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Legislative Update from Brenda Dietrich

Happy 161st Birthday Kansas!

 
Kansas State Seal
The Kansas Senate celebrated Kansas Day on Thursday, January 27th!  Senators Beverly Gossage and Jeff Pittman led the Chamber in singing Home on the Range, commemorating Kansas entering the Union as the 34th state on January 29, 1861.
 

What’s Happening

Last year we were not able to have Pages in either Chamber due to COVID-19 precautions.  Luckily we get to have Pages this year, and I had three energetic students this past week!

Contact Brenda

Pages

                                     
Thank you to Brandon Jeon, Paxton Poe, and Trace Russell who spent time with me on January 27th as my first Pages of the session! All three are 6th graders at Jay Shideler Elementary in USD 437.  We had a great time and they got their picture taken with the Lt. Governor, David Toland. 
                                      
 

Kansas Teacher of the Year


On Wednesday, January 26th we had a joint meeting with House Education Committee to meet the Kansas Teacher of the Year Team and the 2022 Kansas Teacher of the Year.  This is a team of outstanding educators who believe in the power of public education to make a positive difference in the lives of their students.  In the course of their careers, they have left a lasting impact on the lives of the thousands of students they have taught, and on the communities in which they teach. The Kansas Teacher of the Year winner this year is Susanne Stevenson who is an elementary teacher in Dodge City, USD 443.  She was selected from a group of 8 finalists, which was narrowed down from more than 100 nominations.  Susanne is now a candidate for the National Teacher of the Year.

The 2022 finalists with Susanne are: Amber Carithers, Hutchinson, USD 308; Natalie Johnson-Berry, Shawnee Mission, USD 512; Amanda Ketterling, Bonner Springs, USD 204; Lisa Martinez, Seaman, USD 345; Megan O’Neill, Ottawa, USD 290; Kristin Salazar, Goddard, USD 265; and Laurie Thisius, Cheney, USD 268.  We honored the team on the floor of the Senate Wednesday.  What an amazing group of educators!


 

Committee Action

COMMITTEE ACTION
 

Joint Commerce Committee meeting with the House


KDOL
The Senate and House Commerce Committees met together on Thursday, January 27th at noon to hear an up-date from the Kansas Department of Labor on their operations in the past few months, including unemployment data and other items of interest to the committees. Unemployment claims are being processed much more quickly, but they reported an uptick in fraudulent unemployment claims, but not on the same scale as what the state experienced last year when it was swamped with false claims.  We will continue to monitor what is happening on a regular basis.
  • Important Information if you received unemployment in 2021.
The Department of Labor has begun the process of mailing 1099-G tax forms to individuals who received unemployment in calendar year 2021. As you receive these forms and have any questions or concern….please call the KDOL 1099 Hotline at 785-741-8400 or 888-499-0063 starting February 7. The number will be staffed during regular business hours from Monday through Friday 8 a.m. CST to 4:15 p.m. CST. 
 

Transportation Committee


Hearings on:

SB332 — Prohibiting the use of a mobile telephone while operating in school or construction zone or by individuals less than 18 years of age.
SB333 — Requiring the secretary of transportation to study the use of zipper merges on highways.
Presentation on: Kansas Department of Transportation, Julie Lorenz, Secretary.
 

Financial Institutions and Insurance


Hearings on:

SB 322 — Eliminating the crediting to the Kansas public employees retirement fund of 80% of the proceeds from the sale of state surplus real estate.
SB 331 — Updating the version of risk-based capital instructions in effect.
SB 377 —Authorizing technology-enabled fiduciary financial institution insurance companies within the captive insurance act and providing for the requirements and operations thereof.
 

Education


Hearing on:

SB 215 — Transferring the authority for postsecondary driver's education programs and driver training schools from the state board of regents to the department of revenue.

On the Floor


 
SB 347 – APEX Bill.  On Thursday, the Kansas Senate adopted legislation which includes a substantial development incentive for the purpose of spurring large economic development investment in Kansas. The initial target of the incentive package is a $4.0 billion manufacturing project that would employ over 4,000 people and be one of the most significant private sector investments in Kansas history.

The package, as it passed the Senate on Thursday, is known as the Attracting Powerful Economic Expansion Act, or APEX Act. It would establish new economic development incentives targeted at specific industries that agree to invest at least $1.0 billion within the State of Kansas. The APEX Act also targets incentives at the suppliers involved in the APEX project.  The APEX Program would be under the purview of the Secretary of Commerce for the purpose of attracting large capital investments in new facilities and operations by businesses engaged in specified industries and encouraging the development of Kansas-based supply chains.

To ensure oversight occurs in the short-term, a sunset of March 31, 2023 was added, to ensure that the full legislature reviews the provisions of the APEX Act in just one year.

SB 347 passed the Kansas Senate 32-7.  I voted YES.

SB 146 would transfer oversight of state certification of ignition interlock device (IID) manufacturers and service providers from the Kansas Department of Revenue (KDOR) to the Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP).  SB 146 passed 39-0.

SB 337 would amend provisions pertaining to the pilot program established within the Technology-Enabled Fiduciary Financial Institutions (TEFFI) Act to clarify and retroactively codify the intended date for the issuance of a full charter to the Beneficient Company. The bill would specify that, on December 31, 2021, the conditional charter granted under his pilot program shall be converted to a full fiduciary financial institution charter.  SB 337 passed 39-0.

HB 2087 would amend law related to the order of review of administrative rules and regulations, as well as specifics in the area of economic impact statements.  HB 2087 passed 39-0.
 
In addition, the Senate confirmed the following appointments:
 
Chris Donnelly   Kansas Development Finance Authority
Moniqueka Holloway   Kansas Development Finance Authority
Jon Small   Kansas Development Finance Authority
Jill Geren   Kansas Human Rights Commission
Col. Jason Nelson   Kansas National Guard
Jo Yun   KPERS Board of Trustees
Jonathan Gilbert   Public Employees Relations Board
Pat Young   Public Employees Relations Board
Taylor Hight   State Banking Board
Devin Sprecker   State Board of Tax Appeals
Lauren Michel Driskell   State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services
Michelle Ewert   State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services
Branden Perry   State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services
Jack Newman   University of Kansas Hospital Authority
Debbie Wilkerson   University of Kansas Hospital Authority

Ad Astra 2 Congressional Map Heads to Governor


This week, the Kansas House followed the Kansas Senate and passed the “Ad Astra 2” map, a Congressional Map that has received a lot of attention.  Because the map was unchanged from the Senate version, it went directly to Governor Kelly, who has ten days to sign or veto the legislation before it becomes law.

All suggested maps can be found on the Kansas Legislative Research Redistricting Page by clicking here.
 
You can follow what is happening in Committee rooms and on the floor of the Senate Chamber on-line.  Here are the links:
 
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

If you have any questions about the activities in my committees or want to share your views on any of the issues before the legislature, please feel free to email me or call my office.  My Assistant is Linda Woodworth and she will be happy to help you if I am in Committee.

          Brenda Dietrich
          Room 223-E, State Capitol Building
          300 SW 10th St.
          Topeka, KS 66612
          785-296-7648
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