Butler County Times Gazette
  • Brunk reviews bills as veto session gets underway

  • Those attending the Butler County Republican Party Central Committee meeting Tuesday evening in Augusta heard an update on the state’s veto session from Rep. Steve Brunk.
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  • Those attending the Butler County Republican Party Central Committee meeting Tuesday evening in Augusta heard an update on the state’s veto session from Rep. Steve Brunk.
    One big topic is the education finance bill.
    He said after the courts had the funding issue for four years, legislators had it for about two weeks to accomplish something.
    Brunk said in the previous lawsuit on school funding, the courts just told the legislature here’s the amount, write a check.
    “For the court to say a dollar amount by a date is not their purview,” he said. “This time they sent a 10-page summary. I think they came up with a reasonable judgment.”
    One of the things the judgment required was equitable distribution of money.
    Through doing this, Brunk said they accomplished some good things, including providing property tax relief, tax credit scholarships, putting more money in classrooms and providing funding for virtual schools.
    He said with this they know the outcomes of the money they are spending, rather than just putting money into an institution.
    The bill also allows for school districts to expand their local option budgets with a vote of the people, and it creates a K-12 efficiency commission.
    Another aspect allows for someone with expertise in an area to go into a school and teach with oversight by the school board.
    Another topic in the bill is due process. The bill changes this so it is not done at the state level any longer, rather it has to be incorporated into the local levels.
    “It’s part of the process making sure we have high quality teachers,” he said.
    In other business at the state, Brunk said they started on the two-year budget process; passed a property tax transparency bill; and passed a healthcare compact bill, which gives Kansas the option to be in the compact after it is passed by the federal government to give designated dollars to states.
    Concluding his update, Brunk said businesses are growing and taxes are lower.
    “We are not looking for businesses that have 10,000 employees to relocate to Kansas, but we want 10,000 businesses to hire one, two or three employees,” he said.
    The veto session in the state began this week.
    Among the bills Brownback has signed include the school finance bill and the health care compact bill.

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