SENATE HIGHLIGHTS – WEEKLY OVERVIEW
The Kansas Senate completed a whirlwind three days of floor action debating more than 70 bills ending after 8PM on Wednesday. Monday will start a four-day week to complete the regular part of the 2023 legislative session and head us towards first adjournment on Thursday. There are more than 40 bills in conference committees and next week’s work will primarily consist of voting on these conference committee reports. In this process, the committee chair, vice-chair and ranking member will gather from the House and Senate committees and hammer out the differences in bills. Conference committees will have until Thursday, April 6, to meet. A conference committee is a small, bipartisan, and bicameral committee that works to smooth out the differences between the House and Senate’s version of a similar bill. Once the conference committee reaches a compromise, the negotiated bill is sent to both the House and Senate for a final vote before advancing to the governor’s desk. After the conclusion of the regular session next week, the legislature is scheduled to take a two-week break before returning for the veto session in late April.
SENATE FLOOR ACTION
SB 291 would create the Kansas Public Investments and Contracts Protection Act and would amend law governing the Kansas Public Employees Retirement Fund investment standards to prohibit state agencies and other political subdivisions from giving preferential treatment to or discriminating against companies based on environmental, social, or governance (ESG). SB 291 passed 29-11. I voted yes.
SB 300 would reduce tax rates for the financial institutions privilege tax. SB 300 passed 34-6. I voted yes.
SCR 1610 would if adopted by a two-thirds majority of each chamber of the Kansas Legislature and approved by voters – would amend the Kansas Constitution to generally limit, for property tax purposes, the valuation growth of any real property to 3 percent per year. Exclusions include new construction or improvements that have been made and property transferred, changed, or conveyed to another person. Because it was a constitutional amendment, SCR 1610 needed 27 votes to pass. The vote was 26-14. I voted yes.
SB 265 would amend the crime of violating a protective order to establish penalties for repeat violations of such orders and would create law in the Kansas Code of Criminal Procedure requiring a defendant convicted of an offense causing death or incapacitation of a victim pay restitution in the form of child support to any minor child of such victim. SB 265 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
Senate Sub. for HB 2010 would amend the definition of criminal discharge of a firearm by amending the definition of criminal discharge of a firearm to include the reckless and unauthorized discharge of any firearm at a motor vehicle in which there is a human being, regardless of whether the offender knows or has reason to know that a human being is present. Senate Sub HB 2010 passed 38-2. I voted yes.
Senate Sub. for HB 2127 would allow the criminal prosecution for childhood sexual abuse to be commenced at any time and extend the time to file a civil action for recovery of damages resulting from childhood sexual abuse, and provide exceptions in the Kansas Tort Claims Act (KTCA) for claims arising from such abuse. Senate Sub. for HB 2127 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
HB 2292 would create the Kansas Apprenticeship Act, which would establish a tax credit and grant incentive programs for apprenticeships. HB 2292 passed 30-7. I voted yes.
Senate Sub. for HB 2053 would amend election law to provide for a presidential preference primary to be held on March 19, 2024, and would establish voter registration and voting procedures for such election. Senate Sub. for HB 2053 passed 28-12. I voted no. The anticipated cost to this presidential primary is estimated at $5 million which I believe these funds can be used in a more efficient way for Kansas citizens.
HB 2263 The bill would add pharmacy technicians, at least 18 years of age and under the direct supervision and control of a pharmacist, to the list of those authorized to administer vaccinations after successfully completing a course of study and training in vaccination storage, protocols, injection technique, emergency procedures, recordkeeping, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The bill would create the Kansas Child Mutilation Prevention Act. The bill also would define childhood gender reassignment service as performing, or causing to be performed, certain acts listed in the bill upon a child under 18 years of age for the purpose of attempting to affirm the child’s perception of the child’s sex or gender if that perception is inconsistent with the child’s sex. HB 2263 passed 26-10. I voted yes.
SB 252 would limit government competition against the private sector by creating property and sales tax exemptions for certain businesses located in cities where a facility owned or operated by a governmental entity competes against the business. SB 252 passed 24-16. I voted yes.
Senate Sub. for HB 2138 would require each school district board of education to adopt a policy requiring that separate overnight accommodations be provided for students of each biological sex during school district sponsored travel that requires overnight stays, and would address retaliation against a student who reports such violation. The bill would also provide for administrative review by the State Board of Education of resolutions adopted by local school boards to permanently close a school building. Senate Sub. for HB 2138 passed 29‑11. I voted yes.
