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Jim Karleskint - Kansas House District 42

Contact Jim
P.O.Box 863
Tonganoxie, Kansas 66086
Phone: 785-550-4298
jimkarleskint@yahoo.com
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Kansas House of Representatives
 

Back at the Capitol After Turnaround


Following a short break after Turnaround we are back to work in the Capital. Turnaround is the mid-point of the session and it is the first major legislative deadline, which marks the movement of bills from their originating chamber to the opposite body. That means the House’s focus is now shifted primarily to working bills that were passed by the Senate during this first half of session, while the Senate takes up bills that were passed by the House.

Tuesday and Wednesday (Feb. 25-26) were exclusively devoted to debating bills and moving the process forward.  A total of 38 bills were worked and approved on the House floor and will now go to the Senate for consideration.
 
Bills that did not get voted on by the full House are considered “dead”, although 37 bills were  “blessed” by leadership and introduced into exempt committees (Taxation, Federal and State Affairs, and Appropriations). They are still available for debate and potential passage if leadership so desires.
 
We will have plenty of work to do.  Many important issues have not been resolved so when the second half of the session starts I would anticipate action on the state budget, taxes, and the Governor’s Executive Reorganization Orders, among other things. You probably know that the Constitutional Amendment regulating abortion did not pass the House and is controlling a lot of what is, or is not, happening with many pieces of legislation, including the Senate’s work on Medicaid expansion.  Just keep in mind that the Legislature’s next deadline is First Adjournment on April 3rd.
 
One bill of particular interest to constituents of the 42nd District is HB 2517. This bill will allow the property owner to apply to the County Commission for an abatement or credit of property taxes that are levied against an agricultural improvement that was destroyed by a natural disaster. This would help those that lost property in the EF4 tornado that hit parts of Leavenworth & Douglas counties on the evening of May 28, 2019. I along with Representatives Amex, Dove, and Horn introduced the bill. The bill has been passed out of committee and waits to be heard on the House floor.
 

Important Legislation that has passed the House thus far

 
  • The House debated HB 2503 this week, which was the Governor’s plan to re-amortize the KPERS retirement plan. During the debate, Rep. Jim Kelly proposed an amendment to delete the re-amortization plan from the bill and instead continue down the fiscally responsible path of paying off current debt.  HB 2503, as amended, will fully pay the states deferred KPERS obligations, ultimately saving the state $209 million in interest. It passed the House unanimously. 
  • HB 2506 will allow veterans, military service members and their spouses to continue to work in their chosen professions while their families are stationed or relocating to Kansas. This would allow individuals who are licensed for a specific profession in another state to apply for and receive that same occupational or professional license in Kansas. This includes regulated professions such as accountants, cosmetologists, Realtors and pharmacists. The House on a vote of 123-2 approved the bill. I voted yes. 
  • HB 2546. The bill would create the crime of sexual extortion, which is defined as threatening to injure the property or reputation of a person, commit violence against a person, or distribute an image or video of a person that is of a sexual nature or depicts a person in a state of nudity. Additionally, it would place any individual convicted of sexual extortion on the Sex Offender Registry if the crime involved a minor. This bill passed the House unanimously.
  • The House overwhelmingly passed HB 2516, legislation enacting First-Time Homebuyers accounts on a vote of 123-2. I voted yes. The bill encourages individuals to set aside funds for costs associated with the purchase or construction of a first home. Structured like 529 college savings accounts, contributions to the savings accounts is tax deductible. Communities can also establish the accounts to attract professionals to make the move to their community.  During debate on the bill, the House added an amendment to have annual reports made to the Legislature on the implementation and usage of the tax credit provided for in the act.
  • HB 2469  - Extending terminal medical release to inmates in the custody of the Department of Corrections with a condition likely to cause death within 90 days. Passed 120-5.  I voted yes.
  • HB 2480 – Updating the definition of long-term care insurance contained in the long-term care Insurance Pact. Passed unanimously.
  • HB 2495 – Authorizing the Crime Victims Compensation Board to waive application time restrictions for a victim of a sexually violent crime in order to receive compensation for mental health counseling.  Passed unanimously.
  • HB 2518 – Counting any crime with a Domestic Violence designation as a prior conviction under domestic battery.  Passed Unanimously.
  • HB 2646 – Requiring the Attorney General to coordinate training for law enforcement agencies on missing and murdered indigenous people. Passed unanimously.
  • HB 2585 – Exempting the retail sale of electricity for electric vehicle charging stations from the jurisdiction of the state Corporation Commission and requiring a siting permit from the Commission for the construction of certain electric transmission lines.  Passed 123-2.  I voted YES.
  • HB 2702 – Decoupling the KIT and KIR workforce training programs from the high-performance incentive fund program and enhancing the workforce training tax credit.  Passed unanimously.
  • HB 2618 – Establishing a state broadband grant program under the Department of Commerce to encourage the deployment of broadband in the state. Passed unanimously.
  • HB 2540 – Requiring moneys attributable to at-risk student weighting be expended for approved at-risk educational programs.  Passed 111-14.  I voted YES.

Visitors

On February 3rd retired teachers visited the Capital to discuss legislation regarding a Cost of Living Adjustment. Pictured from Leavenworth are: Betty Clark, Jennifer Grasela, Pam Bristow, and Phil Clark.
 
Had a visit from Cassie Martin. Cassie is a student at Washburn and has been visiting the Capital to learn about the process of legislation. Cassie is the Granddaughter of Shirley Martin of Tonganoxie.
Will Katz stopped by on February 4 to discuss promoting Kansas Small Business.
On February 11th, I had the pleasure of visiting with Mark Hatfield, Tonganoxie High School athletic trainer in my office to discuss the concept of Concussion Teams in our school districts and a bill that was introduced in the House Education Committee. Also with Mark were Two Kansas State University students majoring in Athletic Training.
Jason Inskepp of Eudora and with the Kansas National Guard stopped by to discuss issue related Kansas Veterans in the Guard.
Patrick Schmitz was in the building on February 21st to discuss Mental Health issues in Kansas. Patrick is the CEO of Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center.
 

Pages

On February 10th I had the pleasure to welcome 3 of my Grandchildren to the Capital to serve as Pages. They are Reese Miller, Owen Huyser, and Riley Huyser, picture with Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers.
February 18th I had two students from Tonganoxie Middle School, Ella Pruitt and Charlotte Woods. Pages have the opportunity to attend my Committee meetings, take a historical tour of the building, Page on the floor of the House, and walk the 296 steps to the top of the Dome. They indicated they enjoyed the day.
 

 

Legislative Forums


Opportunities to come and ask questions at the Upcoming Legislative Forums and Updates:
  • Saturday, March 21st 9 am to 10:30 am, Tonganoxie VFW Legislative Forum, Tonganoxie VFW Home.
  • Saturday March 28th 9 am to 10:30 am, Leavenworth-Lansing Chamber Legislative Update. Leavenworth Heritage Center, 109 Delaware St.
  • Sunday, March 29th 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm, Eudora Legislative Forum, Eudora Community Center.

Contact Me


It is an honor to serve you in the Kansas Legislature.  I am always available to talk to you personally, or answer your emails and phone calls.  I am here to serve you and take that responsibility seriously.

If you have any questions about the activities in my committees or want to share your views on any of the issues before the legislature, please feel free to email me or call my office. 
Representative Jim Karleskint
Room 268W State Capital Building
300 SW 10th Street
Topeka, Kansas 66612
785-296-7683 
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