2016 Legislative Update - Issue 8

Committees began meeting again this week. In the Judiciary Committee, we had an informational hearing on funding needs for the Judicial Branch. There was also an informational hearing held in the House Committee on Commerce, Labor and Economic Development on the effects of Horse and Greyhound Tracks on Commerce in Kansas as well as a hearing on a bill that would limit local government’s ability to enact rental license ordinances. Wyandotte County was well represented at the Capitol this week, with many of you attending hearings, giving testimony and, most importantly, providing feedback to legislators on the matters being discussed. Your involvement does make a difference and I cannot emphasis enough how critically important it is.

On Monday, I had the opportunity to visit the 5th Grade Class at Resurrection Catholic School and read Grace for President to the students. The students were great and I really enjoyed spending time with them. Women legislators and members of Congress have been invited to read Grace for President in classrooms across the country as part of Teach a Girl to Lead, a project of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

It remains an incredible honor to represent our community in the Kansas House of Representatives. While the Legislature is in Session, I do my best to stay in touch and keep you informed by email, and I spend countless hours every week helping my constituents solve problems. If I can be of service to you or anyone you know please call my office at 785-296-7371 or email me at pam.curtis@house.ks.gov

Revenue Down $53 Million

Kansas is officially broke – again. The February revenue numbers were released this week and the news is not good. The state brought in $53 million LESS than expected. This, unfortunately, has become the trend and not the exception. Month after month, revenue has come in under expectations. As you can see from the chart below, we have only met expectations twice since January of 2015.  

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This means that the budget passed by the House and Senate a couple of weeks ago with an ending balance of $6 million is now already $47 million in the hole. The fiscal mismanagement of our state is the cause of this downturn and the governor and his Republican allies in the legislature continue to bury their heads in the sand and refuse to acknowledge the dire circumstances of our state.

Governor Cuts Higher Education

In response to the February revenue numbers being $53 million below expectations, the governor decided to immediately cut all regent universities by 3% for a total of $17 million from all schools. This cut affects all regent universities, including KU Medical Center. Since we are already so far into the current fiscal year (which ends June 30th), a 3% cut translates to about a 9% cut in reality. The universities are still evaluating how they will address these cuts, but I fear schools will be required to raise tuition and make cuts to student services.

State Library of Kansas Resources

The Auto Repair Reference Center is a comprehensive online collection of auto repair resources, with illustrated procedures, technical service bulletins, and diagnostic help for most major domestic and imported vehicles. The content is created by ASE certified technicians and includes drawings, photos, videos, and step-by-step guides. Auto Repair Reference Center - http://kslib.info/aarc

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Paid for by Pam Curtis For State Representative. Steve Curtis, Treasurer.