Senate Sub. for HB 2070 establishes the office of the child advocate as an independent state agency. The Child Advocate would be established as the independent head of the Office of Child Advocate. The Child Advocate would be appointed by the Governor and subject to confirmation by the Senate. Senate Sub. for HB 2070 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
Senate Sub. for HB 2390 would restrict the authority of the secretary of health and environment and local health officers to issue orders and quarantines. Senate Sub for HB 2390 passed 24-16. I voted no. This bill (SB#6) voted on earlier in session stills removes the collaboration between the Secretary of Agriculture and KDHE to monitor Avian influenza (bird flu) and hoof and mouth disease easily transmitted to humans (hand, foot, and mouth).
SB 314 would prohibit the Secretary of Health and Environment from requiring a COVID-19 vaccine for any child cared for in a childcare facility, any student enrolling or enrolled in a school for the first time in Kansas. SB 314 passed 24-16. I voted yes.
SB 315 would create an exemption provision to vaccine requirements for individuals at child care centers and schools for sincerely held religious beliefs, as defined by the bill, and no further inquiry of the sincerity of the belief would be allowed. SB 315 passed 22-18. I voted yes.
HB 2264 would establish the No Patient Left Alone Act. During COVID, Americans were subject to emotionally traumatizing situations where they couldn’t visit a loved one in a hospital, leaving them to suffer alone. This bill would establish who may visit a patient in a patient care facility and would require patient care facilities to provide for in-person visitation. HB 2264 passed 31-9. I voted yes.
SB 112 would permit a registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) to practice as an independent advanced registered nurse to the full extent of the scope of the licensee’s education and qualifications except for the performance of surgery for the purpose of implantation of medication reservoirs for drug delivery devices. SB 112 passed 33-6. I voted yes.
HB 2304 would create law related to firearm safety education programs conducted in public school districts. The bill would allow local school boards to provide firearm safety education programs. The State Board of Education would be directed to establish curriculum guidelines for a standardized firearm safety education program, which would be required to include accident prevention. HB 2304 passed 31-8. I voted yes.
HB 2236 would state that a parent has a right to direct the education, upbringing, and moral or religious training of their children. The bill would also direct local boards of education to adopt policies and procedures to guarantee the free exercise of these rights and establish a means by which a parent could remove their child from a lesson or class based upon objections to the course material. HB 2236 passed 23-17. I voted yes.
SB 297 would amend the definition of abortion and would adopt the definition of abortion uniformly for statutes pertaining to insurance coverage for elective abortions, abortion facility licensure, abortion of a pain-capable unborn child, the Kansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, and general abortion statutes addressing viability, restrictions and prohibitions, and information to be provided. The bill would clarify certain medical procedures and the prescription, dispensing, administration, sale, or use of any method of contraception would not to be considered an abortion. SB 297 passed 29-11. I voted yes.
HB 2024 would amend the Newborn Infant Protection Act within the Revised Kansas Code for Care of Children to provide an alternate means to legally surrender an infant pursuant to the Act. The bill would authorize a parent or other person who chooses to surrender physical custody of an infant to a newborn safety device, installed at a police station, sheriff’s office, law enforcement center, fire station, city or county health department, hospital, ambulatory surgical center, or recuperation center. HB 2024 passed 35-5. I voted yes.
HB 2313 would enact the Born-alive Infants Protection Act. To provide legal protections for infants who are born alive regardless of the intent of the delivery. The bill would require, in the event an abortion or attempted abortion results in a child being born alive, any health care provider present at the time the child is born alive to exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence, to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care provider would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age; and ensure that the child who is born alive is immediately transported to a hospital. HB 2313 passed 31-9. I voted yes.
HB 2325 would amend the Health Care Provider Insurance Availability Act to add certain maternity centers to the definition of “health care provider” and to add facilities where elective abortions are performed to the list of entities that are not health care providers as defined in the bill, which would make such facilities ineligible to purchase professional liability insurance from the Health Care Stabilization Fund. HB 2325 passed 33-6. I voted yes.
SB 271 would add law regarding the maximum length of a train, distances between railroad crossings and rail cars stored on sidings, and enforcement of those provisions. SB 271 passed 27-13. I voted yes.
