June 10, 2015
Legislative update June 10
On Saturday, the 107th day of the 2015 Kansas Legislature, the governor signed legislation that deemed all state employees as essential and averted a potential furlough of thousands of state employees.
On Sunday, the record-breaking 108th day of the session, the Senate passed the appropriations bill, which had already passed in the House. The bill is for fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017 and contains the budget for state government, except K-12 education and the judicial branch.
The provisions of the appropriations bill:
- No reductions to K-State, K-State Research and Extension, and K-State College of Veterinary Medicine for fiscal years 2016 and 2017, except Death and Disability and KPERS, the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or group health insurance.
- Tuition cap for in-state undergraduates — legislative intent — is capped at consumer price index for calendar year 2014 plus 2 percent for fall 2015. For the fall 2016, the cap is the calendar year 2015 consumer price index plus 2 percent.
- The bonding authorization for the Seaton Hall renovation/addition is for $60 million in fiscal year 2016 and payment of $3.7 million annually for 25 years from Educational Building Fund overages starting in fiscal year 2017.
The governor is waiting to sign the budget until there is an approved revenue package, or tax bill, so the budget is balanced. K-State will have budget authority when the governor signs the budget and a revenue package is passed or when he imposes an allotment.
The Kansas Senate debated and passed the revenue package on Sunday. The revenue package provides an ending balance of $73.2 million in fiscal year 2016 and $74.8 million in fiscal year 2017. It was sent to the House for action on Monday, June 8, and still awaits approval in the House.
The House did not discuss the revenue package on Monday. Without the passage of a revenue package the budget remains unbalanced by $400 million. Discussions on a revenue package continue among the members of the House and the Senate as the Legislature is still meeting at the State Capitol.
Many of you have expressed the desire to contact your legislators and/or the governor about the current situation. If you do this, please use your private email address or phone, and do so on your own time.