Senator Bowers Kansas Senate Scene 2023 Legislative Wrap-Up


On Friday, April 28, the Kansas Legislature wrapped up the 2023 regular session sine die.  Sine die (Latin meaning “without day” or “without any future date being designated”) officially marks the final adjournment for the 2023 Legislative Session and ended on Day 88. Unlike in past sessions, the legislature opted to make April 28th sine die, meaning it will not be returning for a final day as in the past.  Later this week, the governor will receive those remaining bills to sign or veto.  The Senate sent 37 bills to the governor.  There was a total of 326 Senate bills introduced in 2023.   Barring a special session, the full legislature will return on January 8th, 2024.


Veto Overrides

The Senate voted to override the governor’s veto of SB 228 – this bill modernizes many statutes regarding county jails including separate accommodations for males and females.  It also provides funding from the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services to reimburse counties for costs when a person is in a county jail awaiting examination, evaluation or treatment for competency, procedures used when district courts commit prisoners to jail in another county and when counties contract with city jails to keep prisoners and requiring a medical examination.  The vote on the override was bi-partisan – passing the Senate by a vote of 31-9 and the House by a vote of 87-37.  It now becomes law.  I voted Yes.  

Both chambers voted to override the governor’s veto of the Women’s Bill of Rights, contained in SB 180.  It passed in the Senate with a vote of 28-12.  Also passing in the House, it now becomes law.  I voted Yes.

The Senate voted to override the governor’s veto of HB 2350.  The bill criminalizes smuggling people within our state when the person knows the person is in the country illegally or is likely to be exploited for financial gain.  The veto override was bi-partisan – passing the Senate 30-9.  The governor’s veto was also overridden in the House, so the bill now becomes law. I voted Yes.

Both chambers of the legislature voted to override the governor’s veto of the Born Alive Protection Act, HB 2313.   It requires that the doctor ‘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.’  It ensures that a child who has been born alive is given basic human rights as must be given to any infant.  Both votes were bi-partisan in nature – 31-9 in the Senate and 87-37 in the House, so the bill now becomes law.  I voted Yes. 

HB 2264  amends the definition of abortion and clarifies certain medical procedures and methods of contraception are not considered an abortion. The bill adopts the amended definition of abortion uniformly for multiple statutes. The bill also amends the Woman’s-Right-to-Know Act to add a notification requirement about reversal of abortion options with certain medications. The override vote was 29-11 in the Senate and also passed the House 84-40, so now the bill became law.  I voted Yes.  

HB 2094 – Requiring work registrants ages 50-59 to complete an employment and training program to receive food assistance, establishing periods of ineligibility for childcare subsidy based on cooperation with child support services, and requiring the secretary to conduct reviews of cooperation with child support.  Employment and a training program will be a condition of participation in SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) — unless they are exempt under federal law.  On the override, the Senate vote was 28-12 and the House vote was 84-40, so the bill will now become law.  I voted Yes.

HB 2138  requires separate overnight accommodations for students of each biological sex during school district sponsored travel.  The bill also permits local broadcasters to broadcast a school’s regular or postseason activities, notwithstanding exclusive contracts entered into by the Kansas State High School Activities Association.  In a bi-partisan vote of 30-9 in the Senate and with the House previously having voted to override the veto 85-39, the bill will now become law.  I voted Yes.

Budget line-item Veto’s – overridden 

The Kansas legislature voted to allocate $2 million to the Alternatives to Abortion Program to establish a statewide program to enhance and increase resources that promote childbirth instead of abortion including pregnancy support centers, adoption assistance, and maternity homes.  The legislature voted to override the Governor’s veto by a vote of 29-11 in the Senate and 86-38 in the House.  It now becomes law.  I voted Yes.  

Both chambers voted to override the governor’s line-item veto of a budget item that called for using tobacco settlement money for a youth suicide prevention hotline administered by the attorney general’s office. The Senate overrode the veto 28-11.   I voted Yes.

Sustained Vetoes – (Veto’s not overridden)

The Senate took override votes on the following additional bills, but failed to obtain the supermajority necessary to override the veto, with 27 being necessary in each instance:

The legislature’s tax proposal, SB169, included a flat income tax rate of 5.15%, a 0% state sales tax on food starting Jan. 1, 2024, increased the property tax exemption for the 20-mill levy for public schools, cut the corporate income taxes to 3% in 2024, and removed the tax on social security benefits under $100,000.  SB169 first failed on a motion to override the Governor’s veto in the Senate 26 to 14. The following day a motion to reconsider was made and that motion failed as well on a vote of 25 to 14, killing the bill for the 2023 session.  I voted Yes.

SB 209 – Requiring all advance voting ballots be returned by 7 p.m. on election day.  This bill would have returned to the law in the mid-2010’s and prior, when all ballots had to be received by the county election office on Election Day by 7:00 p.m. The Senate vote was 25-15.  I voted yes.

SB 26 – The bill would have allowed 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.  The bill would have established the statute of limitations for such cause of action, the medically verifiable disorders of sex development to which the Act would not apply, the relief that could be sought, and the time frame to which the Act would apply.  The provisions of the Act would not apply if the child was born with a medically verifiable disorder of sex development, as defined in the bill.    The vote was 26-14, so the veto was sustained.  I voted Yes.