Sub SB 55 would modify the property tax exemption for Strother Field airport to replace the condition to qualify for the exemption from being property owned by the airport. Sub SB 55 passed 27-11. I voted yes.
HB 2096 would amend provisions pertaining to premium taxes paid by municipal group-funded liability pools and group-funded workers’ compensation pools to change the basis upon which the premium taxes for these pools are calculated. HB 2096 passed 39-0. I voted yes.
HB 2097 would remove the requirement of a documented written demand from an insurance company for unpaid premiums by an agent or broker. HB 2097 passed 39-0. I voted yes.
HB 2098 would add “and any other legal entity under the jurisdiction of the commissioner” to the definition of “person” in a statute pertaining to enforcement of insurance laws. HB 2098 passed 39-0. I voted yes.
HB 2100 would amend the effective date specified in the Insurance Code for the risk-based capital (RBC) instructions promulgated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for property and casualty companies and for life insurance companies. HB 2100 passed 39-0. I voted yes.
HB 2214 would amend the definition of “correctional institution” in the Department of Corrections (KDOC) definitions statute. The amended definition would change the name of the Larned Correctional Mental Health to the Larned State Correctional Facility. HB 2214 passed 39-0. I voted yes.
HB 2285 would clarify the definition of “insurance company” and make other technical corrections and reconciling changes in the Insurance Code. HB 2285 passed 39-0. I voted yes.
HB 2298 would designate as the Donald Burton Gamblin Jr Memorial Highway the portion of I-435 in Johnson County from its junction with Shawnee Mission Parkway north to its junction with Holliday Drive. HB 2298 passed 39-0. I voted yes.
SB 147 would increase the Kansas tax credits for adoption expenses and child and dependent care expenses. SB 147 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
HB 2019 would establish conditions in the Kansas Transportation Network Company Services Act for when a driver for a transportation network company (TNC) is an independent contractor. HB 2019 passed 29-11. I voted yes.
HB 2039 would require the Secretary of Wildlife and Parks to issue a free permanent hunting and fishing license to any person residing in the state upon providing proof to the Secretary that such person is a disabled veteran. HB 2039 passed 39-1. I voted yes.
HB 2059 would amend various provisions of the Kansas Liquor Control Act (KLCA) and Club and Drinking Establishment Act concerning samples and common consumption areas and the KLCA provisions concerning prohibited acts to allow alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverages to be the prize of a charitable raffle. HB 2059 passed 35-5. I voted yes.
HB 2080 would enact law supplemental to the Virtual School Act to allow students enrolled full-time in a Kansas virtual school to take statewide assessments, required by state law, in a virtual setting. HB 2080 passed 34-5. I voted yes.
HB 2082 would authorize counties to create a Code Inspection and Enforcement Fund, a Municipalities Fight Addiction Fund, and expand the existing County Equipment Reserve Fund to include purchases of technology and technology services. HB 2082 passed 38-2. I voted yes.
Sub. for HB 2121 would amend law governing statutory speedy trial in the Kansas Code of Criminal Procedure. The bill would suspend statutory speedy trial rights for defendants in all criminal cases until March 1, 2024. [Note: Current law suspends statutory speedy trial rights until May 1, 2023.] Sub for HB 2121 passed 32-8. I voted yes.
HB 2125 would amend law related to tattooing, cosmetic tattooing, and body piercing and exempt adult care homes and long-term care units of a medical care facilities from statutes governing barbering and cosmetology. The bill would authorize the Kansas State Board of Cosmetology to create and issue charitable event permits and demonstration permits. HB 2125 passed 38-1. I voted yes.
HB 2173 would prohibit any state agency or local unit of government from prohibiting or restricting the use of any refrigerant approved for use under federal Safe Alternatives Policy (42 U.S. Code Section 7671k). HB 2173 passed 31-9. I voted yes.
HB 2196 would expand the defined membership of the Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) to include any member of the Kansas Police and Firemen’s Retirement System who is eligible to participate and elects to participate in DROP. Under current law, a DROP participant can only include a trooper, examiner, or officer of the Kansas Highway Patrol or an agent of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI). HB 2196 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
HB 2226 would amend the Kansas Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act regarding excavation notification and white lining [i.e., the marking of a site for excavation]. HB 2226 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
HB 2234 would increase the cost thresholds for state building projects at which a negotiating committee must be convened for the selection of architectural, engineering, or land surveying services to $1.5 million and provide for future increases to the thresholds. HB 2234 passed 36-4. I voted yes.
