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Legislative Update from Brenda Dietrich

Legislature on First Adjournment

 
The Kansas Senate completed the regular portion of the 2022 legislative session at 1:35 a.m. on Saturday morning, April 2nd.  Legislators, particularly those on conference committees, hustled to get their work done on a host of issues.  On Monday, April 25th we will return for the Veto Session.  The wrap-up session will not last long; likely less than the 90 days that are on our calendar. Both Chambers will also consider any vetoed legislation at that time.  This is an unpaid break, but I am still attending many events/activities in our community.

Below is my schedule for the next couple of weeks.

April 13 
-  Jayhawk Theatre for program at 6:30 p.m.
April 14
-  Washburn Tech National Signing Day – Speaking
April 18
-  STARBASE Board meeting at KS Museum of the National Guard
April 19
-  Intergovernmental Cooperative Council presentation at WU
-  Town Hall meeting in Alma for Congressman Tracey Mann
April 21
-  Auburn-Washburn Foundation Breakfast at TCT
-  WRHS – Book of Will Fundraiser
April 22
-  Barry Feaker (Rescue Mission) Retirement Reception

Contact Brenda

At the Capitol

 

This is a very long list of the bills we passed during the last week of the regular session.
 
H Sub for Sub for SB 267 is the budget, containing supplemental funding for FY2022, FY 2023 funding for most state agencies, and FY 2023 capital improvement expenditures for certain state agencies.  Expenditures regarding K-12 Education and KPERS are excluded and will be considered in separate legislation.  H Sub for Sub for SB 267 passed the Senate 33-5 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.
 
S Sub for HB 2239 was passed by both Chambers and is a tax package.  It was the first of 3 and the only one that made it through prior to veto session.  The others will be considered when we return.  This bill contains the following provisions:
  • Increases the residential property tax exemption from the uniform statewide school finance levy.
  • Enacts a teacher classroom supplies tax credit.
  • Allows for an additional personal exemption for certain disabled veterans.
  • Creates a property tax exemption for antique utility trailers.
  • Allows for the proration of certain personal property taxes by providing the taxable value of personal property acquired or sold after January 1 and prior to September 1 of any taxable year to be prorated based upon the number of months, or majority portion thereof, the property was owned during the year divided by 12 months.
  • Expands the authority of county commissions to abate property taxes for disaster-destroyed property.
  • Modifies the definition of telecommunications machinery and equipment for purposes of property tax exemption.
  • Provides an income tax credit for certain contributions to technical and community colleges.
  • Enacts aviation, aerospace, and short-line railroad infrastructure tax credits.
  • Provides for an income tax checkoff for contributions to Kansas state historic sites.
  • Allows for refund claims pursuant to the Homestead Property Tax Refund Program based on tax growth from a base year.
  • Extends the Rural Opportunity Zones program.
  • Creates a sales tax exemption for agricultural fencing.
  • Enacts the Gage Park Improvement Authority Act.
  • Repeals the sunset of the tax exclusion for motor vehicle manufacturer rebates.
S Sub for HB 2239 passed the Senate 39-0. Having also passed the House, it now heads to the governor. I voted YES.

H Sub for SB 101 creates regulations and rules concerning the operation of e-bikes in Kansas.  For instance, the bill would state an e-bike or its rider shall be afforded all the rights and privileges, and be subject to the responsibilities, of a bicycle or its rider, and an e-bike would be a vehicle to the same extent as is a bicycle.  H Sub for SB 101 passed the Senate 37-2 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES. This is the first bill I carried on the floor of the Senate last year.

SB 161 was brought to the legislature by Amazon and would authorize personal delivery devices to operate on any sidewalk, crosswalk, or the shoulder or right side of any public highway of any municipality. It would allow local units of government to prohibit personal delivery devices by resolution or ordinance if such government determines prohibition is necessary in the interest of public safety. SB 161 passed the Senate 22-17 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES. Local governments can determine whether this is a good idea for each community.

SB 199 concerns short-term medical plans, which are already allowed in Kansas.  Federal regulations allow short-term plans to be renewed twice (for up to 36 months) without having to go through underwriting, thereby protecting people who gain a condition during a 12-month period by allowing their medical care to be covered in the next 12 months if they renew the same plan.  SB 199 passed the Senate 28-11 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

HB 2005 would amend provisions of law related to the Boiler Safety Act. The bill would increase the maximum nominal water capacity of an exempt hot water supply boiler to 120 gallons from the current maximum of 85 gallons among other stipulations and it would also create the Elevator Safety Act, which would establish requirements for licensure of elevator contractors, mechanics, and inspectors; and require elevators to be certified as having been annually inspected. HB 2005 passed the Senate 34-5 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

