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Kansas lawmakers will be considering major issues in the 2013 legislative session_ school finance and property tax reforms as well as lower taxes. John’s e-mail newsletters will help you keep up with developments on the issues that could affect you.
You can receive these timely reports by filling out the form below and clicking on the SUBMIT button.
John recorded a public service announcement in January for the Kansas Cable Telecommunications Association stressing the importance of reading to young children.
It is an honor to be asked by the Speaker of the Kansas House of Representatives to lead a House debate on several bills. That honor was accorded Wednesday Feb. 13 to Rep. Rubin. (Photo by Scott Schwab)
On a personal note:
(Aug. 8, 2013) As House Corrections Committee chairman and a board member of the Kansas Sentencing Commission, I just returned from a three day conference by the National Association of Sentencing Commissions, in Minneapolis, MN, on the subject of risk assessment in sentencing.
The economics of tax reform is explained at Kansas forum
LAWRENCE | What is the economics behind Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax reform strategy?
A noted Kansas economist, Dr. Art Hall of the KU business school, explained the rational for the tax effort being made now in Topeka. He spoke April 2 at a forum on Kansas tax reform sponsored by the Douglas County Republican Party.
Hall explained that growth in the Kansas economy doesn’t come from companies moving to Kansas. Dynamic growth occurs, he said, from small businesses starting and expanding in Kansas.
The tax climate in the state, he said, must encourage that kind of growth.
To view his presentation, click on THIS VIDEO LINK. It runs for 15 minutes but is highly informative. Every Kansan should see it.
Law eliminates time limit on rape cases
TOPEKA | Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill into law April 1 abolishing the statute of limitations on the prosecution of rape cases.
Rape and aggravated criminal sodomy could be prosecuted at any time after the attack occurs, according to the bill, HB 2252.
Legislature passes “Innovative” schools act
TOPEKA | A bill to give school districts the ability to try more innovative approaches to education with less state regulations passed the Legislature Friday, April 5.
HB 2319 would allow a school district to be an innovative district that supporters said would attract the best and brightest teachers. The bill limits that designation to 10 percent of the state’s school districts.
Lawmakers pass tracking device bill
TOPEKA | Law enforcement could obtain a search warrant for the covert installation, maintenance and use of a tracking device if there is probable cause that a crime is about to be committed.
Under current law, all search warrants must be supported by facts sufficient to show probable cause that a crime has been or is being committed. A final form of the legislation unanimously passed the both the House and Senate on Friday April 5 and was signed into law April 16.
Brownback signs drug testing bill into law
TOPEKA | Welfare recipients suspected of drug use would be tested and could lose their benefits under a bill approved today April 2 by the Kansas Senate.
That vote sends the bill to the desk of Gov. Sam Brownback. He signed the bill into law Tuesday April 16. The drug tests will begin after Dec. 31.
Second amendment protection act goes to governor
TOPEKA | The Legislature approved a bill Friday April 5 that would exempt a “personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition owned or manufactured in Kansas” from federal regulation.
Rep. John Rubin, a Shawnee Republican is the bill’s chief sponsor.
A final version passed the House 96-24 and the Senate 35-4. The governor signed the bill into law April 16.
Read entire story...
Bill to ease prison overcrowding is signed into law
TOPEKA | Kansas Lawmakers approved a bill April 1 affecting inmates released from prison under supervision that could reduce the number of prison beds by 863, which experts say will be needed next year.
Rep. John Rubin, a Shawnee Republican and chairman of the House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee, said the measure is needed to avoid future overcrowding in the state’s prison system. He said it will also save the state money in the long run.
Gov. Sam Brownback signed the bill into law April 11.
The current available bed capacity (as of Jan. 14) was 9,564. The Kansas Sentencing Commission predicts that passage of HB 2170 will reduce the need for prison beds by 863 in fiscal year 2014, which begins July 1, and between 2,611 and 2,744 by FY 2023.
Lawmakers expand conceal-carry law
TOPEKA | The Kansas Legislature approved a bill Friday April 5 that supporters say will increase citizen safety when gun violence threatens.