HB 2240 would amend the Revised Kansas Code for Care of Children to clarify and require the clerk of the district court to provide various parties with written notice when a child is placed in a qualified residential treatment program. HB 2240 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
HB 2269 would amend the Kansas Cigarette and Tobacco Products Act to raise the minimum age to 21 to sell, purchase, and possess cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and tobacco products. HB 2269 passed 28-11. I voted no. Current federal law passed in 2019 is age 21.
HB 2284 would amend law requiring certain municipalities to pay for the premiums for the continuation of insurance coverage under COBRA for the surviving spouse and eligible dependent children of a firefighter who dies in the line of duty. HB 2284 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
HB 2288 would establish the Counseling Compact to facilitate interstate practice of licensed professional counselors. The bill would also amend law to add a licensure fee relating to the privilege to practice under the Compact. HB 2288 passed 36-4. I voted yes.
HB 2322 would amend provisions within the Special Education for Exceptional Children Act to define the term “emotional disability,” revise the definition of “children with disabilities” to include dyslexia, and replace the term “emotional disturbance” with “emotional disability.” HB 2322 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
HB 2335 would authorize the Rail Service Improvement Fund to be used for qualified track maintenance and would increase transfers from the State Highway Fund to the Rail Service Improvement Fund from $5.0 million to $10.0 million annually, starting July 1, 2023. HB 2335 passed 38-2. I voted yes.
HB 2375 would create a new type of temporary license for certain applicants who have graduated from a social work program, including an online social work program, that is in candidacy from a national accrediting body recognized by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board. HB 2375 passed 39-1. I voted yes.
SB 40 would allow taxpayers to subtract certain net operating losses in determining their Kansas adjusted gross income and would make changes to the Homestead Property Tax Refund Act. SB 40 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
SB 287 would expand current provisions to permit the issuance of a silver alert for a missing person 18 years of age or older who has dementia, a developmental disability such as autism spectrum disorder, or a cognitive impairment. SB 287 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
SB 301 would require elected and appointed officers of a governmental subdivision to file annual statements of substantial interest with the office where declarations of candidacy are required to be filed. Current law requires such officeholders to file statements only in a year in which their substantial interests change. Upon receipt of a statement of substantial interest, the receiving office would be required to submit a copy to the Secretary of State. SB 301 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
SB 307 would amend the Kansas Fights Addiction Act (Act) to include for-profit private entities in the definition of “qualified applicant.” Under continuing law, the Act allows qualified applicants to apply for grants from the Kansas Fights Addiction Fund for projects and activities that prevent, reduce, treat, or mitigate the effects of substance abuse and addiction. These grant applications must be approved by the Kansas Fights Addiction Grant Review Board. SB 307 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
Senate Sub. for HB 2016 would enact the Act Against Abusive Website Access Litigation to create a civil action for determining whether litigation that alleges any website access violation under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or similar law constitutes abusive litigation. Senate Sub for HB 2016 passed 35-5. I voted yes.
HB 2027 would amend the “slayer rule” to create a procedure to prevent the distribution of estate assets until the resolution of criminal proceedings involving a person who has interest in the estate and who has been arrested or charged with the felonious killing of the decedent. HB 2027 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
HB 2087 would amend law regarding the selection of presidential electors, the day presidential electors meet and perform their required duties, and contests to the election of the presidential electors. HB 2087 passed 39-1. I voted yes.
HB 2114 would rename the Joint Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice Oversight to the J. Russell (Russ) Jennings Joint Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice Oversight. HB 2114 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
HB 2147 would create law to require a public agency or towing or wrecking service lawfully selling an abandoned or towed motor vehicle to provide a certification to the purchaser that statutory recovery, storage, notification, and verification requirements associated with abandoned or towed vehicles have been satisfied, and that vehicle identification number inspection requirements have been met. HB 2147 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
HB 2160 would amend secured load requirements for trucks, trailers, and semitrailers hauling cotton bales. The bill would clarify the cotton bales could be transported by the cotton producer intrastate from the place of production or storage to a market on the truck, trailer, or semitrailer equipped with cradles, and stakes, sideboards, or side posts that are no less than 12 inches high. HB 2160 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
Senate Sub. for HB 2170 would create the Donor Intent Protection Act, which would provide legal recourse to an individual charitable donor when the donor’s gift restrictions are not followed by the recipient charitable organization. Senate Sub. for HB 2170 passed 31-8. I voted yes.
