1. Expand Medicaid
We join the growing group of organizations across the state asking the legislature to close the gap between the Kansas Medicaid eligibility and the Affordable Care Act eligibility to help more Kansans have affordable insurance.
2. Same Day Voter
Voting is a constitutionally protected right and instead of implementing laws that disenfranchise people, KBLC supports measures to increase access of all citizens to the ballot box and encourage the passage of a measure to allow
3. Cap Payday Loan rates and/or revise laws regulating such loans.
KBLC supports the passage of laws that will significantly reduce the interest paid by Kansans for payday and title loans. One acceptable option would be passing an interest rate cap similar to the rate set by the Federal government on loans to military members — currently 36%APR. If needed, to help set an interest rate or other policies governing the renewal and issuances of these loans, we recommend the appointment of a committee composed of representatives from: the payday loan industry, financial institutions, the communities most impacted by these loans, and past and present payday loan customers. Working together, we feel confident a committee of this type could develop a proposal for new state payday loan regulations that are less oppressive while still assuring a reasonable short-term loan option remains available to those who need it.
4. Adopt the Kansas Smart Justice Agenda
KBLC support the entire Smart Justice Agenda for Criminal Justice Reform. We particularly encourage attention to the following suggestions for criminal justice reform.
1. Reduce sentence for nonviolent drug crimes by de-felonizing drug-possession.
2. Expand the use of diversion for those with minimal criminal records through the amendment of existing Kansas law by articulating that diversion is appropriate and recommended in circumstances where the sentence is probation.
3. Reform civil asset forfeiture laws to prevent innocent citizens from having their property unfairly stripped from them.
5. Increase the state’s minimum wage
KBLC seeks to increase the state’s minimum wage to $10.25/hr by 2020 to ensure Kansas have a livable wage that allows them to provide their families with decent and safe housing.
6. Eliminate sales tax on groceries
This regressive tax hurts the states most vulnerable the most. As you all know, Kansas remains one of just a few states in the country that does not exempt basic necessities such as food from ales tax.
7. Designate some state contracts and purchase for small
Kansas-based businesses. More than tax breaks, small Kansas businesses need business. We propose designating certain small value state contracts strictly for small Kansas-owned businesses. This program would not discriminate on the basis of race, and all Kansas-owned businesses that meet the identified designation of “small” could participate in the program. KBLC supports this program because we recognize most Black-owned businesses are small businesses.
Legislative Platform also includes
Although we will focus our attention on these above seven issues in 2019, we continue to support the passage of issues adopted as part of our previous platforms that have not been addressed.
• Repeal of the death penalty
• Body cameras for all police departments
• Adopt and economic development program designed to revitalize impoverished Kansas communities
• Adopt the full Kansas Smart Justice Agenda.