Kansas Governor Sam Brownback vetoed House Bill 2624 today. The bill would have moved the Kansas Oil and Gas Valuation Depletion Trust Fund from the state treasury to individual counties.
Established in 2005, a percentage of severance taxes collected on oil and gas production is deposited in the trust fund every year. An automatic release is triggered to a participating county when its mineral valuation falls by 50-percent for two consecutive years.
In his veto message delivered to the Kansas Legislature this afternoon, Governor Brownback wrote "While the policy expressed in HB 2624 has merit, it needs to be considered in the context of a comprehensive pro-growth tax and budget package."
The FY 2013 budget bill passed by the House relies on $5 million from the fund. The fund currently has a balance of approximately $20.2 million.
"We must remain focused on the just cause of pro-growth tax reform and a balanced budget-- jobs and a brighter future for our children," Brownback said. "In addition to the budget bills passed separately by both the House and Senate this week, legislators are considering a number of bills that involve tax policy. I look forward to working with legislators to bring these proposals together so we can lower the tax burden on Kansas families and businesses, increase private sector jobs and keep Kansas competitive in our region in a fiscally responsible way."
The Governor also signed four more bills into law. Today's signings bring the total number of bills signed into law this session to 26.
Senate Bill 263 -- Makes several amendments to the laws governing credit unions including how members are appointed to credit committees, clarifies member suspension procedures and establishes the right to appeal the denial of a loan.
Senate Bill 265 - Amends the procedure provided for amending the bylaws of a credit union in statute.
Senate Bill 298 - Amends the weight limitation for certain trucks -- trucks specifically designed, equipped, and used exclusively for garbage, refuse, or solid waste disposal when loaded with garbage, refuse, or waste, and trucks (that are not truck tractors) mounted with a fertilizer spreader -- to 60,000 pounds for trucks with three axles and to 40,000 pounds for trucks with two axles, regardless of spacing between axles.
Senate Bill 374 -- Amends current law regarding the pipeline safety program operated by the Kansas Corporation Commission.