Legislative Turnaround Update

As the Legislature reaches the Turnaround deadline, essentially the halfway point of the session, Kansans have had the opportunity to see firsthand which political party is all talk, and which one rolls up its sleeves and jumps into action.

It’s been said, “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” And, this past year, that quote has never rung more true.

Governor Kelly continues to make headlines for the failures of her unemployment system, her failure to protect our economy, and her failure to step up with solutions to the pressing issues impacting our state. Meanwhile, House Republicans have been hard at work this first half of the legislative session, delivering real results for our families, our businesses and our communities.

  • We fought to preserve our state’s pro-life values by passing the Value Them Both amendment. This measure will give the people of Kansas the right to vote on whether the Legislature has the authority to regulate the abortion industry in Kansas. You may recall that a Kansas Supreme Court ruling has placed current regulations in jeopardy, including the prohibition on taxpayer-funded abortions and parental notification for minors.
     
  • We acted quickly to pass an Economic Recovery Loan Program. This program will make low-interest loans available to small businesses and ag producers all across our state, many of which are fighting to get back on their feet after the Governor shuttered them last year.
     
  • We also acted swiftly when Kansas communities were hit with surprise utility prices, passing a plan so that our communities could more affordably pay down those costs over time – instead of forcing our families to bear all the burden through utility bill hikes or property tax hikes.
     
  • We introduced the Kansas Promise Act, a workforce development tool that will give more Kansas kids the chance to achieve the American Dream while at the same time making sure employers can hire the talent they need right here at home. Though Governor Kelly vetoed the plan last year, we’re not giving up.
     
  • We passed First-Time Homebuyers Saving Accounts, designed to encourage our next generation to save for the purchase or construction of a Kansas home. Community groups may also use these accounts as a way to encourage needed professionals – like doctors and dentists – to move into our rural communities.
     
  • We sounded the alarm on the Kelly administration’s mishandling of unemployment benefits by passing legislation that pushes the Governor’s agency to take action on both short-term and long-term improvements. This includes required technology upgrades, security components to identify and prevent fraud, and increased responsiveness so that Kansans won’t be forced to wait for benefits.
     
  • We introduced a Constitutional amendment to rein in regulatory overreach. Our government was built on the premise of three separate, but equal branches. In recent years, a fourth branch of government has continued to grow unchecked – that is the unchecked power of unelected agencies to make binding rules and regulations outside the law. This amendment would give Kansans the ability to vote on whether they want to restore oversight authority of the rule-making and regulatory process.

We’re just getting started. As we launch into the second half of the session, House Republicans remain committed to action – the kind that will lead to true growth for our state and our future.

Speaker of the House Ron Ryckman

In January, a new Senate Republican leadership was inaugurated, along with a class of 29 Republican Senators who arrived in Topeka with a diverse range of talent and expertise.

Immediately, these Republican Senators went to work on an agenda to put Kansans first.

We adopted the Value Them Both Amendment, which places trust in the people of Kansas to preserve our laws protecting women and babies in Kansas. It will go on the ballot in August of 2022.

We enacted real property tax reform giving more power to the people of Kansas by requiring local units of government to take a vote establishing the real tax rate on citizens when they rely on higher property valuations to increase taxes.

We boosted our state’s economic recovery by providing our Kansas businesses increased access to financial support, including farmers and ranchers critical to our rural areas. By trusting our businesses with more capital, we can get our economy moving again and people back to work.

We passed the “RELIEF Act.” This legislation reverses a previous unintended tax increase by allowing both families and businesses the ability to fully reap the benefits provided by the 2017 tax cuts and jobs at the federal level, while also raising the standard deduction.

We extended and strengthened important limitations on the governor’s emergency powers, which was later signed into law. This provided the legislature time to enact long-term reforms to the statutes.

We passed the Energy Choice Act, which ensures that the 870,000 Kansas households which use natural gas will still be able to do so, trusting Kansans with the ability to continue using this inexpensive and vital form of energy.

We expanded the Tax Credit Low Income Scholarship Program to provide more opportunities for children from low-and-middle income households to achieve a first-class education.

All of this in just 40 days.

Each one of these bills is geared towards placing our trust in the people of Kansas, who sent a clear message last fall they want state government on their side. We have much work to do, but this early activity demonstrates how serious Republican Senators are in delivering on the promises we made to you.

Senate President Ty Masterson