Friday, September 13, 2019

Welcome to the KDP Weekly Rundown – the Kansas Democratic Party’s update of the biggest things going on in the state party and the state government. What are we focused on this week? Gov. Laura Kelly’s tax reform council, the state’s rejection of Westar Energy’s lease request, and last night’s 2020 debate watch party!


  • What’s happening?

Gov. Laura Kelly signed Executive Order 19-11 on Monday, establishing the Governor’s Council on Tax Reform. The council will conduct an 18-month study on state and local finances before making specific statutory recommendations to state lawmakers. Gov. Kelly chose two former legislators she worked with in the Kansas Senate, Republican Steven Morris and Democrat Janis Lee. The governor hopes to return to the “three-legged stool” approach that encompasses a balance of sales, property tax revenue and income.

“I expect the bipartisan Council to deliver sound strategies and reforms that reflect my desire to keep the state tax burden as low as possible, benefiting all Kansans,” Kelly said in a press conference. The council’s first meeting is set for September 24-25 at the State House.


  • What’s happening?

The Kansas Corporation Commission rejected Westar’s request to increase costs for customers after buying eight percent of the Jeffrey Energy Center. Westar’s request, if approved, would have cost customers an estimated $93 million over the next 15 years. State utility regulators ruled that Westar did not need the extra power in order to meet customer demands and that the company failed to provide evidence that the additional eight percent share would be needed any time before 2035.


  • What’s happening?

The KDP co-hosted a Topeka watch party with the Shawnee County Democrats for Thursday’s 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate.

Be sure to vote in our poll before 10:00 p.m. for who you think won the debate!