Notes from the 14th District Issue #2

Notes from the 14th District Issue #2

Issue 2

February 2018    

Sen_Givens.pngThis Senator is a sophomore.  That means, I know just a tad more than I did this time last year.  The Senate seems slow compared to last year.  There are not very many bills introduced on the Senate side and it appears that the Senate will be waiting for a school finance study to be completed on March 15th.  Very little will be done with the budget, expenses and revenues until then.

There have been many informational hearings however.  You can see some of the reports in these committees by going to my website.  Hopefully, this will be a place where I can disseminate more information than I can in a newsletter.

Of news and interest is the new prison in Lansing.  This was approved by the Legislative Finance Council not the entire legislature.  A private contract was awarded to build it but the prison will be run by KDOC like all the other prisons.  It is not nor will it ever be a private prison.

Today (January 25, 2018) I heard a report regarding KPERS.  The complete presentation is on my website.  In short, KPERS as a fund is doing great.  If we (the legislature keeps making our required payments – it will be an even stronger fund.

If you have a question, please contact me!

I will not use state funds to send out a printed newsletter.  Email newsletters and newspapers will be the only mass communication unless you check my website.  www.brucegivens.com


OUR WORK

As we got settled into the third week of the 2018 legislative session, most of our work was concentrated in committees where bills are being prioritized and vetted. The senate has 13 standing committees which cover many different topics, including education, agriculture, judiciary, and utilities—to name a few. I serve on the Commerce, Financial Institution and Insurance, and the Federal and State Affairs committees.

Once a committee completes hearings and votes on a bill, if passed, it will then make its way to the senate floor and the full body will begin to debate and vote on the measure. Floor debates and votes will begin in the coming weeks. If you’re interested in tracking our work, you can head to our website at www.kslegislature.org and click on the calendar tab at the top of the webpage to view the senate’s daily schedule. You can also view live streams of the senate sessions on the Legislature’s YouTube page by clicking here

Please do not hesitate to contact me at 785-296-7678 or at bruce.givens@senate.ks.gov  with any further comments, questions, or concerns.


Givens_Phesant_Hunting.png

“Here I am with a few pheasant hunters in Pratt County last weekend.  Probably, my last pheasant hunt of the year.”


HARD FACTS:

  • According to the latest revenue report, federal tax reform artificially inflated Kansas revenue receipts for Dec. 2017, putting the state $83.6 million above estimates.
  • The $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions included in the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act influenced certain Kansas filers to make estimated payments before the end of the calendar year instead of April 17, 2018. The result is individual income tax receipts came in $87.1 million above estimates this fiscal year to date, of which $80.4 million came in December alone.
  • Sales tax receipts are $42 million above last year, and $900,000 above estimates for the current fiscal year. Corporate income tax is $20.9 million above this time last year, coming in $4.9 million under November’s revised estimates
  • The state collected $109.71 million in total tax receipts over December last year, putting the total at $601.5 million for the month. Corporate receipts in December came in $9.58 million below December last year for a total of $49.72 million. Sales tax receipts are $335,000 over December last year for a total of $198.16 million.
  • The S. added 148,000 jobs in December with unemployment at 4.1 percent
  • As of November 2017, preliminary data from the BLS shows Kansas’ unemployment rate at 3.5%, down from 4.3% in November 2016.
  • Kansas currently has a record 1.4 million people employed. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • “The most recent figures show just shy of 86% of Kansas kids get their high school diplomas. That’s slightly above the national average, which is at a record high.” (KCUR)

Givens_Workforce_Committee.png

 

According to Jeremy Hill, Director, Wichita State Center for Economic Development and Business Research, to the Senate Commerce Committee, nationally the labor market is tightening.  In Kansas our working population is leaving the state due to job opportunities and wages. This migration affects all segments of our economy and population.

The highest growth Kansas does see is in occupational groups that require postsecondary & associate level education as well as apprenticeship and long-term training

 


Introducing Real ID                       

Kansans are having questions about Real ID.  The following information will be helpful when you are renewing your driver’s license. 

Anyone boarding an airplane or entering a federal facility, such as a military base, using a state issued ID or driver’s license on October 1, 2020, will be required to have a credential that is Real ID compliant. 

Real ID is a federal law, passed by Congress in 2005 to ensure state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards meet minimum security standards. To get a Real ID before law goes into effect on October 1, 2020, you’ll need to bring certain documentation into the local driver’s license office.  Go here to find your local driver’s license office (https://www.ksrevenue.org/dovstations.html)

You’ll need to show:

  • Valid passport or birth certificate
  • Proof of social security such as a social security card, current W-2 or 1099, or current pay stub with full SSN
  • Proof of residency, which can be a utility bill, your vehicle registration, or your current driver’s license

 All documents should be unlaminated originals.

