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K-State Today

February 10, 2015

Weekly legislative update

Submitted by Sue Peterson

Last week in the Kansas Legislature

The Kansas House of Representatives and Kansas Senate passed legislation to reduce spending in state government for Fiscal Year 2015 by $247.6 million. The bill was sent to the governor's desk for signature. On Thursday, Feb. 5, the governor announced additional allotments for higher education and K-12 education. These allotments amounted to $44.5 million for Fiscal Year 2015. The reduction to higher education is 2 percent, which totals $16.2 million. Read the release announcing the allotments.

This week in the legislature

Several hearings on bills and issues pertaining to Kansas State University and higher education will be heard in House and Senate committees this week. The Senate Education Subcommittee and the House Education Budget Committee will continue hearings on the governor's budget recommendations for fiscal years 16 and 17 for higher education and higher education institutions.

President Kirk Schulz will testify at 7 a.m. Feb. 12 before the Senate Education Subcommittee. Later that day President Schulz will testify before the House Education Budget Committee. The testimony will be posted on Friday, Feb. 13.

In committee activity this week

On Tuesday, Feb. 10, the Senate and House Judiciary Committees will have hearings on the Lifeline 911 bills, which has been proposed by Kansas State University Student Body President Reagan Kay.

President Kays and other students will testify in support of the legislation. The intent of the proposed legislation is to grant limited immunity from a state's Minor in Possession, or MIP, and Minor in Consumption, or MIC, of alcohol charge in certain circumstances where they make contact with officials during a medical emergency of a minor. If this legislation is approved in Kansas, it would give 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.

Other hearings of interest this week, include a hearing on Senate Bill 161 in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. This legislation will allow the Kansas Board of Regents to govern leave time for university support staff as they always have with classified employees. Also the legislation to allow the issuance of bonds for the KPERS system will be heard by the House Pensions and Benefits Committee.

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

Activities in the State Capitol this week:

Feb. 10 — State Higher Education Day
Feb. 11 — Undergraduate Research Day
Feb. 12 — Graduate Research Day