February 13, 2004
I hope this Friday the 13th is a safe one for you. Surprise your sweetie and don’t wait until tomorrow to be a good Valentine, be one every day.
BONUS: If you understand the school finance formula, you can skip the first section!
Personal Activities and Education
OK, now that I have ALL of your attention!
- There is a plan circulating around the House, and I need your thoughts. The basics of the plan are: 1) Funnel $100 million of KPERS through Base State Aid Per Pupil (BSAPP), 2) The money does not change hands or go to schools. There is NO monetary increase to schools. However, this tactic makes the BSAPP APPEAR larger, which gives localities more Local Option Budget (LOB) authority. We would gain 2-2.5 mills of LOB. Bear with me as I try to explain this!
Example: You have a Money Market account (two percent interest bearing) with $10,000 in it and a general checking account (no interest) with $5,000 balance. You decide to transfer $3,000 from your general checking to your Money Market. Now, you are earning two percent interest on $13,000 instead of $10,000. You can see that two percent of $13,000 is more than two percent of $10,000. You did not change the original amounts of money, just the account it is put in, to increase the interest you earn.
Concerns: If this money is funneled through the BSAPP, the concern is that the state could easily unload the $100 million KPERS burden onto individual school districts.
- What do you think?
Gambling: I will appear on Jim Cordry’s “Money Listens” radio show on Sunday, February 15, at 9:00 am on Hot Talk 1510 AM. The topic will be gaming, and I will be joined by MO Rep. Paul LeVota. So, if you’re getting ready for church, or crawling out of the doghouse for forgetting Valentine’s Day (I tried to warn you!), turn on the radio and listen!
A lot of simple bills were passed, nothing of note, a lot of landslide votes. The ones that might interest you:
- For you landlords out there: a bill that provides in the event of a judgment for possession in favor of the landlord, the tenant shall have 120 hours to remove personal effects. A committee amendment added that any additional agreement between a landlord and tenant concerning removal of personal effects must be in writing or agreed on in court.
- Kansas Uniform Securities Act, which makes KS laws parallel with
the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws
- HB 2347: http://www.kslegislature.org/bills/2004/2347.pdf
- House Amendments: http://www.kslegislature.org/bills/2004/HAMEND2347.pdf
Commerce & Labor
- Worker’s Compensation background hearings. We heard from an Administrative Law Judge who was just fantastic. A lot of this is a rehash of this summer’s Interim Committee.
- The bill prohibiting the state from contracting with a company who could outsource to another country failed.
- Passed a bill to require electricians and plumbers to obtain six hours of continuing education each year, before their license can be renewed. I heard from Johnson County and a few of the cities that they require 8 hours for renewal. I introduced an amendment to the bill that changed the wording to “at least six hours,” which enables cities to require a higher level. The amendment was included in the bill. The bill, with my amendment, will soon be considered by the full House.
- Started work on the “penalties for hiring illegal aliens”
- HB 2479: http://www.kslegislature.org/bills/2004/2479.pdf
- This bill passed out of the committee with a couple of amendments:
- A“good faith” provision for employers who employ an illegal alien without their knowledge (for instance, if someone uses a fraudulent SS card).
- Making the penalties parallel federal law.
Health and Human Services
We heard testimony on:
- Creating an independent commission for the blind.
- Testing for West Nile virus
- Licensure for Radiologic Technicians
- Creating a drug repository (a place to donate your unused drugs in the case of the death of a loved one).
- We heard:
- A bill to increase the minimum amount for reporting accidents to the police to $1,000. The current limit is $500, and has not been increased since the mid-80s.
- A bill to prohibit health insurance companies from changing the terms of your policy during the policy year.
- We passed:
- A bill enabling the state to draw down federal health care assistance for individuals who lost their job because of international trade agreements (FTAA).
- A bill removing the requirement of resident insurance agents to carry Errors and Omissions coverage.
Ethics and Elections
We heard testimony on bills to allow small jurisdictions to save money by alphabetizing all candidates instead of rotating them in various districts; defining “taxpayer” for the purpose of drainage district votes; and limiting spring primaries if there are only two candidates. Yes, it was a slow week in Ethics.
Johnson County Statehouse Hotline! Call Topeka for free – 913-715-5000 and ask to speak with your Representative or Senator.
Next week’s committee schedule:
Senate (page 10): http://www.kslegislature.org/cgi-bin/getfile.cgi/agstat/2004/sa0212.pdf
LIVE! Paperless House Health and Human Services Committee (1:30 – 3:00 pm daily):
- See and hear the committee in action, read agendas and testimony for the day
- You see everything I do!
LIVE! House or Senate Chamber:
Where’s Waldo (Rep. Sharp)? February 7, 2004 – February 13, 2004
(Besides session and committee meetings 9am – 5 pm)
- Senator Brownback’s presentation regarding the Federal Homestead Act for rural economic development
- KS Parent-Teacher Association luncheon
- Guest speaker at Shawanoe PTA
- KS Assn of Insurance and Financial Advisors luncheon with constituent Lee Thaete
- Johnson County Delegation lunch sponsored by the Spring Hill Chamber and City.
- KS Dairy Assn reception – I LOVE custard!
- KS Assn of Insurance Agents reception
- KS Banker’s Assn reception
- Athletic Trainer’s lunch
- 2 one-on-one constituent meetings
- District Judges’ reception
- KS Assn of County Treasurers
- Firefighters reception
Question of the Week!
Last Week’s Question: Abraham Lincoln visited Kansas once. Where did he go?
Answer: Lisa Elliott, President of the Shawnee Mission NEA is this week’s winner! Lincoln visited Leavenworth, and a handful of other NEK communities.
NEW QUESTION: This week’s question comes from Aaron Otto, a native Kansan who I literally “ran into” in a Public Administration class at George Washington University.
What territorial governor of Kansas’ name was used as another state's capital city?
Have a GREAT week, and I look forward to your feedback. Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of service to you.
17th District, KS House
Serving Lenexa and Shawnee