Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Governor’s Tax Plan to Senate; New Bills; Hearings Continue

 The Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee on voted to send SB 78 to the full Senate this morning with almost no discussion.  The only amendment was successfully offered by Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, R-Hutchinson, to delete a provision eliminating the state income tax deduction for property taxes paid.  That provision was not part of the Governor’s original budget proposal, but added to help defer the cost of additional income tax reductions.  The action does not significantly affect the budget outlook for FY 2014, but it increases the cost of the long-term impact of additional income tax rate reductions contained in the bill.

KASB supports the immediate revenue generators in the bill to help maintain school funding in FY 2014 and 2015.  However, the additional tax reductions are projected to create a new budget shortfall by 2018 unless the state economy grows significantly more than average over the next four years.

New Bill Introductions

With the deadline for bill introductions by individuals and most committees this week, new proposals continue to pop up.  Here is a quick review of bills introduced Friday and Monday.  Some bills will require deeper study to determine the actual impact.

HB 2271 – appears to move school board and other local elections to November of even-numbered years (the same time as state and federal elections), and make local elections partisan.  Other bills would move the elections to November of odd-numbered years.

HB 2266 – appears to move school board elections under the state, rather than local, campaign finance act, and require more reporting of expenditures to influence question submitted elections such as school district bond issues.

HB 2282 – sets up on incentive program for personal financial literacy instruction in schools.

HB 2285 – amends or clarifies the statutory definition of machinery and equipment; could have a major impact on local property tax base.

HB 2289 – prohibits implementation of the common core academic standards.

HB 2290 – requires school districts to hold an election and gain voter approval before joining in school finance litigation.

SB 169 – the Governor’s “Read to Succeed” program, prohibits a student from being promoted to fourth grade if not reading at proficiency on third grade state assessments or an alternative assessment approved by the State Board of Education; also provides funding for certain literacy assistance programs.

Also today:

Hearing in the House Education Committee on HB 2222, which includes staff members in certain requirements of school district bullying policies.

Hearing in the Senate Education Committee on SB 103, which changes the calculation of at-risk funding.

Hearing on K-12 state aid programs in the House Education Budget Committee.

Hearings tomorrow:

Hearing on K-12 state programs begin in the Senate Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education; continue Thursday.

Hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee for proponents on SCR 1608, amending article six of the state constitution regarding suitable educational finance; with opponents on Thursday.

Hearing in the Senate Education Committee on SB 104, Children’s Internet Protection Act.

Hearing in the House Education Committee on HB 2261, allow permanent flexibility for transfers for certain school district fund balances and removing limits on district contingency funds.

Hearing in the House Education Budget Committee on HB 2215, restoring the threshold for certain non-resident student transportation authority from 2.5 miles to 10 miles.

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