Legislative Update 2 - 3/11/19

-- Last week the House passed SB22, which would give tax cuts of somewhere between $140 and $190 million mostly to corporations and the wealthiest Kansans. Details on the bill here. Leadership sweetened the deal in the House by adding a percentage point drop in the food sales tax, and that enticed enough Moderate Republicans to pass the bill. However, the vote was 3 short of a veto-proof majority.

This bill is a bad idea because giving tax cuts to corporations and rich people when the state can’t afford social workers or prison guards is a bad idea.

The bill goes back to the Senate where they will either concur (accept the House version) or go to a conference committee. We’re fairly certain Gov. Kelly will veto whatever comes out; without an override, legislative leadership may have no choice but to dismount their high horses and try to negotiate a deal with the governor, which they should have been doing all along.

-- SB 124, the Energy Fairness Act, would rescind demand charges on home-based solar that the KCC allowed the utilities to impose. There are lots of reasons people would spend their own money to put solar on their homes: for economic reasons, as a hedge against utility rate increases; as an investment against climate change; as a declaration of independence against monopoly utilities. It’s neither fair nor justified for the utilities to squash this industry with punitive charges, and this bill would fix that. For more information click here.

The hearing on this bill continues with opponent testimony on Wednesday. If your representative is on Senate Utilities, give them a call and ask them to pass the bill out of committee.

-- Tomorrow in House Fed & State there’s a hearing on HB 2326, which would recognize out of state concealed carry permits in Kansas. We believe this to be a back-handed way to lower the concealed carry age in Kansas to 18 so we oppose the bill. There are several bills languishing in the committee that would actually address the epidemic of gun violence besetting our state and nation: a red flag bill, a background check bill, and a voluntary gun safety act. These bills can’t get a hearing and this one can, which shows that the priority in Kansas remains putting more guns in the hands of more people.

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