It passed the House 104-16 and the Senate 32-7 and was signed into law by the governor April 17.
Senate substitute for HB 2052, would clarify the statute that prohibits firing a firearm within city limits. It provides several exemptions, including the firing of a weapon in defense of a person or property.
The bill allows people with permits to carry their weapons into a government building, including state and city properties, if they lacked adequate security measures such as electronic detection, guards at entrances to check for guns or other weapons.
Major prolife bill passes Legislature
TOPEKA | The main prolife legislation of the 2013 Kansas Legislature was approved Friday April 5 by the House affirming that life begins at conception and prohibiting the use of tax money for abortion.
The bill, HB 2253, was approved earlier by the Senate. The House action sent the bill to the governor desk. He later signed it into law.
More tax dollars don’t equal better schools
Read entire story...
Good news on the state's economy and for tax reforms approved by the Legislature last year.
Here are some indicators of a stronger Kansas economy. This is all a part of the Kansas turnaround and excellent indicators of economic progress for our state.
- Kansas tax revenues for 2014 were very strong in the first two months of the year.
- January beat estimates by $16.8 million, while February was $100.7 million above expectations.
- Most importantly, February withholding taxes were higher than collected during the same time last year. That is a large indicator that more people are working or have received raises since this time last year.
- Kansas is in the national spotlight as a leader in tax reform, as highlighted in this Daily Caller article.
- Our state was also named by Site Selection Magazine as one of the top five in the nation for economic development projects.
This is a strong positive direction for our state, and one that we expect to continue because of tax cuts and responsible fiscal spending.
Tax receipts show an improving Kansas economy
TOPEKA | The Kansas treasury registered positive revenue growth through the final six months of last year, showing continued growth in the Kansas economy.
The six month period YTD tax receipts were $7 million or .2% above budget estimates. The Kansas fiscal year runs from July 1, through June 30.
The large Kansas personal income tax cuts effective January 1, 2013, are working to help grow the economy and jobs. Unemployment is down and job creation is up. With the headwinds coming out of Washington finally subsiding we have Kansas in a good spot to grow jobs and reinvest in business for growth.
Rubin’s Rules seek more transparency
I have always been and remain an ardent advocate of full transparency and accountability to the voters who have elected us to serve in the Legislature and to all the citizens of Kansas.
I believe our oath of office demands no less. In my view, effective and responsible governance demands that we always cast informed votes, and that we always disclose to our constituents and all Kansans how we vote on the public policies that so profoundly affect their lives.
In my mind, our longstanding legislative practices of bundling multiple bills in a single conference committee report for one vote under the Joint Rules, and of not recording our votes on bills, resolutions and amendments in the Committee of the Whole on General Orders under the House Rules, directly contravene our obligation to the people of Kansas to be fully informed on the matters on which we vote, and to be transparent in and accountable for our votes, factors critical to effective governance.
Accordingly, I have drafted and pre-filed two resolutions to be introduced and considered in the upcoming 2014 legislative session (which begins Jan. 13): HCR 5020, amending the Joint Rules, and HR 6037, amending the House Rules, respectively, to correct these undemocratic legislative practices. I have received substantial support among my fellow legislators, and secured a number of co-sponsors, for both.
The first initiative, HCR 5020, is a Concurrent Resolution amending the Joint Rules to provide that a conference committee report (CCR) may contain only the bill being conferenced and all or part of one other bill that has passed either Chamber during the current biennium. Current practice allows for an unlimited number of additional bills or parts of bills that have been passed by either Chamber to be added to the bill being conferenced, and we members have one vote on the entire CCR package on the floor.
It is not unusual for as many as four, six, eight or more bills to be added to a conferenced bill in a CCR. Unless a member serves on the committee from which the bills have emanated – and perhaps not even then – the member has little if any opportunity to fully inform himself or herself of the contents, consequences or effects of the additional bills, particularly if the added bills did not originate in and were not debated in our Chamber, and particularly under the pressing time constraints we experience late in session, when most of these CCRs are considered.