HB 2325 – Health Care Stabilization Fund –  this bill would have amended 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.  The Senate vote was 25-15.  I voted Yes.

Bills adopted on the Senate Floor 

SB 106 is the annual reconciliation bill, reconciling amendments to statutes that were amended more than once during the current and prior legislative session.  It passed the Senate 39-1. Having also passed the House 120-0, it is headed to the governor.  I voted Yes.

SB 25 – Omnibus Budget – as recommended by the Omnibus Conference Committee, contains FY 2023 supplemental funding, and FY 2024 and FY 2025 expenditure adjustments for certain state agencies The omnibus bill included a variety of funds for agriculture purposes including $18,000,000 to the State Water Plan fund for the water projects grant fund and water technical assistance fund as a result of the passage of S Sub for HB2302.   SB 25 passed 29-10.  Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor.  I voted Yes.  HB 2021 would create and amend law regarding the assessment of and provision of services to children in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems; overall case length limits and community-based graduated sanctions under the Revised Kansas Juvenile Justice Code exchange of confidential data within the juvenile justice system; and use of funds from the Evidence-based Programs Account of the State General Fund.  The bill passed 22-16.  Having also passed the House, it now heads to the governor.  I voted No.  This was going to be the main topic of the 3-day interim JointCommittee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice Oversight for further discussion.  

SR 1725 approves an amendment to the gaming compact between the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation and the State of Kansas concerning sports wagering on tribal lands.  SR 1725 passed 27-8.  I voted Yes.

SB 113  (Education Budget) would make appropriations for the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) for FY 2023, FY 2024, and FY 2025; amend the Kansas School Equity and Enhancement Act (KSEEA) with regard to the calculation of State Foundation Aid and specific weightings; extend the high-density at-risk weighting sunset; and amend various provisions of law related to K-12 education.  It provides Constitutional K-12 funding, maintains School Safety Grant and Dyslexia Coordinator, increases 5% current Tax Credit for Low-Income Student Scholarship Program and provides 2 years of Gannon Constitutional Funding for special education plus an additional $7.5M.   In addition, SB 113 would authorize certain nonpublic students to participate in activities regulated by the Kansas State High School Activities Association.  The bill would extend the 20-mill exemption for two years and would provide for the disposition of school district real property and allow the Legislature the right of first refusal to acquire the property. SB 113 passed the Senate by a vote of 23-16.  Having also passed the House, it now heads to the governor.  I voted Yes.  

SB 8  is a comprehensive tax bill which includes a number of components providing additional sales and property tax relief – listed below are a few provisions:

·      Limits the instances in which a taxpayer must file statements regarding tangible personal property for tax purposes, reduce penalties for late filings, and specify extensions of time for filing such statements and abatements of penalties.

·      Beginning in tax year 2021, land devoted to agricultural use would include land and buildings utilized as part of a registered agritourism activity at a registered agritourism location by a registered agritourism operator.

·      Implement several reforms to the Homestead Property Tax Refund Act to help retirees and veterans and increase the maximum amount of income for which taxpayers would be eligible for this refund option from $50,000 to $80,000 and would exclude eligible disabled veterans from being required to have incomes below $80,000.

·      Increase the maximum appraised value of an eligible claimant’s home in the base year from $350,000 to $500,000 and provide for future increases to this amount based upon the average percentage change in statewide residential valuation of existing residential real estate for the preceding 10 years.

·      Create a real and personal property tax exemption for certain businesses located in cities where a facility owned or operated by a governmental entity competes against the business or within five miles of a facility owned or operated by a governmental entity that competes against the business.

·      Extends for one additional year, through calendar year 2024, the state reimbursement of printing and postage costs incurred when county clerks are required to mail notices of proposed tax increases beyond the revenue-neutral rate.

·      Require annual property valuation notices provided by county appraisers to include the appraised and assessed value of the property for the current year and two preceding years.

·      Create a sales tax exemption for the purchase of equipment, machinery, or other infrastructure purchased for use in the provision of internet access service, telecommunications service or video.

·      Create a subtraction modification allowing taxpayers who carried back federal net operating losses in tax years 2018 through 2020 pursuant to the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to subtract such amounts from their income for purposes of determining Kansas adjusted gross income. Taxpayers would be permitted to carry forward such net operating loss for up to 20 years.

·      Eases the penalties for employers not timely remitting withholding taxes into a graduated system rather than an automatic 15% penalty.

·      Creating the Pregnancy Resource Act, which would provide for a tax credit for contributions to nonprofit pregnancy centers or residential maternity centers.

·      Increasing, beginning in tax year 2023, the adoption tax credit to 75 percent of the federal adoption tax credit for most children and to 100 percent of the federal adoption tax credit if the child was a Kansas resident prior to the adoption and is a child with special needs, as defined in federal law.

·      Extend the terms and of and expands the Disability Employment Act, which provides tax credits to businesses which employ individuals with disabilities.

