Volume 22 - Number 7 - February 17, 2017
Published by the League of Kansas Municipalities
Next Thursday is Turn-around Day (February 23). We expect to see a lot of debate on the floor of the House and Senate next week. Here are the items we are tracking for the upcoming week. Please be on the lookout, via e-mail, for communication we will provide next week to League members about talking to your Legislators while they are home the week of February 27-March 3.
Mid-Session Legislative Webinar from the League (March 1): The League legislative staff will offer a webinar on Wednesday, March 1 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. for League members to hear a recap of the current Legislative session as well as a forecast for the weeks to come. You can register online for the webinar. We have 100 slots available for the webinar; sign up today!
Abandoned Property & Blight Legislation (SB 31): SB 31, which addresses abandoned and blighted properties and gives cities an effective and efficient method for dealing with such properties, was worked by the Senate Ethics, Elections and Local Government Committee on Thursday, February 16. The Committee passed the bill out with a favorable recommendation for the full Senate to consider. It is anticipated SB 31 will be worked by the Senate next week. SB 31 is one of the League’s action items for the 2017 session. Please take time to visit with your legislator on this topic and ask them to act favorably on SB 31.
Things to point out, include:
- SB 31 gives flexibility to cities when dealing with abandoned housing;
- SB 31 allows cities to seek authority to rehab abandoned housing; and
- SB 31 is the result of negotiation and consensus of a large number of interested stakeholders.
If you have questions, please contact Larry Baer.
Elections Bill (HB 2310): On Monday February 20, the House Elections Committee will hear and work HB 2310, which is a “clean-up” bill introduced to correct statutes impacted by the 2015 election bill. Unfortunately, while trying to clean up the language, K.S.A. 25-2110a becomes uniform. The uniformity creates a problem for multiple cities who have chartered out of primary election law and law regarding filling a council or commission vacancy. Please communicate with your legislator and ask them to include an amendment that allows these statutes to remain non-uniform. Cindy Green is the League contact on this issue.
Remote Sales and Compensating Use Tax (SB 111 & HB 2235): This week, the House Tax Committee held a hearing on their version of the Senate bill that the League testified on last week. The Senate Tax Committee does not have plans to work their bill before Turn-around next week. Cindy Green is the League contact on this issue.
Sanctuary Cities (SB 158): On Wednesday, February 15, the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee held a hearing on SB 158. This bill prohibits municipalities from adopting “sanctuary” policies, as defined in the bill, concerning the immigration status of individuals. The bill provides for the Attorney General to defend any municipality that is sued for following this mandate. All costs of litigation are to be paid by the state general fund. Based on the apparent removal of financial obligations to municipalities the League testified in a neutral position. League testimony focused on concerns with the ability of the state general fund being sufficient to pay all of the potential costs associated with SB 158. Eric Smith is the League contact on this issue.
Handguns in Public Buildings (HB 2150): On Monday, February 13, the House Federal and State Affairs Committee debated HB 2150 which would give the KU Medical Center complex a permanent exemption from the requirement to open public buildings to the carrying of concealed handguns. The Committee failed to pass HB 2150 out to the full House. Eric Smith is the League contact on this issue.
Yard Signs (HB 2210): House Local Government heard testimony on HB 2210, which corrected the statutes regarding temporary signs making it comply with the Supreme Court ruling on Reed vs. Town of Gilbert. Several committee members opposed the language in the bill and made a motion to repeal the limits imposed on cities in 2015. The motion passed and HB 2210 was moved the full House for debate. There is a possible amendment on the bill which the League will evaluate. Cindy Green is the League contact on this issue.
Sales Tax Sourcing Rules: HB 2177 was heard by the House Tax Committee earlier this week. HB 2177 would repeal destination based sourcing and replace it with origin based sourcing for the collection and remittance of sales tax for most instate sales. This change will have a differing impact upon cities depending upon a city’s retail situation. Those cities that serve as a “regional retail sales hub” will probably see an increase in sales tax revenue. Cities that are more remote and rely upon purchasing retail in a regional retail city are more likely to see a decrease in sales tax revenue. Please review the bill to determine the impact it will have on your city. The League testified as a “neutral” pointing out that the bill will have positive and negative effects on Kansas cities. If you have questions, please contact Larry Baer.
KPERS; Working After Retirement: The House Committee on Financial Institutions and Pensions worked and passed out with a favorable recommendation HB 2268, commonly referred to as the Working After Retirement bill, on Wednesday. Among a few other technical improvements to offer more simplicity for cities and counties who are subject to this process, the Committee also adopted language within the bill to exempt independent contractors and employees of third-party entities from the working after retirement requirements. The bill now moves on to the full House. Brock Ingmire is the League contact on this issue.
In an effort to obtain valuable information with regard to the state of local transportation infrastructure in cities, the League is performing a survey aimed at gauging the impact that decreasing available state funds have had on local infrastructure needs. From now until Friday, March 10th, the survey will be open for cities to report the state of their local transportation infrastructure and how decisions by the state legislature has impacted their flexibility to respond to transportation infrastructure needs. All responses and members’ experiences are greatly appreciated. Any staff or elected official from a member city is invited to participate in this short, five to ten-minute survey.
Much of the information that the League collects based on this survey will be utilized for advocacy purposes and will be shared with all League members. So, as always, we appreciate your time and participation in providing us with the specific perspectives of your individual communities! To complete the survey, please click here.
The League staff recently completed a revision of the City Clerks Manual and will have it available at the Municipal Training Institute starting on February 23. The newly updated City Clerks Manual is the main teaching tool for the MTI and will be distributed in person to those who are registered at each class. The manual will be mailed out to member cities shortly thereafter. If you have not registered for the MTI yet, there is still time, sign up online. A calendar of MTI classes for 2017 is also available online.
4 | Leadership Summit & Mayors Conference Update
The Leadership Summit will be held April 21 and 22 in Dodge City. Session information and conference registration is now available online. This year the conference sessions will focus on collaborative communication, including working with your constituents, peers and the media. For more information, please contact Kate Cooley. available online.
5 | League Conference Hotel Reservation Policy Change
The League has fielded a few inquiries regarding hotel information for annual conference. Previously, hotel blocks were opened February 1, but moving forward, we will be opening hotel blocks to coincide with conference registration early summer. For a full explanation of the change, please refer to an article that appeared in the January/February issue of the Kansas Government Journal. For more information, please contact Kate Cooley.available online.
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