HB 2644 would designate the Sandhill plum as the official state fruit. The bill originated from a Healy Elementary School student, six Sabetha Elementary School students, and three Valley Falls Elementary School students. The proponents described the multiple-school effort to learn about the political process and select a proposed state fruit. The proponents indicated that 30 other states have designated a state fruit, but Kansas has not. The proponents further described the Sandhill plum as a fruit native to Kansas that is versatile and resilient. HB 2644 passed the Senate 39-0 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

SB 346 would allow for the on-farm retail sale of milk or milk products, regulate the labeling and advertising of such products, extend the sunset date for certain milk and dairy license fees, allow the Secretary of Agriculture to declare an imminent health hazard when necessary to protect the public health, and allow the Kansas Department of Agriculture to assess a civil penalty for certain violations. SB 346 passed the Senate 27-12 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

H Sub for SB 28 would enact law and amend requirements requiring registration of pharmacy benefits managers with the Commissioner of Insurance to instead require licensure under the Pharmacy Benefits Manager Licensure Act. The bill would establish new licensure, administrative, and enforcement requirements on PBMs; maintain regulation under Chapter 40, Article 38 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated; and add a new section to the PBM Licensure ActH Sub for SB 28 passed the Senate 39-0 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

SB 62 would amend state standards for free school-administered vision screenings, establish the Kansas Children’s Vision Health and School Readiness Commission, authorize the Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to adopt rules and regulations, establish a sign language interpreter registration process, and provide guidelines for communication access services. SB 62 passed the Senate 34-5 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

SB 493 passed the Senate before and prohibits cities and counties from regulating plastic and other containers designed for the consumption, transportation or protection of merchandise, food or beverages.  The House added a provision banning the regulation of plastic straws, and the Senate concurred on that amendment. SB 493 passed the Senate 26-12 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.  This was important to our grocery stores and convenience stores.

HB 2476 would authorize two distinctive license plates related to military honors and four distinctive license plates related to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) for issuance on or after January 1, 2023. The military honors plates would be available to recipients of the Silver Star or the Bronze Star, and the KDWP plates would represent state parks, hunting, fishing, and nongame wildlife. HB 2476 passed the Senate 39-0 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

HB 2595 would amend law regarding titling procedures for certain antique vehicles. An antique vehicle is now one that is 60 years or older.  HB 2595 passed the Senate 39-0 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

SB 479 would require the Capitol Preservation Committee to approve plans to place a permanent memorial in the state capitol commemorating the work of Kansas suffragists toward achieving the right of women to vote in Kansas and the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  SB 479 passed the Senate 39-0 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

HB 2087 would amend law related to the review of administrative rules and regulations.  HB 2087 passed the Senate 34-4 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

HB 2559 would establish the Kansas Cotton Boll Weevil Act and create the Kansas Cotton Boll Weevil Program. The bill would also create new law regarding industrial hemp testing services and seed treated with an irritating or poisonous substance, and update laws that are administered by the Plant Protection and Weed Control Program of the Kansas Department of Agriculture.  HB 2559 passed the Senate 32-7 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

SB 215 would authorize school district boards of education to contract with transportation network companies for the purpose of transporting eight or fewer people to and from school or school-related activities and transfer authority for certain postsecondary driver’s education and driver training schools to the Kansas Department of Revenue. SB 215 passed the Senate 39-0 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

SB 2 contains several provisions related to the sale of alcohol in Kansas – including the sale and consumption of alcohol at the State Fair, permits for the sale and consumption of alcohol by local governments, and the distribution of liquor drink taxes. SB 6 passed the Senate 31-6 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

SB 446 would authorize driving to and from religious activities by 15-year-olds with restricted driver’s licenses and would authorize online renewal of non-driver’s identification cards under certain circumstances.  SB 446 passed the Senate 38-0 and is now headed to the governor. I voted Yes.

HB 2456 would allow the Secretary of Wildlife and Parks to issue a Kansas Kids’ lifetime combination hunting and fishing license. The bill would make available the kids license for:
  • Any child who is five years of age or younger and a Kansas resident upon payment of a license fee that shall not exceed $300; and
     
  • Any child who is six or seven years of age and a Kansas resident upon payment of a license fee that shall not exceed $500.
The license fee could be paid on behalf of the child. The bill also would require the Secretary to submit an annual report to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources Budget and the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources on the number of kids licenses issued.  HB 2456 passed the Senate 39-0 and is headed to the governor. I voted YES.

