Each year the Unified Government Commission adopts a legislative agenda which establishes state policy priority areas. The following legislative agenda was approved by Commission on Thursday, December 15, 2022.
1. Medicaid Expansion
[Legislation] The Unified Government supports expansion of the Kansas Medicaid program which will improve access to care for those most vulnerable in Wyandotte County. It is estimated that expansion would provide insurance for 8,736 currently uninsured Wyandotte October 2021 County residents, bring $58,452,576 in new annual healthcare spending to Wyandotte County and create hundreds of new healthcare jobs.
2. STAR Bonds and Food Sales Tax
[Legislation] STAR Bonds have proven to be one of the most effective economic development and job creation tools in the State of Kansas. The Unified Government encourages the Kansas Legislature to continue a workable STAR Bond policy with maximum flexibility and without unnecessary restrictions. The Unified Government supports the elimination of the State portion of the sales tax on groceries but needs to protect its local authority for economic development projects.
3. Increased State Infrastructure Funding
[Appropriation] The Unified Government is strongly supportive of state funding for a broad range of infrastructure need. Federal infrastructure dollars sent to the state should be shared with local governments to support revitalization of infrastructure that is critical to economic growth and quality of life.
4. Allow Flexibility for Alternative Revenue Sources
[Legislation] Cities should be authorized to approve alternative revenue sources which best suit the individual community in order to maintain appropriate levels of funding for the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens. This includes local earnings/income taxes, development excise taxes, and other local taxes and fees now prohibited by state law.
5. Expanded Childcare and Universal Pre-K
[Appropriation] High quality childcare and Pre-Kindergarten should be extended to all children in Kansas. The State should develop and fund a plan to address the urgent need for childcare services in all communities, including in Wyandotte County. The need for childcare is a top concern for businesses.
6. Equalize Motor Vehicle Taxes
[Legislation] The Unified Government supports changes in the tax formula used to assess motor vehicles to equalize motor vehicle taxes from county to county.
7. Local Share of Sports Betting Revenue
[Legislation] The Unified Government supports the State providing a share of sports betting revenues to local government.
8. Pay Prevailing Wage
[Legislation] The Unified Government supports paying prevailing wage on public works projects and economic development projects where tax incentives are given. The Unified Government strongly urges the Kansas Legislature to repeal the law banning the use of prevailing wage on public works and economic development projects.
9. Increased Funding for Mental Health and Psychiatric Beds
[Appropriation] The Unified Government supports full state funding for mental health services, including additional bed space for psychiatric patients. This will reduce the number of people with behavioral or substance abuse issues who are inappropriately incarcerated in county jails or who end up unhoused. This includes expanded State of Kansas mental health facilities that are backlogged.
10. Increased Funding for Services to Senior Populations
- Funding to provide improved support for aging population, including full funding of Home and Community Based Services for the Frail Elderly waiver; funding Access to Core Services; and legislation to allow unused prescription drugs from nursing homes, hospice, and other health care agencies to be distributed for use by medically indigent seniors.
- Restoration of $850,000 in state funds cut from Nutrition services (FY22) for older Kansans and Caregivers. State funding for nutrition services has not increased since 2009. These monies are highly leveraged with funds from federal and local sources and with voluntary donations from participants and the thousands of hours volunteer hours that make this program work in Kansas communities. This is supported by the Kansas Association of Area Agencies on Aging and Disabilities.
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