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Guns, schools, taxes: How Kansas lawmakers could change your life in 2018


Kansas lawmakers get back to work on Monday and are set to ... It also pays for the care of low-income elderly people who are in nursing homes. Launching the next version of KanCare, which officials call KanCare 2.0, will not require legislative action.


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A shooting instructor demonstrates the grip on an AR-15 rifle fitted with a bump stock Allen GBreed AP file photo A shooting instructor demonstrates the grip on an AR-15 rifle fitted with a bump stock Allen GBreed AP file photo setLeadImageSize(); $(window).resize(function() { var clientWidth = Math.max(document.documentElement.clientWidth, window.innerWidth || 0); if (clientWidth > 767) { $('.lead-item').find('.caption').hide(); $('.lead-item .lead-caption').show(); } else { $('.lead-item .lead-caption').hide(); } setLeadImageSize(); }); $('.lead-item img').click(function(){ var elemWidth = Math.max(document.documentElement.clientWidth, window.innerWidth || 0); if(elemWidth = scrollEndPos || windowCurrentPos GovSam Brownback’s stalled nomination to be ambassador at large for international religious freedom means he will deliver a State of the State speech on Jan9, then release a spending plan the next day. After that, the 2018 session begins in earnestHere’s five ways the Legislature and the governor could affect you and the people in your life this year. 1Your taxes (function() { var randomUrl = getRandomUrl('http://x.email.kansas.com/ats/url.aspx?cr=663&wu=106,http://x.email.kansas.com/ats/url.aspx?cr=663&wu=109,http://x.email.kansas.com/ats/url.aspx?cr=663&wu=113'); var eventMethod = window.addEventListener ? "addEventListener" : "attachEvent"; var eventer = window[eventMethod]; var messageEvent = eventMethod == "attachEvent" ? "onmessage" : "message"; $("", { "class" : "col-xs-12", "src" : randomUrl, "scrolling" : "no", "frameborder" : "no" }).appendTo("#newsletter-signUpWidget"); eventer(messageEvent, function(e) { if (randomUrl.indexOf(e.origin) != -1 ) { var key = e.message ? "message" : "data"; var data = JSON.parse(e[key]); switch(data.messageid) { case 100: var signupevent = new CustomEvent( 'signup', {"detail": data} ); window.dispatchEvent( signupevent ); break; case 200: $('#newsletter-signUpWidget iframe').css('height', data.iframe.height); break; } } }, false ); })(); Never miss a local story. Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access. SUBSCRIBE NOW Lawmakers raised income taxes last spring, overriding a veto from Brownback and rolling back much of the tax cuts he championed in 2012The increase is expected to generate about $1.2 billion in new revenue over two years. But the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in the fall that state funding of schools is inadequateThose who sued the state estimate that up to $600 million more may be needed for the court to find the state’s funding system constitutional; many lawmakers disagree with that assessment. Where lawmakers would turn for any added revenue isn’t clearSome Republican leaders have ruled out tax increases, however. Bottom line: Your taxes could go up if lawmakers need significantly more funding for schools. 2Your schools The Supreme Court ruling means lawmakers must rework the school funding formula passed by the Legislature in 2017That will inevitably mean changes in how much money each school receives. The funding formula is complex and changes to funding levels at specific schools are hard to predictAll indications from the court are that funding cannot go down, howeverMost predict funding will increase. The Supreme Court has given an April deadline for lawmakers to tell the court how they plan to respond. Some Republican lawmakers have said they want to pursue a constitutional amendment that could either stop the Supreme Court from closing schools or would provide more direction over how the court should interpret the constitution’s provisions on education. Bottom line: Your child’s or grandchild’s school will probably get at least the same amount of money, and possibly more. 3Your elderly parents and people you know with disabilities The Brownback administration wants to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program, called KanCareMedicaid provides health insurance coverage to disabled and low-income peopleIt also pays for the care of low-income elderly people who are in nursing homes. Launching the next version of KanCare, which officials call KanCare 2.0, will not require legislative actionBut lawmakers could step in and place additional oversight requirements on the program, which has sparked complaints of problematic service and application backlogs. Officials say the next version will include a work requirement they estimate will affect a few thousand out of the more than 400,000 people in the programPregnant women, people with disabilities, those in long-term care and those caring for children under six would be exempt. The Brownback administration also says it wants to use KanCare 2.0 to increase access to community-based services that allow people to stay out of institutions. Lawmakers supportive of Medicaid expansion will likely try again to gain approval for thatExpansion passed the Legislature in 2017, but was vetoed by BrownbackAn attempt to override his veto failed. Expansion would make more people eligible to join MedicaidThe federal government would pay for 90 percent of the additional costs, but opponents argue Congress might alter that percentage or eliminate expansion entirely at some point. Bottom line: Kansas officials say the new version of KanCare will provide better service for recipients after complaints and long waits for application processing. 4Your guns Two bills already filed would affect what kind of gun accessories you can have and might cause you to keep a closer eye on your firearms. House Bill 2442 would prohibit bump stocks and similar devicesBump stocks can turn semi-automatic weapons effectively into automatic weaponsA shooter in an October mass shooting in Las Vegas used a bump stock. In the wake of the shooting, some members of Congress pushed to ban bump stocksBut federal efforts to advance legislation have stalled. Another bill, House Bill 2443, would make unlawfully abandoning your firearm either a class C misdemeanor or a felony if someone is hurt or killed. The bill comes after RepWillie Dove, R-Bonner Springs, left a loaded firearm in a committee room in the Statehouse last year. Bottom line: Lawmakers could ban a gun accessory that allows weapons to fire automatically, and toughen penalties for leaving your weapon in a public place. 5Your roads For years, Kansas diverted millions of dollars intended for highways and other transportation projectsSince 1999, Kansas has transferred more than $2 billion from the state highway fund into the state general fund, where it can be used to pay for general government operations. While some transfers are typical, in recent years the Brownback administration relied more heavily on transfers to help stabilize the state budget. After lawmakers passed tax increases into law last year, the budget has stabilizedBut Kansas is still drawing funds that are meant for highwaysSome lawmakers want to continue to lower the amount of highway funding going toward other purposes. Bottom line: Lawmakers want more money intended for highway projects to actually be used on highway projects. More Videos Brownback's last State of the State address surprisingly all about education"> 2:49 GovBrownback's last State of the State address surprisingly all about education Pause 1:26 Fire in northwest Wichita injures two 0:43 Two Wichita police officers are facing criminal charges 1:36 Trying Starbucks’ new blonde espresso 7:42 Wichita State players discuss easy win over South Florida 1:35 What is 'swatting'? 0:54 Police release body camera video from shooting linked to 'swatting' 3:08 Bruce Weber on Kamau Stokes, Cartier Diarra and Mike McGuirl 9:31 Body cam video shows officers fatally shooting a man in Topeka 1:11 Getting to know Wichita State's Rashard Kelly Video Link copy Embed Code copy Facebook Twitter Email Who's running for Kansas governor? 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