This Week in Liberal
I’ve been home since April 2nd but Tuesday April 28th I will return to the legislature for the wrap up/veto session. It has been great being home and visiting with you. On Tuesday April 21st I attended “Building Bridges Together” at Liberal High School. The staff of Liberal High School is doing a great job integrating the business and education communities. The high school wanted to know what business and professionals thought students needed to be taught to be successful after graduation and how to entice our youth to return and make Seward County their home.
Thursday I discussed the legislative session with the Noon Kiwanis Club. Our civic clubs are a strength of our community. If you are looking for a place to help the community, broaden your horizons and stay connected check out our many Service Organizations. Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, Soroptimists, PEO, the Sororities and many more, they all have different focuses and meet at different times, there is one that will meet your needs. This is where I always get in trouble. I leave someone out and I apologize. Also, if any of you need a speaker I am always glad to give my two cents worth.
Saturday I attended the Southwest Kansas Royalty Owners Meeting in Hugoton. It was nice to see my good friends Tony & Becky Herrman. Topics of conversation were attempts to change “The Right of Capture” for natural gas, water law, the lesser prairie chicken, the recent increase in earthquakes in Oklahoma and Harper County Kansas as well as the state budget. Sunday I enjoyed going to the Stepping Stone Shelter Fundraiser.
Back to Topeka & The Budget
Below is a breakdown of current estimates, spending cuts and revenue increases before legislative committees for the Fiscal year 2016 beginning July 1, 2015.
|Consensus Revenue Receipts (taxes & fees) 4/2/15
|Current expenditure estimate
|Long term structural deficit
|Current fixes (not sure there is support in Legislature for all of these)
|Eliminate LATVR (easy hasn’t been paid since 2004)
|MCO Privilege fee (running into trouble because of effect on private insurers)
|Kansas Bioscience Authority Transfer Reduction
|Misc Dept cuts
|Increase Cigarette tax to $2.29 a pack & other tobacco 25%
|Increase liquor taxes
|Freeze Planned Individual Income tax rate decreases
|Speed up eliminating Individual Income Tax deductions
|Deficit after these fixes
|Additional Department of Transportation Transfers (At some point this impacts transportation projects)
|Tax amnesty (one time deal)
|Estimated beginning balance for fiscal year 2016
The next few weeks the legislature will be working on a solution for this issue. I believe it is important that businesses and our citizens have certainty about tax policy and spending by the state for the future. Our current situation of moving from financial crisis to financial crisis is not good. I hope long-term solutions are presented that are equitable and fair to all Kansans.
Dean Edwards Smith
(February 28, 1931 – February 7, 2015) was a head coach of men's college basketball. Originally from Emporia, Kansas, Smith was called a "coaching legend" by the Basketball Hall of Fame. Smith coached from 1961 to 1997 and retired with 879 victories. Smith had the 9th highest winning percentage of any men's college basketball coach (77.6%). During his tenure as head coach, North Carolina won two national championships and appeared in 11 Final Fours.
"I do believe in praising that which deserves to be praised."
"I think the real free person in society is one that's disciplined. It's the one that can choose; that is the free one."
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.email@example.com
and my phone number is 785-296-7655.