UPDATE 3/21 – REDUCING THE FINANCIAL BURDEN OF ADOPTIONS IN KANSAS
SB 147, AN ACT concerning income taxation; relating to credits; increasing the tax credit amount for adoption expenses and making the credit refundable; amending K.S.A. 79-32,202a and repealing the existing section.
We know many Kansas families are willing and able to adopt a child into their loving home. Sadly, the cost of an adoption due to legal fees and more, can be a major barrier for these families. SB 147 looks to help ease the burden of some of these expenses, making adoptions more affordable for those seeking to grow their family with a loving child.
This bill had a hearing in Senate Committee on Assessment and Taxation on March 1st. Though the bill still sits in committee, we are hopeful it will soon be voted out favorably for passage.
UPDATE 3/21 – PAYDAY LOAN REFORM
One of the legislative priorities for the Kansas Catholic Conference was Payday Loan Reform. This industry is virtually unregulated and seeks to prey upon working Kansans who need short-term loans to cover basic necessities. Unfortunately, we were not even able to get Governor Kelly at least mention this in her State of the State address, nor were we able to get a hearing on our bill, HB 2242. http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/measures/hb2242/ This is a long-term project. To learn more about this common-sense project, go to: https://kspaydayreform.wixsite.com/website
Opposition to the Death Penalty is a perennial issue for the Kansas Catholic Conference. HB 2349 would abolish the death penalty in Kansas and create the crime of aggravated murder. We have been unable to get a hearing on this issue: http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/measures/hb2349/
The legalization of marijuana for medical use or recreational use is a hot issue, not only in Kansas, but around the country. SB 135 would legalize medical marijuana in Kansas, but the Kansas Catholic Conference remains unconvinced of the benefits. http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/measures/sb135/
More than half of the Kansas State budget is dedicated in some way to education. The COVID-19 pandemic that sent students home for remote education had the additional effect of revealing to parents what was being taught—and how. Last year the Kansas Catholic Conference helped lead an effort to allow a record number of students from low-income families to access scholarships that could be used to attend non-public (including Catholic) schools. HB 2236 is one of the key bills to follow and has passed the House,75-47. To see how your Representative voted, http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/measures/vote_view/je_20230223101055_858926/
With the passage in the House, the bill moved over into the Senate Committee on Education. Where a hearing was held, Thursday, March 9th. To view the hearing, check out the YouTube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abPTQtYCbAU&list=PLGnUWv2THZAiplTrLzOuYL_cZg1K_SaSF&index=27