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Kansas Legislature will Adjourn - Big Box Liquor is Out of Time

02 May 2014 1:35 PM | Anonymous

When the Legislature convened for Veto Session on Wednesday, April 30, the Appropriations Committee wasted no time in creating a budget bill.  The committee adopted the consensus caseloads, adopted the Governor's Budget Amendments (GBAs), adopted some of the omnibus funding items associated with legislation that has already passed the Legislature, dumped the contents into a Senate bill and the race was on.  

The normal legislative process would have led to staff cranking out multiple pages of statistics, combined costs, and ending balances.  Then, perhaps by Friday, the full House would consider the budget bill.  But this is certainly not a year for normal legislative process.  There has been no further action to create a House budget bill - instead, House conferees moved directly into negotiating with the Senate over the Senate's budget bill.

Senate Ways and Means had already adopted the consensus caseloads over the legislative break.  Also, the Senate had already passed a "mega-budget bill" during the regular session under a House bill number, so it was ready for conference committee.  Typically, SWM would meet again to create an omnibus budget bill.  Not this year.

Since the House was willing to bypass developing its own budget bill - the Legislature was in the amazing position of being able to create a budget bill in conference and possibly adjourn by late Friday.  Tax, Health, and other conference committees got to work quickly with a new shorter deadline in mind.  

When the news broke that Kansas April revenues came in short $92 million, many thought that would throw a big wrench in the proceedings - but there was no delay.  Read about April revenue shortfall here.  

There are other issues pending before the Legislature, but none are absolutely necessary to accomplish before adjourning.  Even though the Legislature has ten days set aside for its veto session this year, it is apparent that the leadership planned to wrap this up as soon as possible.  So, the major tax proposals, anti-common core bills, or anti-renewable portfolio standards bills had to be ready by today.  

There were no further meetings of the Commerce Committee to consider the Big Box Liquor bill.  

Other issues that ran out of time?  The anti-common core proposal and anti-green energy standards bill failed their attempts at passage today - again.   

Kansas Association of Beverage Retailers       P.O. Box 3842, Topeka, KS  66604      Email KABR  

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