Letter to the editor

Representative supports efforts to address poverty, more funding for park security, deadbolt locks and gate locks at parks

Open letter to UG Commission, Mayor Alvey, Commissioner Burroughs, and Commissioner Markley:

Thank you in advance for your attention. I am proud to have supported all three of you at one point. I hope that G-d may continue to place his hand upon your head and guide you as you govern Wyandotte Country for the betterment of its people, and not simply its ruling class.

Hard times have fallen upon Turner and Argentine. Vandals dump trash in the street. Arsonists explode munitions in the public works while honest men and women hungry for work are struggling in their search for good paying jobs with benefits. The median income hovers around $20,000, and a large section of our community lives at or below the poverty line.

The southern half of Wyandotte County has fallen from the middle class lifestyle it enjoyed as recently as 40 years ago. The days of good infrastructure and high quality schools are gone.

The root cause of crime, drug addiction and violence is poverty. It is time to declare war on poverty.

I also call upon you to take immediate action to protect public works. I hope you will strongly consider protecting the taxpayers’ investment by appropriating funds to allow the Sheriff’s Department to increase patrols in Leo Alvey Park and Pierson Park between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

I hope you will follow Turner Baptist Church Pastor Steve Neal’s advice when he urges, “Rather than chains and padlocks [on the bathrooms], good solid deadbolt locks. Also, If I’m not mistaken, our parks have gates. They should be used. Parks closed at dusk and gates locked.”

Thank you for your time and for your public service to the community.

State Rep. Aaron Coleman
Kansas House of Representatives, District 37

Small business benefits from SBA efforts

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Opinion column

by Murrel Bland

The Small Business Administration made about 50,000 loans during the Fiscal Year 2019. Compare that to 1.1 million loans forgiven by the Paycheck Protection Program as of January 2021.

Michael Barrera, the district director for the SBA, commented on these factors as he told how the SBA helped small businesses and nonprofit organizations during the coronavirus pandemic. He was the featured speaker at the monthly meeting of the Congressional Forum Friday, June 18, at the Vox Theater in the Rosedale community. The forum is a committee of the Kansas City, Kansas, Area Chamber of Commerce.

Barrera, who was appointed in February earlier this year, is responsible for an agency that has oversight of about $861 million of annual federal contracting and $338 million in annual lending guarantees. The SBA District includes 89 counties in eastern Kansas and western Missouri.

Barrera said it is important for those wishing to receive SBA loans to keep good financial records and to keep current on taxes.

Barrera said the qualified small businesses and nonprofit organizations who are experiencing a temporary loss of revenue can apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. The maximum amount of such EIDL loans is $500,000.

Barrera is a native of Kansas City, Missouri. He received a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University at Manhattan and a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin. His father owned and operated a restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri.

The chamber announced its annual golf tournament will be Wednesday, July 14, at Dub’s Dread Golf Course with morning and afternoon flights. The chamber’s annual meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, at Memorial Hall.

Murrel Bland is the former editor of The Wyandotte West and The Piper Press. He is executive director of Business West.

Legislative update from Rep. Pam Curtis

Rep. Pam Curtis

by Rep. Pam Curtis, D-32nd Dist.

The 2021 Kansas veto session ended in the early hours on Saturday, May 8, after once again suspending the midnight rule and working into the night to complete our work.

The Legislature will return on Wednesday, May 26, for sine die, the official end of the 2021 legislative session.

It is a special honor to serve as your state representative. I value and appreciate your input on issues facing state government. Feel free to contact me with your comments and questions. My office address is Room 452-S, 300 SW 10th, Topeka, KS 66612. You can reach me at (785) 296-7430 or call the legislative hotline at 1-800-432-3924 to leave a message for me. You can also email me at pam.curtis@house.ks.gov.

Medical cannabis

During the veto session, the Kansas House passed House Substitute for Senate Bill 158, which would allow Kansans’ access to medical cannabis. A sweeping number of states have passed legislation legalizing medical cannabis, while Kansas has fallen behind. Recent polling indicated that 65% of Kansans support medical cannabis. It is essential that we provide Kansans’ access to this treatment option. The bill will now go to the Senate on a motion to concur before it can head to the governor’s desk and state law.

SB 50: Return to the Brownback years

The House voted to override Gov. Kelly’s veto of Senate Bill 50, returning Kansas to the Brownback era. Former Gov. Brownback’s failed tax experiment harmed the Kansas economy and state public schools. This experiment was soundly rejected by a bipartisan group in the Legislature in 2017 after the measure almost bankrupted the state. But today Republicans have revived the plan. SB 50 will give tax cuts to multinational corporations while Main Street businesses and working families suffer. At a crucial point in our state recovery from COVID-19, we must do all we can to not jeopardize Kansas’ economic stability.

Monday on the floor

On Monday the House considered 5 veto overrides and 4 budget line-item vetoes.

