There was a vigorous debate about changes to existing house rules. I voted for two rule changes that passed. One requires adjournment of the house between midnight and 8:00 am. This is based upon the rationale that good legislation and decisions don’t usually happen at 3:00 am. The other restricted the bundling of more than two bills in a conference committee. Sometimes multiple bills are bundled together so legislators are forced to vote for a bill they don’t like to get several passed they do like. The bundling bill is part of our joint rules with the Senate and will require their concurrence. I voted against was a rule change requiring a roll call vote of most motions in the house. 15 members of the house can force a roll call on any motion.
I know many of you are concerned about the future of KPERS and depend, or are planning on it, for your retirement. I share your concerns. There are plans floating around the capitol on ways to adequately fund KPERS. One plan is to borrow $1.5 billion with bonds and put it in KPERS to satisfy part of the unfunded liability. There is investment risk with this plan with and it may inhibit the State’s ability to borrow for highways or other future needs.
The Governor’s Rescission/allotment plan HB2133 reduces expenditures by $66.4 million, transfers another $158.5 million from the state highway fund and has other various sweeps of funds and transfers for a total of around $280 million. The legislature is being told the state could run out of money the second or third week of February. There are not many places to cut in the budget to find $280 million before the end of February.