Week 4 of the Hornet Statehouse Buzz.
Week 4 of the Statehouse Buzz
January 31-February 4 Week 4
Many of you may be old enough to remember the classic 1960s/1970s game, Mystery Date. While it was meant for young girls in those pre-feminist times, many a young boy was forced to play with the neighborhood kids. Would you open the door to a dreamboat? Or a dud?
That’s the question embroiling the legislature this week as the House Commerce committee pushed back on the bill passed by the Senate to allow an unnamed company which is seeking tax breaks and state assistance to build a mammoth factory—bigger than the Spirit Airlines plant in Wichita—and promising employment of 4,000 Kansans in high paying jobs. While the bill will likely be passed, the little delay made for interesting tension in a week marred by a snow day (or days, as the Senate adjourned for the week) following Wednesday’s snowstorm. It also raises questions about getting into bidding wars for companies which other state may have more resources to win.
Higher ed is on the docket for next week as budget hearings begin for state universities, community colleges and tech schools in the House Higher Ed Budget committee. Interim President Ken Hush testifies before the committee on Thursday, February 10 at 1:30 (a live stream can be found on the website for the committee — Higher Education Budget | Committees | Kansas State Legislature (kslegislature.org) The budget committee decided to allow the full schedule for the day, which can be as long as 90 minutes for each university. It should be an interesting day on Thursday. On February 17, President Hush will testify before the Senate Ways and Means committee’s subcommittee on higher education.
The Buzz this week?
- Maybe the resurrection of a plan I discussed in the first edition in January to create a campus building fund long term which would also have universities raise money (or use tuition money) in support of the fund. KBOR and the other universities continue to seek the $25 million proposed in the Governor’s budget recommendations. There is some rumors about legislators being interested in the former plan, advanced by lobbyists Ed McKechnie and David Kensinger.
- Three regents recently sent back to committee by the Senate for further questioning will have hearings this week. Carl Ice, Cynthia Lane and Wint Winter will have hearings in the Senate Education Committee this week, with a vote on approval of that committee on Thursday, February 10.
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That’s the buzz this week!