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Hornet Statehouse Buzz Feb. 18, 2022

Week 6 of the Statehouse Buzz

Feb. 18, 2022 — Week 6

We have entered the penultimate week for committee work in the statehouse in preparation for the next week’s move to the floor for debate on bills. This will culminate on Thursday, the half-way mark of the session—called Turnaround Day when bills pass from one chamber to the other or die out. One more day of committee work remains on February 21 when both the Higher Ed Budget committee and the Senate Ways and Means subcommittee on higher education make their recommendations for higher ed budgets. The House appropriations committee will hear those budget recommendations on March 7 and then the stew-making begins, with decisions made then, later, or postponed altogether. It is a quite a learning curve to keep up for yours truly!

On Thursday, February 17, Topeka and the state of Kansas enjoyed a snow day, but the legislature had a lot of work to complete so stayed in session. President Hush testified before the House Appropriations committee and then before the subcommittee for higher education for the Senate and was well received but members of both committees for his business background and presentation on ESU and its needs. A series of meetings with legislators rounded out a very productive day in Topeka. Many legislators on the appropriations committee came up to us to thank Ken for his presentation. My work now is to meet those members, follow up, and position ESU for budget decisions coming later in March or April.

The Buzz this week?

  • Senator Caryn Tyson (R-Parker) proposed a bill to cut the 1.5 state mill levy for the educational building fund and to make the EBF part of the state general fund. This is opposed by all the universities and KBOR, but it passed out of the Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee, which Tyson chairs.
  • The Earl Center sale bill (HB 2600) will proceed into the House this week and should not be a problem for making it through, but we will be following things closely.
  • Lots of education bills flowing through the Senate and House committees on transparency for K-12 education. There certainly is interest among some legislators about transparency for higher ed as well. This is something to watch going forward next year and beyond.

I usually do a monthly KBOR update, from their meeting on Wednesday, February 16. Due to competing house hearings I missed most of the meeting! There was a program review consultancy which will be conducting reviews of regents’ schools’ programs for efficiencies. That will begin soon and will be a lot of additional work for departments to produce evidence of program effectiveness.

The main news for ESU was the naming of the search committee for the presidential search. The announcement has been sent to campus and is available on the KBOR website.

As usual, if I may be of assistance, please contact me at

That’s the buzz this week!