Fred in the News

Kansas House easily adopts K-12 school funding reform bill
25 May 2017 at 9:23pm

Two-thirds of the Kansas House voted to approve school-finance legislation Thursday praised for investing more state funding in K-12 public schools and denounced as insufficient to comply with the Kansas Constitution. The measure sent to the Senate would raise state aid by $180 million in the upcoming academic year and add $100 million in the second year for a total of $280 million. In the Shawnee County delegation, those voting for the House bill were Republican Reps. Brenda Dietrich and Fred Patton and Democrats Jim Gartner, Annie Kuether and Virgil Weigel.

Kansas House gives final approval to 1% food sales tax reduction in 2020
15 May 2017 at 9:21pm

The Kansas House gave final approval to a 1 percentage point drop in sales tax collected on food to begin in 2020, at the same time as it wiped sales tax exemptions for a variety of businesses. Doing away with those exemptions is expected to bring $60 million annually to state coffers. “The revenue in the short-term will help balance the budget,” said Rep. Fred Patton, R-Topeka. “For three years, we’ll have $60 million in the bank.” Patton said this bill was a way to undo some of the effects of the income tax decreases.

House committee struggles to clarify new K-12 investment target
12 May 2017 at 9:18pm

The Kansas House’s education finance committee adjourned Friday without moving out a bill establishing annual increases in state spending on public schools to comply with a Kansas Supreme Court opinion that aid was unconstitutionally inadequate. “It appears tax and budget are stalled until we know about school finance. The real question is the dollar figure,” said Rep. Fred Patton, a Topeka Republican on the House K-12 finance committee.

Kansas House attaches controversial local funding mandate to school finance
9 May 2017 at 9:13pm

A Kansas House committee narrowly voted Tuesday to make schools spend more money on helping students who struggle academically. Both Republicans and Democrats voiced concern about the policy. At issue is a portion of school district budgets called local option budgets. They are funded primarily through local property taxes. Topeka Republican Fred Patton, who is also a member of the Seaman Unified School District 345 school board, said after the hearing that he couldn’t support the bill because he didn’t agree the state should interfere with local budgets.

Medicaid expansion may come up again when legislative session resumes
16 Apr 2017 at 8:55pm

Democrats are preparing for another run at Medicaid expansion when lawmakers return, hoping they can offer changes to conservatives to gain their support. The Legislature will reconvene May 1. Fred Patton, R-Topeka, is the kind of lawmaker that supporters of expansion hope to sway. Patton was initially a “no” on expansion but after a weekend of intense lobbying voted to override Brownback’s veto. “I have serious concerns with provisions in this plan,” Patton said in a statement explaining his vote. “However, with one local hospital for sale and both absorbing increasing financial pressure...

Kansas school finance race against the clock continues
1 Apr 2017 at 3:33pm

A bill to increase school funding has spent days undergoing lengthy hearings, debate and amendments as members of the Kansas House race the clock to hand a draft to their Senate counterparts before April’s legislative break. “Hopefully a phase-in would work,” said Rep. Fred Patton, R-Topeka, but added that the Legislature would need to “commit to it and stick to it.”Patton won the panel’s support to pull back from controversial concepts in the bill concerning how schools spend property taxes. The state’s existing mechanism, he said, already has approval from the Kansas Supreme Court. “We ...

Testimony ends, debate to begin soon on new school funding formula
27 Mar 2017 at 3:22pm

Lawmakers have finished three days of testimony on a new school funding formula. After hearing from dozens of people over three days of testimony, Legislator's say the bill they have reworking the school funding formula, is a start. Topeka Republican Rep. Fred Patton says, "We went from a local option budget to three individual local levees, which kinda makes it more confusing than it was before. I certainly there's work to do, but I think we can get there."

Girl Scouts Day at the Capitol
18 Mar 2017 at 2:37pm

The Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri took the State Capitol Building by storm on Saturday morning for Girl Scout Day at the Captiol. State lawmakers including Republican Representative Fred Patton were present throughout the day. Patton's daughter Emily is a Girl Scout and says he knows first hand how important it is for kids to learn about our government. "All of our kids have the opportunity to learn about government in our school, but coming to the capitol seeing it in real life, is really important for them because you want them to grow up and be involved," said Patton.