The legislative session is almost half done
This was turn around week. What that means is, with the exception of exempt or blessed bills, a bill must be passed out of its house of origin (senate or house) by February 27th or it’s dead. Like everything in life for every rule there is an exception. An exempt bill or blessed bill in the house must have passed through appropriations, tax, federal and state affairs, or calendar committee. So one of the things I am watching is which bills were blessed by the Speaker of the House. They are bills that the Speaker thinks are important enough to still be worked on this year after turn around but have nothing to do with appropriations, tax or federal and state affairs.
Most of the bills we work on are very limited in scope. For instance I carried a bill this week that allowed water transfer projects to be eligible for public water supply project loans. Another bill changed the legal process for branding deer in deer farms. Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.
While we deal with the important but mundane bills that make minor changes that allow civic improvements or protect property rights; the 1,000 lb. gorilla in the room is the budget. I’m new at the process but I am quickly learning that big legislation needs time to form and build support. Today Kansas’s latest revenue numbers came out and were up $22 million. Last month revenues were $47 million below estimates. Hopefully today the rebound begins.