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K-State Today

January 17, 2017

Legislative Update

Submitted by Susan Peterson

The Kansas Legislature convened Jan. 9 at the State Capitol. Gov. Brownback presented the State of the State address on Jan. 10. On Jan. 11, Shawn Sullivan, Kansas budget director, presented the governor's budget recommendations to a joint meeting of the House Appropriations Committee and the House Taxation Committee followed by a briefing for the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

The recommendations related to higher education and K-State specifically:

Fiscal years 2017, 2018, 2019

  1. No base budget cuts for higher education and K-State are recommended for FY 17, FY 18, FY 19.
  2. Global Food Systems grant at K-State continued at $1 million for FY 18 and FY 19.
  3. Scholarships for K-12 teachers to teach in rural school districts — $3 million in FY 18 and $6 million in FY 19.
  4. Provide 50 full scholarships to the first university or college able to offer a bachelor's degree for $15,000 annually. Kansas Board of Regents will create a task force to implement.
  5. $800,000 from Educational Building Fund for planning for a dental school.
  6. $5 million for medical scholarships for doctors in rural Kansas.
  7. Create a task force to start a privately funded osteopathic college in Kansas.

The Legislature will begin a review of the governor's budget recommendations and work on the appropriations legislation. View a PDF document of the budget director's overview on the Kansas budget.

On Thursday, Jan. 12, John Floros, dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension, testified before the Senate Agriculture Committee and provided the 2017 Annual Legislative Update.

The Kansas Board of Regents, six state universities, Washburn University, 19 community colleges and six technical colleges will host the first-ever Higher Education Day in the State Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 19. This is a day to highlight all the higher education institutions and the value of higher education to Kansas citizens.

Next week, the House Higher Education Budget Committee will begin discussing the governor's budget recommendations for FY17. President Myers will present testimony to the committee on Jan. 24.

On Wednesday, Jan. 18, Floros will present the 2017 Annual Legislative Update to the House Agriculture Committee.