|This legislative session is now four weeks old. It doesn’t seem possible but time really flies when you’re having fun. The thing that sets this session aside from the other four sessions that I’ve been a part of is the fact that everyone is focused on the same goal and that is to start solving the state’s economic problems and do it in a way that doesn’t create an extra burden on any one group of people.
Most of the work the past four weeks has been committee work which is the way it should be and our leadership has given the committees a free reign to dig into the needs and desires of the people of Kansas. This is so different than it has been in the past when things that weren’t supported by leadership were never given the opportunity to see the light of day. A good example of that is the fact that our racing bill will have two days of hearings on the 6th and 7th of February in the Federal and State Affairs committee. I’m extremely proud to have been the one who introduced this bill and feel confident that we have things moving in the right direction. I want to thank all the people in the 13th District who have supported me in this project and I understand several will be in attendance at the hearings on Monday and Tuesday.
The first important piece of legislation that we will see is the Recision bill. The Recision bill is an appropriations bill that is used to balance the budget of the 2016 – 2017 year which ends on June 30th. At this time, we have got to find at least $320 million dollars from the different agencies current budgets. This is going to create tremendous hardship on all state agencies and it is unfortunate that when our governor’s budget started going south, that he didn’t step in and make some changes last fall. But he didn’t, so the legislature will have to though there are only four and one-half months left in this fiscal year. Unfortunately, it will have to be done with cuts as there is not enough time to collect any new tax money.