This week, the House considered a number of bills on the House floor. The topic of these bills varied from egg repackaging rules for retailers to establishing a state-wide broadband grant program.
One of those bills, House Bill 2646, was from the Judiciary Committee. This bill was concerning the coordination of training for law enforcement agencies on missing and murdered indigenous people. The bill was brought forward to address high rates of murder and missing persons in the Native American population. The bill passed out of the House on February 26 in final action by a vote of 125 to 0.
Another bill was House Bill 2528, from the Transportation Committee. This piece of legislation would amend the current statute for antique vehicles in the state of Kansas. Current law defines an antique vehicle as any vehicle, including antique military vehicles, that is 35 years old or greater and have no modifications.
House Bill 2528 would stipulates that regardless of the age, type of components, or equipment installed on the vehicle, as long as it was 35 years or older, the vehicle would be classified as an antique vehicle. The bill passed out of the House in final action by a vote of 124 to 1, I voted “yes.”
Another bill was House Bill 2575 and this bill would increase the environmental surcharge tax from 2.5% to 5% for gross receipts of dry cleaners, which would pass the increases on to the consumers. The bill passed out of the House in final action by a vote of 95 to 29, I voted “no.”
Reciprocal Licensing for Military Service Members and Spouses
House Bill 2506 was heard on the House floor February 26. The bill would allow veterans, military service members, and their spouses to apply and receive occupational or professional licenses in Kansas, if they already had equal or greater training and qualifications to practice specific professions in another state. The only profession not included would be attorneys. If the veterans, military members, and their spouses did not qualify, they then would have to make up the difference in requirements for licensing. The bill was proposed in order to help veterans, military members, and their family’s transition into Kansas. House Bill 2506 passed out of the House and now goes to the Senate. I voted “yes.”
The Legislative Calendar
We have now approached the point of session referred to as “Turnaround.” “Turnaround” refers to the deadline for certain bills, bills that originated in non-exempt committees, to be passed out of the originating chamber. Now at “Turnaround,” the legislative session has hit the half-way point of the legislative session. There is much left to do, however. In March, both the Senate and House will consider bills sent to the other chamber before “Turnaround.” Both the House Appropriations and Senate Ways and Means will continue to work on finishing the last budget committee reports and construct the state budget for Fiscal Years 2020, 2021, and beyond.
In April, House Appropriations will work with Senate Ways and Means, in conference committee, to establish the state budget into law. Then on April 27, veto session will begin, which will last until the conclusion of the 2020 legislative session.
I will be attending several legislative coffees to speak directly to my constituents and fellow Kansans on the happenings in the Kansas Legislature on what we have currently discussed and the remaining half of the session.
Three coffees will be held on March 3, in Mankato, Smith Center and Natoma. Others will be held on March 7, in Great Bend, March 21, in Lincoln, and on April 23, in Rush Center.
Make Kansas Work: First-Time Homebuyer Accounts Legislation Passes
This week the House overwhelmingly passed House Bill 2516, legislation enacting First-Time Homebuyers accounts on a vote of 123-2. The bill encourages individuals to set aside funds for costs associated with the purchase or construction of their first home. Structured like 529 college savings accounts, contributions to the savings accounts are tax deductible. Communities can also establish these accounts to attract professionals to make the move to their community. During debate on the bill, the House added an amendment to have annual reports made to the Legislature on the implementation and usage of the tax credit provided for in the act.
The bill has been sent to the Senate for their consideration.
Anytime that one would like to participate and listen to the developments of committee hearings or discussion on the House floor, one can tune in by listening to the audio footage at www.kslegislature.org.
As always, if you have any concerns, feel free to contact me (785) 296-7672, follow on twitter at #waymaster4house, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you happen to visit the statehouse, please let my office know.
It is a distinct honor to serve as your representative for the 109th Kansas House District and the state of Kansas. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions. I always appreciate hearing from the residents of the 109th House District and others from the state of Kansas, as well.
Rep. Troy L. Waymaster, 109th District, serves as Chair of the House Appropriations Committee. Born and raised in Russell, he continues today to be active in the farming operation of the family farm south of Bunker Hill today. Waymaster represents the Barton County communities of Albert, Olmitz, Galatia, Susank, Odin and Claflin.