Senate Highlights – Weekly overview
This week was the last week of legislative activity before VETO session. Early Friday morning, the Senate gaveled out for adjournment and will reconvene on April 26th. When we return, the legislature will consider any items the governor has vetoed and complete its work on the budget and any other remaining bills. The wrap-up period is expected to not last long, but work remains on a few topics.
SENATE FLOOR ACTION
Conference Committee process
The Senate voted on numerous conference committee reports and also debated bills on the Senate Floor. 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. Within ten days after passage, a bill must be signed by the presiding officers of each chamber, the chief clerk of the House and the secretary of the Senate, and be presented to the governor for approval. The governor has ten days after receipt of the bill to act on it. If the governor does not act on it during the ten-day period, the bill automatically becomes law without the governor’s signature. Most bills passed by the Legislature are approved by the governor. However, the governor may veto a bill by refusing to sign it and returning it to the chamber in which the bill originated, together with a statement of the reasons for the veto. In appropriation bills only, the governor may veto some items (line-item) and approve the others by signing the bill. However, should the governor veto a bill, the Legislature, by a two-thirds vote in both chambers, may override (overturn) the governor’s veto and the bill will be enacted into law without the governor’s signature. Once the bill becomes a law, whether by the governor’s approval or a legislative override, it is filed with the Secretary of State.
HB 2238 – will create the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act to require student athletes to compete in gender-specific sports based upon the student’s biological gender. The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act will now become law. The Kansas Senate on April 5th followed in the footsteps of the Kansas House (vote of 84-40) in voting to override the veto of HB 2238 by Governor Kelly. HB 2238 passed 28-12. I voted yes.
The Senate and House both passed their budget for the year. This budget bill, HB 2184, makes appropriations to various state agencies for fiscal years 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027 and 2028. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 24-12 and the House by a vote of 79-44. The budget will now be presented to the governor for consideration. It is important to note that HB 2184 does not contain K-12 education funding, so it only represents about 50% of state expenditures. The education funding will be taken care of in the omnibus budget during veto session. I voted yes.
Both chambers passed their major tax legislation, SB 169, late last week. The bill makes various changes to income, sales, and property tax law. Specifically, the bill replaces current individual income tax brackets with a single rate of 5.15 percent. The bill also expands the exemption of Social Security income and provides for annual standard deduction increases by a cost-of-living adjustment. The bill accelerates the elimination of state sales tax on food to January 1, 2024, lowers the corporate tax rate by 1% and also increases the amount of the appraised value of residential property exempt from the statewide uniform 20-mill school finance levy to $60,000 (from the current $40,000). The bill passed the Senate 24-13 and the House 85-38 and is also under consideration by the Governor. House Sub. for SB 169 heads to the governor. I voted yes.
SCR 1611 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 4 percent per year. The limit would not apply when the property (among other exemptions) includes new construction or when improvements have been made, title to the property is transferred, changed, or conveyed to another person. SCR 1611 passed 28-11. If it passes the House, it will go to the voters for approval. I voted yes.
Senate Sub. for HB 2138 would require school district boards of education to adopt a policy regarding separate overnight accommodations for students of each biological sex during school district sponsored travel and provide for administrative review by the State Board of Education of resolutions adopted by school district boards to permanently close a school building. Senate Sub. for HB 2138 passed 28-10. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2039 would require the Secretary of Wildlife and Parks or the Secretary’s designee 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. The bill also would designate the Lehigh Portland Trails in Allen County as Lehigh Portland State Park. HB 2039 passed 35-5. I voted yes.
House Sub. for SB 116 would amend the Personal and Family Protection Act to remove certain fees paid by persons who have applied for a concealed carry license (CCL) or who are seeking renewal of such license, specifying no such fees would be required to be paid except to cover the cost of taking fingerprints. House Sub. for SB 116 passed 27-10. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2264 would amend the Woman’s-Right-to-Know Act to add a notification requirement about reversal of abortion options with certain medications and amend the definition of abortion. HB 2264 passed 26-11. I voted yes.
SB 209 would change the deadline for all advance voting ballots to be received by the county election officer from the third day following the date of the election to 7:00 p.m. on the date of the election. SB 209 passed 23-14. I voted yes.
