citizens. Based on having the required number of valid signatures, the petition was certified as valid. But the city sued to have the petition thrown out, contending the petition went beyond what Kansas law allows as the subject of municipal petitions. A judge agreed with the city. Now the group has a bill…
Read More
Say no to special tax treatment, again

Say no to special tax treatment, again

In Kansas, a company seeks to avoid paying property taxes, again. In a bill presented in the Kansas Legislature, the owner of health clubs seeks to avoid paying property taxes. The same company and its owner have tried this before. In 2014, I explained how granting this exemption was a bad idea. What has changed since then? This exemption is still a bad idea for reasons of public policy. Additionally, Brandon Steven, the owner of the health clubs, plead guilty to a gambling charge and forfeited one million dollars in earnings. The companies also owe a lot of the tax…
Read More
Kansas school spending, through 2020

Kansas school spending, through 2020

Charts of Kansas school spending presented in different forms. Recently Kansas State Department of Education released spending figures for the 2020 school year, that is, the school year starting in 2019 and ending in 2020. One of the most important charts shows state spending per-pupil, adjusted for inflation. It shows the total of state and local spending, which is useful because in 2015 the state made a change in the way revenue is allocated between state and local sources. It also shows base state aid per pupil, which is an important number as it is the starting point for the…
Read More
Kansas general fund spending and receipts

Kansas general fund spending and receipts

The Kansas budget is volatile, with rising spending and a large deficit. Figures from Kansas financial reports show that state spending has risen. Based on that and shifts in revenue flows, deficits are large. The following tables and charts show actual data through fiscal year 2019. Figures for 2020 are revised estimates, and for 2021, the figures are from the approved budget. The primary source of data is Kansas Comparison Report: The FY 2021 Governor’s Budget Report with Legislative Authorizations. [2. Kansas Division of the Budget, Kansas Comparison Reports. Available at https://budget.kansas.gov/comparison-reports/.] The revised estimate of receipts is $826.9 million…
Read More

Regulation reform could jump-start Kansas economy after COVID

Regulation reform could jump-start Kansas economy after COVID By Michael Austin. The COVID-19 outbreak has not only posed a severe public health risk, but actions to combat it now risk a global economic collapse. With nearly half of all Kansas hourly jobs gone, the Kansas Department of Labor is overwhelmed processing unemployment claims. Roughly 40 percent of Kansas small businesses are shuttered, with more than half of them saying they are weeks away from closing permanently. Kansans need a pathway through this economic disaster. Will we come back stronger than ever before, or fall deep into an economic depression? To…
Read More
Wichita should post fulfilled records requests

Wichita should post fulfilled records requests

When the City of Wichita fulfills records requests, it should make those records available to everyone. When governmental agencies like the City of Wichita fulfill records requests, they could also publish the records on their websites. When records are supplied electronically to requestors, this is an additional simple (and low cost) step that would leverage the city’s effort and increase its value. Some federal agencies do this. For example at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website, there is a page titled FOIA Library. An example entry on this page is titled "Executive Orders on Travel Records." The explanation for…
Read More
Wichita legal notices an easy start on the path to transparency

Wichita legal notices an easy start on the path to transparency

Kansas law requires publication of certain notices in newspapers, but cities like Wichita could also make them available in other ways that are easier to use. As Wichita's new mayor takes office, there are a few things the city could do to increase the availability and distribution of government information. An easy project to accomplish would be placing legal notices on the city's web page. Kansas law requires that many legal notices must be printed in a newspaper. That law needs to be changed. Newspapers resist this reform, as it might mean a loss of revenue for them. (That's right.…
Read More
From Pachyderm: Leader Dan Hawkins

From Pachyderm: Leader Dan Hawkins

From the Wichita Pachyderm Club: Kansas House of Representatives Majority Leader Dan Hawkins. Representative Stephen Owens provided the introduction. This audio presentation or podcast was recorded on January 17, 2020.
Read More
Kansas spending rising

Kansas spending rising

Kansas spending is rising, and will probably rise at a faster pace. Figures from Kansas financial reports show that state spending has risen, and based on approved budget, will rise at a faster pace. The following tables and charts show actual data through fiscal year 2018. Data for fiscal years 2019 and 2020 are based on figures approved by the legislature and governor, plus estimates regarding the future economy. In the following table, spending increases from the general fund average 7.3 percent per year for 2010 through 2020. There is a budget surplus, primarily due to changes in tax law…
Read More
In Wichita, respecting the people’s right to know