Rubin wins “Legislative Champion” award from MADD
TOPEKA | Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) recently announced its “2013 Legislative Champions” and recognized Rep. John Rubin of Shawnee and Sen. Jeff King of Independence for their leadership within the Kansas Legislature to stop drunk driving.
“MADD thanks Senator King and Representative Rubin for their tireless work and commitment to improving the drunk driving law in Kansas. MADD is grateful for their efforts in seeking justice for victims in Kansas,” said MADD Kansas Advisory Board Chair Chris Mann.
In 2013, Sen. Jeff King and Rep. John Rubin were crucial in passing HB 2218, which among other provisions, amended the crime of aggravated battery to include serious DUI crashes. “This law will allow prosecutors to seek justice in cases where a drunk driver causes serious injury to a crash victim,” said Mann, who is also a victim of a drunk-driver.
KanCare produces dividends for disabled Kansans
TOPEKA | More than 650 Kansans with disabilities are able to receive new access to Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) because of the KanCare program.
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D., and Secretary of Health and Environment Robert Moser, M.D., announced that savings from care coordination under the new KanCare Medicaid program will bring in-home services to hundreds of additional people with physical and intellectual/developmental disabilities.
Special session ends after “Hard 50” law is fixed
TOPEKA | A bill fixing problems with the Kansas “Hard 50” sentencing law passed both chambers of the Legislature this week, ending the two day special session that began Sept. 3.
The measure was originally contained in a preliminary report by the Special Committee on the Judiciary and will change the way the sentence is imposed.
The Kansas House approved the measure Tuesday by a vote of 122 to 0 and the Senate followed suit Wednesday Sept. 4 in a 40-0 vote.
A judge can hand down a Hard 50 sentence under current law. But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that method unconstitutional in June and stated that the sentence of 50 years without parole must be determined by a jury.
Rubin wins Pro-Jobs title from Kansas Chamber
TOPEKA | Based on his voting record on the economy, Rep. John Rubin of Shawnee has been named a 2013 Pro-Jobs Legislator by the Kansas Chamber.
Mike O’Neal, a former Kansas House speaker and currently the chamber’s president and CEO, praised all the legislators who made the list.
“This session the Legislature tackled many tough issues and tremendous progress was made in many areas that have made Kansas one of the most economically competitive states in the region,” said O’Neal said, adding that the Pro-Jobs Legislators list identifies lawmakers who voted at least 80 percent of the time to support a wide range of business issues.
Preservation of Religious Freedom Act
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Bill wants more unspent dollars spent in classroom
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Donate to the campaign
In order to serve in the Kansas Legislature, Rep. Rubin must stand for election every two years and that takes financial contributions from his supporters.
You can donate by sending him a check at the address below or use your PayPal or Piryx account. Just click on the Donate logos below.
John's mailing address:
13803 West 53rd Street
Shawnee, Kansas 66216
Donate through PayPal
Two ways to donate through Piryx
Contributions are limited to $500 per person per cycle (primary is one cycle, general election is another). They cannot be made by lobbyists or businesses during the current legislative session under state law.
* If contributions are in excess of $150, state law dictates we need to know your occupation. Please e-mail John with that information or fill out the form below.
Capitol Contact information:
Rep. John Rubin
Kansas Capitol, Room 151B South
300 SW Tenth Avenue
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1504
Capitol Phone: 785-296-7690
Letter on a New Autism Bill
Nov. 21, 2013
Dear House Colleagues,
As most of you know, I remain a steadfast advocate of legislation requiring that all Kansas health insurers include as part of basic health insurance (no riders/no additional cost) coverage for proven clinical treatment therapies, including in particular Applied Behavior Analysis (“ABA”) intervention at an early age, for Kansas children with duly diagnosed autism spectrum disorders.
Following the leadership of former Rep. Arlen Siegfried on this issue, I co-sponsored and carried such legislation in the House during the 2012 session (the bill passed the House but was not taken up in the Senate).
