Governor Sebelius Signs Final Budget Bill of Session

By: AP/13 News
By: AP/13 News

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has signed the final budget bill from this year's legislative session that included most of the spending recommendations she made.

The bill she signed Thursday amounts to $33 million and brings total spending to $13.6 billion for the budget year starting July 1. It includes $750,000 for road improvements outside the soon-to-be closed Parsons Army Ammunition Plant.

Sebelius used her line-item veto powers on four sections of the budget measure. Among them was an area directing a portion of new gaming money be put into new funds for infrastructure, debt reduction and property tax relief. Sebelius said it would limit the flexibility of future Legislatures in directing the money to areas of greatest need.

The bill was among the final ones she signed this year. Altogether, the governor signed 183 bills and vetoed seven. She allowed one to become law without her signature.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Line item vetoes in the final budget bill:
Expanded Lottery Act Revenues Fund
Sections 19 (e), (f), (g), (h) and (i) have been line-item vetoed in their entirety.

As I stated in my previous message, current law already defines how new receipts from gaming activity will be administered and how they can be spent. Creating additional funds and further stipulations would limit the flexibility of future Legislatures to target gaming receipts toward the most important and pressing needs of the state. For this reason, I again find it necessary to veto this portion of the bill.

Homeland Security Funds
Section 47 has been line-item vetoed in its entirety.

This section places unnecessary limits on how the state budgets for homeland security. Restricting how state funds can be used in this area may not serve the best interests of our future security.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Section 14 (b) has been line-item vetoed in its entirety.

This $500,000 expenditure was added very late in the appropriations process with little review, and it was financed from the Economic Development Initiatives Fund, which the Legislature has overspent by over $1 million. The procurement of unmanned aerial vehicles may be a worthy project for future consideration, but should not be done without an adequate source of financing. Eliminating this expenditure in FY 2009 does not completely balance the Economic Development Initiatives Fund. I will work with the economic development agencies and the Division of the Budget to recommend a revised budget for this fund to present to the 2009 Legislature.

Department of Wildlife and Parks Cabin Program
Section 21 (g) has been line-item vetoed in its entirety.

This provision unnecessarily restricts the authority of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks to provide public services and manage agency resources in the most efficient manner.

Other bills signed into law Thursday:
Regarding property, income and sales tax law
HB 2434 implements new sales tax exemptions and credits for Kansas non-profit organizations, businesses located in disaster areas and senior citizens’ homestead taxes. It also mandates e-filing for certain businesses and allows tax exemptions for postsecondary institutions when using land for research and development purposes. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the Kansas Register.

Credit card use for city payments
HB 2440 allows any city to accept debit cards and credit cards for the payment of taxes, utility fees, or other services. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Updating the Vehicle Information Processing System (VIPS)
HB 2542 finances the integration and modernization of the Vehicle Information Processing System (VIPS), the Kansas Drivers’ License System (KDLS), and the Kansas Vehicle Inventory System (KVIS) of the Division of Vehicles in the Department of Revenue. This bill goes into effect July 1, 2008.

Requiring Substance Abuse Treatment
HB 2707 authorizes the court to place certain felons in a substance abuse treatment program established by the Kansas Department of Corrections for at least four months. The bill also authorizes a court to retain jurisdiction to modify an offender’s sentence to a less severe penalty after the successful completion of the substance abuse treatment program.

The bill also provides that no downward dispositional departure could be imposed for any crime of extreme sexual violence. This bill goes into effect upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

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