Commentary by Rep. Bill Sutton, Gardner
The economics behind tax reform in Kansas
LAWRENCE | What is the economics behind Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax reform strategy?
A noted Kansas economist, Dr. Art Hall of the KU business school, explained the rational for the tax effort being made now in Topeka.
He spoke April 2 at a forum on Kansas tax reform sponsored by the Douglas County Republican Party.
Hall explained that growth in the Kansas economy doesn’t come from companies moving to Kansas. Dynamic growth occurs, he said, from small businesses starting and expanding in Kansas.
The tax climate in the state, he said, must encourage that kind of in-state growth.
To hear his presentation, click on THIS VIDEO LINK. It runs for 15 minutes but is highly informative. Every Kansan should see it.
Is school choice coming to Kansas?
School choice legislation has been passed in 19 states, including Oklahoma and Iowa. Will Kansas be next?
I believe some form of school choice has a good chance of passing the Kansas Legislature.
I think we have a real good chance to implement this type of program for special needs students in the near future.
According to an article by the National Conference of State Legislatures, state have implemented several versions of school choice, including vouchers.
These vouchers provide state-funded scholarships to private schools—often religious—that meet minimum state standards. Schoolvoucher programs have encountered legal barriers in many states where constitutional provisions ban state support for religious schools.
These vouchers provide state-funded scholarships to private schools—often religious—that meet minimum state standards. Schoolvoucher programs have encountered legal barriers in many states where constitutional provisions
ban state support for religious schools.
Sutton Resolution honors Catholic Schools Week
Rep. Sutton introduced a resolution HR6005 in the Kansas House honoring Catholic Schools Week.
Click on THIS LINK to read a copy of the resolution, which passed the House Friday Feb. 1.
KanCare produces dividends for disabled Kansans
TOPEKA | More than 650 Kansans with disabilities are able to receive new access to Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) because of the KanCare program.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D., and Secretary of Health and Environment Robert Moser, M.D., announced that savings from care coordination under the new KanCare Medicaid program will bring in-home services to hundreds of additional people with physical and intellectual/developmental disabilities.
“This commitment will allow an estimated 250 developmentally disabled and 400 physically disabled Kansans to begin living more independent and fulfilling lives in the community,” Brownback said. “It is something Kansans are proud to support.”
Law eliminates time limit on rape cases
TOPEKA | Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill into law April 1 abolishing the statute of limitations on the prosecution of rape cases.
Closer tie between KDOT, Turnpike approved
TOPEKA | First came the suggestion from the governor that a lot of money could be saved by merging the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Turnpike Authority.
There was too much duplication of effort, Gov. Sam Brownback argued, and merging the agencies would bring greater spending and personnel efficiencies.
On Friday April 5 the Legislature passed a bill tying the two agencies closer together, giving the governor a partial win. It did not merge KDOT with the KTA.
Senate sends drug testing bill to Brownback
TOPEKA | Welfare recipients suspected of drug use will be tested and could lose their benefits under a bill approved in early April by the Kansas Senate.
That vote sends the bill to the desk of Gov. Sam Brownback, who signed the bill into law. The drug tests will begin after Dec. 31.
Preservation of Religious Freedom Act approved
TOPEKA | The Kansas House passed and sent to the governor March 25 a bill protecting a person’s exercise of religion from government interference.
He signed the bill into law April 10.
Bill to ease prison overcrowding goes to governor
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Governor vetoes raffle bill
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Bill with former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, at a "Pat Roberts for U.S. Senate" event.
Special session ends after “Hard 50” law is fixed
TOPEKA | A bill fixing problems with the Kansas “Hard 50” sentencing law passed both chambers of the Legislature this week, ending the two day special session that began Sept. 3.
The measure was originally contained in a preliminary report by the Special Committee on the Judiciary and would change the way the sentence is imposed.
The Kansas House approved the measure Tuesday by a vote of 122 to 0 and the Senate followed suit Wednesday Sept. 4 in a 40-0 vote.
A judge can hand down a Hard 50 sentence under current law. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that method unconstitutional in June and stated that the sentence of 50 years without parole must be determined by a jury.
Sutton wins Pro-Jobs title from Kansas Chamber
TOPEKA | Based on his voting record on the economy, Rep. Bill Sutton of Gardner has been named a 2013 Pro-Jobs Legislator by the Kansas Chamber.
Mike O’Neal, a former Kansas House speaker and currently the chamber's president and CEO, praised all the legislators who made the list.
“This session the Legislature tackled many tough issues and tremendous progress was made in many areas that have made Kansas one of the most economically competitive states in the region,” said O’Neal said, adding that the Pro-Jobs Legislators list identifies lawmakers who voted at least 80 percent of the time to support a wide range of business issues.
Taxes, autism, liquor are topics at Gardner forum
Rep. Bill Sutton, R-Gardner, discussed a fear by the developmental disability community about being a part of KanCare, the state's new managed health care system.
Bill and three other lawmakers took part April 13 in a legislative forum attended by more than 100 people at the Gardner City Hall. In the video above, he also discussed what's happening with a bill to require insurance companies to cover autism.
Other videos include Bill’s reaction to a proposal to allow wine, strong beer and liquor to be sold in grocery stores and plans to sunset the 1-cent increase in the state’s sales tax approved three years ago.
See the two other videos on the Video Page. (Video by Jim Sullinger Strategies LLC)
Major prolife bill passes Legislature
TOPEKA | The main prolife legislation of the 2013 Kansas Legislature was approved Friday April 5 by the House affirming that life begins at conception and prohibiting the use of tax money for abortion.
The bill, HB 2253, was approved earlier by the Senate. The House action sends the bill to the governor desk, where approval is expected.
Lawmakers expand conceal-carry law
TOPEKA | The Kansas Legislature approved a bill Friday April 5 that supporters say will increase citizen safety when gun violence threatens.
It passed the House 104-16 and the Senate 32-7. Gov. Sam Brownback signed the bill into law April 17.
Senate substitute for HB 2052, would clarify the statute that prohibits firing a firearm within city limits. It provides several exemptions, including the firing of a weapon in defense of a person or property.
The bill allows people with permits to carry their weapons into a government building, including state and city properties, if they lacked adequate security measures such as electronic detection, guards at entrances to check for guns or other weapons.
Second Amendment protection act goes to governor
TOPEKA | The Legislature approved a bill Friday April 5 that would exempt a “personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition owned or manufactured in Kansas” from federal regulation.
Rep. John Rubin, a Shawnee Republican is the bill’s chief sponsor. Gov. Sam Brownback signed the bill into law April 16.
A final version passed the House 96-24 and the Senate 35-4.
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Rep. Sutton spoke in February to a rally in support of the Constitution's Second Amendment on the steps of the Capitol in Topeka.
Click on THIS LINK to see the video
Also, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer talks about the governor's vision for Kansas on the Video Page.