HB 2225 would amend law authorizing a Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC)-regulated utility to recover costs associated with the transmission of electric power through a transmission delivery charge. HB 2225 passed 37-2. I voted yes.
HB 2279 would add sections to the Kansas Groundwater Management District Act to require groundwater management districts to submit annual reports to the Legislature with conservation and stabilization action plans to the Chief Engineer, Division of Water Resources, Kansas Department of Agriculture. HB 2279 passed 35-5. I voted yes.
HB 2290 would authorize the affiliation of Northwest Kansas Technical College and North Central Kansas Technical College with Fort Hays State University (FHSU). HB 2290 passed 39-0. I voted yes.
Senate Sub. for HB 2302 would establish funding for the State Water Plan and water infrastructure projects, create the Water Technical Assistance Fund (Assistance Fund) and the Water Projects Grant Fund (Grant Fund), authorize the Kansas Water Office (KWO) to provide grants and adopt rules and regulations to establish criteria for grants, update reporting requirements for the Kansas Water Authority. Senate Sub. for HB 2302 passed 39-1. I voted yes.
HB 2326 would extend the sunset date on the Scrap Metal Theft Reduction Act from July 1, 2023, to July 1, 2028, and would specify “regulated scrap metal” under the Act includes catalytic converters, as defined by the bill. HB 2326 passed 39-1. I voted yes.
HB 2346 would authorize “back the blue” and City of Topeka distinctive license plates; require each license plate furnished to have the county of registration either printed or shown by decal affixed to the license plate and permit any distinctive license plate to also be a personalized plate. HB 2346 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
HB 2350 would create the crimes of human smuggling and aggravated human smuggling, provide for criminal penalties, and make these provisions supplemental to the Kansas Criminal Code. HB 2350 passed 38-1. I voted yes.
HB 2395 would remove sunset provisions for confidentiality of certain records and would make those records permanent exceptions to the Kansas Open Records Act. The bill would also remove the requirement for legislative review of those exceptions prior to July 1, 2023. HB 2395 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
HB 2002 would amend law related to the revenue neutral rate hearing notice, require property valuation notices to include additional information, permit the use of fee simple appraisals performed by Kansas Certified Residential Real Property Appraisers in certain valuation appeals, permit payment under protest appeals by taxpayers having already appealed their property valuation pursuant to an equalization appeal, and codify agricultural land adverse influences for property valuation purposes. HB 2002 passed 34-6. I voted yes.
HB 2021 would amend law regarding the provision of services to children in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems by requiring the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC), the Department for Children and Families (DCF), and the Judicial Branch to collaborate when providing services. HB 2021 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
Senate Sub. for HB 2060 would make technical changes to law relating to the Drivers’ Training School License Act to ensure community colleges and other institutions receive payments from the State Safety Fund. Senate Sub. For HB 2060 passed 35-5. I voted yes.
HB 2172 would enact the Uniform Trust Decanting Act and would amend law in the Kansas Uniform Trust Code, Kansas Probate Code, and Kansas Income Tax Act with respect to the statutory rule against perpetuities, to make the RAP inapplicable in certain circumstances. HB 2172 passed 36-4. I voted yes.
HB 2216 would remove, for a first-time offender, the mandatory term of imprisonment for driving with a driver’s license that was canceled, suspended, or revoked for failure to appear in response to a traffic citation or failure to pay fines or otherwise comply with a traffic citation. Convictions for the offense would be subject to a mandatory fine of at least $100. [Note: Current law provides a mandatory fine of at least $100 and a minimum of five days’ imprisonment.] HB 2216 passed 34-6. I voted yes.
HB 2323 would regulate the process of property transfer agreements in Johnson County between a fire district and city, on land annexed by the city. HB 2323 passed 38-2. I voted yes.
HB 2336 would amend law pertaining to the issuance of general obligation bonds by the board of directors of airport authorities enacted under the Surplus Property and Public Airport Authority Act. HB 2336 passed 30‑10. I voted yes.
H Sub for SB 208 would amend provisions in the Campaign Finance Act on topics including procedures of the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission (Commission) H Sub for SB 208 passed 27-12. Having already passed the House, it is now headed directly to the governor, who is expected to sign it. I voted yes.
Full texts of the bills and supplemental notes as well as the Final Action vote on these measures can be found at www.kslegislature.org
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