HB 2703 would create the Kansas Targeted Employment Act, which would establish a tax credit for businesses that employ individuals who are Kansas residents with developmental disabilities and amend law related to unemployment compensation regarding out-of-state reimbursing employers, fund control tables, solvency and credit rate schedules, and the My Reemployment Plan program.  HB 2703 passed the Senate 39-0 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

SB 150 protects consumers by adding disclosure requirements regarding legal advertising and creates law regulating use of protected health information to solicit individuals for legal services.  SB 150 passed the Senate 27-13 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

H Sub for SB 91 would exempt businesses from certain liability claims arising from a secondary student engaged in a “work-based learning program,” as that term would be defined by the bill. A business would not be subject to the following civil liabilities occurring during the student’s participation in a work-based learning program. The bill would not provide immunity for the student or business for gross negligence or willful misconduct. H Sub for SB 91 passed the Senate 37-2 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

SB 408  - SB 408 would make theft of mail with a value of less than $1,500 from three separate locations within a period of 72 hours as part of the same act a severity level 9, nonperson felony. The bill would also amend the definition of the crime of aggravated burglary to prohibit the same conduct when there is a human being present in the locations specified by the billSB 408 passed the Senate 40-0 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

HB 2109 would enact the Charitable Privacy Act and would continue in existence several exceptions in the Kansas Open Records Act. The aim of the bill is to protect the anonymity of donors to charitable organizations. HB 2109 passed the Senate 40-0 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

HB 2299 would create and amend law related to fingerprinting for criminal history record checks, surveillance by Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks employees, jurisdiction of law enforcement officers, the time period within which a search warrant must be executed, and disclosure of information to law enforcement agencies regarding a child alleged or adjudicated to be a child in need of care. HB 2299 passed the Senate 40-0 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

S Sub for HB 2361 would create law requiring the Kansas Supreme Court to adopt rules for establishment and operation of specialty court programs within the state. The bill would allow the chief judge of a judicial district to establish a specialty court program in accordance with the rules adopted by the Court.  S Sub for HB 2361 passed the Senate 36-4 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

HB 2377 would create the crime of operating an aircraft under the influence, provide for testing related to the crime, and repeal current statutes prohibiting the operation of aircraft under influence of alcohol or drugs and providing for related testing. It would also create law allowing a person whose license is restricted to operating only a vehicle with an IID (interlock device) and who meets the conditions detailed below to request reinstatement of the person’s driver’s license by submitting a request to the Division of Vehicles. HB 2377 passed the Senate 39-1 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

HB 2508 would amend law in the Kansas Criminal Code concerning the definition of “possession” and the elements of and severity levels for the crime of abuse of a child. It also would amend law in the Kansas Code of Criminal Procedure concerning forfeiture of appearance bonds, witness testimony at preliminary examinations, and competency proceedings and commitment of certain persons.  HB 2508 passed the Senate 37-2 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

SB 200 would authorize a pharmacist to initiate therapy within the framework of new statewide protocols for the following health conditions: Influenza; Streptococcal pharyngitis; or Urinary tract infection.  SB 200 passed the Senate 37-3 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

SB 453 requires adult care home certified aides who take training courses to demonstrate certain skills to successfully complete such training courses and requiring licensed nurses to teach and evaluate such training courses.  SB 453 passed the Senate 40-0 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

SB 343 would replace statutory references to “hearing impairment” and similar terms with “hard of hearing,” “hearing loss,” or “deaf” and would, among other things, prohibit blindness from being a determinant factor for denial or restriction of legal custody, residency, or parenting time when it is determined to otherwise be in the best interest of a child. SB 343 passed the Senate 40-0 and is now headed to the governor. I voted YES.

H Sub for Sub for SB 286 would extend the expiration dates and effectiveness of various provisions regarding the governmental response to the COVID-19 pandemic from March 31, 2022, until January 20, 2023. For the provisions that expired on March 31, 2022, the bill would state that notwithstanding this expiration, the provisions would be in force and effect on and after the effective date of the bill. The provisions that would be extended include:
  • Expansion of telemedicine;
  • Use of hospital beds and non-hospital space immunity from civil liability for health care providers related to the COVID-19 public health emergency;
  • Immunity from civil liability for COVID-19 claims for businesses in substantial compliance with public health directives;
  • Retroactivity provisions regarding immunity from civil liability; and
  • Bed usage by critical access hospitals.
The bill also would amend the provisions regarding immunity from civil liability for healthcare providers.
  • The bill would amend the crime of battery to define battery against a healthcare provider as a battery committed against a healthcare provider while such provider is engaged in the performance of such provider’s duty. “Healthcare provider” would be defined to mean a person who is licensed, registered, certified, or otherwise authorized by the State of Kansas to provide healthcare services in this state and employed or providing healthcare services at a hospital.  Battery against a healthcare provider would be a class A person misdemeanor.
H Sub for Sub SB 286 passed the Senate 24-16 and is headed to the governor. I voted YES.  This bill was supported by the hospitals and nursing homes.