· HB 2166 – Adds several types of license plates; adds reporting requirements for organizations sponsoring distinctive license plates; amends requirements for distinctive license plate development, continuing distinctive license plates, and personalized license plate backgrounds; and requires an annual payment of a $10 firefighters training fee for each new or renewed firefighter license plate starting Jan. 1, 2022. The new distinctive license plates to be issued on and after Jan. 1, 2022, are military branch license plates and five license plates for which royalty fees will be paid: Braden’s Hope for Childhood Cancer, proud educator, Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA), Delta Sigma Theta (DST), and the Love, Chloe Foundation (Foundation) license plates. The bill also authorizes Gadsden flag license plates, for which a fee applies. Overridden 86-37.
· HB 2332 – Creates and amends law concerning addresses maintained for registered voters, solicitation of advance voting ballot applications, alteration of election laws, and the crime of election tampering. Overridden 86-37.
· HB 2183 – Amends and creates law pertaining to elections and voting, including on advance mail ballots, registered voter information reporting, assistance with the return of advance ballots, advance ballot return deadlines, the authority of the Secretary of State, duties of election officials, electioneering, and election funding. The bill also creates the crime of false representation of an election official. Overridden 85-35.
· HB 2058 – Amends law related to the recognition and issuance of a concealed carry license (license), creates two concealed carry license classes, and creates the Kansas Protection of Firearms Rights Act. Overridden 84-39.
· SB 50 – Requires the collection and remittance of certain taxes by marketplace facilitators. The bill also amends income tax law regarding fraudulent unemployment benefits, itemized and standard deductions, business income related to 2017 federal legislation, corporation return filing, net operating losses, and the business expensing deduction. Overridden 84-39.
Below are the specific line-item vetoes on HB 2007.
· Section 30(c). Section requiring LCC approval for all federal coronavirus state relief funds—FY 2022. Overridden 86-38.
· Section 87(a). Youth Services Aid and Assistance SGF account, proviso requiring DCF to spend $300,000 on HOPE Ranch Pilot Program. Overridden 84-40.
· Section 163(a). State university capital renewal initiative. Overridden 84-40.
· Section 80(e). Language to set the monthly protected income level for purposes of determining the person’s client obligation at an amount equal to 300% of federal supplemental security income for any person in Kansas receiving services from a program of all-inclusive care for the elderly. Overridden 104-20.

Tuesday on the floor

On Tuesday, the House took final action on two conference committee reports. Both bills passed on final action. Below are the results from final action being taken on these conference committee reports:
· CCR SB 60 – SB 60 would amend law in the Kansas Criminal Code (Code) related to jurisdictional application, psychological or psychiatric examinations of crime victims, the spousal exception in the crime of sexual battery, and the crime of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, and would create the crime of sexual extortion. Passed on final action 118-3.
· CCR SB 47 – Create and modify law related to income tax. Passed on final action 107-14.

Wednesday on the floor


On Wednesday, the House took final action on 5 conference committee reports, and one motion to concur. The five bills and motion to concur passed on final action.
Below are the results from final action being taken on these conference committee reports and motion to concur.
· CCR HB 2026 – Would establish a certified drug abuse treatment program for certain persons who have entered into a diversion agreement pursuant to a memorandum of understanding and amend law related to supervision of offenders and the administration of certified drug abuse treatment programs. It also would amend law to change penalties for crimes involving a riot in a correctional facility and unlawfully tampering with a monitoring device. Passed on final action 121-0.
· CCR HB 2077 – Would amend law related to the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission, Kansas Closed Case Task Force, and the Kansas Crime Victims Compensation Board. The bill would be in effect upon publication in the Kansas Register. Passed on final action 115-6.
· CCR HB 2079 – Would create the Kansas Fights Addiction Act, which would address the use of funds received from opioid litigation by municipalities; amend law to transfer certain duties from the Secretary of State to the Attorney General; and amend law related to notices offering help to victims of human trafficking. Passed on final action 78-42-1.
· CCR HB 2121 – Would amend the penalties for the crime of mistreatment of a dependent adult or elder person, define the term “absconds from supervision,” amend law regarding sureties and delivery of a person arrested, amend law concerning proof of identity documents accepted for the issuance of a replacement driver’s license, and require the Secretary of Corrections to develop guidance for parole officers to use while supervising offenders on parole and post release supervision. Passed on final action 121-0.
· CCR HB 2158 – Would amend statutes regarding the State Child Death Review Board (Board), Advisory Committee on Trauma, law in the Kansas Code for Care of Children concerning investigations for child abuse or neglect, family foster home licensing and eligibility for childcare assistance, and would establish the Joint Committee on Child Welfare System Oversight (Joint Committee). The bill would be effective upon publication in the Kansas Register. Passed on final action 121-0.
· HB 2187 – First time homeowner’s act. Motion to concur. Passed on final action 119-2.

Thursday on the floor


On Thursday, the House took final action on 2 bills. Below are the results from final action taken on these bills.
· H Sub for SB 158 – Creating the Kansas medical marijuana regulation act. Passed on emergency final action 79-42.
· HB 2056 – Regulating the sale and distribution of kratom products as a part of and supplemental to the Kansas food, drug, and cosmetic act. Passed on emergency final action 97-24.

