A Weekly Rundown of Important Activity in Topeka, from a Principled Perspective
Week Eight -- March 11, 2019
“No matter what any one may say about making the rich and the corporations pay the taxes, in the end they come out of the people who toil. It is your fellow workers who are ordered to work for the Government every time an appropriation bill is passed.”
– Calvin Coolidge

The Facts of the Matter is a feature in The Truth Report each week, highlighting important information, some of which is not always reported or emphasized in the mainstream press:
  • Medicaid Expansion would pull people off private insurance. Of the projected new enrollees, about 75,000 were previously uninsured, while about 55,000 were already on private insurance and would be thrown into government-run Medicaid. (Source)

  • The New York Reproductive Health Act Removed Protections for Born Alive Infants. The Reproductive Health Act repealed protection for born-alive infants who survive an abortion attempt. (Source)

  • Changes in tax law put more in your pocket year-round. As Congressman Ron Estes penned in a recent column, “The fact is, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act benefited everyday Americans, including those right here in Kansas. We doubled the child tax credit. We nearly doubled the standard deduction. We lowered tax rates for all Americans. Yes. All Americans.” (Source). 
News & Views is a weekly collection of relevant news items and editorials regarding what's going on in Topeka and around the State of Kansas.
SB 22 – A Common-Sense Bill that Stops a Tax Increase
( Source )
The following column was drafted jointly by Senators Mary Pilcher Cook, Ty Masterson, Julia Lynn, Mike Petersen, Richard Hilderbrand, Gene Suellentrop, Larry Alley, and Bud Estes in response to a  this column  by the Kansas City Star Editorial Board. It was submitted to the Kansas City Star, who refused to run it unless terminology was changed to the KC Star’s satisfaction. So, the Senators provided the Kansas Truth Caucus permission to run the column instead. 
On February 7,  in a column that reads like a press release from the Democratic Party , the Kansas City Star’s Editorial Board penned a sensationalist screed entitled, “Kansas Senate just passed a reckless tax cut. Is it a sign of more disasters to come?”
This headline is an example of the type of “fake news” that frustrates so many Americans, as it paints an inaccurate picture of what occurred and serves to stir up people by creating a "strawman argument" that the Editorial Board then attacks mercilessly. 
In truth, it’s classic yellow journalism.

SB 22 is not reckless. It is not a disaster. It isn’t even a tax cut, which implies a reduction of rates. It is a simple, common-sense bill that makes changes to Kansas tax code to stop a tax increase on Kansas businesses and families, right at a time they are filing their returns.

Here is the truth – in 2017, the United States Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which passed along a number of significant tax reductions. Surely, even the Editorial Board of the Star would agree that these tax reductions were meant for the people, not for government. 
It’s not rocket science to be able to understand that it can’t be considered a tax cut if the government never received the money in the first place. 

In fact, due to the fact the federal and state tax codes are currently tied together in several respects, a significant number of individual Kansans and job-producing companies will face a tax increase if state law is not changed to de-couple these provisions. 
For instance, SB 22 would allow Kansans to itemize on their state tax return while utilizing the new $24,000 standard deduction on their federal tax return. Not being able to do so would result in a tax increase – which is unacceptable.
SB 22 would also prevent a massive tax increase on repatriated income for multi-national companies that bring significant jobs to Kansans. One such company is in Mission, Kansas. If SB 22 does not pass, Kansans will be one of just a few states that have such a tax, placing us at a disadvantage right at a time our economy is soaring. 

Some have suggested that the legislature do nothing for now and wait until later in the session to act. This would be the equivalent of finding someone’s wallet and then holding onto it for a while rather than returning it immediately to the rightful owner. 
In closing, the editorial even attempted to cast shade on GOP Senators by calling “stubborn” for passing this bill. On this, we’ll plead guilty – we will always be stubborn in standing up for efforts to prevent a tax increase on the people of Kansas.
Truth Report Archive
Check out past Truth Reports in the Truth Report Archive by clicking here.
Transparency Center: Follow the Kansas Legislature
You can view video streaming of both chambers via the Kansas Legislature YouTube page. In addition, many committees are now audio streamed. Finally, the Kansas Legislature website remains a great resource. Here are the relevant links:

YouTube Streaming:

Spending: Ever curious about how your tax dollars are spent, particularly on items like government salaries? Then look no further than KS OpenGov, a large database of hundreds of reports at the state, city, and school district level. 

Get there by clicking here:
The Realities of Medicaid Expansion: Video Series from Majority Leader Hawkins 
Health care can be a complicated issue, particularly as it pertains to government programs like Medicare and Medicaid. So, as state legislatures across the country have wrestled with whether to expand Medicaid or not, sometimes the realities of Medicaid Expansion can get lost in the debate.

Majority Leader Dan Hawkins, in a video series, discusses many of these realities in a way that is easy to understand. Below are links to those videos:

Currently Covered:
The Costs of Expansion:
Unintended Consequences:
Rural Health Care:
Alternatives to Expansion:
Stopping a Tax Increase: SB 22 Passes House
This week, the Kansas House passed SB 22, which contains important components to decouple provisions of federal and state tax code in order to prevent an unintended tax increase. The Kansas Truth Caucus, as do many other organizations in the state, including the Kansas Chamber, the NFIB, AFP, and many others stand firmly behind these important parts of the bill.

The bill, as passed, includes amendments which would require out of state businesses above a certain minimum threshold of sales to collect internet sales tax on consumers from Kansas. It also includes a 1 cent reduction in the food sales tax. 
Governor Kelly Signs SB 9
Governor Laura Kelly has signed SB 9, marking a major victory for Republicans who believe in fiscal responsibility and meeting our obligations to retirees.

As a recap, the legislation, which the Kansas Truth Caucus got behind early ( read our statement here ), makes up for a missed payment to KPERS by sending $115 million to the school group in KPERS. It was adopted by both chambers without a single vote in opposition.

We are grateful that the governor signed the legislation, despite her previous remarks that seemed hostile to it.
SCR 1606 Heard by House Fed & State; Senator Pilcher Cook Delivers Truth Caucus Testimony
Last month, the Kansas Senate passed SCR 1606 by an overwhelming vote of 27-13. Rather than referring it directly to the floor, the House Speaker opted to refer it to the House Federal & State Affairs Committee for a hearing, which was held on Thursday.

At the hearing, Senator Mary Pilcher Cook delivered testimony on behalf of the Truth Caucus, which was approved by an overwhelming vote of our members. 
You can view the testimony by clicking here .
Principled Focus: Safeguarding Constitutional Liberties
Each week, the Truth Report will highlight one of our Principled Priorities, which were recently adopted by our membership.

The Kansas Truth Caucus Principled Priorities state:

Advocating for Limited Government
We strongly support efforts to curb the growth of government, to repeal unnecessary laws and regulations, and in upholding states’ rights via the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. We support the core functions of government, including public safety, law enforcement, a well-maintained infrastructure, and protecting the most vulnerable among us.

This session, efforts to uphold this principle include fighting efforts to expand Medicaid, which would impose more ObamaCare, a failed federal program causing havoc on insurance throughout the country, on Kansans. It would remove tens of thousands of Kansans off of private insurance and move them onto the government dole. It would cost the state millions, threatening our ability to fund public safety, law enforcement, infrastructure, and other key priorities.