Archive for the ‘Kansas Politics’ Category

Brownback Signs Uber II
May 22, 2015

(AP) – Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a compromise on regulations that ride-hailing company Uber says will allow it to stay in the state.
Brownback signed the bill Friday in a ceremony on the Capitol grounds. The Legislature approved the measure Tuesday.
Uber announced earlier this month that it had ceased operations in Kansas after the Legislature overrode the governor’s veto on an earlier regulations package the company opposed.
Uber’s Kansas general manager Kenny Tsai said in a statement the company looks forward to contributing to state’s economy.
Under the new law, Uber and other ride-hailing companies are allowed to do their own private background checks on subcontracted drivers, but they also can be sued by the attorney general if drivers are found to have criminal backgrounds.

Kansas Senate Scuttles Tax Debate and Leave for Holiday Weekend
May 21, 2015

Lawrence Journal World:

Topeka — Republican leaders in the Kansas Senate called off a scheduled debate and vote on a $496 million tax package on Thursday, then adjourned for an extended Memorial Day weekend.

Lawmakers will return Tuesday for what will be the 96th day of the 2015 session, leaving a number of Lawrence-area legislators frustrated at the lack of progress in solving the state’s looming budget crisis.

Senate Republican Leader Terry Bruce of Hutchinson said the debate was postponed because of “a plethora of amendment requests” that legislative staff had not had time to draft.

“It just shows you how bad the work product is right now,” said Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, the ranking Democrat on the tax committee that put together the bill that was to be debated Thursday.
More:http://m.ljworld.com/news/2015/may/21/kansas-senate-calls-tax-debate/?templates=mobile

Brownback Says No Bright Lone on. Tax Bill
May 20, 2015

(AP) – Republican Gov. Sam Brownback says he’s not drawing clear lines on what he’ll accept as the GOP-dominated Kansas Legislature considers backtracking on one of his major economic initiatives.

Brownback said Wednesday that such an approach is more helpful as lawmakers work on a plan for raising taxes. They must close a projected $406 million budget shortfall for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The House Taxation Committee was working on a plan to raise the state’s sales tax to 6.5 percent from 6.15 percent. But the plan also would tax some business income exempted by lawmakers in 2012.

Brownback championed the 2012 policy as an economic stimulus. It exempted the profits of 281,000 business owners and 53,000 farmers from income taxes.

Influential business groups want to preserve the tax break.

Bill Expanding Kobach’s Authority Advances
May 20, 2015

(AP) – The House has advanced a bill that would give Kansas’ secretary of state the power to prosecute election fraud.

The chamber gave the measure first-round approval Wednesday.

Several lawmakers questioned the necessity of the bill, given the relatively few recorded instances of election fraud. Others expressed concern that the Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach might bring charges when prosecutors believed people did not intentionally break the law.

The measure gained 63 votes Wednesday, which is the minimum needed for it to pass during the final vote expected Thursday. Democratic Rep. John Carmichael from Wichita said he voted for the bill to attempt a procedural tactic, but will vote against the bill Thursday.

The bill would go to the governor if approved

Legislature Looks for Uber’s Return to Kansas
May 19, 2015

(AP) – The Kansas Senate has approved a compromise on regulations that ride-hailing company Uber says will allow it to stay in the state.
The Senate passed the legislation 37-0 on Tuesday after the House approved it 119-3 earlier in the day.
Uber announced in early May that it had ceased operations in Kansas after the Legislature overrode the governor’s veto on regulations the company opposed.
Under the new measure, Uber and other ride-hailing companies could do private background checks on their subcontracted drivers under the bill. But they could face lawsuits from the attorney general if drivers were found to be operating with a criminal background.
The compromise will now go to the governor. Republican Sen. Jeff Longbine says he believes the governor will sign it.

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