2013 Newsletter Header
March 17, 2013 - In This Issue:
Denning Official Senate Photo
  • Kansas unemployment rates continue to improve
    • January 2011 - 6.8%
    • January 2012 - 5.9%
    • January 2013 - 5.5%
  • CPI-Midwest increases sharply
    • 2012 - 1.8%
    • February 2013 - 2.2%
  • Exports continue to increase
    • Kansas exports increased .5% to $11.7 billion in 2012
  • Kansas population is growing
    • 15,500 increase since July 2011
  • CONGRATULATIONS - Two Johnson County teachers receive Master Teacher Award
    • Juliann Bliese - Olathe
    • Tara Walrod - Blue Valley
Big Issues That Must Get Resolved Over Next 15 Days Of Session

We basically have until March 22nd to work any further bills in the non-exempt committees.  From March 22nd until first adjournment on April 5th Conference Committees will meet, Exempt Committees will work select bills, and all legislators will be on the floor to pass out the final bills of this session.  We will then break until May 8th when we return for 10 days for Veto session.


The House is scheduled to work its Budget on Tuesday and the Senate is scheduled to work its budget on Thursday.  The Senate passed out its Tax Bill last week.  The House will pass out its Tax Bill after its Budget gets approved.  The next big step in this process is for the Budget and Tax Bills to get into conference committee where differences and negotiations will take place to come up with a bill that both the House and the Senate will accept.  The Conference Committees could start meeting as earlier as March 28th.  The Senate and House Tax and Budget bills are significantly different.  The Conference Committees will do some heavy lifting to reconcile the bills.  This will be my first time to participate on a Conference Committee.  As Vice Chairman of Senate Ways and Means Chairman Masterson and myself along with the Ranking Democrat Laura Kelly will negotiate for the Senate on the budget. Expect a lot of twists and turns as we move these important bills through the conference committee process.

Approved Bills Go To House And Conference Committee For Debate

The Senate's Tax Bill is in House Bill 2059. 


The Senate passed out House Bill 2045 with a vote of 25-14, I voted yes.  The bill is now on its way to a Conference Committee awaiting the House to pass its Tax Bill sometime this next week.


House Bill 2059 makes a number of adjustments to Kansas' current tax code. Most notably, the bill lowers the state's income tax rates and freezes the current sales tax rate at 6.3 percent.  Keeping the sales tax rate at 6.3% is  in order to pay for this year's $800 million tax cut and protect schools from budget cuts.  The bill also phases out deductions as the personal income tax rates decline, with the exception of charitable contributions and the adoption tax credit. 


Below is a table showing the top rate for individual income taxes in adjacent states. Kansas moved from the second highest to the second lowest individual income taxes.

Political Deductions Not Allowed From Public Sector Union Employee Paychecks

HB 2022, also known as the Paycheck Protection Act, would ban state or other units of government from processing payroll deductions for members of public sector unions for the purpose of contributing to the union's Political Action Committee (PAC).  Members Union Dues would still be allowed to be processed as a payroll deduction, just not the PAC contributions.


It is important to note members are not prohibited from contributing to their union's PAC. If a member wishes to make a contribution to a PAC, he or she would need only to write a check or implement an electronic debit noting it as a PAC contribution. This protects union members from any self-imposed or peer pressure to check a box authorizing a payroll PAC deduction. Furthermore, it not only is unnecessary, but arguably also inappropriate, for the state or any other local unit of government to be in the business of making payroll deductions for political purposes.  We passed it out with a vote of 24-16, I voted yes.

More To It Than Just State Base Aid Per Pupil

At my request, Legislative Research department compiled all of the funding sources our Johnson County schools in Senate District 8 receive.  The amounts include pension contributions, bond and interest, weightings, capital outlay, property taxes, federal funds, etc.

Capitol Office

300 S.W. 10th Street, Room 541-E

Topeka, KS 66612




Overland Park
8416 W. 115th Street
Overland Park, KS 66210

Paid for by "Jim Denning for Kansas Senate"
Kathy Vance, Treasurer

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