February 4, 2016 - In This Issue:
Quick Facts

Johnson County Economy Continues to Grow


New Home Sales

  • 1,091 sold YTD through October 2015
  • 19.8% increase over last year
Total Home Sales
  • 9,535 sold YTD through October 2015
  • 10.8% increase over last year

Retail Sales

  • Exceeding $1 billion per month
  • 18th consecutive month

Residents Employed

  • 309,000 average in 2015
  • .4% increase over last year

Unemployment Rate

  • JoCo - 3.0%
  • KCMO - 4.2%
  • Kansas - 3.7%
  • U.S. - 4.8%
Source: CERI
For 2016 Legislative Session
I will be serving as the Chairman of our Johnson County delegation this year. I received unanimous affirmation vote. I will keep the delegation informed as much as possible on legislation and policy that affects our districts directly. For example; Budget, school finance, higher education, and economic development policies. Currently Johnson County contains all or a part of 25 House districts and 9 Senate districts. Kansas has 125 House members and 40 Senators. Thus Johnson County directly controls or influences 20 percent of the House votes and 22 percent of the Senate Votes. Every ten years the U.S. Census does a population count. The next census will be completed in 2020. Johnson County could gain 6 more House seats and two more Senate seats if population trends continue.

The U.S. Census Bureau projects Johnson County to grow to 645,145 in population by 2020. 
The Kansas budget is approximately $16 billion with $6.4 billion coming from the State General Fund (SGF).  The SGF is mostly comprised of state wide tax collections.

The graphs below show the revenue sources and where the money is spent.

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) has its own budget and revenue sources.  Approximately $1.6 billion annually.  The table below shows its revenue sources.

Our constituents continuously demand that the State spending be reduced.  The graph below demonstrates that spending in the state has been slowed down.

The state hired the consulting firm, Alvarez and Marsal (A&M), to recommend efficiency to deliver better government services at a better cost and at a higher quality. They also advised on improving the financial stability of the state. I have a keen interest in this area. The following recommendations on financial stability would be important for the legislature and Governor to work on and implement.
  1. Establish a Rainy Day Fund to weather economic downturns and unexpected expenses
  2. Develop a structurally balanced budget policy.  Match up reoccurring revenues to address reoccurring expenditures each year.
  3. Improve accuracy of revenue forecasts.  Use more expert economists to provide more accurate tax receipt forecasts.
  4. Develop long term financial plans.  Over 22 states have forecasts that go out an additional 3-4 years on top of their regular 2-year budget plan.
  5. Develop user fee policy.  A&M found that Kansas' fees are not covering the programs or services they are providing.
  6. Develop Debt Management Policies.
Happy Birthday Kansas Photo Contest

The Kansas Student Photo Contest is coordinated by Marearl and Jennie Chinn with the Kansas Historical Society.

Governor Brownback and Marearl presented the 2015 Student Photo Contest winners with First and Second Prizes for grades 1-12.  The contest is open to all Kansas Students; public, home schooled, and private. The contest begins in April and ends in December. Students submit photos electronically.  All of the award prizes are sponsored by individuals and legislators.  The Happy Birthday Kansas Cake was the final part of the ceremony.


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