For years the issue of potential Medicaid expansion has been growing more support between Democrats and a growing number of moderate Republicans. But conservative leadership has not been interested in having the discussion. 51st District Rep. Kenny Titus (R-Manhattan) remains skeptical about the costs of expansion, despite what he says are some worthwhile arguments for it.
The dollar amount would come out to about $5,000 per student. Critics of the bill say it would deplete public schools of much needed tax dollars, following years of underfunding. Sen. Reddi is a former school teacher and doesn’t support a voucher program.
Rural Housing Incentive Districts
Also discussed was a bill that would expand the Rural Housing Incentive District (RHID) Act to allow certain housing projects in communities with a population of 60,000 or more.
Senate Bill 34 would expand the use of proceeds from special obligation revenue bonds to renovate or construct a proposed multi-phased, multi-year development plan, if the associated infrastructure is at least 10 years old or if the existing lot has been subject to certain tax levies. All four lawmakers were generally in favor of programs to expanding housing affordability or availability.
Rep. Titus says he supports the program.
Rep. Dodson agrees it’s a good program, but only if executed right.
Sen. Reddi says there is money available to help address workforce housing needs.
Rep. Carlin says the program is a good one that could help more people get into affordable homes.
Senate Bill 34 would expand the use of proceeds from special obligation revenue bonds to renovate or construct a proposed multi-phased, multi-year development plan, if the associated infrastructure is at least 10 years old or if the existing lot has been subject to certain tax levies.
The full recording of Saturday’s legislative coffee is available below. Time stamps are listed for each question asked.
02:15 – Question 1: What should be done with the budget surplus and how do you manage against competing interests?
19:02 – Question 2: Do you support Medicaid expansion and do you believe it’s going to happen this year?
26:52 – Question 3: Is there any discussion to stop the tax on social security?
33:11 – Question 4: Do you support the proposed flat tax being discussed?
38:45 – Question 5: Broadly speaking, what is your position on keeping public dollars in the public education system (in relation to House Bill 2218 – school vouchers bill)?
47:40 – Question 6: The Legislature has supported reciprocity in professional licensing for military spouses as has the chamber. Professional organizations have opposed it due to licensing requirements from other states. Give us your position on it.
55:35 – Question 7: The Commerce Department granted $25 million to K-State for the proposed Ag Innovation Center, but also gave $50 million to KU for it’s football stadium. Is that apples to apples?
1:00:58 – Question 8: What is your position on Senate Bill 34, a bill that would expand the Rural Housing Incentive District Act?
1:09:25 – Question 9: Will you oppose efforts to weaken or restrict needed support for SNAP benefits?
1:16:20 – Question 10: What is your number 1 priority for the rest of the session and how can we help you?