2013 Newsletter Header
January 26, 2014 - In This Issue:
Denning Official Senate Photo
  • Population Figures for Kansas State House of Representatives up for Re-election in 2014 and Kansas State Senate up for Re-election in 2016
    • Population of House District - 22,716
    • Population of Senate District - 70,986
  • Kansas Exports are Up 5.43% Over Last Year
    • Will exceed $12 billion annually
  • Personal Income Tax Cuts
    • Adds over $23 million to Kansans paychecks, every payday
  • Standard Deduction for Filing your 2013 Tax Return. Increase is Part of 2013 Tax Policy
    • 2/3 of Kansans use the Standard Deduction
    • 1/3 Itemize
December Tax Receipts
Six Months Ending December 31, 2013
$7 Million or .2% Above Estimates

The trends for Kansas tax receipts remain positive through the six months ending December 31, 2013. The Kansas fiscal year runs from July 1, through June 30. For the six month period YTD tax receipts are $7 million or .2% above budget estimates. The Kansas economy continues to grow and improve. The large Kansas personal income tax cuts effective January 1, 2013 are working to help grow the economy and jobs. Unemployment is down and job creation is up. With the headwinds coming out of Washington finally subsiding we have Kansas in a good spot to grow jobs and reinvest in business for growth. It is noted that following the tax cuts in 2013, actual tax receipts are down 9.1% compared to same time last year. This is trending positive given the 20% personal income tax decrease. We are committed to funding state core services while spending within our means.



Thumbtack Report
Survey Prepared Annually in Partnership with The Kaufman Foundation

The objective of the Thumbtack report is to grade every state on friendliness towards small business.  I have reported numerous times in my newsletters that making Kansas a business friendly state remains one of my main priorities.  75% of Kansans either work for or own a small business.  So it comes as no surprise that of the 20,000 private-sector jobs added since November 2012 64% were from small businesses.





This past year (2013) Kansas scored an A which is up from last year's A- grade. Kansas has one of the highest ratings in the region with neighboring states Missouri earning a C, and Nebraska and Oklahoma earning B's.

Health Insurance Deductibles
The Need for Cost Transparency

Medical debt will remain a problem and will increase to catastrophic levels under ObamaCare. A major driver of unmanaged medical debt is the lack of health care cost transparency. We have all received the surprise medical bill thirty days after we have received medical services. High deductible plans and high co- insurance plans are now dominating both the private sector plans and the Obama Exchange Plans. The need for Health Care Transparency is the most important business issue for private practices, hospitals, and of course the patients.






Health care cost transparency is long overdue. I mentioned Senate Bill 251 in last week's newsletter. SB 251 is known at the Real Time Explanation of Health Care Benefits bill, (Real Time-EOB). Click here for the full text of the bill. This bill would allow computers in doctor's office to query the payment database computers at the insurance company's office to get an accurate estimate of patients out of pocket costs in real time. The objective is to let patients know their expected out of pocket costs for non-emergency services before they are consumed. This bill will allow patients to make informed decisions with their physicians about their health care and make educated decisions with reliable cost information in hand.


I presented testimony to the Senate Insurance Committee last week.  Please click here to hear the testimony and examples I used to explain the need and solution to achieving health care cost transparency in Kansas. This one bill will have a positive effect on 1/6 of the Kansas economy and give patients some certainty with their out of pocket costs. Please support me in this effort and let the Senate Insurance committee members know you want SB 251 - Real Time EOB to become law. Click here to go to the Senate Standing Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance website. You will find committee members in the right side bar.
Rainbow Mental Health Hospital
A Calm Port in the Storm

Rainbow Mental Health Hospital was on the verge of being closed several years ago.  The mental health services it provides are essential to Johnson and Wyandotte counties.  Both Johnson and Wyandotte legislative delegations wanted the needed services to stay intact and improved. Specifically we wanted emphasis put on crisis stabilization services to keep patients out of jail and have the patients receive the needed services in the right environment.  Pete Zevenbergen, President of Wyandotte County mental health services worked with Johnson county mental health clinics and both sheriffs of each county to develop a model that works to better serve the patients and our counties.  On Thursday Governor Brownback traveled to Rainbow and made an announcement that the state had come to an agreement to transform services at Rainbow.  Governor Brownback summed it up efficiently in telling the overflowing crowd "This is the most significant change we have made to our system of providing mental health care to Kansans in two decades.  Our goal is to establish and support alternative community programs that will decrease reliance on Osawatomie State Hospital (OSH) and the unnecessary use of local emergency rooms and jails." 


The new Rainbow Mental Health Model is a long term solution for Wyandotte and Johnson County.  Representative Kathy Wolf-Moore and I worked together across party lines to ensure these needed services would be offered and the funding would be in place for long-term success.  Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning has often said public safety officers and the mental health patients need a 'Port in the Storm.' The new Rainbow model with emphasis on crisis stabilization services will provide this safe port for both the mental health patients and public safety officers.

Other News

Marearl and I spent the weekend at the Kansas Republican Party State Convention in Wichita. Guest speakers included U.S. Representative Tom Cotton from Arkansas and U.S. Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina. We attended many classes to ensure we get Governor Brownback re-elected as well as continuing our efforts of getting all of our U.S. Senators, U.S. Congressmen and U.S. Congresswomen, and State wide officials re-elected. We refer to this as the "Clean Sweep." Everyone was upbeat with the real potential of Republicans taking majority control of the U.S. Senate in November. Thanks goes to Senator Jerry Moran for spear heading this nationwide effort.


On a personal note. Marearl was ceremoniously awarded the Huck Boyd Volunteer of the Year Award. She received the award at the 2011 KS GOP Convention but she was unable to attend the convention because she was hospitalized with pneumonia. Congratulations to Marearl for the recognition and a big thank you for all she does for Republicans.


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

Topeka, KS 66612




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Overland Park, KS 66210


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