If your name is not the same on all your documents because of adoption, marriage, divorce, or any court ordered name change, you must provide proof of the name change. Bring the name change document, such as your marriage license, adoption certificate, or divorce decree.

The fees remain the same for Real ID: $26 if you’re renewing and $8 to replace. If your credential expires after the 2020 deadline and you want a Real ID, you can bring your documents in to the office, receive the Real ID, and only pay the $8 replacement charge.

Finally, it is worth noting that you have the option to choose between a Real ID or a non-Real ID card. Kansas credentials that are not Real ID compliant contain a designation that says “NOT FOR FEDERAL ID” on the front of the card. Such credentials will not be able to be used at airports and federal facilities after September 30, 2020. 

For more details and a checklist that will help make sure you bring everything you need when you go to the driver’s license station see my website at http://www.brucegivens.com/resources


KanCare 2.0

Earlier in the session Senate President Susan Wagle, Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Carolyn McGinn, and Senate Public Health and Welfare Chairwoman Vicki Schmidt delivered a joint statement calling for the state to stop moving forward with their plan to make serious changes to the state’s Medicaid system called KanCare.

Healthcare providers and beneficiaries have repeatedly expressed concerns about their ability to provide and receive the appropriate level of care as well as problems with eligibility through the clearinghouse.

The four senators would like to fix ongoing problems with the current KanCare system before moving forward with KanCare 2.0. Legislation to stop KanCare 2.0 will soon be introduced

The following is the joint statement the senators released:

“After careful consideration regarding the discussion that took place during the Public Health and Welfare Committee today, we are hesitant to move forward with KanCare 2.0. We believe there is still work to do to stabilize KanCare 1.0 and that there is no certain path forward for KanCare 2.0., at this time

 


LANSING CORRECTIONAL FACILITY:

The State Finance Council voted January 24th on a plan to rebuild Lansing Correctional Facility.

The $362 million contract with CoreCivic would finance, construct and maintain the new private Lansing facility.   Under the plan developed by KDOC and CoreCivic, the new facility would have 1,920 maximum and minimum-security beds and 512 medium security beds. Technology and design upgrades would allow the KDOC to reduce staffing from 682 to 371.  First-year payment by the state would be $14.9 million and would rise 1.9% yearly during the contracted 20-years. 


DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER STATUE

Eisenhower_New_Statue_.png

On January 20, the Senate Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on S.B. 262 which would authorize the construction of a statue honoring Dwight D. Eisenhower. S.B. 262 would allow for construction to begin on the northwest quadrant of capitol grounds.  State law requires legislation to be passed before any statue or memorial be placed on capitol grounds. The monument would be a replica of the Jim Brothers statue of Eisenhower that resides in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.  The funds required for the installation and construction of the statue were raised through a private fundraising campaign.

At the hearing the great-grandson of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Merill Eisenhower Atwater, spoke to endorse the legislation.  

 

 


From Your State Library 

KS_Seal.pngKansas Day - January 29               

On January 29, 1861, Kansas became the 34th state.  Explore the Kansas Territorial period through the Civil War with the Kansas History database.  You’ll find everything from digitized letters, maps and personal accounts, to photos, sermons and songs.  Use Browse to scroll through the topics, Search, or click on one of five broad categories for an overview of the early Kansas years.  Educators: each of the five categories includes an essay with corresponding primary source documents.

https://kslib.info/kshistory

If the page above asks for a Kansas Library eCard number, you may get one at any library in Kansas.  Most people will be automatically recognized as inside Kansas and will not need this step.   Questions: kslc@ks.gov or 785-296-3296.

Early Learning Resources from the State Library

BookFlix is an online resource for children in grades PreK-3 that pairs video storybooks with related nonfiction e-books. Imagine Curious George paired with a nonfiction book about monkeys. The read-along storybook highlights each word as it is read. This option can be turned off. Related word games and puzzles reinforces early learning reading skills. BookFlix requires Flash.

Britannica E-Stax (PreK-6) features nonfiction books that can be read online or downloaded to any Internet enabled device.

Both are available at no charge through the State Library’s web site http://kslib.info/storytime .

If the page above asks for a Kansas Library eCard number, you may get one at any library in Kansas.  Most people will be automatically recognized as inside Kansas and will not need this step. Adobe Flash is needed to view the animation and hear the narration.  Questions: kslc@library.ks.gov or 785-296-3296. 