Such legislation was reintroduced in the 2013 session as HB 2317, but never made it out of committee. I plan to pre-file the attached bill, 14rs2583 – which mirrors 2013 HB 2317 with updated effective dates -- for introduction in the 2014 session. It is the right thing to do for Kansas kids with autism and their families. It is also the fiscally responsible thing to do for the State's bottom line.
An Independence Day Message
Hello and Happy Independence Day to you all.
I'm getting geared up right now to hit the ground running in the Kansas Legislature next session in our continuing fight for conservative principles and values in Kansas, including, among other things:
(1) Replacing the disproportionate, unfair, and economically stagnating income tax in Kansas with the Fair Tax, to promote fundamental fairness in our tax structure, and to stimulate the economy, expand the tax base, and grow jobs;(2) Enacting further abortion restrictions, to continue our quest to protect the lives of our unborn children and preserve the health of their mothers by making Kansas the most abortion-unfriendly state in the nation;
Continued on Newsletter page...
A Case for Kansas Gun Rights
Rep. Rubin’s testimony Feb. 19 on HB 2199 before the House Federal and State Affairs Committee
Chairman (Arlen) Siegfreid and committee members, I appreciate this opportunity to testify today as the lead sponsor and proponent of HB 2199. I am proud that 49 House colleagues have joined me in sponsoring this vitally important legislation, which proclaims loudly and clearly that not only the Second Amendment but the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution are alive and well in Kansas, and which for the first time puts real teeth into protecting the precious individual right of every Kansan to keep and bear arms under the United States and Kansas Constitutions.
This proposed legislation begins by citing the constitutional rights guaranteed to every Kansan to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment and, under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, to retain all powers and rights not specifically granted to the federal government – guarantees that were understood as a precondition to and a matter of contract between the state of Kansas and the federal government at the time Kansas entered the compact to join the Union in 1859.
Issues facing the 2013 Legislature
In a recent questionnaire from The Kansas City Star, John Rubin received the following question:
The Star: What do you think are the most pertinent issues facing the Legislature right now? How would you address those issues?
Answer: This election was all about returning our state and nation to economic growth and prosperity and creating thousands of new jobs for Kansans by reducing the heavy tax and regulatory burden, and resultant uncertainty, on this nation's job creators, especially the small businesses that provide over 80% of the jobs in our state. This will greatly expand the tax base and actually grow state revenues.
Continued on Newsletter page...
Health Insurance and ObamaCare
In the 2012 session, I had the privilege of co-sponsoring, carrying, and helping to lead the fight on the House Floor on behalf of House Concurrent Resolution 5007, the Health Care Freedom Amendment, and Senate Bill 14, the Health Care Freedom Act.
HRC 5007 sought to place on the ballot for voter approval an amendment to the Kansas Constitution to preserve the right and freedom of Kansans to provide for their own health care. It passed the House overwhelmingly, but unfortunately did not get out of the Senate. This prevented you, the citizens of Kansas, from having your say on this important issue at the polls.
Continued on Newsletter page...
TOPEKA | A look back at the Kansas economy: 2013.
The unemployment rate has dropped to 5.1 percent in November, a decrease of half a percentage point from October.
A total of 45,600 new jobs have been created from January, 2011, through October, 2013, including 20,000 just this year.
“For Kansas and Kansans, 2013 has been a good year,” said Gov. Sam Brownback. “We are moving in the right direction to ensure Kansas is the best place in the U.S. to live, work and raise a family.”
“Individuals and businesses are feeling confident about the Kansas economy as across-the-board tax relief leaves them with more of their money in their pockets. A reflection of that success is in the record revenue of more than $6.3 million we have seen this year.
“Our record job and revenue growth, declining unemployment and sound fiscal management ensure that we have the resources to make the strategic investments in education and public safety that benefit all Kansans,” he said.
Kansas was one of 13 states with an economic growth rate of between 0.6 and 1 percent for the third quarter of this year, according to the data compiled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. (Link to article)
“Kansas is leading the way,” Brownback said.