Archive for Thursday, January 11, 2007

From the House: Full agenda awaits Legislature

January 11, 2007

We are moving into our offices and starting the committee process. I often explain this early legislative process as starting a locomotive. It is very slow in the beginning but is often too fast at the end of the line.

I will keep everyone posted on some legislation I am working through the process.

I have two alternative energy bills I am currently sponsoring regarding income tax credits for those that buy hybrid vehicles and income tax credits for individuals that invest in solar water heaters. I also am writing some legislation that cracks down on "Dead Beat Dads." This bill would revoke/suspend hunting and fishing licenses until the individual is current with his child support payments.

In addition, I have included an agenda the House Republicans released Jan. 8.

I would like to hear your thoughts on the bills I've mentioned and the agenda.

Call me at (785) 296-7555 or e-mail me at staterepbrown@sunflower.com.

2007 House Republican Legislative Agenda

Education: To ensure our state's public schools and universities maintain their high standards of education and to encourage our children to attend college in Kansas.

  • Pre-fund the out years of the current school finance plan without a tax increase.

- $249 million for fiscal year 2008.

- $122 million for fiscal year 2009.

  • Tuition equality for Regent schools.
  • Infrastructure and building repairs for state universities and colleges.

- Require Regents schools to submit a five-year comprehensive plan that lists project priorities.

- Set up a $75 million trust fund for future maintenance.

Tax relief: To provide tax relief for Kansas businesses and property owners.

  • Repeal state franchise tax retroactive to Jan. 1, 2007.
  • Restructure corporate income tax rates to encourage investment, business growth and job expansion in Kansas.
  • Permanently reduce the unemployment insurance rate across the board by 40 percent. This will stabilize the fund and help all Kansas businesses by stabilizing their cash flow.
  • Exempt social security income from state income tax.
  • Support a constitutional amendment to ease the property tax burden on Kansas citizens, especially those reaching the maximum social security retirement age.

Health care: To provide affordable access and services to all Kansans, to relieve the burden of increasing premiums for individuals and small businesses and to put Kansans in charge of their health care dollars

  • Healthy Kids Initiative: Increase the state's newborn screening requirements from four tests to 29 to meet national standards.

Expand current early intervention program for children and include diagnostic and treatment of neurodevelopment disorders such as autism.

  • Small group and individual insurance reform:

- Tax credits for small businesses that pay health premiums for employees.

- Portability: To allow individuals to continue their health insurance coverage after they have left an employer.

- 100 percent tax deductible insurance premiums for individuals.

  • Improve delivery of mental health, alcohol, and drug prevention and treatment programs

Immigration: To ensure Kansans are not burdened by the cost of state services for illegal aliens, to crack down on businesses utilizing illegal aliens and to punish those who deal in false identification documentation.

  • Establish English as official state language.
  • Require proof of citizenship and enhance state agencies' abilities to verify citizenship for state services.
  • Enhance worker identification enforcement.

Economic development and tourism: To encourage our state's entrepreneurial spirit by utilizing our natural resources, history and people; to encourage private sector job growth and the reduction of that state's economic dependence on government jobs.

Biosciences -- Build on the successes of Kansas State University's plant and biosciences basic research and leading animal and plant companies based in Johnson County by completing the Olathe Bioscience Research Center.

Vo-Tech Training Reform -- Ensure vocational training and workforce development programs meet the ongoing needs of the Kansas business community and ensure efficient use of state and local resources.

Tourism -- Promote the use of state assets like state parks, historical sites and natural assets.

Crime/Public Safety: To equip Kansas law enforcement agencies and prosecutors with the necessary funds for better protecting Kansans citizens, toughening penalties for those who prey on our children and seniors.

  • Pass Alexa's Law.
  • Establish a parole and probation program to reduce the number of offenders who violate their sentences and are sent back to prison. This will reduce number of prison beds needed.

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