We don’t always hear good news . . . but this week I’d like to draw your attention to several positive newsworthy items.
On Wednesday Governor Brownback signed into law the bill that provides a sales tax exemption for replacing fencing destroyed during wildfires that scorched 20 Kansas counties two weeks ago. The House and Senate worked quickly to pass bill and get it on the governor’s desk as soon as possible. Having gone through a wildfire, I know that every little bit helps, and is an encouragement to keep pressing on.
We got a sneak peak this week . . . the House committee on K-12 Education Budget came out with the school finance bill they will consider that would replace the expiring block grant program. The measure appears to increase the current Base State Aid Per Pupil, and that is positive for schools that had increased enrollment in the last two years. There will still be much negotiation, but initially things look promising for Andover School District. More details to come next week, as things unfold!
In addition, new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows 9,100 private sector jobs were added in Kansas in 2016. And the Kansas unemployment rate is now below pre-recession numbers—the lowest it has been in 15 years, according to Emily Doerksen, a labor economist for the Kansas Department of Labor.
As a new legislator, each part of the session is a learning experience. We are now moving into the phase when we will spend long days on the floor of the House, instead of in committee meetings. Our committee work is mostly done, and I hear we will spend long days voting and debating, especially on those important items of budget and taxes. It is a fascinating experience, and I am honored to be representing the folks in Andover and east Wichita.
State Rep. Susan Humphries checks in with AndoverLeader.Com each Friday to keep readers up to date on the Legislative Session. Constituents are welcome to contact her by e-mailing Susan.Humphries@house.ks.gov