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Legislative Update from Brenda Dietrich

Wrap up of Week 3
in the Kansas Legislature

 

My Committee Work

Financial Institutions/Insurance – (Same committee members, same Chair). 
  • Bills we passed out of Committee:
    SB 29 – Updating the version of Risk-based Capital instructions in Effect. 
    SB 30 – Establishing the Securities Act Victim Restitution Program.
    SB 28 – Updating the National Assoc. of Insurance Commissioners Credit for Reinsurance Model Law, the Insurance Holding Company Act and Codifying the Credit for Reinsurance Model Regulation.
  • Bills we will have hearings on next week:
    SB37 — Updating producer licensing statutes pertaining to appointment, examinations, fees, licensing, renewal dates, continuing education, suspension, revocation and denial of licensure and reinstatement.
    SB48 — Requiring certain insurance coverage for diagnostic examinations for breast cancer.
Education – We have had many presentations and bill introductions.
  • Bills we will have hearings on next week:
    SB63 — Expanding the provision of the ACT college entrance exam and WorkKeys assessments to students enrolled in nonpublic schools.
    SB51 — Requiring KSDE and DCF to publish a Kansas foster care children academic report card.
    SB62 — Amending the standards for school-administered vision screenings for students and establishing the Kansas Children's Vision Health and School Readiness Commission.
    * We will vote on bills previously heard.
Federal and State Affairs 
Confirmation hearing on Michael Kane, Labor Representative, Human Rights Commission - Reappointment
 
Transportation – As in my other committees, we have had many presentations and bill introductions. This week we had a hearing on SB 33 – Providing for display show licenses under the Vehicle Dealers and Manufacturers Licensing Act.
  • Bills we will have hearings on next week: 
    SB67 — Expanding the definitions of all-terrain vehicles and recreational off-highway vehicles 
    SB68 — Establishing a fee on firefighter distinctive license plates.
    SB69 — Providing for the Love Chloe foundation distinctive license plate.

Senate Utilities Committee Holds Hearings
on Kansas Energy Choice Act


The Senate Utilities Committee held two days of hearings on the Kansas Energy Choice Act, which would prohibit a municipality from taking any action that would limit a customer’s use of a service from a public utility based upon the source of the energy to be delivered to the customer.  It has been called the “No Ban on Natural Gas” bill.
During the hearing, a wide array of organizations, representing thousands of Kansas businesses and homeowners, testified in support of the Kansas Energy Choice Act, which does not allow any municipality from banning the use of natural gas.  More than 70 percent of Kansans rely on natural gas or propane for home heating, well above the national average. These local bans would likely hurt low- and middle-income families the most.

 

Senate Commerce Committee Hears
Testimony on Kansas Unemployment System


The Senate Commerce Committee heard testimony earlier this week regarding the Kansas Unemployment System, including the staggering amount of fraud that is occurring and the problems that is causing for not only Kansas taxpayers, but those legitimately seeking benefits via the system. The fraud issue is occurring in every state. The Kansas Department of Labor is setting up a new security system to fight unemployment insurance fraud.
 
This new security system will deploy identity verification software for unemployment insurance accounts and claims. The use of the new security system will be a major tool to combat identity theft.
 
Installation of this new system will require some server downtime – and in order to lessen the impact to claimants needs -- KDOL plans to take the servers offline beginning Saturday, January 30. The agency expects to complete the upgrade, and return to normal operations, by Tuesday morning, February 2. This deployment process is similar to the many other states that have also implemented identity verification software solutions.   If you need help with unemployment benefits and you are having trouble with accessing KDOL…please call my office.  785-296-7648 and I will do my very best to help you.
 
 

Senate Debate - Final Action Items

HCR 5003.  This week, the Kansas Senate debated the Value Them Both constitutional amendment. The amendment is in direct response to a Kansas Supreme Court ruling that stated our state constitution includes a right to an abortion. That decision has spurred much debate about whether that was intended to be in our constitution and whether it should continue to be. I have heard from many on both sides of this issue. The passion and emotion of the views are what led to my decision to support the amendment, which will allow the people of Kansas to have a say in what is in their constitution. The amendment passed the Senate. 28-11 and the House of Representatives 86-38, both by the required 2/3 constitutional majority and will be placed on the August 2022 ballot for consideration. 
 
 SR 1705, a Resolution adopting the permanent rules for the Senate for the terms of the Senators commencing with the 2021 regular session of the Legislature. This document delineates the “Rules of the Senate” and is a procedural roadmap for us during the next 4 years.  It was approved 35-3. I voted YES.
 
HCR 5001, a Concurrent Resolution adopting Joint Rules for the Senate and House of Representatives for the 2021-2022 Biennium. This is voted on by both Chambers. It was unanimously approved.
 

Governor Signs SB 14 Into Law

On Monday, Governor Kelly signed SB 14 into law, which continued the protections within the Kansas Emergency Management Act as adopted in the Special Session in June of 2020, which were set to expire on January 26th.  It extends the limitations on the governor’s executive powers until March 31st, thus maintaining and strengthening the protections for Kansas families and businesses.  

COVID Vaccination Information

 

Reminder…the best source of information for receiving vaccinations in Phase 2 is through the local health department.  If you have any questions or issues that I can help you with regarding the vaccination distribution process….please call me at any time.  785-296-7648.
 
For Shawnee County:

Individuals or organizations that fit the criteria and are interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine as part of Phase 2 are encouraged to complete the following survey:
https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/6149227/Shawnee-County-Health-Department-COVID-19-Vaccine-Interest-Form.

For Wabaunsee County:

The website www.wbcounty.org  contains useful information from the Health Department.

To get on the Vaccination Call list go to www.wbcounty.org , click on the COVID-19 button and find the link on the left-hand side of the page for a COVID-19 Vaccination Request for Wabaunsee County Residents.   Fill out the form and hit submit. It’s that simple! You will be on the list for Phase 2 when the vaccine becomes available!

There is a relatively new web-site that is being updated regularly with COVID Vaccine information from KDHE that might be of interest, as well. It is located at www.KansasVaccine.gov
 

Follow our work in the Legislature

In this time of COVID and a lack of public access to our Chambers, if you are interested in actually seeing what we are doing, then I encourage you to find us “virtually.”

Here are links to help you:

Kansas Legislature YouTube – Here you can follow the legislature live as it happens, or access archives of past sessions and committee meetings.

Kansas Legislature Audio – Here you can listen in on session or committees when they are in session, or access prior committee meetings, as well.

Kansas Legislature website – www.kslegislature.org - has extensive information on legislators, committees, bills, and past sessions.
 

Contact Me

Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything I can do for you.  I am honored to represent you in the Kansas Legislature.
 
STATEHOUSE OFFICE:
Room 223-E
State Capitol Building
300 SW 10th Street
Topeka, KS 66612
Phone: 785-296-7648
Brenda.Dietrich@senate.ks.gov
 
HOME:
Brenda S. Dietrich
6110 SW 38th Terrace
Topeka, KS   66610
Home phone:  785-861-7065
 

Contact Brenda

6110 SW 38th Terrace
Topeka, KS   66610
Home phone:  785-861-7065
Email Brenda


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