Each week we offer the Shawnee Mission legislators the opportunity to share their thoughts on what is going on in the state capital. Representatives Brandon Woodard and Mari-Lynn Poskin and Senator Kellie Warren will be sending updates this week.
Below is Senator Kellie Warren’s filing of the Republican state Senate District 11, which covers portions of Leawood and Overland Park.
May 26ththeThe Kansas Legislature completed the 2021 legislature. Apart from one special session, the entire legislature will return on January 10, 2022.
The last week of this year’s meeting ended a successful year 2021. On a wide variety of issues, your legislature has been hugely effective in passing solutions that will have a positive impact on the everyday lives of the Kansans, including fully funding our K-12 schools.
Here are a few other examples:
The law of promise
The bill provides for scholarships for Kansans who attend community and technical colleges in the following fields of study:
- Information technology and security
- Physical and mental health care
- Early Childhood Education and Development
- Advanced manufacturing and building trade
Program funding is capped at $ 10 million per year for the next two years, after which the grant could be increased. The grants would be given primarily to low- and middle-income families.
Reform of professional licensing and support for military families
Your legislature has decided across parties, Laws designed to help military families find employment by facilitating the process of obtaining professional licenses.
Earlier this year, the Republican members of the US Congress delegation written a letter applaud the Kansas Legislature for taking action on the bill to aid the military.
Here is an excerpt from her letter:
“The improved reciprocity of professional licenses will allow Kansas to honor professional licenses acquired in other states when licensees move to Kansas. This practice would allow Kansas to follow suit with many other states where soldiers and their families can easily join the community in which they are stationed. As you know, strict state licensing laws are a priority for the Department of Defense (DoD), the US Army, the US Navy, the US Marine Corps, the US Air Force, and the US Space Force. “
The bill shortened the time by which regulators are required to issue professional ID cards to military personnel or military spouses wishing to settle in Kansas.
Based on a Johnson County case, this bill changed the definition of the crime of stalking to include willful conduct towards a particular child under the age of 14 that, in the circumstances of the child concerned, would cause a reasonable person or a reasonable person in the circumstances of an immediate family member of such a child in order to fear the child’s safety.
The bill increases the penalty for subsequent convictions under the law.
The bill came through the Senate Judiciary Committee, which I chair. The governor then signed the bill, and it became Kansas law.
Modernizing our unemployment system
S-Sub for HB 2196 modernizes the Kansas unemployment system in many ways. It will:
- set up the council for modernizing and improving unemployment benefits;
- Demand that the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) upgrade its IT infrastructure;
- make temporary changes to membership of the Employment Security Review Committee;
- Make changes to the employment security rate tables’
- demand that the Minister of Labor submit tax assessments and certain data reports from the Employment Security Fund;
- Providing some protection of employer accounts, providing referrals from the State Coronavirus Relief Aid to the Employment Security Fund and Legislative Employment Security Fund;
- to prohibit the continuation of federal unemployment compensation programs using state funds;
- adjust the thresholds for maximum benefit;
- and modify the joint work program and make other changes to the employment security allowance.
S Sub for HB 2196 passed both chambers and was signed by the governor.
Income tax reform (SB 50)
This bill, which is set to go into effect, will finally stop the unintended tax hikes caused by the governor’s failure to sign a bill to maximize Kansans’ ability to take advantage of the federal tax changes passed in 2017.
The various provisions of the Kansas Act (SB 50) include:
- Help for the main road:: The bill stipulates that most marketplace intermediaries will collect and pay sales and equalization taxes from July 1, 2021. Those companies with gross annual revenues from sales in excess of $ 100,000 are subject to the mandate, and it applies to out-of-state retailers with annual revenues from sales to Kansas in excess of $ 100,000.
- Unemployment fraud:: The bill clarifies that identity theft victims do not owe individual Kansas income tax on unemployment benefits fraudulently received by someone else.
- Help for middle class families:: Beginning in tax year 2021, the bill will allow individual income taxpayers to qualify for Kansas individual deductions, regardless of whether the deductions are detailed or the standard deduction is claimed for federal income tax purposes. Also from tax year 2021, tThe bill will increase the standard deduction to $ 3,500 for single filers; $ 6,000 for individual heads of household; and $ 8,000 for married filers filing together. These amounts are currently set at $ 3,000; $ 5,500; or $ 7,500.
- Assistance to Kansas Employers:: The bill contains a number of provisions that decouple Kansas tax law from federal tax law and allow Kansas employers to keep money in Kansas and provide security for the future to maintain jobs in our state.
The governor vetoed SB 50, but both the Senate and House of Representatives were able to override their veto, so this important tax break is now on its way to the people of Kansas.
I get a lot of emails from voters during the legislative period. If you have any questions, comments, or problems even when we’re not in the meeting, please email me at [email protected].
As always, it is an honor to be a Senator in Senate District 11 of Kansas, which covers portions of Leawood and Overland Park.