Friday on the floor


On Friday, the House took action on 7 Conference Committee Reports and 1 House Bill. Below are the results from final action taken on these bills.
· CCR SB 78 – Would amend several provisions in the Insurance Code and would codify the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Credit for Reinsurance Model Regulation (Model Regulation) into statute. Amendments to the Insurance Code would pertain to credit for reinsurance, service contracts, surplus lines insurance, the Standard Nonforfeiture Law for Individual Deferred Annuities (Standard Nonforfeiture Law), the Utilization Review Organization Act and oversight of utilization review organizations, and risk retention groups. The bill would also amend the Insurance Company Holding Act, the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Registration Act, the effective date for the risk-based capital (RBC) instructions promulgated by the NAIC, and certain coverage and oversight requirements in the Health Care Provider Insurance Availability Act (HCPIAA). Passed on final action 113-7.
· CCR SB 29 – Would amend law in the Insurance Code governing specially designed policies and short-term policies to update references to short-term limited duration (STLD) policies. Passed on final action 68-51.
· CCR SB 159 – Includes adjusted funding for fiscal year (FY) 2021, FY 2022, and FY 2023 for state agencies. The bill also includes various claims against the state. The bill does not include funding for K-12 education, which is contained in HB 2134. Passed on final action 98-21.
· HB 2224 – Expanding the definition of “infectious disease” in certain statutes related to crimes in which bodily fluids may have been transmitted from one person to another. Passed on final action 112-7.
· CCR HB 2137 – Would amend various provisions in the Kansas Liquor Control Act (KLCA) and the Club and Drinking Establishment Act (CDEA) concerning the sale, transfer, and licensure requirements related to alcoholic liquor. Passed on final action 101-18.
· CCR HB 2134 – Would make appropriations for the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) for FY 2021, FY 2022, and FY 2023; limit remote learning hours based on emergency circumstances of the individual student and school district; provide a different calculation for school finance related to remote learning; direct school districts to use needs assessment to ensure improvement in student academic achievement; amend the Kansas Challenge to Secondary School Students Act as it relates to dual and concurrent enrollment; amend law regarding the providing of the ACT, pre-ACT, and WorkKeys assessment to Kansas students; expand the Tax Credit for Low Income Students Scholarship Program; and direct KSDE to collaborate with the Department for Children and Families (DCF) to create a Kansas foster care children annual academic report card. Passed on final action 107-9.
· CCR SB 273 – Would create the COVID-19 Small Business Relief Act (Act). Passed on final action 68-42.
· CCR HB 2313 – Would provide for property tax reimbursements in the event of shutdowns or restrictions due to disaster emergency declarations, extend the 20-mill statewide school finance levy, expand the motor vehicle property tax exemption for National Guard members, modify pro tempore membership provisions for the State Board of Tax Appeals (BOTA), and require the Legislative Division of Post Audit to study the impact of governmental and nonprofit organizations competing with for-profit businesses. Passed on final action 108-3.
Additionally, the House did not take any motions to reconsider 2 previously vetoed bills by Gov. Kelly. The vetoes were then considered sustained. Below are the two bills that the governor’s veto was sustained on.
· HB 2039 – The bill requires, beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, students enrolled in an accredited public, private, or parochial high school to pass a civics test, or series of tests, as part of the Kansas required courses of instruction for graduation. The bill also amends law regarding personal financial literacy education in state curriculum standards. No motion to reconsider vetoed bill; Veto sustained.
· HB 2089 – Creates law related to firearm safety education programs conducted in public school districts. The bill establishes these provisions as the “Roy’Ale Act.” The bill allows a local board of education (local school board) to provide firearm safety education programs. The State Board of Education (State Board) is directed to establish curriculum guidelines for a standardized firearm safety education program, which the bill requires to include accident prevention. No motion to reconsider vetoed bill; Veto sustained.

Kansas State Library

Summer reading for all! Get ready for summer reading! The State Library has downloadable books for all ages: audiobooks, e-books, and digital storybooks are available to all Kansas residents. Some of the benefits of downloadable books:

· You don’t have to worry about lost books at the end of the summer. Once a book is finished, it automatically returns to its digital home.
· E-books are basically indestructible.
· No heavy bag of books to take on trips.
· It’s easy to try something new- biographies, classics, fantasy, self-help.

Visit kslib.info/digitalbooks to learn more. New users will want to check the “Instructions and Devices” link. Choose your device and you’ll see which services work with it along with an instructions link. Most resources will need a Kansas Library eCard, which you may get at any public, school, or academic library in Kansas. Need help with setup? Call 785-296-3296 or email kslc@ks.gov .

Resources

My Legislative Facebook page, www.facebook.com/PamCurtisKCK.

My Twitter Account, https://twitter.com/pcurtiskck.

Kansas Legislature website, http://kslegislature.org/li/