Earlier today Steve Becker sent the message below summarizing his view of the new Kansas House of Representatives, and expressing hope that a coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats can start digging the state out of the Brownback ditch.
A quick view of the 2017 House of Representatives:
The members of the 2017 House can be divided into three EQUAL groups: one third conservative Republicans, one third common sense moderate Republicans and one third Democrats.
This division provides hope as no one group can railroad legislation. Each group must seek help from another. We will have to work together.
The Democrats gained 12 House seats.
There are 47 members of the freshman class.
There are no practicing attorneys in the Senate which is very unfortunate for the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In my opinion the Brownback Coalition lost 24 seats in the House.
These are the New House leadership positions elected Monday:
Speaker – Ron Ryckman, Johnson County
Majority Leader – Don Hineman (my mentor), Dighton
Speaker pro tem – Scott Schwab, Johnson County
This leadership team is far superior to the last four years.
Top Issues (in no particular order):
Budget/Taxes – The current fiscal year has a projected shortfall of $347M. The next fiscal year is projected a $444M deficit. The Governor will likely not reveal his proposed cuts until session begins.
School Finance – A new school funding formula must be crafted and passed as the block grants expire in 2017.
The Supreme Court will issue an opinion on the adequacy of current school funding. I anticipate a ruling which will require an additional
$100M+ be devoted to public schools.
Perhaps we will address KanCare expansion, something I believe in.
The issues are difficult but the House is so much improved.
I have more HOPE in the 2017 House than in the last four years.
The 2017 Kansas Legislature convenes January 9.
🎄I wish all residents of the 104th District and everyone else across our State a very Merry Christmas🎄
May God Bless Us All
Steven R Becker