Kansas Considers Shorter Legislative Sessions
January 29, 2016

(AP) – Kansas lawmakers say that legislative sessions need to be curtailed to expedite decisions and save taxpayer money.
The House Committee on Appropriations held a hearing Thursday to discuss a bill that would shorten the session in odd numbered years to 60 days. Even-numbered years would remain at 90 days as required by the Kansas Constitution.
Republican Rep. Marvin Kleeb from Overland Park was one of many members who testified that the shorter session would allow them to spend more time with their families and return to their businesses. They also said it would push lawmakers to discuss bills in a more efficient manner.
Kleeb added that a shorter session could save taxpayers more than $1.9 million a year.

Kansas Tax amnesty Program Pulls Up Short
January 8, 2016

(AP) – A tax amnesty program designed to help balance the Kansas budget has generated only about three-quarters of what lawmakers expected.

The Topeka Capital-Journal (bit.ly/1ZQXaez) reports that the program brought in about $23 million, which fell about $7 million short of the $30 million that was anticipated.

The Legislature and Gov. Sam Brownback passed the amnesty program this past spring as part of a massive revenue package to raise $400 million to balance the state budget. The program ran from Sept. 1 through Oct. 15.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, provided the $23 million figure to The Capital-Journal. It matched what House Tax Committee chairman Marvin Kleeb said he understood the program had generated.

Kleeb, an Overland Park Republican, says the program was successful, despite falling short of the estimate.

Ks lawmakers Consider Bigger Bump in Sales Tax
May 6, 2015

(AP) – Kansas lawmakers are considering increasing the state sales tax as the Legislature gathers proposals to close a looming budget deficit.

The House Taxation Committee held a hearing Wednesday on a measure that would increase the state sales tax to 6.5 percent from 6.15 percent. The move would raise an estimated $164 million in each of the next fiscal years, but much more would be needed to balance the state’s budget.

The projected shortfall for the fiscal year beginning July 1 is about $800 million, but a proposed budget would narrow that to about $422 million.

Taxation Committee Chairman Marvin Kleeb, a Republican from Overland Park, said that he expects the Legislature will begin building consensus on the combination of tax increases needed to close the gap next week.

Bid to Change Kansas Liquor Laws in Grocery Stores considered
March 7, 2014

(AP) – A Kansas House committee chairman has outlined a new proposal for phasing in sales of strong beer, wine and liquor in grocery and convenience stores.

Chairman Marvin Kleeb (klehb) unveiled his proposal during a meeting Thursday of his Commerce, Labor and Economic Development Committee. The panel is considering a bill to allow grocery and convenience stores to sell strong beer, wine and liquor by July 2024.

Kleeb’s plan also phases in such sales by July 2024, but contains additional provisions to prevent existing liquor store owners from losing business before then.

Kansas law currently limits grocery and convenience stores to selling weak beer. National retail chains have pushed for changes, but liquor store owners strongly oppose them.

Kleeb said the committee would debate his plan next week.