Legislative Initiatives

Capital Bldg ResizeWelcome to the legislation section of KAAA. We strive to provide you with the latest news from the Capitol. Check these pages often for updated information concerning legislative updates, session schedules, the legislative agendas, and many more.

January 2016

Action on the Federal level:

1. EPA comment period on Restricted Use Pesticide Applicator Certification regulation revisions closed on January 23. Key elements of the NAAA position include opposing the new “high risk” label proposed for the aerial application method, while supporting incorporation of existing aerial-applicator programs into the recertification education requirements and reducing CEU’s required of experienced pilots due to overlap with FAA requirements and lack of evidence that it addresses a real need.

2. In talking to Senator Moran and his staff over the past few weeks, I got word of a positive development in the Waters of the U.S. issue. The omnibus appropriations bill that passed just before Christmas contains language that prohibits any funding for the enforcement of EPA’s new “waters of the United States” interpretations under the Clean Water Act. This action should be more effective in curbing EPA action than the Senate and House bills which are both likely to face a veto from the Administration.

3. FAA regs on drones (UAV’s, UAS’s, take your pick) were issued in advance of the big Christmas surge in ownership. A long way to go on this issue, but there is now a registration requirement.

The Kansas legislative session:

  1. The session convened on January 11 – Senate and House leadership remain the same. Ray Merrick is Speaker of the House and Susan Wagle is Senate President.
  2. A two-year state budget was passed (finally) in last year’s marathon session, but due to revenue and spending predictions, that budget will need to be adjusted – not a simple task with the political realities in Topeka these days. That means things in the taxation/budget area have been eerily quiet so far as they wait for updated revenue numbers.
  3. 2016 is an election year for all Representatives and all Senators. The prospects for a bruising summer primary and fall general election season will have an effect on the way issues are handled during the legislative session. Legislators will be trying to avoid votes that can be used against them in the campaign and that can make for some interesting maneuvers.
  4. The work on a new school finance formula will need to get underway in earnest this session. That will bring with it discussions of property taxes, sales taxes, urban/rural concerns, and a host of other issues. Our members will be affected by the decisions made on this topic. Although it is not an issue that lends itself to a unified KAAA position, I will definitely try to keep our members informed as to key elements of proposed bills as they will affect our members as business owners, community members, and parents. The first big discussion is Rep. Bradford’s (R-Lansing) bill (HB2479) to cut the number of school districts by over half.
  5. HB2479 had a hearing Tuesday in the House Ag. & Natural Resources committee. It intends to change the designation of noxious weeds from a legislative function to a function of KDA. Our members implement the containment and eradication programs aimed at noxious weeds, but I’ll be asking your input next week as to whether we have a KAAA position on who designates those weeds as noxious.
  6. Aviation Day will be hosted on February 3rd at the Capitol by the Kansas Department of Transportation. Our participation in last year’s event received positive feedback from KDOT and from several legislators. With our commodities distribution that morning, it will be a full day – but hopefully useful interaction for KAAA and your legislators.
  7. With the weather forecasts making Tuesday and Wednesday look potentially challenging, I will try to lay the groundwork for a flexible approach to reaching our objectives next week. Anything from legislative contacts to ground transportation is in my wheelhouse. Call me at 816-726-2834 to give me a heads up or ask any questions.

 

Steve Hitchcock

Government Affairs

Convenes on January 9, 2017

Committees and information can be found here:

http://kslegislature.org/li/

Week of January 27, 2015: Click here to view the House calendar
No information at this time.

To see a list of Senate and House Committees including a Find Your Legislator search engine, click here