SCR 1603 states the Kansas Legislature urges the President of the United States to restore energy independence in the United States. SCR 1603 passed 29-10. Having also passed the house, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2100, would create the Kansas Public Investments and Contracts Protection Act and would amend law governing the Kansas Public Employees Retirement Fund (Trust Fund) and 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) criteria. HB 2100 passed 27-12. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
SB 217 would amend law regarding the use of electronic tracking systems (air tags) to target a person’s location, movement, or travel patterns and the timeframes of protective orders. SB 217 passed 37-0. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
SB 180 would establish the Women’s Bill of Rights and provide a meaning of biological sex for purposes of statutory construction. SB 180 passed 28-12. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. 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 36-2. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
SB 26 would create the Kansas Child Mutilation Prevention Act (Act). The bill would allow an individual who had gender reassignment service performed as a child to bring a civil cause of action under the Act against the physician who performed such service. SB 26 passed 23-12. Having also passed the House, it heads to the Governor. I voted yes.
HB 2020 would amend law pertaining to the employment classification of drivers for motor carriers and transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Uber. HB 2020 passed 28-12. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2298 would designate two portions of highways in honor of deceased Kansans:
The Officer Donald Burton Gamblin Jr Memorial Highway would be the portion of I-435 in Johnson County and The Robert Lessen Memorial Highway would be the portion of US-69 in Crawford County. HB 2298 passed 40-0. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2147 would create and amend law to change procedures regarding purchase of a vehicle that had been towed. It also would amend the Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways to add law to prohibit counterfeit airbags and to amend law to authorize certain ground effect lighting on vehicles. HB 2147 passed 40-0. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2059 would amend various provisions of the Kansas Liquor Control Act, Kansas Cereal Malt Beverage Act, and Club and Drinking Establishment Act concerning remittance of gallonage taxes, samples, Sunday sales, the food sales requirement, and common consumption areas. The bill would also permit food establishments to allow dogs in outside areas on the premises. HB 2059 passed 34-6. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2346 would authorize “Back the Blue” and City of Topeka distinctive license plates and permit, on and after January 1, 2025, any distinctive license plate to also be a personalized plate. HB 2346 passed 40-0. I voted yes.
SB 66 would enact the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact. In addition, the bill would require state licensing bodies to provide paper-based and verified electronic credentials to all credential holders, and to also utilize a centralized electronic credential data management system. SB 66 passed 37-3. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
SB 132 would authorize a Buffalo Soldier license plate for use on a vehicle. The bill would allow the Richard Allen Cultural Center and Museum to authorize the organization’s logo to be affixed on these license plates. SB 132 passed 40-0. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
SB 44 would enact the Kansas Financial Institutions Information Security Act. Covered entities under the act would be required to set standards for developing and maintaining safeguards to protect the security, confidentiality, and integrity of customer information. SB 44 passed the Senate 36-4. 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 (SHF) to the Rail Service Improvement Fund from $5.0 million to $10.0 million annually, starting July 1, 2023. Continuing law authorizes use of these funds for financing, acquisition, or rehabilitation of railroad and rolling stock. HB 2335 passed 35-2. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. 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 and conservation and stabilization action plans to the Chief Engineer, Division of Water Resources, Kansas Department of Agriculture. The bill would be part of and supplemental to the Kansas Groundwater Management Act. HB 2279 passed 34-6. I voted yes.
SB 44 would enact the Kansas Financial Institutions Information Security Act. The bill would designate covered entities, define terms, outline requirements for covered entities, and provide for responsibilities of the State Bank Commissioner under the Act. SB 44 passed 36-4. I voted yes.
SB 119 would clarify the definition of “insurance company,” add certain legal entities to the definition of “person,”; make the annual update to risk-based capital (RBC) and other technical corrections and reconciling changes in the Insurance Code. SB 119 passed 40-0. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2090 would make several changes to the Insurance Code to decrease the premium tax rate assessed for certain surplus lines business, modify reporting and fee requirements relating to prepaid service plans, and amend the Uniform Insurance Agents Licensure Act and the Public Adjusters Licensing Act to allow the Commissioner of Insurance to set certain fees lower than the established statutory maximum amounts and also amend fingerprinting criteria for resident agents. HB 2090 passed 37-3. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2015 – would modify the law governing court-ordered infectious disease testing. Current law allows the head of an agency or head of an entity that employs certain persons to petition a court to apply for a court-ordered infectious disease test of another person when an employee is exposed to the transmission of bodily fluids of another person during the course of their work. Employees within the scope of this law include corrections officers, emergency services staff, juvenile correctional facility staff, and law enforcement employees. The bill would allow a designee of the head of an agency or head of an entity to apply for such court-ordered testing. The bill would also make technical changes to ensure consistency in statutory phrasing. HB 2015 passed 32-8. