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K-State Today

March 17, 2015



Legislative update March 17

By Sue Peterson

Last week the House Education Committee heard comments from representatives of state universities on three issues: sexual assault policies on campus, faculty using their names and titles in newspapers, and the state law that allows students whose parents are not legal U.S. citizens to attend higher education institutions in Kansas.

Maureen Redeker, K-State's General Counsel Office, and Scott Jones, K-State's Office of Student Life, presented information on the university's policies and programs on sexual assault to the members of the House Education Committee. The sexual assault bill, House bill 2266 was tabled by the committee. The committee took no further action on House bill 2234, prohibiting faculty from using their names and titles in certain publications. The committee requested more information on House bill 2139 regarding in-state tuition for undocumented students.

Also last week Kansas Legislative Committees made recommendations on legislation to repeal the current K-12 school finance formula and replace the formula with a block grant to local schools. The bill passed the House on Friday and will be deliberated by the full Senate this week.

This week is the final week for all committees in the House and the Senate to hear bills. Next week the House and Senate will be on the floor all day debating bills that have been recommended by committees.

In action this week, the House Appropriations Committee will begin the process of writing the budget bill and the bill implementing capital improvement projects. The committee plans to send both bills to the House floor by Thursday of this week. The committee has given preliminary approval to the Governor's recommendations for higher education and Kansas State University. These recommendations will be reviewed again this week.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee will begin the process of writing the budget bill and the bill implementing capital improvement projects on Wednesday. The committee plans to send both bills to the Senate floor by early next week. The committee has made recommendations to delete $2.1 million in each fiscal year from the state general fund for the main campus; $949,476 from K-State Research and Extension and $146,270 from the College of Veterinary Medicine. All recommendations will be reviewed again this week.

For information on these issues or to sign up for bill tracking on bills impacting higher education or state government please send a request to kstategr@ksu.edu.