Posted by on Apr 26, 2017 in Hibbard Highlights, Uncategorized |

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This past week has been a very productive week in both the House and the Senate.  The tax bill put together by our tax committee, was heard on the floor of the House.  This bill basically repeals the 2012 tax bill that has given me so much heartburn during the last four years and has caused the state of Kansas budget and revenue problems we’ve had to deal with.  It includes bringing all corporations, including limited liability corporations, back into the tax mix.  It also includes a third step in the formula for couples that are making over $100,000 a year.

The bill passed out of the House with 77 “YES” votes and was sent to the Senate where on Friday, it passed with 22 “YES” votes.  The Senate made no amendments to the bill, so it is ready for the governor’s signature.  The governor has three choices – he can either sign the bill, veto the bill, or after ten days, let it pass without his signature. He does not like the bill as it will do away with the march to zero for income tax that he proposed and instead put us  back to using the three-legged stool approach to taxation, which means relatively equal parts of property tax, sales tax, and income tax are used to balance the budget.

On Wednesday, we worked the House Recision bill which deals with balancing the budget for the rest of the year.  With a $320 million shortfall and a budget that has to balance on June 30, 2017, there were no good choices on how to do this.  The avenue taken was to borrow $300 plus million dollars from a state investment fund, some of which was from unclaimed property.  The intent is to reimburse this fund back to its full amount in seven or eight years.  I related this to a family that has unexpected bills and has to cash their savings account in order to take care of their immediate needs.  I voted for the bill because I felt it was better than cutting schools, health services, and all other state agencies from five to eight percent between now and June 30th. This bill also passed and has been sent to the Senate.

Our committees have finished working on bills that originated in the House chamber and most of next week will be spent on the House floor working them.

Our racing bill has been passed out of committee, but after being reviewed by several sources, there needs to be some attention given to some of the wording.  I anticipate it coming back to the House floor, but probably not for two or three weeks.
At no time in my five years, have I seen legislators, committee chairmen, and leadership work together as they are now.  We have passed some very important legislation and have done it during daylight hours without the pressure or intimidation we’ve had to deal with in the past.

Bruce Givens, Doug Blex, and myself will be at the Swinging Bridge Café in Moline at 9:00 a.m. on February 25th.  This forum is being sponsored by the Elk County Farm Bureau.

Remember, I work for you and if there is something I can help you with, please let me know. My email address is [email protected] and my phone number is 785-296-7596.

Sincerely,

Larry Hibbard
Kansas House of Representatives
District 13