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Legislative Update - Jan. 31, 2023

Kansas needs a better budgeting approach. 
It was disappointing to hear that Gov. Kelly's proposed budget prioritizes new government spending -- to the tune of more than $2 billion!  Even though Kansas will have a SURPLUS of $2-$3 BILLION in this fiscal year, the governor's budget grabs that surplus and spends it on new programs, rather than returning it to you and your neighbor taxpayers.

The state is clearly taxing you more than it needs to operate an efficient government. I favor income tax reductions, which would help reduce the size and scope of government and help make Kansas competitive again. We have lost residents -- our taxpayer base -- due to high personal and business income taxes (see rates below) that ranks Kansas worst in the nation in taxation in categories like taxes on mature businesses (those businesses that have built our communities, employed thousands and supported our communities).

I am working with my colleagues in the House to examine ways to return your income to you while maintaining state services and programs. We have more than $2 billion reasons to do so.

New House rule protects taxpayers

Last week, we debated and passed our 2023 House Rules. One rule of special importance that we implemented is called "Pay-Go." Pay-Go is a rule requiring that an amendment on the floor that increases the budget must be matched with a corresponding expenditure reduction from someplace else. It forces the legislature to evaluate every expense; just like you do every day with your own household budget.

It’s probably not surprising to you that the House Democrats are not fans of Pay-Go. But financial accountability and restraint have never really been their strong points. Pay-Go is one way to help accomplish that by ensuring your tax dollars are handled responsibly in the budget process. You can follow this and other rules, proceedings and bill testimony live or recorded in committeeshere.It's a great way tosee and hear bill text and testimony.

Debate & testimony in my committees

This past week, in my committees, we heard testimony on:

• Funding to eliminate waiting list for individuals with disabilities (which I have championed).
We heard testimony exploring individualized plans for those who need services. (more here)

• School mental health issues and emergency safety interventions. (more here)

• Reclassification of schools for KSHSAA sports competition (more here)

• Consideration of adjustments of KPERS retirement benefits for public employees and investments of KPERS funds (more here)
•Congratulating and commending the 2023 Kansas Teacher of the Year team. I co-sponsored this resolution. (more here)

Property Tax Relief for Seniors

During my re-election campaign, I supported prioritizing tax relief for seniors in District 39 and throughout the state. We are already working on this. One change is a first step in a property tax freeze for low income seniors and disabled veterans via a rebate program administered by the KS Department of Revenue (KDOR). Learn more here. 

Don't miss these legislative updates! Get them as they're published!

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