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Hornet Statehouse Buzz Jan. 22, 2022

Week 2 of the Statehouse Buzz

Jan. 22, 2022 — Week 2

The Buzz was a little less intense the week of Jan. 22, 2023, for higher education unlike the great budget news of a week earlier. But things intensify soon as budget hearings begin the week of Jan. 31 and statehouse events will pick up quite a bit.

Several things worth reporting on this week.

  1. Senate Bill 322, proposed by Senator Jeff Longbine (R-Emporia) and the Joint Committee on Pensions, Investments and Benefits. This bill relates to the sale of surplus property for state agencies eliminating the need to credit 80% of money from such sales to the Kansas Public Employment Retirement Fund. This bill will have a hearing in the Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 26 and ESU will be submitting written testimony in favor of the bill.
  2. House Bill 2466, proposed by Representative Steve Huebert (R-Valley Center), is labeled the Computing Knowledge Act to provide grants of $1 million to the Kansa Department of Education and $1 million to the Board of Regents to promote the advancement of computer science preservice educators in the state, particularly in rural areas and districts and among underserved groups. This bill has a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 25 in the House Education Committee.
  3. KBOR President Blake Flanders made a presentation to the House Higher Education Budget Committee on Thursday, Jan. 20 on Covid relief funds and the universities, documenting how the monies universities received from both the federal and state relief funds as well as how it was spent.
  4. The revisor has drafted the bill for the proposed sale of ESU’s Earl Center. Representative Mark Schreiber (R-Emporia) will introduce the bill next week in a committee. I will keep you posted on which committee going forward.

Most of the attention this week was on the legislative redistricting maps drawn and passed by the Senate. There is no change for Emporia’s boundaries, but the Senate moved the City of Lawrence into the big First district. The House is working on their version now. What is to happen going forward is anyone’s guess right now.

Let me know if I can be of any assistance with legislative matters!

For the Buzz,

Greg Schneider

Government Relations Officer