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Legislative Update from Representative Shannon Francis

January 16, 2017 Newsletter
 

The Legislature hit the ground running.  My first committee met immediately upon adjournment of the swearing in ceremony.


The 2017 Legislative session started Monday, January 9.  The atmosphere in the legislature this first week has been energetic and focused. Many legislators seem to realize the problems and are tired of kicking the can down the road.  The new House leadership has indicated they want to make sure all voices are heard.  Ad Astra per Aspera, To the Stars with Difficulty, will definitely apply as we work through the solutions to our structural deficit.  Whether it’s the implementation of more efficient practices in state government, or more sacrifices by all of us, the changes necessary will be difficult.  I promise to work for long-term solutions that make Kansas better.

Governor's Budget Proposal

The Governor’s Budget contains a mix of recommendations – some necessary and some unacceptable – as we work toward implementing a long-term solution to the state’s structural deficit.  I was disappointed that the Governor failed to present ideas for a long-term solution, instead focusing on one-time fixes that will only kick the can down the road a little farther.  Among the Governor’s recommendations:
  • FY 2019 revenue includes $265.0 million from tobacco securitization. This is the money we use every year to fund many early childhood development programs, like Early Head Start and Russell Child Development.  If we securitize this money we will lose $55 to $65 million a year in revenue.  This securitization money runs out in 2019 and there is no mechanism to replace it afterwards, which sets the next governor and the next legislature up for an even bigger problem.
  • State Highway Fund “ordinary” and “extraordinary” transfers in FY 2019 would be $293.1 million.  There is nothing in the Governor’s proposal to ever restore any funding to KDOT. 
  • Freeze SGF contributions at similar dollar amounts as contributed in FY 2016. Extend the amortization period for the KPERS State/School group by 10 years until 2043, which would amount to a decrease of  $198.3 Million in 2019. This is like refinancing a mortgage on your house and adding another 10 years to it because you can’t afford to make the payment.
  •  Implement A&M efficiency recommendations, including K-12 health benefit consolidation and sourcing select benefit categories on a statewide basis. The FY 2019 budget assumes savings of $89.0 million in anticipation of implementation of the same efficiencies. Many doubt that the A&M efficiency recommendations can be implemented to result in savings of this magnitude. For example, one of the recommendations is to do away with food purchasing by local school districts and require it all to be procured through the state government.
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers.  You can do anything you decide to do.”  Amelia Earhart

Legislative Coffee

I will be having my next Legislative Coffee Saturday, January 21st at 10 am at Spencer Browne’s Coffee House.Please come by and let me know your thoughts.

Pages

Being a page is a great opportunity for students to see our democracy in action.    Pages must be at least 12 years of age and are available for the months of January, February, and March.  You may contact my Office Assistant, Lisa Davis at (785) 296-7466 to set up a date.  Also the government and history teachers at our Middle Schools often set up trips for a limited number of students.  I am allowed 3 Pages per month.

Constituent Services

Please reach out to me regarding issues with our state government that I can help with.  I do ask that you send the request to me by email.  My email address is:  Shannon.francis@house.ks.gov. This insures that I get the information correctly to the agency we are working with.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve. Please contact me anytime. My email is: Shannon.francis@house.ks.gov. Topeka Office Phone: (785) 296-7466 Office at the Capitol:  561W (fifth floor west wing) 300 SW 10th Ave., Topeka KS  66612
 

Contact Shannon

At the Legislature

Room: 561-W
State Capitol Building
300 SW 10th Street
Topeka, KS 66612
Phone: 785-296-7466
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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Shannon Francis for State Representative · 1501 Tucker Court · Liberal, KS 67901 · USA

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