Summary of Key Small Business Wins and Frustrations
The Kansas Legislature adjourned Monday, May 23, 2022. The legislature held the session open in anticipation of vetoes by the Governor of key legislative initiatives as well as the potential to have to reconsider the legislative and congressional redistricting maps. After the Kansas Supreme Court approved the redistricting maps passed by the legislature, the final portion of the legislative session moved quickly. Two veto override votes were held and successfully overturned the Governor’s veto of bills dealing Medicaid contracting and another restricting the power of the executive branch to join consent decrees for enforcing election laws.
Now that the session has ended attention has shifted to the upcoming elections for Congress, statewide offices, and the Kanas House of Representatives. There is also one western Kansas Senate seat that is up for election this year. This week ended with retirement announcements of several Representatives some of whom have served in key committee and legislative positions, including Speaker of the House Ron Ryckman, Jr. (See list below of retirement announcements.) We anticipate a few more legislators may not seek reelection as the filing deadline for seeking office approaches on June 10.
This legislative session produced major policy changes that will have long term impacts on the state. Here are a few highlights of policies passed and policies defeated.
Redistricting: The legislature passed redistricting maps, which have been approved by the courts, setting new districts for the upcoming elections.
Budget: Next session will start with newly elected leaders and a budget with projected ending balances of approximately $2.76 billion in FY 2022 and $3.131 in FY 2023 (according to Consensus Revenue Estimates of April 20, 2022 see April CRE 2022). While these numbers are positive, legislators continue to be concerned with increasing inflation and its long-term impact on the state. The budget included funding for many one-time investments in higher education, housing, and economic development projects across the state.
Taxes: The legislature passed a food sales tax reduction and bills that provide tax credits for a variety of programs including child care, aviation, community college/technical college investments, and housing investments. This year’s budget investment and tax credits for housing development is historically one of the largest and targeted to rural areas. The legislature also addressed a long-standing issue with valuation of pastureland enrolled in the federal grasslands reserve program and passed a bill exempting fencing products from sales tax.
Energy and Water: While there was much committee discussion regarding renewable energy and water policy, the legislature did not pass any significant bills to restrict wind development, or to revamp water policy.
Mask mandates: The legislature passed a bill barring any government or public official from mandating masks to control contagious or infectious diseases. The governor vetoed the bill, and the Legislature did not attempt an override.
Tom Burroughs (D. District 33); Lonnie Clark (R. District 65); Blaine Finch (R. District 59); David French (R. District 40); Jim Gartner (D. District 53); Ron Highland (R. District 51); Steve Huebert (R. District 90); Steven Johnson (R. District 108); Jim Kelly (R. District 11); Anne Kuether (D. District 55); Marty Long (R. District 124); Megan Lynn (R. District 49); Rich Proehl (R. District 7); Ron Ryckman, Jr. (R. District 78); Kathy Wolfe-Moore (D. District 36.)