HB 2387 would create law related to the medical assistance program and amend law regarding the powers of the Governor in the Kansas Emergency Management Act (KEMA). The bill would create law stating that, on or before January 31, 2023, no state agency, including the Governor, shall issue a request for proposal for the administration and provision of benefits under the medical assistance program; or enter into any new contract with managed care organizations for the administration and provision of benefits under the medical assistance program. H Sub for Sub for SB 267 passed the Senate 26-12. I voted YES.
 
Election Bills that passed both Chambers

 S Sub for HB 2138 includes the following:
  • Election Audit. An election audit procedure would be conducted by the Secretary in the calendar year following the general election of an even-numbered year. Four counties would be selected – one with a population over 90K residents; one between 20K and 90K residents; and two under 20K residents. The county election officer would be required to audit ten percent of all county precincts, with a minimum of one precinct, in the same manner as existing audit requirements.
  • Watermarks. The bill would require all voting systems in Kansas to use a paper ballot with a distinctive watermark as established by the Secretary, for elections on and after January 1, 2024.
  • Cleaning Up Voter Rolls. It would allow a county election officer to remove a registered voter from the registration list if such registrant has had no election-related activity for any four-calendar-year period and the confirmation notice sent by the county election officer is returned as undeliverable
  • Electronic Poll Books. The bill also contains several regulations to ensure that poll books are secure and approved by the Secretary of State. S Sub for HB 2138 passed the Senate 28-8. I voted YES.
 
S Sub for HB 2252 specifies the Governor, the Secretary of State, and any other officer in the executive branch could not enter into a consent decree or other agreement with any state or federal court or any agreement with any other party regarding the enforcement of election law or the alteration of any election procedure without specific approval by the Legislature.  S Sub for HB 2252 passed the Senate 27-12. I voted YES.

S Sub for HB 2056 would limit county election offices to one remote ballot box for every 30,000 registered voters in the county, require remote ballot boxes to be monitored or under constant video surveillance, and prohibit remote ballot boxes from being open and accessible for the deposit of advance voting ballots when the county election office is closed.  S Sub for HB 2056 passed the Senate 21-17. I voted NO.   This is a very restrictive bill that our county election officials, especially in rural areas, did not support.  WB County would be reduced from 4 Drop boxes to just 1 and they do not have the staff to constantly monitor the box.

SB 58 – Commonly called the Parents' Bill of Rights (SB 58) Conference Committee Report passed the Senate 23-15 and the House 67-46,  which  would require the boards of education of each school district to develop and adopt policies to guarantee parents will be informed of and inspect any materials, activities, curriculum, syllabi, surveys, questionnaires, books, magazines, handouts, professional development and training materials, and other materials provided to the parent’s child; object to any learning material or activity based upon harm to the child or impairment of the parent’s firmly held beliefs, values, or principles and withdraw the parent’s child from said activity; and challenge the material or educational benefit of any book, magazine, or other material available to students in the school library, the successful result of which would lead to the removal of the item from the school. I voted NO.  These policies are already in place in school districts and is not needed in statute. This bill is headed to the Governor now.

 
Constitutional Amendment on November Ballot

HCR 5022,  would amend Article 9, Sections 2 and 5 of the Kansas Constitution to require County Sheriffs to remain elected if the county had not abolished the sheriff prior to January of this year, and would allow counties who abolished it (Riley County is the only one) to restore the elected Sheriff. The HCR 5022 passed 39-1.I voted YES. The Sheriff’s Association was the initiator of this ballot request.
 

Redistricting - Senate, House, Board of Education


The Senate Redistricting Committee held a hearing on the Apple 2 Map for the State Board of Education as part of SB 577.  The following day, the bill was amended to use the compromise Apple 7 map, which the committee recommended favorably without opposition.  The full Senate adopted the Apple 7 map on a bi-partisan vote of 31-8. I voted Yes.

The State Board of Education has ten districts, each containing four Senate districts.  A conference committee was held between the House and Senate and the Apple 7 map was inserted into Sub SB 563, which contained the House and Senate maps for the next decade.  The full package containing all three maps was then voted on by both chambers. You can view all the maps on the State Redistricting page by clicking here.  Sub for SB 563 passed the Senate on a bi-partisan vote of 29-11. I voted YES. Having also passed the House with a wide bi-partisan majority 83-40, it is now headed to the governor.

Reminder of Dates

 
Monday, April 25th Veto Session begins.
Tuesday, May 10th Day 90.
 
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.

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