For two decades Kansas has developed 10-year transportation plans. Senate Bill (SB) 285 will officially begin the process for the next 10-year plan. It forms a task force with members from the Legislature and industry who will develop an initial transportation plan. The plan will then be presented to the Legislature for final changes and possible approval. The bill passed the Senate 33 to 5. I voted Yes to begin the process for a 10-year plan. Kansas has some of the best roads in the nation. In 2016, Kansas roads were ranked third by a national group, the Reason Foundation.

Transparency in the Capitol has been a hot topic for a couple of years. Our government should be transparent. Transparency shouldn’t be bantered around for political volley.

Last week a bill was introduced that would require committee minutes to record who made the motion to introduce a bill. As the chair of the Senate Tax Committee this has been standard procedure. I didn’t need legislation to do the right thing.

SB 284 modifies the Kansas Money Transmitter Act to allow the state bank commissioner to issue an order to address any violation of rules and regulations. It also allows for informal agreement that would be considered confidential. This information is already protected and is not subject to the Open Records Act. The bill passed 34 to 5. I voted Yes.

The Senate and House tax committees will have joint meetings to hear from the Kansas Department of Revenue regarding changes to the federal tax code and the impact on Kansas taxpayers. The federal government cut income tax in 2017 and if we do not make changes to the Kansas tax code, the federal changes could force Kansas income taxpayers to pay more in Kansas tax.

Kansans have been hit hard with two massive tax increases in the past three years. We don’t need another increase!

In 2015, Kansas legislators passed a $400 million sales tax increase (the largest at the time). Last year, the Legislature passed the largest ever tax increase, $1.2 billion income tax increase in two years. I voted No against these increases.

As Senator Bob Dole said, “The purpose of a tax cut is to leave more money where it belongs: in the hands of the working men and women who earned it in the first place.” I will do everything possible to make sure Kansans enjoy the full benefit of the federal tax cuts and NOT grow state government as a result of these federal changes.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your state senator.

Sen. Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, represents Franklin County and the 12th District in the Kansas Senate. Email her at Caryn.Tyson@senate.ks.gov or call (785) 296-6838.