It was a short week at the Statehouse. Lawmakers were not in session for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and adverse weather conditions shut down the Statehouse parts of two other days. The new session continues to slowly progress, as committees hold informational hearings to acquaint legislators with various industries and government agencies.
Kansas State University and the Kansas Department of Agriculture gave Farm Bill briefings to the House Appropriations Committee and Senate Ways and Means Committee. Meanwhile, the Senate continued to focus on decoupling from the federal tax code and created a special committee to address the issue. SB 22 was introduced to focus narrowly on decoupling for businesses and individuals. A hearing on the bill will be held January 29-31 in the new Select Committee on Federal Tax Code Implementation.
SB 32 was introduced in the Senate last week. This is a bill requested by Kansas Farm Bureau that would allow the organization to offer a healthcare benefit product to members that is not compliant with the Affordable Care Act. The coverage could be individually rated, with the goal to reduce costs to members.