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Nov. 22, 2017
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Minutes for HB2375 - Committee on Appropriations

Short Title

Department of commerce appropriations for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 for the rural opportunity zones program.

Minutes Content for Mon, Mar 20, 2017

Chairman Waymaster called the meeting to order.  He opened the hearing on the bill.

Bobbi Mariana, Legislative Research Department, presented the bill brief.  The bill re-appropriates for FY 2018 and FY 2019 for the rural opportunity zones.

Representative Schroeder presented testimony as a proponent of the bill (Attachment 1). He responded to questions from committee members. Representative Schroeder responded to questions from committee members.  He stated that of the 77 counties, 69 have participated in the student loan repayment program, which requires a local match.

Christy Hopkins, Greeley County, presented testimony as a proponent of the bill (Attachment 2). She responded to questions from committee members and reviewed the successes experienced by combining city and county government and enhancing quality of life programs through economic development.

Nick Poels, Phillips County, presented testimony as a proponent of the bill (Attachment 3).  He responded to questions from committee members.  He noted that the population growth in Phillips County has stabilized.  ROZ has been an effective recruitment tool at the local schools and universities, he stated.

Roger Hrabe, Director of Rooks County Economic Development, presented testimony as a proponent of the bill (Attachment 4).  He stated that there has been no data provided regarding the beneficiaries of  the income tax incentive.  Recruitment for employment opportunities have been locally, not from out of state.

Katie Eisenhour, Executive Director, Scott County Development Committee, Inc., presented testimony as a proponent of the bill (Attachmen 5). She responded to questions from committee members regarding job creation efforts in rural areas.

Benjamin Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, Kearny County Hospital, presented testimony as a proponent of the bill (Attachment 6).  He responded to questions from committee members regarding economic impact on the community as a participant of the ROZ program and the financial collaboration from the city and county.

Nichole Randol, Kansas Department of Commerce, presented testimony as a proponent of the bill (Attachment 7),  in response to questions from committee members, she stated that for every $1 dollar spent on the student loan reimbursement for a ROZ participant, there is a $6 dollar return on investment (ROI). She stated that she would provide the calculation used for determining the ROI, and a list of programs and assistance provided.

  • Representative Kelly presented testimony as a proponent of the bill (Attachment 8). He noted that his written testimony supports the bill but the first paragraph refers to appearing in committee as an opponent, which should have stated proponent. Representative Kelly responded to questions from committee members in regards to ROZ and Enterprise Zones.programs, he stated both programs compliment each other.

Rob Fillion, Smoky Hill Development Corporation, presented testimony as an opponent of the bill (Attachment 9).  Mr. Fillion responded to questions from committee members in regards to his support of Enterprise Zones, which encourages building or expanding sustainable businesses.  He provided background information with the discontinuing of the Enterprise Zones and the implementation of the Roz program under the present Governor's administration.

Written testimony as a proponent of the bill was provided by Stacy Davis, Sumner County Economic Development (Attachment 10).

Chairman Waymaster closed the hearing on the bill.

The meeting recessed at:  10:55 a.m.