This May we wrapped up the 2021 Kansas Legislative Session with a host of accomplishments to benefit Kansas taxpayers and relief and provisions for Kansas most vulnerable citizens. I will highlight some of our key accomplishments, which were made possible by Republican majorities who are putting Kansas people first.
The Legislature adjourned its Veto Session May 7, wrapping up its work five days ahead of the 90-day schedule. During the Veto Session, we overrode five of the Governor’s vetoes, passed a budget including fully funding for K-12 schools and expanded school scholarships, and implemented additional COVID relief to help kickstart the economy. Read the full report.
In the 2021 session, I sit on the Social Services Budget, Education and Financial Institutions and Rural Development Committees. In this legislative update, I’ll address the state unemployment crisis and touch on highlights in other key areas.
As many of you know, the Kansas legislative session came to a close early due to COVID-19 and we were not able to pass all the legislation that we had hoped to pass this year. In this column, I will highlight the most pressing needs that need priority attention in the next legislative session, including addressing the social services waiting list. As your representative in western Shawnee, I’m prepared to lead the effort to address these unmet needs and remain a good steward of taxpayers’ money.
Gov. Laura Kelly Saturday, March 28, 2020, signed a temporary statewide stay-home directive excluding essential activities and taking effect on Monday, March 30, in response to escalation of coronavirus cases in Kansas.
Gov. Kelly said the executive order to suspend activities recognized the capacity of COVID-19 infection to escalate and a key role the public could play in restraining it by limiting interaction among people. The order will remain in place until April 19 and won’t be lifted until consistent evidence of a declining infection rate is in hand. It does permit exceptions that include leaving the home for reasons of personal health or safety, to secure supplies or services and for outdoor activities.
After a flurry of legislative actions, the Kansas Legislative session was suspended in March for the safety of legislators and staff at the Capitol. This is an important report of final legislative actions this month -- including passage of a budget. We are tentatively scheduled to return on April 27 for the veto session. You can get daily updates by following my Facebook page. Below are the final bills that were passed the last week of session, including the budget bill, and Gov. Kelly's executive orders.
I wanted to give you a brief update regarding COVID-19. It's important to remember this is not a political issue. This is a public health issue. The health and safety of all Kansans comes first, and it is the highest priority for me and my fellow legislators at this time. Governor Kelly has declared a state of emergency. I am working with the members of the Governor’s public health team and other legislators in both houses to make sure our first responders, health care providers and communities have all they need to help slow the spread of the virus and treat those who may have it. Get updates here.
We have reached the midway point this session. Some important dates that are coming up are March 25th which is the last day to consider non-exempt bills not in originating chamber, and Friday, April 3 which is Drop Dead Day/First Adjournment which means there will be no bills considered after this day except bills vetoed by the Governor or Omnibus Appropriation bills. Learn the latest on key legislation, including the Value them Both Constitutional Amendment, Medicare expansion, and many others in my update.
The sting of higher taxes isn't going away
Now that the Kansas legislature has adjourned our 2019 session, and the Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that Kansas public schools are adequately funded, I want to address some key issues that arose in this session and explain that the rapid hikes in state income taxes are far outpacing taxpayers' income. This is a huge problem.
Kansas now has a $7 billion state budget, which has increased $1.4 billion (25%) over the last 3 years. Spending has grown 7% this year, and Gov. Kelly approved a 9% increase for next year. This astronomical increase is fueled by huge tax increases, but has not been matched by growth in taxpayers' personal or business income.
Now that the Kansas legislature has adjourned until May 2019, I want to address some key issues that happened in this session and the environment in which we are trying to create sensible laws.
Here is a list of my votes on final action in the House bills, and on bills referred by the Senate (at adjournment on April 5, 2019).
Join me on Sat., March 30 at 10 am at the Monticello Library in western Shawnee for a legislative coffee to discuss recent issues and legislation.
We'll be talking about education finance, Medicaid expansion, protecting life, and other recent legislation. Learn more and see my recent votes.
Read my full legislative newsletter and see how I voted on legislation in late February and early March 2019
I recently co-sponsored several bills in the Kansas House, and I wish to inform my constituents that this was a mistake. I have attempted to withdraw my signature from these bills.
My legislative newsletter for the 2019-2020 session launched with a roundup of issues and committee news. Please sign up to receive these updates directly here.
Read this issue here: https://t.e2ma.net/message/90pfz/dcdg9w
Owen Donohoe has a plan to grow the Kansas economy without raising taxes.
His plan starts here in Shawnee, where he started a business and raised a large family. Watch this short clip with his opponent:
The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) has endorsed Owen Donohoe for State Representative in Kansas District 39.
Donohoe has consistently been endorsed by small business owners (NFIB) and the business community (Kansas Chamber of Commerce), because of his commitment to economic growth, prudent development and low taxes that attract and retain businesses in Kansas.
"Owen Donohoe is committed to support small business and free enterprise," NFIB State Director Dan Murray says. "He's committed to ensuring a common sense regulatory, labor and tax environment that will help small businesses grow and create jobs."
There's a clear difference in the capabilities and expertise of my opponent and me. My Democrat opponent hasn't been very transparent about his positions on key issues like taxes and spending discipline. Voters deserve to know all relevant history in order to make an informed choice. See for yourself what real leadership looks like here.
I'm proud to say I have again earned the endorsement of the National Rifle Association, the nation's largest advocacy group dedicated to the protection of your 2nd Amendment rights. I received an "A" rating.
Owen Donohoe has earned the endorsements of seven leading organizations, spanning the spectrum of policy issues from economic leadership to family values. In contrast, his opponent has not been endorsed by any established membership organizations.
"These organizations represent the highest standards in protecting life, liberty and economic opportunity. I'm honored they agree I'll represent the best values of personal and fiscal responsibility," says Donohoe.
The media keeps getting the facts wrong about state education spending. Total state spending on education is the highest ever -- $13,236 per student. See how per-pupil spending has INCREASED steadily -- and outpaced all other sectors.
Owen Donohoe, former three-term State Representative for the 39th District in Kansas, has filed for the Republican primary for the State House of Representatives.
In his three terms as State Representative representing the citizens of Shawnee, Rep. Donohoe was known as a "Champion of the Taxpayer" and a strong, pro-life supporter of family values.
"I want to bring the focus of the legislature back to supporting family values and fiscal accountability," Rep. Donohoe explains. "This is what the citizens want -- accountability and a strong foundation of values in our policies."