Feb. 1, 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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Celebrating Kansas

On Tuesday, we celebrated Kansas Day in our office with a staff potluck. Until this week I never knew people ate chili and cinnamon rolls together in the same bowl -- there is always something new to learn about the traditions of your home state!

KAC is watching

This week I focused on monitoring   the Senate Select Committee on Federal Tax Code Implementation. On Thursday, the committee voted in favor of SB 22, sending it to the Senate floor, where we expect it to be debated next week.  Testimony in the Select Committee this week focused on the corporate repatriation and GILTI provisions, with minimal focus on the effects of the individual tax portions of the bill. Little opportunity existed for diverse testimony or committee questions as the bill was fast-tracked in three one-hour days of hearings.

KAC and our Kansas Center for Economic Growth project are raising the alarm about this bill, which has an eye-popping fiscal note of $192 million for the first year alone. The real cost could be even higher. After the Brownback experiment, Kansas can't afford another risky tax plan.

On Kansas Day, identical bills were introduced in the House and Senate for KanCare expansion. KAC supports expanding the program because we know that when more parents and caregivers have health insurance, more children are likely to be insured too.  Senate Ways and Means passed SB 9 to the Senate floor for debate on Monday -- this bill would authorize a $115 million transfer from the State General Fund to the KPERS Fund before the end of this fiscal year and counters the governor's proposals for KPERS payments.

Just for fun

To those who have seen horror movies, the underground tunnel between the Docking building and the Capitol may seem familiar in its up-front creepiness. It's quiet and usually deserted. You can imagine the lights turning off in a pattern one by one. But on subzero temperature days, it's a great place to escape and get in some steps.

I remember the tunnel from Capitol tours when I was in elementary school, and I appreciate that it is still there for the next generation to experience. Maybe I'll see you there sometime!