KDWPT honored for marketing projects

Rep. Peggy Mast, District 76
Kansas House Speaker Pro Tem

020914_rep_mast_peggy_1The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) recently received honors from the American Advertising Awards for their projects.

The following projects earned gold medal awards: Aquatic nuisance species trade show booth; travel information center kiosk; and Native American photograph.

KDWPT earned the following silver medal awards: River trail map; Symphony in the Flint Hills calvary photograph; History and Heritage photography campaign; sunflower seeds packet; Faces and Places Tour van wrap; Lindsborg dancers ad; and Kansas tourism ad campaign.

Prompt Pay

HB 2552 deals with prompt payment of claims made to a managed care organization. This bill will require contracts between the Kansas Medical Assistance Program (KMAP) and any managed care organization (MCO) to require the allowed amount on all clean claims to be fully paid or denied within 30 days after receipt. A clean claim is one that does not require additional information to be obtained from the service provider or from a third party. It will also require all other claims to be fully paid or denied within 90 days after receipt. Additionally, this bill will require all contracts to include a late payment provision, requiring all MCO’s to pay the provider 12 percent for each month the MCO did not pay the amount or deny the claim within the time limit. HB 2552 will also insert a provider’s rights provision, meaning that a provider with a claim that remains unpaid after the time limits have cause to bring action against the MCO for the unpaid claim and interest. This bill will take steps to help eliminate payment delays that can create cash flow problems for small independent health care providers. I supported this bill.

Unemployment Insurance

House bill 2576 is a bill that deals with unemployment insurance and employer ratings. The bill will reduce the required unemployment insurance contribution rates if certain criteria are met concerning the employer’s experience ratings. Additionally, the bill would allow employers coming to Kansas to reap the rewards of lower unemployment insurance contributions based on their earned experience ratings from their transferring state. Finally, the bill will eliminate the limits on voluntary contributions to the Employment Security fund. This means that employers will be able to pay more into the trust fund in order to buy down their required unemployment contribution rates. By lowering the required unemployment contributions and allowing employers coming in from out of state to enjoy the benefits of their hard work, this bill will put Kansas in a more competitive position to attract new business and grow existing ones. I supported this bill.

Creating Jobs

Sub HB 2430 will make some changes to the Promoting Employment Across Kansas (PEAK) program. The PEAK program allows companies to retain 95 percent of the payroll withholding tax of eligible jobs for an approved amount of time. This creates an incentive for new businesses to come to Kansas and for existing businesses to expand. The first change the bill makes is to expand PEAK benefits to jobs paying “average” wages at or above the county median wage, rather than just jobs paying “median” wages at or above the county median wage. Additionally, companies that entered the PEAK program before Jan. 1, 2013, may apply for an extension of benefits to be approved by the Secretary of Commerce. The bill also expands the limit on the amount of employee income taxes that may be taken from the State General Fund and given directly to employers. This bill essentially expands the range of benefits offered by the PEAK program and creates an even more enticing environment for new business to come to Kansas. I supported this bill.

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