Mark's Musings - 2017 Legislative Session
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This Week in the Legislature

The pace has quickened as informational briefings concluded and more bills introduced. On Monday, January 30, we reach our first deadline, which is the deadline for members of the legislature to request a bill be drafted by the revisor. Deadlines are established prior to the start of the session for an orderly process to draft and hear bills prior to the legislative turn-around day, which is February 23. Certain committees, such as those related to taxes and appropriations, are exempt from the deadlines.


Only one bill, HB 2026, appeared on General Orders last week. The bill was introduced by the Board of Nursing. It authorizes the Board to revoke a license for three years and establishes an application fee for reinstatement not to exceed $1,000. I voted Aye. The bill passed on Final Action 106 – 14.

Water and Environment
(Tuesday/Thursday, 9 – 10:30)

The committee heard from Gary Harshberger, chairman of the Kansas Water Authority. Mr. Harshberger spoke about the role of the Water Authority and water planning in Kansas. Sarah Hill-Nelson and Katie Miller, representing the Kansas River Regional Advisory Committee (RAC), described the role of RACs in water resource planning and implementation. Water is such a valuable resource in our state, and I appreciate the work of all the entities to find ways to make the best use of water for our citizens, cities and businesses.

Several bills were introduced during the week, one of which enacts the funding recommendation from the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force. Their recommendation is to dedicate 0.1% of the state sales tax for funding the water plan.

We will be hearing another water plan funding option (HB 2032) on Wednesday, February 1. The bill increases the fees on pesticides, fertilizers, as well as fees associated with municipal, industrial and stockwatering usage.

Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications
(Monday/Wednesday, 9 – 10:30)

We heard presentations from the electric and natural gas utilities as well as the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association (KIOGA). They provided great background information on these industries that have such an impact on our economy.

Transportation Committee
(Monday – Friday, 1:30 – 3:00)

Interim Secretary of Transportation Richard Carlson spoke to the committee about KDOT’s activities in the state. KDOT has approximately 2,200 employees covering all aspects of transportation from air to rail to ground. They are also utilizing unmanned aerial systems (aka drones) now and are anticipating strong growth in this area.

The current highway program is set to end in 2020. It had been budgeted for $8.2 billion and the estimate now is that $7.6 billion will be spent by the end. Roads are a significant attribute for our state’s economy, and we must provide stable funding for these large programs to succeed.
The following bills/resolution were introduced in committee (no bill numbers assigned yet):
  1. A bill to authorize a special license plate for autism awareness;
  2. A bill to memorialize a section of highway in Woodson County;
  3. A resolution concerning safety training for livery drivers;
  4. At the request of a constituent, I introduced a bill to allow the use of a strobe light in place of a fixed red reflector on the rear of bicycles.
Hearings were held on three bills. One concerning seat belts on school buses (HB 2008) and use of cameras on school buses to identify those who pass a school bus when it is stopped and the “STOP” sign is extended (HB 2040). A hearing on HB 2060 was also conducted. The bill would charge a fee for those who own a hybrid or electric vehicle. The explanation of the bill was that these vehicles do not contribute any or a small portion of the sales tax or fuel tax dollars to the state highway fund when compared to those vehicles powered exclusively by gasoline or diesel. So, to compensate for that a separate fee would need to be paid when registering the vehicle. No action has been taken on any of the bills that had hearings.

Education Committee
(Monday – Friday, 3:30 – 5:00)

Last Tuesday, we had the Kansas Teacher of the Year and the regional finalists speak to our committee. Each one talked of their love for teaching our youth and were unabashedly passionate about their profession. The Teacher of the Year is Jason Sickel from Blue Valley North High School and an ESU grad. In fact, ESU hit the trifecta this past year when their graduates were named the Superintendent of the Year, the School Counselor of the Year and now the Teacher of the Year. Congratulations to all three and to the rest of the Teacher of the Year finalists! Go Hornets!!

We heard HB 2078, which would allow a school district to reduce or eliminate the $20,000 homestead exemption on a resident’s home property taxes. The extra revenue earned by the district would be targeted to the district’s special education fund. There were many questions as to how this would work when a district is a member of a special education cooperative. No action was taken.
The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee held a hearing on a bill (SB 53) which would remove universities from the list of public buildings that must allow persons carrying a concealed weapon if they do not provide suitable security measures at all public entrances. A similar bill (HB 2074) will be heard in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee on Wednesday, February 1.
I have received more e-mails about this issue than any other to date. By a significant margin, constituents are telling me to support the exemption of universities from the concealed carry law. I do not serve on the Federal and State Affairs Committee, but will be watching the progress of the bills and any amendments.
If you are confused by what our current laws regarding concealed carry are, then click on the link below. It is a good summary prepared by the Kansas Legislative Research Department.

Next Week

  • Hearings on Concealed carry licensure amendments and exemptions from public buildings law under PFPA [Fed. & State; Wed. Feb. 1st Rm. 346-S]
  • Subcommittee meeting on KPERS; working after retirement, Hearing on HB2005 exempting members of the State Board of Reagent’s plan from certain KPERS working after retirement provisions. [Financial Institutions & Pensions Subcommittee; Mon. Jan. 30th, Committee Wed. Feb. 1st Rm. 281-N]
  • Informational hearing on the 2016 Juvenile Justice Reform bill [Corrections & Juvenile Justice; Tues. Jan. 31, 1:30, 152-S]
  • Hearings on drug abuse treatment and repeal of third-time offenders of controlled substance special sentencing [Corrections & Juvenile Justice; Wed. Feb. 1st 1:30 Rm. 152-S]
  • Hearing on HB 2119; non-covered services for dental benefits under health insurance [Health & Human Services; Fri. Feb. 3rd 1:30 Rm. 546-S]
  • Hearing on HB2013; Write in candidates must agree in writing to be placed on general election ballot [Elections; Mon. Jan. 30th 1:30 Rm. 281-N]


Please call my office if you have a child or young friend that would like to serve as a page for me. Each legislator has a limited number of days available for pages. The Page Office requests pages be at least 12 years old.

Quote of the Day:

There comes a time in the affairs of man when he must take the bull by the tail and face the situation.” W. C. Fields

Where is Mark?

Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins was in the Capitol last Wednesday. Many of us stopped by to thank her for her service to the state as a state senator, state treasurer
and now Congresswoman. Thank you, Lynn!
I also had an opportunity to meet with the Fifth Judicial District’s Chief Judge Merlin Wheeler and District Judge
Jeff Larson. Great information from our judiciary.
The local school superintendents met with me and my colleague Rep. Eric Smith to discuss current legislative activity. I found it valuable as we work towards suitable funding for our school districts.
I had the pleasure of attending the 120th annual meeting of the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce. My tablemates were my former colleagues at Westar Energy. It was a terrific evening as we recognized local businessman, Bobbie Agler, for his many contributions. Also recognized as Business of the Year was Kari’s Diamonds and Bridal. Congratulations to Bobbie and Kari!
If you would like me to meet with your group, please feel free to contact me to find a suitable time.

If you have questions about the activities in my committees or want to share your views on other issues before the legislature, please feel free to e-mail, text or call me. If you are visiting the Capitol, please stop by to say hello. I may be in a committee but my assistant, Deborah, will be glad to take a note.
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  

of the 60th District



Copyright © 2017 Mark Schreiber for Kansas House, All rights reserved.

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