In Wichita, respecting the people’s right to know

The City of Wichita says it values open and transparent government. But the city's record in providing information and records to citizens is poor, and there hasn't been much improvement. The City of Wichita is proud to be an open and transparent governmental agency, its officials say. Former Mayor Carl Brewer often spoke in favor of government transparency. [1. For example, in his State of the City address for 2011, Brewer listed as an important goal for the city this: "And we must provide transparency in all that we do." See https://drive.google.com/open?id=1xgx96BEXALDEgLBRcQdz2Kg0_W5x3e2J.] When the city received an award for transparency…
Read More
Wichita legal notices an easy start on the path to transparency

Wichita legal notices an easy start on the path to transparency

Kansas law requires publication of certain notices in newspapers, but cities like Wichita could also make them available in other ways that are easier to use. As Wichita's new mayor takes office, there are a few things the city could do to increase the availability and distribution of government information. An easy project to accomplish would be placing legal notices on the city's web page. Kansas law requires that many legal notices must be printed in a newspaper. That law needs to be changed. Newspapers resist this reform, as it might mean a loss of revenue for them. (That's right.…
Read More
From Pachyderm: Martin Hawver

From Pachyderm: Martin Hawver

From the Wichita Pachyderm Club: Martin Hawver, dean of the Kansas Statehouse press corps. This was recorded January 4, 2019. Martin Hawver is the editor and publisher of Hawver’s Capitol Report, the respected, non-partisan news service that reports on Kansas government and politics. He also is the dean of the Kansas Statehouse press corps, having covered the beat (36 years) longer than any current Statehouse reporter -- first for 17 years as a Statehouse reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal and since 1993 for Hawver’s Capitol Report. He is the primary reporter/writer for the news service. He also writes a column…
Read More
Kansas House committee assignments for 2019

Kansas House committee assignments for 2019

From the office of Kansas House of Representatives Speaker Ron Ryckman, here are committee assignments for the 2019 session of the Kansas Legislature. The session starts Monday January 14, 2019. 9:00 AM Committees Appropriations (112-N): Troy Waymaster, Chair; Kyle Hoffman, Vice Chair; Kathy Wolfe Moore, Ranking Minority; John Alcala; Barbara Ballard; Tom Burroughs; Sydney Carlin; Will Carpenter; J.R. Claeys; Susan Concannon; Willie Dove; Shannon Francis; Henry Helgerson; Steven Johnson; Brenda Landwehr; Stephen Owens; Brett Parker; Richard Proehl; Ken Rahjes; Brad Ralph; Bill Sutton; Sean Tarwater; and Kristey Williams. Federal and State Affairs (346-S): John Barker, Chair; Francis Awerkamp, Vice Chair;…
Read More
WichitaLiberty.TV: Kansas Representative Leo Delperdang

WichitaLiberty.TV: Kansas Representative Leo Delperdang

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Representative Leo Delperdang joins Bob Weeks to discuss the recent election and the upcoming session of the Kansas Legislature. View below or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 220, broadcast December 2, 2018. Shownotes Representative Leo Delperdang at Kansas Legislature Delperdang for Kansas on Facebook Representative Leo Delperdang on WichitaLiberty.TV, June 22, 2017
Read More
WichitaLiberty.TV: Bob and Karl look at election results

WichitaLiberty.TV: Bob and Karl look at election results

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Bob and Karl look at election results nationally, in Kansas, and in Sedgwick County. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 217, broadcast November 11, 2018. Shownotes Election results at Politico. This is one of the best sites for analysis of election results. Election results for Sedgwick County. Election resuts from Kansas Secretary of State.
Read More
From Pachyderm: Kansas House candidates

From Pachyderm: Kansas House candidates

From the Wichita Pachyderm Club: Republican candidates for the Kansas House of Representatives. Appearing, in initial speaking order, were: Steven Kelly, 72nd District (map of district) Cheryl Helmer, 79th District (map) J.C. Moore, 93rd District (map) Susan Humphries, 99th District (map) This was recorded on October 19, 2018.
Read More
Kansas highway spending

Kansas highway spending

A look at actual spending on Kansas highways, apart from transfers. When we look at actual spending on Kansas roads and highways, we see something different from what is commonly portrayed. Kansas Department of Transportation publishes a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report that details spending in four categories. These figures represent actual spending on roads and highways, independent of transfers to or from the highway fund. For fiscal year 2018, which ended June 30, 2018, spending on two categories (Maintenance and Modernization) rose slightly from the year before, while spending on the categories Preservation and Expansion and Enhancement fell. For these…
Read More