The House Appropriations Committee this morning was briefed on adjustments made to the current year state budget (FY 16) proposed by the Governor to get it back in balance.

It was a relatively quick briefing after which Appropriations Chairman Ron Ryckman, Jr (R-Olathe) asked the budget subcommittees to hold hearings on the suggestions for their particular part of the budget and prepare for working a bill maybe by the end of next week.

The House and Senate Education Committees met jointly for their annual meeting with the Kansas Teacher of the Year Team. It is always a pleasure to listen as they brief the committees on the challenges and joys of teaching Kansas children. And they do get a chance to remind legislators that those challenges don’t become easier with fewer dollars to provide resources!

The House Pensions Committee met to hear two technical clean-up bills. Rep. Ed Trimmer (D-Winfield) introduced a bill that would allow KPERS retirees who retired at or after age 62 to return to work for a KPERS employer without being subject to the earnings cap. Last year the legislature changed the rules for working after retirement in response to IRS rules and financial challenges facing KPERS when employees retire before reaching age 62.

In other KPERS news, there has been a rumor about a hearing on a KPERS bill in the Appropriations Committee on this coming Friday. Several legislators reported having received emails from concerned constituents. Chairman Ryckman told the committee that no such hearing was scheduled. He cancelled Friday’s meeting and told the Committee to expect a KPERS update (but no hearing on any bill) next Monday.