Legislative Update from Brenda Dietrich

April 12, 2019
Legislature on First Adjournment

On Friday April 5, the Legislature reached the end of the regular legislative session.  We will return for the Veto Session on May 1st, and the most important task we will have when we return is to pass a budget.  Both Chambers will also consider any vetoed legislation at that time.  This is an unpaid break, but I am very involved in activities in our area.
Even though we are on a short break, I will be out and about in the community at several meetings and events.   Below is my schedule for the next couple of weeks.

April 10 – Jayhawk Area Council of Boy Scouts meeting

April 11 – Microsoft DigiGirlz event at Johnson County Community College

April 13 – Highland Park High School for Shawnee County Republican Precinct meeting to select the next Shawnee County Sheriff

April 15 – KS Museum of the National Guard for a StarBase meeting.

April 16 -  Old Supreme Court Room at the Capitol for the Swearing in of 3 Secretaries:  Dr. Lee Norman (KDHE), Mark Burghart (Dept. of Revenue), and Julie Lorenz (KDOT)

April 17- TSCPL Library Foundation Board meeting

April 18 – State of the Community presentation at the Ramada

April 24 – Presentation to the Senior Topeka Chamber members – Legislative up-date and the Women’s Fund Annual Luncheon

April 25 – Auburn-Washburn Foundation Breakfast and Meeting of the KSDE Bullying Task Force

April 29 – Presentation to the Downtown Kiwanis Club – Legislative Up-date

At The Capitol

It was my honor to introduce the Washburn Rural High School Girls Basketball Team, who are the 6A State Champions for 2019 on the floor of the House on April 3rd.With this championship, Washburn Rural captured its 4th Girls state title in school history and its first in 10 years.  This team was recognized as the Centennial League Co-Champions, the Sub-State Champions and the 6A State Champions with a final record of 23 wins and just 2 losses. I also recognized their Coach, Kevin Bordewick.

This is the 11th State Championship that Kevin Bordewick has been a part of at Washburn Rural. He has had 7 Championships in Volleyball as head coach; 3 in Basketball as an assistant coach and 1 in Basketball as head coach. What a tremendously talented team and a dedicated coach.!

School Funding Bill – CCR for SB 16

One of the most critical issues of this session, the addition of an inflation factor in the school funding plan being argued before the Supreme Court, was finally passed by both the House and the Senate after some tense negotiations in Conference Committee. The House voted affirmatively, 76-47 and the Senate passed the CCR, 31-8. I voted YES.

Governor Kelly signed SB 16 into law and it is now in the hands of the Attorney General’s Office.  Briefs are due before the Supreme Court April 15 and oral arguments are scheduled for May 9th.

This plan was also supported by the KS Board of Education and the Governor.  Financially, it will add approximately $90 million a year for the next 4 years, and then increase the Base State Aid Per Pupil by the average CPI after 2022-23.  It is believed by most to satisfy the remaining Court requirements for adequate funding for K-12 public schools.

Some of the key policy elements of the bill advocated by the House are listed below:
  • A requirement for the Department of Education to create one-page performance accountability reports for the state, each school district, and each school building.
  • A requirement for the Education Department to prepare annual longitudinal reports on student achievement on the state assessment for English language arts, math and science.
  • Legislative Post Audit will do a new study on school district cash balances.
  • The low income student scholarship program for private schools which offers tax credits to entice businesses to donate money for scholarships that send the least affluent students to private schools has changed. It now would make the scholarships available to the 100 lowest performing elementary schools, not just the lowest performing schools in general.
  • The State Board of Education will continue to fund ACT college entrance exams, the three ACT WorkKeys assessments to each student enrolled in grades 11 and 12 and a pre-ACT exam for 9th graders.
  • The Dyslexia Task Force will meet once per year for 3 more years..
  • School districts will publish budget documents and a funding report on the homepage of their website under a prominently displayed link titled “Accountability Reports.”

Budget Negotiations Update

Usually, the Legislature passes a “mega budget bill” by now to provide the framework for spending during the next fiscal year.  However, the Conference Committee could not come to agreement on two major issues.  One was the repayment of the $288 million borrowed from the Pooled Money Investment Board and the other was some language regarding any future funding of Medicaid Expansion.
SB 25 is the bill in which all budget positions are being discussed.  House and Senate negotiators left all decided positions frozen and will take up conferencing when the Legislature returns for Veto Session on May 1.

House Appropriations and Senate Ways and Means Committee will meet just before the start of Veto Session to put together Omnibus budget bills.  The meeting is set for April 30.  The Committees will meet jointly to receive the Consensus Revenue Estimates (CRE), caseloads adjustments, and potentially Governor’s Budget Amendments (GBA), prior to holding separate meetings.  The CRE is determined by the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group, which has representatives of the Division of the Budget, Kansas Legislative Research Department, Kansas Department of Revenue, and economists from the University of Kansas, Kansas State University, and Wichita State University. The spring CRE will be released on April 18 and may be used by the Legislature to adjust expenditures

HB 2209 – Health Care CCR

This bill was a Conference Committee Report that allows associations to form health care plans (AHPs) for their members which are exempt from some requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It also included the Farm Bureau benefit plan, which will allow Kansas Farm Bureau the ability to offer health coverage to its members but is not defined as insurance and therefore, would not have to abide by state or federal regulation related to health insurance. This is not traditional insurance. I heard from many Farm Bureau members in the 52nd District and across the state that were desperate for an option like this.  It is not mandatory, but simply an option, and for some Kansas farmers, it will allow them to have an affordable option. Another component of this bill would prevent life insurance companies from refusing to insure individuals who are living organ donors.  Organ donors would be subject to the same standards as individuals who are not organ donors.  This is a commonsense measure to protect those who have chosen to donate their organ(s).  This CCR passed the House 84-39, and the Senate 28-12.  I voted YES.