 


HEMP LEGISLATION

The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee held hearings on S.B. 263, a bill that creates a program to research the use of industrial hemp.

Hemp prohibition began in 1937 in the United States.  In the 2013 Farm Bill, section 7606, legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research was defined as distinct from marijuana.  It authorized institutions of higher education or state department of agriculture (in states that legalized hemp cultivation) to regulate and conduct research and to pilot programs.  The U.S. House passed amendment to the Farm Bill to allow pilot programs and research to begin on industrial help and determine whether hemp farming would be beneficial for American farmers and businesses.  Thirty-one states have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production.  Each state that allows farming may develop its own regulations regarding industrial hemp research and pilot programs.  Production must follow state regulations.

Overview of S.B. 263

The Department of Agriculture, alone or in coordination with a state educational institution (regent schools), may cultivate industrial hemp grown from certified seed and promote the research and development of industrial hemp.

Overview of H.B. 2182

Representatives from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and various law enforcement officer associations spoke in opposition to H.B. 2182 in 2017. They expressed concern the bill would provide a legal defense to the possession of marijuana by a person holding an industrial hemp license.

The Senate Bill will need good language and content to satisfy all sides of the issue before it can be passed out of committee and on to the Senate.

 


Coffeey_County_GOP.pngMark Petterson/managing Coffey County Republican

Senator Givens, second from left, spoke with constituents at a January legislative forum hosted by Coffey County Commissioners. Other speakers included 76th District State Representative Eric Smith, and representatives of Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins and US Senator Jerry Moran.


EXPANDED DENTAL CARE FOR KANSAS 

Kansans would see access to dental care expanded in Kansas under a proposal brought forward by Kansas Senator Vicki Schmidt (R-Topeka). The Chair of the Senate Public Health & Welfare Committee, Sen. Schmidt says her measure is the result of many years spent gathering information and input from interested organizations in an effort to advance access to oral health care.

“This is a Kansas solution to the issue of expanding access to dental care,” Schmidt said. “We’ve have testimony on this topic for several years and we have examined the various proposals from other states. I firmly believe that the proposal before us represents a major step forward in training more dental professionals while preserving quality care for our fellow Kansans. And like most compromises, some will say it goes too far while others will argue it doesn’t go far enough. But I hope my legislative colleagues will agree that while the state doesn’t currently have the financial resources to do more in this area, we can and should move forward with this proposal.”

The measure would allow for the creation of dental therapists to work under the general supervision of licensed dentists to provide non-surgical dental procedures and under the direct supervision of licensed dentists to carry out more complex procedures. These dental therapists would be licensed dental hygienists who would then be required to complete additional training in an accredited course of study which would include 500 hours of clinical training. Upon successful completion, these dental therapists would be authorized to perform 35 additional dental procedures. Previous dental therapy bills called for an additional 38 procedures.

“Additionally, the proposal has an important focus on treatment for low income and disabled citizens by allowing for the expanded workforce only in those dental offices where Medicaid is accepted and at safety-net clinics in our state,” noted Schmidt. “Until the state has a more solid financial footing, we are unable to encourage more dental care through increased reimbursements. This measure is designed to be another way to encourage more Medicaid participation.”

The bill was introduced today in the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee and will soon be assigned a bill number.


2018 SESSION DATES AND DEADLINES

Please be aware of the following dates and deadlines for the 2018 legislative session. As always, each is subject to modification and leadership will keep you updated on any changes which might occur.

Monday, January 29

Last day for members to request bill drafts

Monday, February 5

Last day for non-exempt committees to request bill drafts

Wednesday, February 7

Last day for bill introductions by members

Friday, February 9

Last day for non-exempt committee bill introduction

Friday, February 16

Pro Forma

Monday, February 19

Last day for AM/PM committees to meet

Tuesday, February 20

On floor all day

Wednesday, February 21

On floor all day

Thursday, February 22

Turnaround Day, last day for non-exempt bills in house of origin

February 23-27

No session

Friday, March 2

Pro Forma

Friday, March 23

Last day for non-exempt committee consideration

March 26-28

On floor all day

Thursday, March 29

On floor all day; Last day to consider non-exempt bills not in originating chamber 

Friday, March 30

No Session

Friday, April 6

Drop dead day; first adjournment

Thursday, April 26

Veto Session begins

Thursday, May 4

Day 90

Contact Information:

Senator Bruce Givens

300 SW 10th St. Suite 225 E

Topeka KS 66612

785-296-7678

Bruce.givens@senate.ks.gov

www.brucegivens.com