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2216 contains important criminal justice reform. It 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. HB 2216 passed 34-6. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2065 would modify law governing name changes during a divorce to allow the court to change a spouse’s name to a name other than the spouse’s former name at the request of the spouse and to give the court jurisdiction to make such a change at or after the time the decree of divorce becomes final. HB 2065 passed 39-1. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2131 would create law concerning the mission of the Judicial Council and amend law related to Judicial Council funds. HB 2131 passed 37-3. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2130 would amend law in the Kansas Probate Code concerning: certain dollar amount limits and thresholds referenced in the Code; transfer-on-death deeds; publication of notice of probate hearings and sales of probate real estate; and filing of wills in court. HB 2130 passed 40-0. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2093 would establish the Group-funded Pools Refund Fund and eliminate assessments paid by municipal group-funded liability pools and group-funded workers’ compensation pools; amend provisions pertaining to premium taxes paid by municipal group funded liability pools and group-funded workers’ compensation pools; and 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. The bill would also make technical changes. HB 2093 passed 40-0. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. 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 and the Water Projects Grant Fund, authorize the Kansas Water Office to provide grants and adopt rules and regulations to establish criteria for grants, update reporting requirements for the Kansas Water Authority, and make technical amendments. Senate Sub. for HB 2302 passed 38-1. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2014 would modify the Boiler Safety Act and emergency medical services (EMS) statutes relating to certain job qualifications and position descriptions. HB 2014 passed 40-0. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2336 would amend law pertaining to the issuance of general obligation bonds by airport authorities enacted under the Surplus Property and Public Airport Authority Act. The bill would further specify any issuance of bonds subject to approval by a board of county commissioners could be petitioned by qualified electors of the county to be submitted to a general election in the manner provided for in continuing law. The bill would also limit the costs applying to the thresholds from the total project costs to the construction costs of the project. HB 2336 passed 31-7. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
SB 17 would update the designation of and references to the Kansas Rural Housing Incentive District Act to the Kansas Reinvestment Housing Incentive District Act and would create certain housing projects criteria in designated cities with a population of 60,000 or more. SB 17 passed 31-9. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
SB 85 would enact the Kansas Travel Insurance Act as part of the Kansas Insurance Act and remove the requirement that the Kansas State Employees Health Care Commission offer as a benefit the option to purchase long-term care insurance and indemnity insurance. SB 85 passed 36-4. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
House Sub. for SB 42 would exempt a rural emergency hospital licensed under the Rural Emergency Hospital Act from an assessment imposed on hospital providers as part of the Health Care Access Improvement Program. The bill would also require members of a hospital board to be qualified electors of either the county where the hospital is located or any county adjacent to such county and require a member living in an adjacent county to own real property within the taxing district of the hospital. The bill would require a majority of the members of the hospital board to be residents of the county in which the hospital is located. House Sub. for SB 42 passed 38-1. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
SB 221 is a comprehensive bill brought to the legislature by the Secretary of State aimed at cleaning up our election laws with a focus on ensuring our laws are consistent throughout statutes and clear for election officials at both the state and county level. It amends several provisions of law related to elections and would amend law on election-related subjects including procedures for write-in candidates for certain elected offices, election administration, qualifications for office, dates and deadlines, notices, certain election crimes, and equipment. SB 221 passed 30-6. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
Senate Sub. for HB 2058 would amend law to authorize any gaming compact concerning sports wagering to include provisions governing sports wagering outside the boundaries of Indian lands. Senate Sub. for HB 2058 passed 26-13. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. 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 37-3. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2196 would authorize the affiliation of certain persons employed by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks into the Kansas Police and Firemen’s (KP&F) Retirement System on July 1, 2023, and would expand the defined membership of the Deferred Retirement Option Program to include any member of KP&F who is eligible to participate in DROP. HB 2196 passed 32-6. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2094 would continue the existing statutory requirement that parents cooperate with child support services administered by the Department for Children and Families (DCF) as a condition of receiving a child care subsidy and maintain the periods of ineligibility for a child care subsidy for non-cooperation. The bill would also amend law pertaining to eligibility requirements for the food assistance program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) to require work registrants ages 50 through 59 without dependents who are not exempt under federal law to participate in an employment and training program. HB 2094 passed 26-12. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2234 would enact the Kansas Film and Digital Media Production Development. The Act would create a sales tax exemption and nonrefundable income tax credits for qualifying film production activities and establish educational and economic development programs to incentivize and promote the growth of film and digital media production and industry in Kansas. HB 2234 passed 32-6. I voted yes.
