Mark's Musings - 2018 Legislative Session
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April 16, 2018 - Seeking a Balanced Approach

After three months of deliberation, the Kansas Legislature adjourned April 8. Legislators return April 26 for the veto session, during which they will consider omnibus appropriation and reconciliation bills.
The three-week break allows the governor to consider recently passed legislation, which he must act on within 10 calendar days after he receives it.  Should the governor use his veto power, the legislature usually has 30 calendar days to consider the governor’s action. This year, however, an approved legislative resolution set May 4 as the final day of the session. Thus, the legislature will not be in session and will not be able to override any vetoes the governor issues after May 4.

K-12 Funding Bill Sent to Governor

April 7, the House amended and passed SB 423 with a vote of 63-56.  Later that day, the Senate concurred with the House amendments, voting 21-19.  The bill now awaits the governor’s signature.
The amended bill, which phases in a $534 million increase in education funding over five years, represents a compromise between the House and Senate positions on school finance. I voted in favor of the compromise, which includes:
  • Appropriations for the Mentor Teacher Program and funding to allow all students to take the American College Testing (ACT) exam free of charge. 
  • A preamble stating that the state’s educational interests include social-emotional learning, kindergarten readiness, individual plans of study, graduation and postsecondary success, and that the state addresses those interests by providing support and services both in the classroom and the community. Further, the preamble summarizes appropriations for K-12 education, as well as appropriations for support services provided by other state agencies and institutions for students from birth to graduation.
Following adjournment, an $80 million error was discovered in the bill that, if left uncorrected, would provide less money to schools. Legislators will address the error when we reconvene, thus bringing the bill back to its original intent and construct. We never want to have errors of this magnitude, and we have people working on new language to address it quickly upon our return.

The error affects the three Lyon County school districts as shown below:
  With Error Without Error
USD 251 – North Lyon County Lose $59,498 Gain $11,503
USD 252 – South Lyon County Lose $46,563 Gain $44,356
USD 253 – Emporia Gain $910,224 Gain $1,476,468


Judiciary Committee Approves Resolution
to Amend Kansas Constitution

The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony about and later changed House Concurrent Resolution 5029, which would amend Article 6 of the Kansas Constitution.

Originally, the resolution would have amended the constitution to declare that appropriating education funding is exclusively a legislative power that is not subject to judicial review. The amended version states that both adequacy and equity in educational funding are determined by the legislature, but the courts retain oversight concerning equity. The committee passed the amended resolution favorably, and it now awaits consideration by the House.

Like many of my colleagues — and likely many of you — I am tired of the continued school funding litigation. We need to resolve it so funding is constitutional and then maintain an acceptable level of funding into the future.
I also believe in checks and balances, and that is why I oppose the amended resolution. Removing judicial oversight for the adequacy of school funding creates an unchecked system, which I cannot support. The risk simply is too great that future legislatures will cut education funding in favor of other needs. There is a reason that all 50 states have enshrined education in their constitutions. The authors recognized the crucial importance of ensuring an educated workforce and populace within their respective states.
The Kansas Constitution did not create our current imbalance. Rather, it was our persistent allegiance, during the past seven years, to poor tax policies. It will take diligence and time to repair the damage, and return Kansas to stability and growth. But I believe we can do it. I believe a balanced tax system can fund schools, highways, prisons, mental health and our other priorities, too. As your representative, I will continue to work diligently toward a balanced approach.

Strengthening Domestic Violence Law

With the majority of House members, I voted to concur with Senate changes to
HB 2145. Chiefly, the bill would prohibit any individual convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor within the past five years from possessing a firearm — such an offense would be considered criminal use of a weapon.  The bill also would prohibit firearms possession by undocumented immigrants, fugitives from justice, and individuals subject to court orders that restrain them from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or a child. 
The amended bill, which now awaits the governor’s action, also decriminalizes the possession of throwing stars — unless one knowingly uses the stars unlawfully against another person — and removes silencers from the criminal use of weapons statute as long as the silencer complies with Kansas-made firearm accessories as outlined in current law.

Gov. Colyer already has signed several bills, including HB 2524, which allows individuals in situations of domestic abuse to continue their mobile phone service. Specifically, should an individual seek protection from abuse, stalking, or sexual assault, a court order could be issued to transfer billing responsibility for and rights to the individual’s wireless telephone number to that individual.  I voted in favor of the bill, which passed with a House vote of 117-0 and a Senate vote of 40-0.

More Legislative Action

I voted in favor of:
  • HB 2753, which requires the Kansas Department of Commerce, Kansas Department of Revenue and Kansas Insurance Department to periodically review and present findings to the appropriate House and Senate committees about certain tax credits, incentives and sales tax exemptions. The bill passed the House 123-0 and has been referred to the Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee.
  • The conference committee report on SB 331, which makes the Flint Hills Trail a state park, passed the House 96-23 and, if the Senate agrees, the bill will go to the governor. I voted in favor of the bill.
  • Substitute for HB 2602, which creates the legislative task force on dyslexia. It has passed both chambers and now awaits the governor’s action.
  • Senate Substitute for HB 2701, which creates the statewide broadband expansion planning task force. It passed both chambers and awaits the governor’s action

Dates and Deadlines

Budgets, legal briefs and ballots dominate upcoming events and deadlines that may be of interest to you:
  • April 20 – Consensus Revenue Estimating Group releases the state revenue estimate for the next six months.
  • April 26 – Legislature reconvenes.
  • April 30 – Legal briefs related to the school-funding lawsuit due to the Kansas Supreme Court.
  • May 1 – April revenue numbers released.
  • May 4 – Legislature adjourns.
  • Aug. 7 – Primary election.

I Want to Hear From You

I welcome your views about education financing or other issues before the legislature, so please free to email, text or call me. And if you are visiting the state capital, I hope you will stop by to say hello.
Representative Mark Schreiber
Visit my website at
1722 Yucca Lane
Emporia, KS   66801
Home: 620-342-6954
Cell: 785-230-0897
Legislative Office
Room 167-W, State Capitol Building
300 SW 10th Street
Topeka, KS   66612
Phone: 785-296-2721

 Paid for by Mark Schreiber for Kansas House – Cindy Lore, Treasurer

Contact Mark


StateHouse Office

Room 167-W
300 SW 10th Street,
Topeka, KS 66612
Phone: 785-296-2721


1722 Yucca Lane
Emporia, Kansas 66801
Phone: 620-342-6954

Communities of
the 60th District



Copyright © 2018 Mark Schreiber for Kansas House, All rights reserved.

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