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Legislative Update from Representative Shannon Francis

This Week in Topeka

The legislature continues to work to build a consensus to solve Kansas’s budget problem. It wasn’t helped any by the April 30th short fall of $4.4 million. I keep hoping that the bad news will end and we will have a positive revenue surprise. Unfortunately the bad news keeps coming and we face the prospect of further revenue shortages because of falling oil, natural gas, corn, and wheat prices.

Historically, the legislature has transferred somewhere around $105 million from highway funds to the general fund. Most budget proposals for 2016 transfer around $376 million and $378 million in 2017 to the general fund from the Department of Transportation. Most tax plans being floated do not have the capacity to restore funding to transportation in 2018. In that case transportation projects like Highway 54 will be on the chopping block. Highways are the lifeblood of rural Kansas. It is time to fund the T-Works transportation plan and quit kicking the can down the road.

Tax wise there continues to be dozens of proposals put forward to plug the $750 million dollar whole. Last week I detailed the plan that showed the Governors proposed plan that is now around $140 million short. I continue to see plans that increase property taxes on homeowners and farmers. It is important the tax bill gives certainty to all Kansans for the future. Passing a tax bill that will result in another deficit next year is not acceptable.
I continue to work with other legislators for a budget and tax plan that adequately funds government and does not unfairly tax middle class Kansans and businesses. It will be a difficult process.

One great piece of legislation, passed and signed, this year was the ABLE act that allows families of people with disabilities to set up tax exempt 529A savings accounts for disability-related expenses. The Governor vetoed the UBER bill which would have required insurance coverage of UBER drivers during a gap in coverage now between normal consumer auto policies and UBER’s policy. The bill would also have provided for background checks of UBER drivers. I continue to hear rumblings of an attempt to move local elections to the same time as the Presidential and Governors elections.

Famous Kansans

William Edgar Stafford (January 17, 1914 – August 28, 1993) was an American poet He was appointed the twentieth Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1970.

Wisdom is having things right in your life and knowing why.”
William Edgar Stafford

Those who champion democracy, but make a fetish of never accepting anything they don't agree with -- what advantage do they see in democracy?
William Edgar Stafford


Government is about helping us have a framework to be safe and successful, but there are always those that try and take advantage of situations. If you suspect any kind of fraud or corruption phone numbers to report it can be found at https://www.da.ks.gov/phonebook/tollfree.asp.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve, there is no place like home. Our rural communities are the backbone of a strong Kansas. During the session please contact me any time.  My email is Shannon.francis@house.ks.gov and my phone number is 785-296-7655.

 

Contact Shannon

At the Legislature

Room: 167-W
State Capitol Building
300 SW 10th Street
Topeka, KS 66612
Phone: 785-296-7655
shannon.francis@house.ks.gov

At Home:

1501 Tucker Court
Liberal, Kansas 67901
Phone: 620-624-9571
sfran83384@aol.com

Useful Resources

State of Kansas Website

The Kansas Legislature

Legislative Bill Reports

Listen Live to Proceedings

Find a State Agency

Kansas unclaimed Property

Current Road Conditions

National Do Not Call List

Kansas Charity Check

Useful Phone Numbers

Medicaid Fraud
1-866-551-6328
 
Welfare Fraud Hotline
800-432-3913

Department On Aging
800-432-3535

Child/Adult Abuse Hotline
800-922-5330

Child & Family Services
888-369-4777

Consumer Protection
800-423-2310

Crime Tip Hotline
800-252-8477

Crime Victim Assistance
800-828-9745

Gov- Brownback
800-748-4408

Highway Road Conditions
511 (in Kansas)

Housing Hotline
800-752-4422

KanCare Assistance
866-305-5147

Kansas Lottery
800-544-9467

Legislative Hotline
800-432-3924

Mental Health Services
888-582-3759

School Safety Hotline
877-626-8203

Social Security
800-772-1213

Taxpayer Assistance
 785-368-8222

Tax Refund Status
800-894-0318

Unclaimed Property
800-432-0386

Unemployment Insurance
800-292-6333

Vital Statistics
785-296-1400

Voter Registration
800-262-8683

Worker's Comp
800-332-0353
 
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Paid for by Shannon Francis for State Representative, Lisa Hatcher Treasurer


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