Issues you should know about
Issues you should know about

Highlights from the Kansas House 

We completed Week 4 at the statehouse last week and we're beginning to see bills come to the House floor for a vote. Last week there were several bills from the Judiciary committee that we passed.  I will highlight some of our key bills and proposals here each week, and report to you how we are making good on our promises of putting Kansas people first. You can read my full legislative reports here

A better budgeting approach for Kansas

An update on the growing tax surplus:
Last week I reported that Gov. Kelly's proposed budget prioritizes new government spending -- to the tune of more than $2 billion! Kansas tax collections last month alone were $102.4 million more than last January's -- a nearly 11% increase! At this rate, Kansas will collect an additional $1.2 billion more than last year! The Governor wants to spend these billions in excess tax revenue on new programs rather than returning it to you and other taxpayers.

Take a look at the high personal and business income taxes (see rates above) that rank Kansas worst in the nation in taxation in key categories. I am working with my colleagues in the House to examine ways to return your income to you while maintaining state services and programs. 

Choice in education

Greater parental control in education is gaining popularity in Kansas, as recent surveys show 70+% of parents favor the choice of school that their children attend. Since the pandemic, parents and legislators have seen the challenges in schools and learning loss in students that have had a serious impact on youth education.

At recent rallies and testimony in multiple committees in the legislature, families and school officials shared stories of success that have resulted from parents having the ability to choose the best learning environment for their child. The K-12 Education Budget Committee (a subcommittee that recommends budget for the state's largest expense category) has heard testimony for the expansion of the Kansas Low-Income Student Scholarship tax credit program, which saves the state millions by educating students in private schools of their parents' choice. (A recent survey shows that 77% of parents are pleased with this program.) This week, the Sunflower Education Equity Act, was introduced, which would provide education accounts for qualified students in Kansas. Proponents of these programs advocate supporting students, not systems, for better outcomes in education, which Kansas needs.
Rep. Donohoe questions a conferee during testimony
Debate & testimony in my committees

This past week, in my committees, we heard testimony on:
• Virtual school assessments, mental health issues in schools, days and hours of school days, and additional fields of study for the Kansas promise scholarship act. (more here)

• Anti-bullying measures in Kansas public schools to stem a rampant problem. A union representative from Wichita gave testimony that cited "all-out prison beatdowns that have been going on in our public schools." (more here)

• Social services, veterans budget analysis. I have championed prioritizing services for those most in need in our state.  (more here)

•  The beginning of long discussions on ESG investing - environmental, social and governance standards in investing (more here)

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