TOPEKA – State Senator Bruce Givens says he is hitting the ground running as the legislative session starts in Topeka. The first term legislator communicated with constituents via his weekly newsletter on Wednesday.
“The session has started! It is a privilege to return to the Senate – representing you in the 14th District. This is a much better start to the session than last year.” Givens said. “Last year, we began 2017 in debt, a large financial hole that we have dug out of and now we are exceeding revenue projections. The legislature can only take part of the credit. The state’s economy is improving. In addition, the state’s unemployment rate is significantly below the national average.”
After a session last year that didn’t see much agreement between political parties and resistance from Governor Sam Brownback, Givens says that education funding is coming with a sense of urgency.
“Everyone seems to know and understand that the legislature has to come up with a solution to fund public schools.” Givens noted. “We have some deadlines for this as well – it should not be a long drawn out session to get this done – we have to act.”
Givens said that after Brownback’s speech Tuesday night, legislators are now awaiting word on what his budget will look like. But the Senator is predicting where some of those dollars might come from.
“The Governor made a proposal at the State of the State address on Tuesday evening. He said his proposal would not require a tax increase. The details are not released just yet, but I’m sure he would be taking from KDOT and not making the required KPERS payment to avoid a tax increase. It is just a proposal.” Givens said. “There are a number of issues that need the legislatures’ attention that are not school related. We can deal with these issues but resources are limited.”
Givens says that he is reachable on his office telephone at (785) 296-7678. He says he will also respond to personal e-mails, but not those sent through advocacy groups.
“The Governor said that the ‘state of the State is good’. I agree!” Givens said. “Kansas is a great place to live, work and enjoy life!”