HB 2292 would create the Kansas Apprenticeship Act, which would establish a tax credit and grant incentive programs for apprenticeships and create a matching grant program within the Department of Commerce to provide grants to eligible institutions of higher education based on the number of engineering program graduates of the institution. HB 2292 passed 32-6. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2019 would add requirements for reporting significant cybersecurity incidents by entities maintaining personal information provided by the State or using information systems operated by the State. HB 2019 passed 38-0. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
HB 2024 would amend the Revised Kansas Code for Care of Children relating to the Newborn Infant Protection Act to provide an alternate means to legally surrender an infant pursuant to the Act; to create a program within the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) for the training of and payment for Child Abuse Review and Evaluation (CARE) providers who conduct CARE exams; and would enact the Representative Gail Finney Memorial Foster Care Bill of Rights to enumerate and codify in statute the rights of children in need of care in the child welfare system (foster youth) and the rights of foster parents and kinship caregivers. HB 2024 passed 36-1. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
SB 243 would create law concerning requirements and procedures for a person having legal custody of a minor to enter into a settlement agreement without court approval on behalf of the minor when the settlement is less than a net amount of $25,000. SB 243 passed 38-0. I voted yes.
House Sub. for SB 244 would create a new section of law and substantially update various articles of the Kansas General Corporation Code. The bill would also amend various provisions concerning Secretary of State business filings, reports, and fees in the Code and the Kansas Revised Limited Liability Company Act; Business Entity Transactions Act; the Business Entity Standard Treatment Act; Kansas Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act; and the Kansas Uniform Partnership Act. House Sub. for SB 244 passed 28-8. I voted yes.
SB 75 would amend law governing the rate of legal interest for civil tort actions where prejudgment interest is awarded. SB 75 passed 38-0. I voted yes.
SB 189 would amend law regarding file and information sharing by law enforcement agencies regarding applicants for employment. The bill would require each applicant who has submitted an application for a law enforcement officer position to execute a written waiver that authorizes disclosure of an applicant’s previous employment records to the hiring agency when such applicant has submitted an application for a law enforcement officer position with another state or local law enforcement agency or governmental agency. SB 189 passed 40-0. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
SB 123 would create the Kansas Adult Learner Grant Act (Adult Learner Act) and a workforce retention incentive tax credit; establish the Career and Technical Education Credential and Transition Incentive for Employment Success Act; address the residency status of veterans, their spouses, and dependents regarding postsecondary tuition and fees; and amend the Kansas Promise Scholarship Act. SB 123 passed 35-2. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
SB 228 would update language in Article 19 of Chapter 19 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated concerning county jails. The bill would also create law concerning reimbursement of costs when a person is confined in a county jail awaiting examination, evaluation, or treatment for competency to stand trial under the Kansas Code of Criminal Procedure. SB 228 passed 33-3. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
Senate Sub. for HB 2060 would make various technical changes to statutes, including changes to law relating to the Drivers’ Training School License Act. The bill would also amend law relating to the State Medical Student Loan Program and the Medical Residency Bridging Program (loan programs), and would establish an obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) medical loan repayment program. Additionally, the bill would authorize several items that qualified students must be provided reasonable access to under the AO-K to Work Program. Similarly, the bill would amend law to include individuals who receive a high school equivalency (HSE) credential, or who are pursuing an HSE credential, in the calculation of and subsequent distribution of performance-based payments for community colleges and technical colleges. Senate Sub. for HB 2060 passed 32-3. I voted yes.
HB 2002 would create two sales tax exemptions, authorize additional sales tax authority for Grant and Dickinson counties, make various changes to property tax law, and establish a requirement for filing the release of tax warrants by the Secretary of Revenue. HB 2002 passed 37-0. I voted yes.
House Sub. for SB 229 addresses this issue by establishing a nine-member Legislative Compensation Commission and requires the Commission to study compensation, salary, and retirement benefits of legislative members; make recommendations on legislator retirement benefits; and set compensation and salary rates for legislators. Also, beginning January 1, 2025, and subject to appropriations, the bill would establish compensation rates for certain state officials, judges, and certain elected district attorneys that would be equal to a percentage of the salaries for a U.S. congressional member, a U.S. district judge, or a district judge. House Sub. for SB 229 passed 25-8. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. I voted yes.
SB 205 would amend law concerning water rights, the establishment of multi-year flex accounts, and participation in a water bank. The bill would require the Chief Engineer, Division of Water Resources, Kansas Department of Agriculture, to approve a complete application for the establishment of a multi-year flex account. SB 205 passed 40-0. Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor. 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.
SEARCH FOR UNCLAIMED PROPERTY – Kansas Unclaimed Property Quick Link
Type in or click this link for the instant search entry form-https://kansascash.ks.gov/up_search.php
OFF SESSION AT HOME
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 785 243-3325 at my office in Concordia with questions or concerns during the break.
Thank you for the honor of serving you!