The House and Senate adjourned February 28, known as turnaround day, which marks the last day for non-exempt bills to be passed out of their chamber of origin. The break will last until March 6.
Early last week, the House Committee on Taxation favorably passed SB 22, which would reduce state income tax liability on individuals and corporations that increased during the 2018 tax year due to changes in the federal tax code following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The House Tax Committee amended the bill to include a one percentage point reduction in the food sales tax rate and a requirement to begin taxing internet sales in Kansas. SB 22 is expected to reduce revenue to the state by $209 million in FY2020 and $145 million in 2021.
Prior to the turnaround deadline, the House debated and voted on two bills supported by KLA.
Deer permits - HB 2167 passed by a very narrow margin of 63-60. This bill would allow landowners to transfer a single hunt-on-your-own-land permit to a non-resident hunter who was unable to obtain a permit in the annual draw. KLA expects this bill to continue to face opposition in the Senate, where it was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce. KLA policy specifically supports transferable deer tags, as well as greater flexibility to control deer populations and methods to recuperate damage done by deer. KLA appreciates the assistance of House members who supported this bill. Members are encouraged to thank these House members. For a list of those supporting the bill, go to https://tinyurl.com/y52zdgud. KLA staff also encourages members to visit with their senators about the importance of HB 2167. The bill is expected to continue to receive stiff resistance from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, as well as activist hunting groups.
ATVs crossing state and federal highways - HB 2248 passed by a wide margin of 122-2. This bill would allow landowners to cross a state and federal highway by the most direct route if they own or lease ground on both sides of the highway. KLA is supportive of this bill, but would like it to include the ability to also use UTVs when incidental to agricultural operations. KLA proposed an amendment in the House Committee on Transportation that also was supported by the Kansas Farm Bureau (KFB). However, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) raised last minute, unfounded concerns that derailed the amendment. Rather than allow the bill to die because of the turnaround deadline, House leaders decided to pass the bill as drafted and allow the parties to resolve outstanding issues in the Senate. This will give KLA and KFB time to work with KDOT on language to expand the bill to allow agricultural use of ATVs and UTVs on highways.