2017 Legislative Update #1

The 2017 Session of the Kansas Legislature began last week on Monday, January 9th.   My committee assignments for this year include: Government Technology and Security, Children and Senior's, Elections and the Judiciary Committee. The calendar will remain full over the next few weeks as bills are introduced and committees begin their work. You can follow the legislative session online at  www.kslegislature.org In addition to my newsletter, I am working to keep constituents more informed via Facebook and Twitter, so be sure to follow me on Facebook by clicking here and on Twitter by clicking here. It is a special honor to serve as your state representative.  I both value and need your input on the various issues facing state government.  Please feel free to contact me with your comments and questions.  My office address is Room 452-S, Kansas Statehouse, 300 SW 10th, Topeka, KS 66612.  You can reach me at (785) 296-7430 or call the legislative hotline at 1-800-432-3924 to leave a message for me.  Additionally, you can e-mail me at pam.curtis@house.ks.gov.   Continue reading

2016 Legislative Update - Special Session 2

The Kansas Legislature convened last week for a special session, after the Kansas Supreme Court issued a ruling that the state was not funding all schools in Kansas equally. The session lasted only two days, and ended when a bi-partisan compromise passed late Friday. While the bill is not perfect, it is a step in the right direction, and most importantly – allocates $38 million in new money and prevents our schools from closing. Continue reading

2016 Legislative Update - Special Session

The legislature is back in Topeka for a special session to address school finance. As we discussed in prior weeks, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in May that the state was not providing school funding in an equitable manner and gave the legislature until June 30th to solve the problem.  Since the legislature did not address the ruling on Sine Die, Democrats started a petition requesting the governor to call a special session - which he finally did on June 7th.    Continue reading

2016 Legislative Update - Issue 11

This past week was a busy one on the House floor with the House debating and voting on over 40 bills.   This week we reached day 68 of the 90 day session and officially reached first adjournment on Thursday. The Legislature will return in late April for what is called the veto session to wrap up the remaining business of the session.  When the Legislature returns in April we will have updated revenue numbers on how much revenue the state expects to bring in for the remainder of the fiscal year.  It is widely expected that those numbers will not be good and the already existing budget deficit of roughly $47 million for the current fiscal year will be even bigger. We received very sad news this week of the passing of Mary Ann Flunder. Mary Ann, KCKCC Board of Trustees Member, was a leader that wore many hats and worked tirelessly to make our community a better place. She will certainly be missed and my deepest sympathy goes out to her family. It is an honor to represent our community in the Kansas House of Representatives.  I very much appreciate your input on matters before the Kansas Legislature so please do not hesitate to contact me.  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 Continue reading

2016 Legislative Update - Issue 10

As the Legislature quickly approaches first adjournment, we have been extremely busy both on the House floor and in committee. This week the House debated a number of bills that were both controversial and politically charged. Meanwhile, there has been no debate on the floor to address the challenging and systemic issues facing our state.  I was temporarily encouraged by hearings in committee this week that would have increased funding for our schools and reduce the sales tax on food, but neither received a vote. The Kansas House is scheduled to adjourn next Friday. We will come back in late April for Veto Session.   Continue reading

2016 Legislative Update - Issue 9

We are now at day 39 of the session and I expect things to pick up significantly in the coming weeks.  While the Legislature has passed a budget, that budget is now out of balance and the Legislature will need to address that shortfall because the constitution does not allow us to have an unbalanced budget.  Also, the Legislature still needs to address the school finance decision and find a way to properly provide equitable funding to our schools.  There are several contentious bills, especially some that dramatically affect education that will be heard in the coming days.  I strongly encourage you to contact the chairs of the committees hearing those bills and let them know how you feel about those bills.  Below are some of the highlights of the past week. It is an honor to represent our community in the Kansas House of Representatives.  I very much appreciate your input on matters before the Kansas Legislature so please do not hesitate to contact me.  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   Continue reading

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 Continue reading

2016 Legislative Update - Issue 7

This was a short week for legislators in Topeka. We were on the floor all day Monday and Tuesday, debating and voting on 29 bills. Tuesday was “Turnaround Day.” Turnaround marks the halfway point in the legislative session. All bills are required to have passed their house of origin by this date. We are on break until next Wednesday. When we return, we will spend the remainder of the session considering the bills passed by the Senate and they will do the same on the bills we passed in the House. 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 Continue reading

2016 Legislative Update Issue 6

It was another busy week at the Capitol.  The efficiency group released their final report on how to save the state an estimated $2 billion over 10 years, which will be discussed and debated in the various committees in the coming weeks.  Many GOP members of the Legislature are hoping the efficiency report will be the answer to all of the problems we are having with our budget.  I, however, will review the recommendations with a healthy dose of skepticism.  Speaking of the budget, a budget bill passed both the House and the Senate this week and will go to the Governor for his signature (more on this below).  Early next week, we are scheduled to be on the House floor debating and voting on many bills.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns on the happenings of the Legislature. 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 Continue reading

2016 Legislative Update - Issue 5

The pace has picked up significantly in the Kansas Legislature.  Both the House and the Senate debated and passed their versions of the budget this week.  Passing a budget is one of the few actual Constitutional requirements of the Legislature.  We should expect both budgets to be voted on in the opposite chamber in the coming weeks.  Legislative committees continue to meet and hold hearings on various bills.  Also expected in the coming weeks are hearings on the efficiency study (a study done by an outside auditor, Alvarez & Marsal, looking for savings) and their recommendations.  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 Continue reading