Kansas Mental
Health Coalition

First Adjournment Approaches

April 05, 2017 4:49 PM | Amy Campbell (Administrator)

First Adjournment Approaches, Budget News


The Kansas Legislature is working toward First Adjournment Friday April 7 - when they will break for several week before returning to Topeka for Veto Session.  To date, there isn't a state budget, tax plan, or new school finance plan.

Today, the House is debating HB 2180 - a bill to fund the reinstatement of the four percent Medicaid reimbursement cuts through increased privilege fees on managed care organizations.  It is controversial because there are HMO insurance plans outside Kancare that would also be responsible for the fees.  The bill is supported by a coalition of provider groups, including the Association  of Community Mental Health Centers and Kansas Association of Addiction Professionals.

Yesterday, an attempt by Rep. Ward to pull a gun-related bill up for House consideration failed.  The bill would have been a vehicle for amendments to extend the concealed carry exemption for hospitals, colleges, mental health centers and other public buildings.

Yesterday, the Senate adopted the conference committee report on the Rescission Budget bill (Senate Sub for HB 2052) which funds the current fiscal year ending June 30, 2017.

The House has not yet passed a mega-budget bill to fund FY 18 and FY 19.

Yesterday, the press reported there were meetings between legislative leaders and the Governor to attempt to put forward a tax plan.  We don't know if there was consensus.  The Senate Taxation Committee has advanced a flat tax bill that might receive Senate consideration - but is considered by many to be unfair to lower income Kansans.   The Committee added a food sales tax reduction to try to balance those considerations.

The House Appropriations and Senate Ways and Means Committees are supposed to return to Topeka the week before Veto Session to continue work on their budget issues.

Meanwhile, the Legislature continues to churn through bills.

Medicaid Expansion and Clubhouse Legislation Veto

On Monday, the House was unable to override the Governor's veto, so the Medicaid Expansion legislation and the Breakthrough Club Program legislation would have to be amended into a different bill to survive.

Read the statement from the Alliance for a Healthy Kansas:

While we came up short in overriding the Governor’s reckless veto of the KanCare expansion bill, our fight continues. Now is not the time to be discouraged.

The calls, emails, turnout at meetings and rallies, and the support you and your organization helped generate has propelled us to get to where we are. As a result, we’re very close to making KanCare expansion a reality.  

Thank you.

Our work goes on. Expanding KanCare will continue to be discussed this session because legislators know they need to respond to us -- 82% of Kansans support the effort.

And if we’re not able to expand KanCare this session, we will continue to organize and engage. After all, in less than a year, our Alliance was able to get a bill passed in both legislative chambers by overwhelming margins. Imagine what we can do with another year of advocacy and outreach.

Together, we can expand KanCare. Bringing our tax dollars home can improve the lives of more than 150,000 Kansans – our neighbors, our friends, our families – and help protect our hospitals and our communities. This is not only the right thing to do, it’s the best way forward.

Over the weekend, thousands of calls were made to legislators and hundreds showed up at community forums in Silver Lake, Olathe, Ottawa, Hutchinson and Lincoln. The Lawrence Journal World’s coverage of the Silver Lake forum noted that two years ago, it would have been unthinkable for 50 people to turn out to event urging legislators to expand KanCare.  

You and your organization’s activism and engagement has changed the discussion about health care and the need to KanCare. By being actively involved, we are forcing legislators to realize their health policy decisions impact real people and are not just talking points on a campaign postcard.

I could not be more honored to be fighting with you to expand KanCare and to make Kansas a healthier place to live and work.   

Thank you again for all of your support,

David Jordan

Alliance for a Healthy Kansas
700 SW Jackson Street Suite 600
Topeka KS 66603 United States

(c) Kansas Mental Health Coalition, P.O. Box 4744, Topeka, KS  66604  785-969-1617

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