Quote of the Week: "The Constitution shall never be construed…to prevent the people of the United States Who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” - Samuel Adams, Debates and Proceedings in the Convention of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 86-87

SENATOR DOLL’S PARTY AFFILIATION CHANGE:

This week Senator John Doll (I- Garden City) changed his party affiliation from republican to independent. Senator Doll changed his party affiliation to join Greg Orman’s independent ticket for governor.

In 2006, Doll ran as a democrat for US Congress against Jerry Moran in District 1. From 2010-2011 Doll served as the mayor of Garden City and then served in the Kansas House of Representatives as a republican from 2013 to 2016. Doll has been in the Kansas Senate since 2016.

Due to Sen. Doll’s affiliation change and in accordance to Senate Rule 22, the following Senators have replaced Sen. Doll in his committees:

⦁ Education Committee: Senator Larry Alley – Vice Chair

Senator Bruce Givens

⦁ Ethics, Elections, & Local Government Committee: Senator Susan Wagle

⦁ Transportation Committee: Senator Dan Goddard – Vice Chair

Senator Ty Masterson

⦁ Ways & Means Committee: Senator Susan Wagle

QUALIFICATIONS FOR CERTAIN STATEWIDE OFFICE:

On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Ethics, Elections and Local Government held a hearing on HB 2539 which deals with qualifications for candidates seeking certain statewide office. The bill would list a minimum age requirement to run for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state treasurer, and insurance commissioner.

Currently, there is not a minimum age requirement therefore any current resident of Kansas is eligible to run. There were two proponents of the bill at Wednesday’s hearing, the Kansas Secretary of State’s office and Kansas House Representative Blake Carpenter. Both noted that a “qualified elector” should be at least 18 years of age.

HOUSE COMMITTEE DEBATES BILL TO HIKE PROPERTY TAXES

House Tax Committee held a hearing this week on a bill that, if passed, could nearly double the statewide mill levy from the current 20.0 mills to 38.43 mills in 2021. This would mean an increase in property taxes collected nearly two-fold.

Details of HB 2740:

Estimated property tax revenues from the current 20.00 mill levy for FY 2019 are $670.3 million.

The Kansas Department of Revenue estimates HB 2740 would increase revenues from the mill levy by a total of $234.9 million in FY 2019, $445.4 million in FY 2020 and $640.5 million in FY 2021.

HOUSE LEADERSHIP RELEASES KANSAS SAFE AND SECURE SCHOOLS ACT

HB 2773, the Kansas Safe and Secure Schools Act, was introduced in the House this week. The act creates the school safety and security grant fund, requires the State Board of Education to develop statewide requirements for public school buildings and requires public school districts to adopt a comprehensive school safety plan, based on the SBOE requirements. The act also allows school districts to provide firearm safety programs and adds an additional 2 FTE to the Department of Education for the management of the Safe and Secure Schools Act.