April 5, 2019

Capitol Connection is your weekly report from KAC's Director of Government Relations Adrienne Olejnik on happenings at the Statehouse and issues affecting Kansas children and families. For more updates, like KAC on  Facebook  and follow us on Twitter .

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This week

Friday morning's view heading into the Capitol.

Today is the final day of work in the Capitol before the legislature goes on an extended April break. It's true the grass turned greener this week on some key issues, yet others are still surrounded by a haze of fog and uncertainty.
 
Three big topics took up most of the legislature's attention this week: the budget, school finance, and other conference committee reports. Last night, the mostly-Senate version of the school finance plan passed and is now on its way to Gov. Laura Kelly. This plan accounts for the inflationary factors that the legislature was on task to resolve before the April 15 Supreme Court deadline.
 
House Appropriations and Senate Ways and Means (the two budget committees) met numerous times to discuss more than 100 items in the budget on which they needed to compromise. A few big items such as the PMIB (Pooled Money Investment Board) loan repayment and Medicaid expansion funding are unresolved, and a budget will not be passed before they go on break.
 
The full legislature is scheduled to return on May 1 for the veto session. Members will have more revenue data from the mid-April consensus revenue group's meeting, which will help inform decisions on the FY 19 and FY 20 budgets.


Just for fun


While many of us today admire the John Steuart Curry paintings in the Capitol (think the iconic John Brown mural, which is titled "Tragic Prelude"), they weren't always as favored as they are now. Apparently, Curry received much criticism while working on the murals, and he refused to finish the work -- he didn't even sign "Tragic Prelude." According to Capitol tour guides, Curry painted a family of skunks on one of his murals to illustrate his opinion that the legislature stinks.
 
Programming note 

Capitol Connection newsletters will resume on May 3, after the legislature returns for veto session.

See you then!
-- Adrienne