February 9, 2016
Legislative update Feb. 8
Last week the House Appropriations Committee held hearings and reviewed budget changes for fiscal year 2016 to make the adjustments Gov. Sam Brownback proposed for the current year's budget. The committee also held hearings and reviewed the governor's recommendations for fiscal year 2017. The committee passed both the fiscal year 2016 and 2017 bills out of committee onto the full House of Representatives.
The House bills make no changes in the governor's recommendations for higher education or Kansas State, K-State Research and Extension, and K-State Veterinary Medicine. The House Appropriations Committee did add a proviso to restrict the expenditure of special revenue funds at the governor's recommendation levels if a university uses an out of state entity to issue bonds for capital projects.
Ron Trewyn, National Bio and Agro-defense liaison, testified before the House Committee on Commerce, Labor, and Economic Development Feb. 4. The testimony focused on the economic development potential of the National Bio and Agro-defense Facility.
Finally, on Friday, the House took final action on SB 133. This legislation, which was introduced last year, is the 911 Lifelines Bill. The legislation was proposed by 2014-2015 Kansas State University Student Body President Reagan Kays. The intent of the proposed legislation is to grant limited immunity from a state's minor in possession or minor in consumption of alcohol charge in certain circumstances where they make contact with officials during a medical emergency of a minor. The legislation, which has passed both houses, gives young people the confidence to pick up the phone and call 911 to look out for the safety of their friends, colleagues and acquaintances. A simple phone call could save students from alcohol related tragedies. Great work on the part of students over the past two legislative sessions.
In action this week, most activity will be focused on fiscal year 2016 and 2017 budgets. The Senate Ways and Means Committee reviewed and passed out the two budget bills Monday. The House of Representatives will debate their appropriations bills mid-week.
Also, this week the House Vision 2020 will hear a bill to raise the statewide mill levy for the Educational Building Fund. This fund provides much need resources for maintenance on university campuses.
Weekly updates will be posted in K-State Today on Tuesday. If you would like to receive a listing of bills introduced in the Kansas Legislature impacting Kansas State University, higher education and state agencies please send an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org.