KDP Weekly Rundown #2

Friday, March 29, 2019

Welcome to the KDP Weekly Rundown – the Kansas Democratic Party’s update of the biggest things going on in the Kansas Legislature. What are we focused on this week? School finance and more!

K-12 SCHOOL FUNDING

  • What’s happening?

The Kansas House abandoned plans to vote on a public school finance plan this week. The House Committee on K-12 Education Budget held hearings on SB 142 (Gov. Laura Kelly’s school finance plan) and HB 2395 (its own school finance measure) last week. The House proposal, which provides $90 million for the next two years but then only provides increased funding for at-risk students, wasn’t brought up for debate because it didn’t have enough votes to pass. The Supreme Court will revisit the Gannon case on April 15 to determine if the state’s funding plan adequately funds our schools.

  • What’s next?

SB 142 passed out of the Senate on March 14 on a 32-8 vote. The House and Senate plan to begin negotiations next week on a final version of a school funding bill.

FEDERAL TAXES

  • What’s happening?

Gov. Kelly vetoed SB 22, saying that the bill “would absolutely dismantle all the progress we’ve made. It would throw our state once again into a self-inflicted budget crisis, diminished all the investments we’ve worked so hard to rebuild and restore. It would put our future at risk once again in order to give significant tax breaks to entities who need them the least, while continuing to leave working families behind.” This bill was a change in the Kansas tax code that detached the state’s tax system from federal rules and largely benefited corporations and high-income earners. You can read Gov. Kelly’s full statement on her first veto here.

  • What’s next?

This bill passed the Senate on a 26-14 vote and the House on a 76-43 vote before going to the Governor’s desk. The Legislature doesn’t appear to have the votes necessary to override Gov. Kelly’s veto. Overturning the veto requires support from 84 House members and 27 senators.

MEDICAID EXPANSION

  • What’s happening?

Medicaid expansion has stalled after the Kansas House passed HB 2066 last week. It’s unclear if the Republican-controlled Kansas Senate will take up the bill. The KanCare expansion would significant benefit Kansas, providing coverage to at least 130,000 additional Kansans, create good-paying jobs around the state, and protect rural and urban hospitals and clinics.

  • What’s next?

After passage of Medicaid expansion in the House by a 69-54 vote, the bill now heads to the Senate. The future of this legislation is uncertain due to the continued opposition of Senate President Susan Wagle. Senate rules require a two-thirds supermajority (27 votes) to force debate on a bill.

April 5th, 2019|
DONATE
VOLUNTEER
REGISTER TO VOTE