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Minutes for HB2528 - Committee on Water and Environment

Short Title

State water plan fund and the economic development initiatives fund.

Minutes Content for Thu, Feb 8, 2018

The Chair called the meeting to order and opened the hearing on HB2528.

Staff Nick Myers reviewed the details of the bill (Attachment 1).  He explained that the bill would repeal K.S.A. 82a-953a, which directs the state to transfer $6 million from the SGF (State General Fund) to the state water plan fund.  The bill amends the EDIF (Economic Development Initiative Fund) statute to require $8 million to be transferred to the state water plan fund each fiscal year.  The bill would also specify how the funds would be allocated.

The Chair announced that all the testimony submitted would be considered written testimony.  The following documents were submitted:

Before closing the hearing, the Chair invited other comments.  Paul Johnson, Kansas Rural Center, commented that EDIF now includes casino money as well as funds from the Kansas Lottery, a fact which might provide adequate funding for the water plan.  Staff Heather O'Hara stated that in FY2017 EDIF received $42.4 million.

Tracy Streeter, Director, Kansas Water Office, stated that he opposes the bill.  He noted that the Kansas Water Authority was created to highlight water priorities, and the bill bypasses current funding structures.

The Chair commented that funding for water issues has been mostly absent in recent years.  The bill is one attempt to address that shortfall.

The Chair closed the hearing on HB2528.