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Legislative Update Week 5

On Thursday, February 13, the House of Representatives conducted final action on the budget for the Department of Corrections for fiscal year 2015.  Last year, the House and Senate passed two budgets, one for 2014 and the other for 2015.  Governor Brownback signed into law the
funding for the Department of Corrections for 2014, however, he vetoed the funding for the department in 2015.  The Legislature knew we would need to address this in order to have the Department of Corrections funded for fiscal year 2015.

The bill that passed the House to fund the Department of Corrections is House Substitute for Senate Bill 245.  In this bill, the Governor recommended operating expenditures for fiscal year 2015 of $399 million, which would include $363.6 from the State General Fund. 


The Department of Corrections had initially requested $402.6 million.  The Governor, however,
recommended reducing the funding for the department predominantly because the
Governor did not concur with the department’s central office or other facility enhancement requests.

The House Appropriations Committee worked Senate Bill 245 and made the following adjustments from the Governor’s recommendation:  remove $2.2 million for salary increases;
remove $357,121 in the budget of the Kansas Juvenile Correctional Complex for a
20% reduction in educational services; remove $266,384 from the budget of the
Larned Juvenile Correctional Facility for a 20% reduction in educational
services; remove $641,186 and fourteen positions that the Governor had requested
for the Topeka Correctional Facility, and language was added that any funding left over at the end of fiscal year 2014 in the Inmate Benefit Fund would
transfer to the Treatment and Programs Fund.

Also on Thursday, the House held debate on House Bill 2464 which pertains to deductions on corporate income taxpayers.  Previous legislation from 2011 allowed corporate income taxpayers to claim an expense deduction from Kansas net income for qualifying machinery and equipment purchases.  This legislation from 2011 only applied to corporate income taxpayers and did not address that of privilege taxpayers.  This apparent oversight made it impossible for bank holding companies to have the equivalent tax treatment afforded to non-banks.  This bill provides the same expense treatment to privilege taxpayers, which corrects the apparent oversight made in 2011.

This week, the House of Representatives passed many bills out of the chamber to the
Senate. 

House Bill 2453 passed the House and would take affect if the 10th Circuit Court
would invalidate the Kansas State Constitutional Amendment regarding marriage
that took affect in 2005.  I do support the constitutional amendment and I hope it is not overturned; however, if this happens then the bill would take affect.

House Bill 2429 grants the Chief Engineer at the Division of Water Resources within
the Department of Agriculture the authority to regulate the water rights conservation program.

House Bill 2446 would allow the chief judge of a judicial district where the office
of court trustee has ceased to exist to authorize expenditures from the Court Trustee Operations.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my office
at (785) 296-7672 or email me at troy.waymaster@house.ks.gov.  It is an honor to
serve the 109th Kansas House District and the state of Kansas.  I appreciate the perspectives from the residents of the 109th House District and others from the state of Kansas.


Paid for by Troy Waymaster for 109th Kansas House, James Malone, Treasurer
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