Election Law Changes:

SB 130 makes a handful of changes to current law:
  • Requires county election officers to make an attempt to contact each voter who submitted an Advance Voting ballot without a signature or with a signature that does not match the signature on file and allow the voter to correct the deficiency before the final county canvass.
  • On Election Day, voters would be able to vote at any polling place, at the discretion of the county election official.
The House adopted the Conference Committee Report on SB 130 with a vote of 119-3.  I voted YES.  The bill has been sent to the Governor for consideration.

Floor Votes of interest

HB 2144 – Requiring community colleges to publish certain taxpayer and student transparency data.  Motion to adopt the Conference Committee Report.
Motion to concur in conference, Final Action, 116-.6   I voted YES.
SB 15 – Contains provisions of SB 193: Making amendments to behavioral sciences regulatory board licensing for certain professions; SB 232: Amending provisions related to adult care home licensure and receivership; and HB 2185: Clarifying the naturopathic medicine scope of practice to include diagnostic imaging.
Motion to adopt the Conference Committee Report, Final Action, 122-1.  I voted YES.
HB 2007 – Amends requirements for tolled projects of the Kansas Turnpike Authority and the Secretary of Transportation.  HB 2369 was incorporated into the CCR, along with SB 192HB 2369 and SB 192 addressed recommendations of the Joint Legislative Transportation Vision Task Force.
Motion to adopt the Conference Committee Report, Final Action, 90-32. I voted YES.
HB 2031 – Makes revisions to the KPERS system pertaining to the Kansas Police and Firemen’s Plan (KP&F) (2140), provisions relating to working after retirement (HB 2203), membership eligibility (SB 210), and the administration of the Retirement System (HB 2119).
Motion to adopt the Conference Committee Report, Final Action, 122-1. I voted YES.
HB 2087 – Replaces the former contents of HB 2087 with contents of HB 2214, as amended by the House Committee on Transportation; the bill amends the definition of “school bus” in the Motor-Fuel Tax Law to remove a requirement the vehicle be designed for carrying more than ten passengers and to remove use for transportation of school personnel.
Motion to adopt the Conference Committee Report, Final Action, 123-0. I voted YES.
HB 2119 – Replaces the former contents of HB 2119 with contents of HB 2389 (electronic prescription orders), HB 2082 (administration of a drug by injection), HB 2402 (authorization of business entities to hire physicians and chiropractors).  HB 2402 is what is known as the corporate practice of medicine bill.
Motion to adopt the Conference Committee Report, Final Action, 117-3. I voted YES.
HB 2167 - Requires the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA), in consultation with the Governor and Attorney General, to submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding how the KDA will monitor and regulate the commercial production of industrial hemp within the state, in accordance with federal law. In addition, the bill would establish the Commercial Industrial Hemp Program; make changes to the Industrial Hemp Research Program; and establish hemp processing registrations, prohibitions on specific products, sentencing guidelines, and waste disposal requirements.  The Conference Committee made technical corrections to the legislation.  The CCR is effective upon publication in the Kansas Register.
Motion to Adopt Conference Committee Report, Final Action, 114-3. I voted YES.
HB 2225 – Contains the contents of SB 187, relating to Special Permit Fees.  The bill was introduced to address a recommendation of the Joint Legislative Transportation Vision Task Force.  The CCR contains changes to fees for permits of oversize or overweight vehicles and also requires registration of escort vehicle companies.
Motion to adopt the Conference Committee Report, Final Action, 91-32. I voted YES.
SB 18 – Contains provisions of SB 18: concerns crime of counterfeiting currency, access to presentence investigation reports, and authority to enter into diversion agreements; HB 2048: out-of-state criminal history, appeals, and correction of illegal sentences; HB 2396: drug abuse treatment programs and probation violation sanctions; SB 108: penalties for the crimes of involuntary manslaughter and abuse of a child and a mitigating factor; HB 2279: domestic violence victim notifications (the housing provisions from HB 2279 were placed in SB 78 CCR)
Motion to adopt the Conference Committee Report, Final Action, 123-0. I voted YES.
SB 70 – Contains provisions of SB 70: temporary permits and common consumption areas, with an amendment specifying beer could be consumed in public areas pursuant to the issuance of a temporary permit to a CMB retailer; SB 164: effective date of ABC licenses; HB 2133: technical change related to consignees, regarding delivery of alcoholic liquor; HB 2223: regarding sale of farm winery by producer licensees; SB 53: regarding designation of the official red and white wine grapes
Motion to adopt the Conference Committee Report, Final Action, 119-4 . I voted YES.
SB 78 – Contains provisions of SB 78 regarding the assignment of rights under an insurance policy on residential real estate, while removing provisions of HB 2162 that had been added to SB 78; contains modified language from SB 150 regarding housing provisions for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking.
Motion to adopt the Conference Committee Report, Final Action, 100-23. I voted YES.

Click here to view all introduced legislation in the House:

Reminder of Dates

Veto Session begins.
May 17th
Day 90.

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.  It is an honor to serve you.

Brenda S. Dietrich
Room 165-W State Capitol Building
300 SW 10th St.
Topeka, KS     6612

Contact Brenda

Room 165-W
300 SW 10th Street
Topeka, Kansas 66610
Phone: 785 296-7648
Email Brenda

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