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Kansas Legislative Insights Newsletter | March 8, 2019

While this was only a three-day workweek for the Kansas Legislature, there was significant discussion and action on the issues of education, health insurance, sports wagering, taxes, and Medicaid expansion.

Public Education Funding

On Wednesday, the Senate Select Committee on Education Finance approved SB 142 providing the BASE funding for school finance in the hope of complying with the Kansas Supreme Court ruling in Gannon. SB 142 provides the funding requested by Gov. Laura Kelly, but it did not contain funding for the Kansas Department of Education.

The Kansas Farm Bureau Insurance Exemption

The House Insurance Committee held a hearing on SB 32 (the Kansas Farm Bureau “KFB” health plan bill) would create an exemption from insurance regulation for a proposed KFB specialized member’s health plan. Testimony in support of SB 32 was provided by KFB’s president and five Farm Bureau members. Examples of the hardships caused by rising healthcare costs under Obama Care were given. The testimony generated numerous questions from the Committee. Among those opposing were representatives from the insurance industry, Kansas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Heart Association, and the MS Society. The bill may receive a committee vote next Wednesday.

Internet Sports Wagering

The House Federal and State Affairs Committee introduced HB 2390, authorizing sports wagering under the Kansas Expanded Lottery Act. This is the result of the subcommittee discussions and hearings on the issue.

Taxes

On Thursday, the House of Representatives debated SB 22, providing for decoupling from the federal income tax calculation scheme. SB 22 advanced to final action on a vote of Yea: 80, Nay: 42. On Friday morning, SB 22 passed the House by a vote of Yea: 76, Nay: 43. The bill, as amended, will be sent back to the Senate for consideration. The Senate could concur with the House changes and send the bill to the Governor, where a veto is possible. Alternatively, the Senate could refer SB 22 to a conference committee.

Medicaid Expansion

On Friday, the House Health and Human Services Committee completed three days of roundtable discussions with experts on both sides of the Medicaid expansion issue. There was no consensus on possible legislation for this session.

$115 Million to KPERS

On Friday, Gov. Laura Kelly signed the first bill of the session. SB 9 is now law, and the $115 million repayment will be going to KPERS.

Kansas Department of Revenue Releases February Numbers

On Monday, the Kansas Department of Revenue reported the “February-only” revenue numbers were $31.4 million higher than the projected February estimates. For this fiscal year that started July 1, 2018, revenues are $600,000 lower than the estimates. Acting Department of Revenue Secretary Mark Burghart noted, “Overall, through February we are back on track with the estimates.”

 



Kansas Legislative Insights is a publication developed by the Governmental Relations & Public Policy Law practice group of Foulston Siefkin LLP. It is designed to inform business executives, human resources and governmental relations professionals, and general counsel about current developments occurring in current Kansas legislation. Published regularly during the Kansas legislative session, it focuses on issues involving health care, insurance, public finance, taxation, financial institutions, business & economic development, energy, real estate & construction, environmental, agribusiness, employment, and workers compensation. Bill summaries are by necessity brief, however, for additional information on any issue before the Kansas Legislature, contact Foulston Siefkin’s Governmental Relations & Public Policy Law practice group leader, James P. Rankin at 785.233.3600 or jrankin@foulston.com.

Kansas Legislative Insights Editors

James Jim Rankin James (Jim) P. Rankin
Governmental Relations & Public Policy Law Team Leader
785.806.3600
jrankin@foulston.com | View Bio
Gary Robbins Gary L. Robbins
Governmental Affairs Consultant
785.640.2651
garyrobbinsconsulting@gmail.com

James P. (Jim) Rankin and Gary L. Robbins are co-editors of Foulston Siefkin’s Kansas Legislative Insights Newsletter.

As a partner at Foulston Siefkin, Jim’s practice focuses on employee benefits law relating to public, private, governmental, and tax-exempt organizations. A large part of his work involves insurance regulatory and compliance issues in many industries, including healthcare. Jim has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® and the Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers® list. He is the firm's representative with State Law Resources, Inc., a national network of independent law firms selected for their expertise in administrative, regulatory, and government relations at the state and federal level.

Gary, a governmental affairs consultant to Foulston Siefkin’s Governmental Relations & Public Policy practice group, provides legislative monitoring and lobbying services for Foulston’s governmental relations clients. He holds a bachelor of science degree in history and political science from Southwestern College and a master’s degree in labor economics from Wichita State University. Throughout his extensive career, Gary has served as CLE Director to the Kansas Bar Association and as Executive Director of the Kansas Optometric Association.


This update has been prepared by Foulston Siefkin LLP for informational purposes only. It is not a legal opinion; it does not provide legal advice for any purpose; and it neither creates nor constitutes evidence of an attorney-client relationship.