Effort to Stop Growing Government: As a result of 2017 the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, many states, including Kansas, will have to change their tax laws in order to avoid a state tax increase.

The Senate passed legislation last year dealing with the issue but it failed in the House. This year the Senate has again picked up the banner in an attempt to pass legislation as quickly as possible so that some taxpayers will not have to file amended returns and to keep the money where it was intended — with the taxpayer.

Currently, individual taxpayers cannot itemize on their Kansas tax return unless they itemize on their Federal tax return. Senate Bill (SB) 22 will allow individual taxpayers an option to itemize, which could impact your 2018 taxes since the bill is retro-active.

Unfortunately, the bill only allows 50 percent of medical and mortgage deductions for tax-year 2018. It increases to 75 percent in tax-year 2019 and to 100 percent in tax-year 2020.

SB 22 also addresses corporate money that has been earned offshore, allowing the money to come to Kansas with no Kansas income tax owed. Most corporations are tax savvy and if Kansas does nothing the money will most likely go elsewhere.

The Senate passed SB 22 on a vote of 26-14. I voted Yes. The bill must pass the House and not be vetoed by the Governor to become law.

Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS): Senate Bill (SB) 9 will require Kansas to pay the KPERS fund on-time, which will save the state money. It passed the Senate unanimously. Hopefully, the House and the Governor will act quickly so that SB 9 becomes law.

Kansas Farm Bureau (KFB) Recognized in the Senate and House for serving Kansans for 100 years. KFB is a grassroots organization that promotes agriculture, education, community, and rural life. It was a pleasure to have KFB President Felts and many others in the Capitol to celebrate.

Hunting and Fishing Fees: Last week I mentioned SB 50, a bill Wildlife and Parks requested to increase almost all hunting and fishing fees by 50 percent and some 100 percent. It was announced the bill will not get out of committee. It would be nice to say the issue is dead but that just isn’t the case. However, it does appear it will not get traction this year.

Debt: School bonding debt for new buildings and maintenance of buildings has increased from $5.7 billion to $6.4 in less than three years. From 2008 to 2018, it has increased over $2.6 billion. There has been an attempt to address the continued increase in bonding debt to no avail.