The first Legislative Coffee of the year was held Saturday at the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development office. Four representatives from Kansas were on hand and the topic that was on the their minds was public education.
“Right now we are not doing much on public education other than gathering much-needed information on the topic,” Senator Mary Jo Taylor (R-Stafford) said. “School finance seems to be the elephant in the room, especially this year. We provided what we thought was a good start for helping public education but the Supreme Court thought different."
The reason why not much is being done about public education is due to the senate waiting on a report on what the budget for education should be. The report is being done by a professor from Texas and is due by March 15.
“What is going on in the senate side, before this session even started was the hiring of a professor from outside of the state to prepare a report on Kansas public education and what the amount should be to support it. The senate believes this person is good at gathering data and putting together information on this subject,” Taylor said. “The senate has also hired an auditor to check the professor’s work before it is brought to them. So right now we do not feel that making projections on public education is a good idea.”
A new bill passed the house regarding microbreweries in Kansas. As of right now there are 45 microbreweries spread throughout the state and according to state law these breweries can not contract their products out to other breweries.
“There has been a lot of talk about microbreweries, as they have been booming throughout the state of Kansas,” 112th District Representative Tory Marie Arnberger (R-Great Bend) said. “So just recently a house bill has been passed that would change this for the producers.”
HB 2411 would allow a microbrewery to contract with one or more microbreweries for the purpose of manufacturing beer or hard cider on its behalf. A microbrewery would be allowed to have its beer manufactured by a contract brewer only if that contract brewer is located in Kansas.
However, a Kansas microbrewery would be allowed to manufacture and package beer for a microbrewery located outside of Kansas. The bill would also allow beer manufactured by a contract brewer for a microbrewery to be returned to the manufacturing microbrewery.