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

HTML Email

The first two weeks of this legislative session have been very busy and has  seemed to go pretty fast.  After being sworn into office for the next two year term, we immediately started having committee meetings.  The fast start to the new session was an indication of the desire to start diving into the problems that we need to solve this year.

The new leadership in the House has so far displayed a desire to include all factions of the legislative body.  The problems that need to be solved require bi-partisan support and understanding to get bills passed.

On the second day of session, we heard the governor’s State of the State address.  He continued down the same road in his belief that our economy was good and that there was no need to revisit the 2012 income tax bill.  It was evident that a majority of the legislators present were not in agreement with him.  The only taxes he proposed raising were the SIN taxes.  He proposed a $1.00 per pack increase on a pack of cigarettes and double the tax on all alcohol.  I personally don’t think there is enough SIN in Kansas to bail us out of this horrid budget problem.  On a brighter side, he did ask the legislature to get the new school funding formula designed and implemented.  Work has already started in the Education Budget committee on this project.

The Water and Environment committee that I serve on, has been looking at ways to continue to conserve water and extend the life of the aquifer that is so important to ag production in Western Kansas.  We also looked at ways to slow down the silting in of our watersheds and Corps of Engineer lakes.  Another water concern for those of us in Eastern Kansas is the increasing age of our rural water districts and the fact that they are getting close to being in need of costly revitalization.

This past Wednesday, I had the opportunity to introduce in the Federal and State Affairs committee our racing bill.  What it will do is reopen the race tracks in Park City, Frontenac, and Kansas City with slot machines and from them, it will develop a County Fair Fund that will provide funding for the reopening of Eureka Downs.  I’ve been working on this for five years now but this year looks much more promising due to the fact that we have a lot of new people and also the fact that it will create 3000 jobs in Kansas, rejuvenate both the horse and dog racing industries, and put money into the state treasury that isn’t tax dollars.

The main thing that I have noticed in this two weeks, is the desire of parties to work together to solve our budget crisis, education problems, and find practical and workable solutions.  This is an attitude that is very different than what I have dealt with the last four years.  If we can just get the governor to work with us, many good things could happen this session,

I feel very proud to be able to represent the people of the 13th District in Topeka. Remember, I work for you and if there is anything I can do for you please contact me.

I can be reached on my home phone 620-637-2454 or my cell phone 620-583-3334, or by email at [email protected].

Sincerely,

Larry Hibbard
Kansas House of Representatives
District 13