·      Removes sales tax on food on January 1, 2024 (leaving local sales tax in place)

SB 8 passed the Senate 26-13.  Having also passed the House, it heads to the governor.  I voted Yes.

HB 2285 would require the secretary of health and environment to study drug overdose death cases and providing for the confidentiality of related records, restricting the authority of the secretary of health and environment and local health officers to control the spread of infectious or contagious diseases (which also removes collaboration with Kansas Agriculture Department to track and contain Avian Bird Flu and Hoof and Mouth disease) repealing the authority of the secretary to quarantine individuals and impose penalties for violations thereof, and prohibiting the secretary of health and environment from requiring COVID-19 vaccination for children attending a child care facility or school. HB 2285 passed 22-18.  Having passed the House, it heads to the governor.  I voted No.  The Kansas Legislature removed many emergency executive powers of the Governor over the last few years of session and returned control back to our local elected government officials and school boards.  This along with the worry of controlling animal disease (some transmittable to humans) needs more discussion certainly to include the Department of Agriculture and the Ag Secretary in rural Kansas.  As with many bills we vote on, good ideas are mixed with other items which need to be analyzed to avoid unintended consequences.  If the Governor vetoes this bill, we will have next year to review the topics again as we are in the middle of a two-year cycle with the 2023 session adjourned.


ANCESTRY SEARCH – Family and adults

Heritage Quest is a comprehensive treasury of online American genealogical and local history resources supplied to all Kansans by the State Library of Kansas. Heritage Quest is rich in unique primary sources, interactive U.S. census maps, and finding aides, like city directories and research guides. This database makes it convenient to explore billions of genealogical records dating back to the 1700s. Core collections include the Federal censuses, vital records, U.S. Freedman’s Bank Records, U.S. Indian Census rolls, and Cemeteries collection.

For anyone getting started in genealogy, there are research tips and tricks. This online tutorial is a good place to start. If the above links ask for a Kansas Library eCard number, you may get one at any library in Kansas.  Most Kansans will be automatically recognized as being in Kansas and will not need this step. Questions:


Summer reading programs at public libraries in Kansas offer creative, fun, and FREE ways to build a love for reading. This year’s theme is Oceans of Possibilities: from pirates to sea creatures, from ocean exploration and navigation to sunken treasure. Take a deep dive into books and come up for air at fun and free events. Programs typically take place from late May until late July or early August. Check your local library for their dates.

The State Library has downloadable books for all ages: audiobooks, e-books, and digital storybooks are available to all Kansas residents. Some of the benefits of downloadable books:

  • You don’t have to worry about lost books at the end of the summer. Once a book is finished, it automatically returns to its digital home.
  • E-books are basically indestructible.
  • No heavy bag of books to take on trips.

Visit to learn more. New users will want to check the “Instructions & Devices” link.  Choose your device and you’ll see which services work with it along with an instructions link. Most resources will need a Kansas Library eCard, which you may get at any public, school, or academic library in Kansas.  Need help with setup? Call 785-296-3296 or email .


The State of Kansas has over $400 million dollars in unclaimed property waiting for the rightful owner to find and claim. These holdings at the Treasurer’s office include bank accounts, cash, stocks, bonds, refunds (utilities), royalties, insurance proceeds, and even safe deposit box contents.  To search for your name, visit and enter your name or business name to see if your name is on this list.  Senate District #36 has over 4000 entries in the thirteen counties it covers with over $1.3M waiting to be claimed.  If you would like more personal assistance, call 800-432-0386 or 785-296-4165.


The Office of Appointments assists the governor with the appointment of over 1,000 individuals to serve on Kansas’ boards and commissions. All qualified and service-minded Kansans are encouraged to participate in our state’s government by offering to serve on a board or commission or by recommending qualified candidates.  Additional information can be found at  Find the “Serving Kansans” tab where you will find a screen to apply for service.   If you are interested in the opportunity to serve or would like to nominate someone, please call the office at 785 368-8500 or apply online.  


If you would like to review the past session – Senate and House floor activity or watch committee hearings from each Chamber – you are able to find many choices at  Kansas Legislature YouTube and Kansas Legislature Audio.


The 2024 Kansas Legislative Session will begin January 8th at 2:00PM when we will be back in our offices at the Capitol in Topeka.  Over the summer and fall, I may be reached at my legislative email at or my work email  My work address in Concordia is 212 E. 6th St., Concordia, KS  66901 and if you are in Concordia, drop by.   My daytime work number is 785 243-3325×2 or email me questions, concerns, or ideas for legislative bills for the next session.  Visit the Kansas Legislature website in the off session at  www.kslegislature.orgwhich has extensive information on legislators, committees, bills, past sessions, historical data, internships, and pages for next year.  It is an honor to serve you in the 36th Kansas Senate District and please feel free to contact me anytime. 

Senator Elaine Bowers
Kansas State Capitol Building
Room 223-E
300 SW 10th St.
Topeka, KS  66612
785 243-3325×2 or 785 296-7389

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


― Advertisement ―


― Advertisement ―



― Advertisement ―

95.5 KNDY

1570/94.1 KNDY



Q 106.7 & 102.5 KQNK