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Concealed carry bill sparks interest

During the recent break, we spent time traveling around the district and meeting with the constituents in the 109th District. One issue that was discussed at every legislative coffee was House Bill 2055, also known as the Personal and Family Protection Act. This act would allow for the concealed carry of weapons in certain public buildings.

According to the legislation, concealed carry weapons would not be prohibited in state or municipal buildings unless that particular building has put in place adequate security measures to ensure that no weapons are permitted to be carried in the building. The definition of "adequate security measures" would be electronic equipment and personnel at public entrances of the buildings to detect and restrict the carrying of all weapons.

These would be metal detectors, metal detector wands and security personnel at the public entrances. If the building were to allow concealed carry weapons into the building, no security measures would be necessary.

County courthouses would be one of the exceptions to allowing concealed carry weapons. The bill stipulates concealed carry weapons would be prohibited, unless, by county resolution, the county commissioners authorize the possession of a firearm within the courthouse. The bill passed out of committee, with amendments, and will be sent to the House floor.

The House passed HB 2025 that establishes the Robert G. Bethell Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services and KanCare Oversight. The committee would be made up of 11 members of the Legislature and would be required to meet at least three times when the Legislature is in session and at least once during each of the second, third and fourth calendar quarters. This committee would provide oversight of the administration of KanCare by those accountable to the people, elected members of the legislature.

According to HB 2025, state agencies would be required to provide the committee with data and information on KanCare programs, including pay for performance measures, quality measures, enrollment and disenrollment in specific plans, KanCare provider network date, and appeals and grievances made to the KanCare ombudsman. The committee would then be required to submit its own report to the president of the Senate, the speaker of the House, the House Committee on Health and Human Services, and the Senate Committee on Public Health and Welfare.

Last week, we received a report from the Legislative Research Department regarding the revenue receipts for February. Unfortunately, revenues were down 11 percent for the month from estimates of about $29 million. However, we are up about $65 million for the fiscal year. The most depressed revenue stream for February was individual income tax, bringing in about $7 million or $33 million short of the target. The Department of Revenue attributed this downturn to an uptick in taxpayers filing for rebates.

Sales tax for the month came with $166.2 million which was less than a million below the original estimate.

During our House Rural Caucus meeting Wednesday, we met with the PowerUp Movement. This movement originated from the work of the Kansas Sampler Foundation whose mission is to preserve and sustain the rural culture of Kansas. This movement consists of 21- to 39-year-olds who live in rural Kansas. On Thursday, I had the pleasure of honoring the Russell High FFA Livestock judging team on the House floor. The Russell High FFA Livestock judging team has been invited to participate at the international competition in Scotland.

Troy Waymaster, R-Luray, represents the 109th District. troy.waymaster@house.ks.gov