International Pancake Day at the Capitol
Monday, February 6th, 2017 - 7:30 a.m.
3rd floor of capitol (by old supreme courtroom)
Pancake and sausage breakfast
Staff is welcome
February 6th is going to be a big day at the Capitol! We are restarting the Pancake & Sausage Breakfast. Years ago Liberal had an annual pancake feed for legislators. It is something the “old-timers” in Topeka still talk about on Pancake Day. My thanks to Rozelle Webb, April Warden, Sally Fuller, Mike Brack and many more for your leadership in making this happen. It is so important to have you at the capitol telling your story to my fellow legislators. It would be great to have as many people from home there as possible visiting with the Legislators. This is your chance to be heard. Just let any of the above know if you can attend.
Also on February 6th Rhonda Kinser, of Rochelle’s Place Women’s Ministry, will be giving the invocation for the House of Representatives at 11:00 am.
KPER’s and the Governor’s Budget Proposal
I have had a lot of calls and email’s from home with concerns about the KPERS changes in The Governor’s Budget. I don’t want anyone to panic and to be frank the changes suggested are bad policy. But I do want to allay some concerns. First these proposed changes affect state employees, K-12 employees and community college employees. Law enforcement, city, county, hospital employees and judges are funded by other investment reserve pools unaffected by the proposed legislation.
Those of you in the sections of KPERS affected by this legislation are protected by our judicial system. The state has a contractual obligation enforceable by judicial action to require the state to meet the obligations you were promised.
To give you another take on this issue Speaker Ryckman in his newsletter to the legislature said this about the proposed changes:
On Thursday, Alan Conroy, Executive Director of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS), made a presentation to the House Appropriations Committee. Conroy’s presentation
covered: (1) KPERS Overview (KPERS 101); (2) Governor’s Budget Proposal; and (3) Triennial Experience Study. Conroy discussed the 2012 legislation that began a stair step increase for employer contributions. Those contributions began to grow, until 2015, when an allotment reduced the percentage of employer contributions going into the Trust Fund. In 2015, bonds were issued to help reinstate the stair step approach on the State/School side. The Governor’s recommendations are: (1) no repayment of FY ’16 last quarter employer contribution; (2) FY ’17, ’18, and ’19 contributions are frozen at FY ’16 level (3/4 payment). This recommendation reduces employer contributions by $596 million over the 3 years. (3) Adds 10 years to the amortization schedule. The unfunded actuarial liability (UAL) was to be paid off by 2033. The recommendation extends that date to 2043. Thus, the overall cost to pay off the UAL increases by $6.5 billion. Conroy noted that this recommendation adds 8 years of being in cautionary 60 percent funded ratio range. By statute, the KPERS Board sets the amortization schedule and legislation is required for the Governor’s recommendations to take effect. The triennial study is performed every 3 years and provides actuarial assumptions. The recent study result led to the lowering of the long-term investment return from 8 percent to 7.75 percent. Conroy made it clear that there is no impact on current retirees. Active employees are also not impacted (their contributions are statutorily set). There is currently $17 billion held in the KPERS Trust Fund. Currently, $1.1 billion of contributions are flowing into the fund (amount determined by the Legislature) and $1.4 billion are flowing to retirees.”
That being said this is still bad policy and instead of paying our bills when they are due this policy kicks the can down the road to our kids and grandkids. We need a long-term structural fix to stop this.
“We need intelligence in this country. We need a certain toughness in this country, or we’re going to end up like a lot of the other places, and we’re not going to have a country left. ” Donald Trump
I will be having my next Legislative Coffee Saturday, January 28th
at 10 am at Spencer Browne’s Coffee House.Please come by and let me know your thoughts.
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.
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.firstname.lastname@example.org
. 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.email@example.com
. Topeka Office Phone: (785) 296-7466 Office at the Capitol: 561W (fifth floor west wing) 300 SW 10th Ave., Topeka KS 66612