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K-State Today

February 16, 2016



Legislative update Feb. 15

By Sue Peterson

On Wednesday, Feb. 10, the Kansas Senate concurred in the amendments made to Senate Bill 133. This action sends the bill to Gov. Sam Brownback's desk. 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 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.

Also, Feb. 8-12 was budget week in both the Kansas House of Representatives and in the Kansas Senate. The full House debated House Substitute for SB 161 on Feb. 10 and passed the bill the next day. The appropriation bill makes changes to fiscal year 2016 and fiscal year 2017 to maintain a positive ending balance for both years. The Senate on Thursday debated and passed Senate Substitute for HB 2365. The Senate passed a floor amendment separating out the Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus budget from the Kansas State University budget. Other than this amendment no changes were made to Kansas State University that were not in Brownback's recommendations.

Brownback's recommendations for Kansas State University:

Fiscal year 2016

1. Continues current funding and offsets State General Fund reduction with an increase from Educational Building Fund allocation for information technology operations expenses.

• Main campus — $1,427,497
• Research and Extension — $639,574
• Veterinary Medical Center — $202,825

2. Reduces Global Food Systems grant allocation from $5 million to $4 million.

Fiscal year 2017

1. Continues funding

• $5 million base funding for College of Veterinary Medicine
• $5 million for research initiatives related to NBAF
• $3.5 million for University Engineering Initiative Act

2. Reduces Global Food Systems grant allocation from $5 million to $1 million

3. New funding of $3.7 million from the state's Educational Building Fund toward debt service on the College of Architecture, Planning & Design Seaton Hall building project.

Both Houses of the Legislature passed provisions to wall off KPERS payments from being used or delayed to help shore up ending balances in the State General Fund. The bills now go to a Joint House and Senate conference committee to work on the differences in the two bills.

This week the Legislature will focus on State Efficiency Report of Alvarez and Marsal. Read a PDF of the draft report.

Finally, this week Kansas State University will participate in two events at the State Capitol. Wednesday, Feb. 17, is Cats in the Capitol, highlighting the university and serving Call Hall ice cream to Legislators, staff and visitors. On Thursday, Feb. 18, Kansas State University will participate in the Regents University's Undergraduate Research Day.

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 kstategr@k-state.edu.