Liberal, KS

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Shannon Francis Provides Update from Topeka

Joe Denoyer - March 24, 2024 2:00 pm

House Budget
This week the House passed its budget bill. We will now reconcile differences with the Senate and submit it to the Governor. Some of the key differences in the House bill versus the governor’s proposal are:

• Decreasing SGF spending of $780 million
• Adding $62.5 million for the Intellectually and Physically developmentally disabled population to decrease waiting lists and address other issues
• Increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates for our community hospitals and providers by $81.5 million

• I also carried a proviso for $6 million for roads in Southwest Kansas impacted by the growth of the dairy industry.
Tax Plan House Version 2nd attempt
On Thursday the House Tax Committee passed its second attempt to produce a tax bill the Governor will sign. Some of the key provisions are:

• $147 million in property tax relief: Decreases the required 20 mill levy for schools to 18 mills for school years 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 and backfills the school funding with SGF dollars. Increases the exemption for residential property from the statewide school levy for 2024 to $80,000 and provides for further increases starting in 2025, while also backfilling the school funding with SGF Dollars.

• $211.5 million in income tax relief: Decreases the tax rate for married individuals filing a joint return to 0% on income up to $14,000, 5.2% on income over $14,000 but less than $60,000 and 5.65% on income over $60,000. For all other tax filers, the tax would be: 0% on income up to $7,000 5.2% on income over $7,000 but less than $30,000 5.65% on income over $30,000. Increases the Standard Deduction for Single individuals to $3,605; married couples to $8,240; and head of household to $6,180. Also the standard deduction would be increased by a cost-of-living adjustment for two years and could then be renewed by the legislature. Increases the Personal Exemption to $2,320. Also, the personal exemption would be increased by a cost-of-living adjustment for two years and could then be renewed by the legislature.
• Phases out the Income Tax on Social Security: This provision terminates the current cliff where all socal security income is taxed at 5.7% if taxable income is over $75,000 and phases in higher threshold limitations until all social security income is exempt in 2027.

During the committee discussion I successfully introduced an amendment that would increase funding for the city-county highway fund by $11.5 million.

Senator Jerry Moran is a big supporter of Liberal and Highway 54. His staff recently contacted Seward County about a funding opportunity for the Massoni Bridge near Kismet. The last time I talked with him he brought up the traffic congestion on Highway 54 and his support for a four-lane expansion.

 

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