Liberal, KS

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Update from Topeka by Shannon Francis

Joe Denoyer - January 14, 2024 1:34 pm

On January 8th, the House convened for our 2024 Legislative Session. This Session I will again serve as Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, and as a member of the Kansas Turnpike Authority, Appropriations, Tax, and Legislative Post Audit Committees. I have also been appointed to the Build Kansas advisory committee. This committee recommends applications from communities for state funding to help meet cost share requirements of federal grants under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. I was also appointed to the House Rules Committee.

Former U.S. Senator Pat Roberts attended the State of the State address. It was great visiting with him. Kansas has benefited greatly from the leadership of several long-time serving Senators including Senator Roberts’ service as Chairman of the Agriculture Committee. He still has that great sense of humor and wry wit.

2025 Fiscal Year Budget

Gov. Laura Kelly on Thursday introduced her FY 2025 budget increasing State General Fund (SGF) spending by over $1.2 Billion to a projected $11.18 billion in fiscal year 2025. The proposal makes extensive increases in childcare subsidies, state subsidies for local government and raises state employee pay. Her proposals increase special education funding for schools by $74.9 million each year for the next 5 years and expands Medicaid.

The proposed $25.2 billion budget for all funds for fiscal year 2025 puts more than $700 million into capital projects for prisons, higher education and law enforcement. It also includes $20 million for operating expenses for the World Cup playoffs, in Kansas City Missouri.

The governor’s tax plan, which includes many of the provisions in the Legislatures’ tax plan she vetoed last year, takes a different tack on personal income taxes. It also increases or tweaks some of the provisions of last year’s tax plan passed by the legislature. In addition, the Governor’s plan creates a back-to-school sales tax holiday and sales tax exemptions for diapers and feminine protection.

The legislature will now begin the process of evaluating the Governor’s budget proposal. As I mentioned earlier the proposed budget is for SGF spending of $11.18 billion. For comparison, in FY 2020 SGF spending was $7.52 billion. I am concerned about the sustainability of these spending increases. States across the nation are now seeing declining tax receipts and vanishing budget surpluses. To date, the Legislature has taken a conservative approach dealing with the huge influx of federal spending in recent years. We are in a good position financially, but we must be prudent.

This session my office assistant is Meg Atwood. I’m excited to be working with Meg this year. She has over 30 years’ experience in education in China, Hungary and the United States. Her background includes consulting for home schools, ESL and Special Education in the public school system. She will be the friendly voice on the other end of the phone when you call my office. You can reach her at [email protected] or (785) 296-7466.
I full well realize that politics is a rough and tumble business, but politics should not be reduced to lobbing partisan hand grenades. Politics is not war. Terrorism is.
Pat Roberts

The Page program is designed for students in middle school, junior high or the first years of high school. Working as a page in the Kansas Legislature is an excellent way to learn more about the legislative process. If you or someone you know is interested in serving as a page, please contact me or Meg for more information.

Constituent Services
Thank you for the opportunity to continue serving working families in Seward and Meade County. Please reach out to me any time I can assist you with a state agency concern. I do ask that you send the request to me by email. This ensures that I get the information correctly to the agency we are working with. You can reach me when I’m in Topeka by email at

[email protected], by phone (785) 296-7466, or by mail at 300 SW 10th Avenue, 274-W, Topeka, KS 66612

 

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