Feb. 15, 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

Due to legislative deadlines, this week was full of bill introductions. If you follow  #ksleg on Twitter, you are no stranger to some of the controversy and strong feelings these bills incited. On a happier note, you could switch to #kslegvalentines for some political humor. My colleague, Emily Fetsch, shares a preview of our week ahead:
Rose are red, 
violets are blue, 
risky tax plans are lame, 
so vote no on SB 22.

KAC is watching
KAC's Vice President of Advocacy John Wilson braved the snow today to deliver our written testimony for hearings at the Statehouse next week.

Next week, KAC and KCEG will appear for verbal testimony in the House Taxation committee in reference to HB 2261, a food sales tax bill, and SB 22, the tax decoupling bill we've discussed the last few weeks.

While KAC recognizes the sales tax rate on food is the second highest in the U.S., we have concerns about the large fiscal note required for a reduction in sales tax on food. During a time of building stability in our revenue stream, we have concerns with any tax changes that significantly decrease revenue.

We lift up other tools that have been used to help alleviate the burden of sales tax on food such as the food sales tax credit. In 2013, the credit was made non-refundable, which excluded a significant number of Kansans who previously were able to use this credit. One way to offer targeted relief to low-income Kansans is to reinstate the refundability of the food sales tax credit.
For resources about SB 22, visit the Kansas Center for Economic Growth's website. Kansas simply can't afford to go backward after more than five years of tax experimentation.
Other events this week included the second meeting of the bipartisan, bicameral Early Learning Caucus, which met early Thursday morning and heard about early childhood programs at the YMCA. Today, the Children's Cabinet met for the first time under the new leadership of Chair Kim Moore and Executive Director Melissa Rooker.

Just for Fun

The House and Senate Chambers recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of each floor session. I've noticed the cadence and pauses in the recitation vary between each chamber.

The Senate has a noticeable pause (think comma) in the portion "one nation, under God" while the House treats it as one phrase without pause "one nation under God." This has fascinated me, as we recite the Pledge each week in my Rotary meeting as well. My rotary club's cadence is the same as the Senate's.

In doing some online research I discovered the pledge dates back to 1892, but the words "under God" weren't added until President Eisenhower's request in 1954. And they were added without a comma, so technically we shouldn't pause between "one nation" and "under God." You'll never think of the Pledge the same way again now, will you?