House Pensions Committee passes out KPERS reamortization bill

Feb 13, 2019 by

The House Financial Institutions and Pensions Committee has decided to send Governor Kelly’s KPERS re-amortization bill to the full chamber for debate. We provided you with an examination of the issue here in Under the Dome earlier; you can re-read that explanation by clicking here.

The motion and second were made by two substitute committee members sent in for the day by Speaker Ron Ryckman (R-Olathe), an action that makes one wonder what political tricks are at work here. Cynics in the Statehouse speculate that this is just an attempt to put a bill on the floor that the Governor wants to see passed and then kill it.

So far the Republican leadership in the Legislature seems to be focusing on how best to stop anything the Democratic Governor would like to do. Governor Kelly’s agenda is to fully fund public schools, expand Medicaid to provide health insurance to 150,000 uninsured Kansans, and repair our damaged foster care system. Additionally, the state needs to deal with crisis in our public safety system (the Department of Corrections) and find ways to stop robbing the state highway program as roads continue to crumble.

Despite these needs, Senate Republicans have chosen to give away $192 million in corporate tax breaks and breaks for the wealthiest Kansans, and immediately send $115 million to KPERS. Many have asked why many of these same officials have only recently shown an interest in shoring up KPERS after a decade of supporting Brownback’s policies of raiding KPERS to sustain his failed experiment (CLICK HERE). Taking $307 million out of the treasury will make it all but impossible for the Governor to address the desperate needs of Kansas schools, foster care, health care, corrections, and highways. It appears that Senate leadership is now leveraging the KPERS issues they were complicit in creating in order to simply wreck the budget priorities of their political rival who is now our Governor.

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