Government Relations Update – 11/11/09

by
kristiwyatt1

Kristi Wyatt, Senior Vice President of Government Relations & Policy Development

The Chamber has hosted two special guests already this week:
Tuesday, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver met with The Chamber’s Executive Committee to discuss national issues, in particular the House health care bill.  Cleaver predicted that the issue would be difficult to pass in the Senate.  In addition, Cleaver announced his successful efforts in the House to get a national monument designation for Kansas City’s WWI monument.  This piece of legislation will soon go to the Senate floor. 

Also on Tuesday, The Chamber held an event for Kansas U. S. Senator Sam Brownback.  Brownback spoke about Kansas being ripe for economic development.  In addition Brownback announced that he is already working on forming relationships with Kansas legislative leaders to ensure he will be able to hit the ground running on a host of issues after the upcoming election. 

AND NOW OTHER ISSUES…

Kansas City Leaders will Gather in support of KC BizPAC
Kansas City BizPAC is hosting a special reception on Monday, December 1 at Boulevard Brewrey.  Come and mingle with important area legislators and leaders.  More information is available on The Chamber’s online calendar.

Johnson County Research Triangle
On November 3, 2008 the Johnson County Education Research Triangle sales tax to support higher education in Johnson County passed.  In the past year a lot has happened.  The University of Kansas Cancer Center, one of the beneficiaries of the tax, has hired a senior exec director for its Fairway Clinical Research Facility.  In addition to Dr. Stoltz’s hire, The University of Kansas Cancer Center has been working with several cancer programs across the country, most notably the NCI-designated Karmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State University, to learn best practices of other Phase I clinical trial operations, a big part of the planned operations for the Fairway center.

Kansas 2010 Commission Says Kansas “Not a High tax State”
The Kansas 2010 Commission on education said it will recommend no cuts be made this year to funding for K-12 education and the state should raise whatever taxes are necessary to put another $272 million into schools in Fiscal Year 2011.

The commission said it has determined Kansas is “not a high-tax state”, despite the claims of the state chamber and other conservative lobbying groups.  “Lower taxes will not help the Kansas economy in the long run if states cannot support strong education systems—and that takes a significant investment,” the report says.   

2010 Commission Members include:

Legislative Members-

  • Sen. Jean Schodorf
  • Rep. Clay Aurand
  • Rep. Marti Crow

Non Legislative Members-

  • Rochelle Chronister, Chair
  • Dr. Ray Daniels, Vice Chair
  • Carolyn Wims-Campbell
  • Stephen Iliff
  • Dennis Jones
  • Emilie McGill
  • Teri Canfield
  • Barb Hinton

Kansas Revenue Estimate Better than Last year
Last year at this time we were receiving word that Kansas revenues for FY2010 would be down almost $1 billion and everyone was scrambling to protect their funding and determine where cuts could be made.  Last week, all breathed a sigh of relief when we heard the Kansas Consensus Revenue Estimate for FY2011 predicted revenues should only be down about $122 million or 2.3 percent over the current fiscal year.  The same consensus estimate projects Kansas will receive $235.2 million less this fiscal year (FY 2010) than was expected when lawmakers adjourned last session. 

It is interesting to note that while the Consensus Estimate predicts FY 2011 tax revenues will be up slightly, it shows total revenues down 2.3 percent lower due to spending that has already been committed such as transfers from the State General Fund for NBAF, the property tax slider support state municipalities, and repaying a loan to the Kansas Department of Transportation.  The November Consensus Revenue estimate, as required by law, is what the Governor uses each year as a base for his/her recommended budget.  Governor Mark Parkinson is expected to deliver his 2011 budget recommendations in early to mid January. 

Here’s the recap:

Projected FY2011 Revenues:
Down $122 million (2.3) over FY2010
Total state revenues: $5.179 billion

Projected FY2010 Revenues: 
Should be down $235.2 million over what  legislature budgeted when it adjourned in May. Parkinson says he will take the fall and make the necessary cuts.

CatherineMcComb

Catherine McComb

Bits and Pieces
The Chamber’s Government Relations and Policy Development Department is proud to welcome Catherine McComb as the newest addition of our staff.  Catherine will serve as an administrative assistant for the department and one of her main focuses will be the Centurions Leadership Program.  Find out more about the Centurions program at Centurions.org

Missouri Transportation Director and Chamber friend Pete Rahn was highlighted as a 2009 Public Official of the Year in Governing Magazine.  Check out the article at http://www.governing.com/poy/2009/rahn/

2009 Chamber Accomplishments
Interested in how The Chamber fared in 2009?  What have we accomplished?  Check out our listing of 2009 Accomplishments at http://www.kcchamber.com/About/Index.asp?IdS=001B3E-688C810&Reference=814.

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