March 23, 2014 - In This Issue:
Quick Facts
Kansas Unemployment Rate Improves
  • January 2014 - 4.8%
  • January 2013 - 5.6%
  • U.S. Rate is 6.6%
Kansas Businesses Continue to Grow
  • Eight of 11 major industries report job gains
  • Site Selection magazine ranked the state of Kansas fifth in the country for number of economic development projects per capita

Inflation Rising
  • Expected to rise to 1.8% in 2014
  • 1.5% in 2013

Session Winding Down
Most Committee Work Completed on Friday

Friday marked the deadline for all committee work of the 2014 legislative session.

The next stage of session is mainly reserved for the House and Senate to meet in conference committees. This is the process by which differences in bills are discussed and negotiated. Each chamber presents their bill and position along with what they like and don't like about the other chamber's bill. The top three members of each committee represent their respective chamber's position in the negotiations. When both sides believe they have an equitable agreement, they submit their report back to their respective chambers and each body votes on the report. If it passes both chambers, it is then submitted to the governor for his signature or veto. If either house rejects the agreement, they go back to conference and resume the negotiation process.

Kansas Unemployment Insurance Fund Rebounds
House Bill 2576
Last year we made several changes to the Unemployment Insurance Fund. The changes were made to replenish the fund after it was depleted from the 2009 recession. As a result of these changes and declining unemployment the fund has recovered and is above initial projections. We amended HB 2576 in Senate Commerce Committee to give a 15% reduction in workers unemployment insurance tax to Kansas employers. This 15% discount will result in a $42 million reduction to Kansas Employers when they file their 1st quarter report. The fund is entirely paid for by employers.
Johnson County Community College - Go Pro Now
Technical Education - A Pathway to a Career

Joe Sopcich, President of Johnson County Community College (JCCC) and Dr. Jim Hinson, Superintendent of Shawnee Mission School District gave positive testimony on the Go Pro Now pilot program. As a result of their testimony the Senate Ways and Means Committee appropriated $2 million to the pilot program. The Go Pro Now program will work with employers, the area high schools, JCCC, and the four year institutions to develop the Go Pro Now Program. The goal of the Go Pro Now Program is to develop a program that directly benefits students and Kansas employers. The big picture is to help students attain their educational goals and employers meet their workforce needs.

 

 

     

 

 

The development and implementation of the Go Now Pro program seeks to provide high school students with an opportunity to receive a high school diploma, and associate degree from JCCC in a relevant field that addresses an employer's need.

Health Care Transparency Bill on Way to Senate Floor for Debate
Senate Bill 251 and House Bill 2668

A compromise agreement was reached between medical providers and the insurance industry to provide a technology solution in estimating patient's out of pocket health care costs. Beginning in 2017 insurance companies will provide an estimate of patient out of pocket medical costs on non emergency services. The estimate will be sent in electronic mode back to the inquiring doctor's office. This will help patients understand their full out of pocket health care costs before consuming non emergency services. Patients, doctors, and the insurance industry understand this is necessary with the high deductible and high co insurance plans being sold in the private market place.

  

    

   

The manual process will be replaced with an automated process beginning in 2017.

Final Stretch
In the final two weeks of the regular session, the focus will turn to floor debate and conference committees. After April 4, the Legislature will break on first adjournment. We will return to our districts for the majority of April to visit with you on the key issues of the legislative session. Then we will return in May to consider any bills that were vetoed by the Governor and complete any unfinished business if necessary.

 

Capitol Office
300 S. W. 10th Street, Room 541-E
Topeka, KS 66612
785.296.7394
Jim.Denning@Senate.KS.Gov

Overland Park
8416 W. 115th Street
Overland Park, KS 66210
913.345.9416
JDenning@Discovervision.com

 

www.JimDenning4Kansas.com



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