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Legislative Newsletter for the first week of the 2014 Kansas Legislative Session

The Kansas Legislature began the 2014 Legislative
Session this past Monday, January 13, 2014, with the House of Representatives
and the Senate gaveling in at 2 PM.  Many
important issues will be addressed during this legislative session, namely
budgeting.  So far, there have been over
forty bills introduced as possible legislation and we will be conducting bill
hearings shortly in our respective committees.

On Wednesday, January 15, Governor Sam Brownback
presented his State of the State address to House and Senate members in the
House of Representatives Chamber.  The
following day, his budget was introduced in the House of Representatives
Appropriations Committee.  Governor
Brownback submitted to the legislature his revised budget for fiscal years 2014
and 2015.  Last session, the legislature
passed a two year budget rather than passing a one year budget, which was
customarily done in the past.  The
adjustments made by the governor to the budgets that were passed during the
last session equates to $30.7 million over the approved appropriations for FY
2014 and $331.5 million in FY 2015. 

The request by the governor for these adjustments
focuses on appropriating funds for the Department of Corrections.  The amount that the governor is requesting
for the Department of Corrections is $362.9 million.  Last year, the governor vetoed the Department
of Corrections budget in its entirety due to the fact that it was to
appropriate $8 million less than his initial request at the beginning of the
2013 session.  Since the Department of
Corrections budget was completely vetoed, there are no appropriated dollars in
the FY 2015 budget for the Department of Corrections. 

The other notable proposal by the governor to the FY
2015 is $16.3 million in additional funding to provide for the implementation
of all-day Kindergarten throughout the entire state of Kansas.  Many of the school districts throughout the
state already provide all-day Kindergarten, using either local funds or by
making additional costs to households in order to provide this education.  The governor’s proposal would allow all
school districts in Kansas to provide all-day Kindergarten for our youngest of
Kansans.  Currently, House leadership has
formed a special committee to examine both the budgetary and policy aspects of
the governor’s proposal.

During the 2013 legislative session, many
legislators, including myself, and the administration began to discuss a
compromise to ensure the sustainability of the Oil and Gas Depletion Trust
Fund.  Due to some confusing language in
the final budget, counties did not receive the total amount of payments that
they were supposed to receive.  The
governor has been working with counties and legislators to increase the
payments this year by $7.5 million, which would make the payments to counties

With the beginning of the 2014 Legislative Session,
we also began committee work in our respective committees.  I am a member of the Federal and State
Affairs, Agriculture and Natural Resources and Agriculture and Natural
Resources Budget committees.  This past
week in the Agriculture and Natural Resources committee, we had informational
hearings on K-State Extension and Research and the value that they provide to
the state of Kansas and also on Unmanned Aircraft Systems and how they can be
used for agricultural purposes.  On
Friday, January 17, the Senate Natural Resources committee invited the Senate
Agriculture and House Agriculture and Natural Resources committee to attend an
informational hearing on the Lesser Prairie Chicken.  I also serve as the Vice-Chairman for the
House Rural Caucus where we have informational hearings on issues that greatly
impact our rural areas.

I am proud to note that the Kansas Capitol is
complete after almost thirteen years of renovation.  The Capitol looks remarkable and I encourage
all Kansans to come and visit the Capitol to see this historic building.  The most notable changes to the Capitol are
the new north steps and the new visitor’s center and museum that visitors pass
through when entering from the public entrance on the north side of the Capitol.  The dedication for the Kansas Capitol will
take place on Kansas Day, January 29, with Governor Sam Brownback conducting
the dedication at noon.

With the beginning of the 2014 Legislative Session,
I will be in Topeka through the week and then back home in the district on most
weekends.  If you have any questions or
concerns, feel free to contact my office at (785) 296-7672 or email me at  It is an honor to serve the 109th
Kansas House District and the state of Kansas. Once again, do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts, concerns
and questions.  I appreciate the
perspectives from the residents of the 109th House District and the state of
Kansas, as well.

Paid for by Troy Waymaster for 109th Kansas House, James Malone, Treasurer
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