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Legislative Update from Brenda Dietrich

Wrap up of Week 4
in the Kansas Legislature

 

GO CHIEFS!!

 

My Committee Work

 
Financial Institutions/Insurance – (Same committee members, same Chair).
  • Bills we will have hearings on next week:
    SB 78 — Updating certain statutes relating to the regulation of the business of insurance; granting the commissioner of insurance certain investigative powers.
    SB 86 — Conforming certain KPERS provisions with the federal CARES act
    Agency Budget Hearings: State Treasurer's Budget and Pooled Money Investment Board Budget

Education –
  • We will be holding hearings on Agency Budgets this next week.
    - Hearing and Deliberation on Agency Budget Kansas Department of Education
    - Hearing and Deliberation on Agency Budget Kansas State School for the Blind and State School for the Deaf
    - Briefing on: Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Federal and State Affairs
  • Review of the Problem Gambling and Addictions Grant Fund
    Agency Presentation: Andrew Brown, Behavioral Health Commissioner, KDADS
    Hearing on SB 84 — Authorizing sports wagering under the Kansas expanded   lottery act. (2 days)

Transportation
  • We will be holding hearings on Agency Budgets this next week.
    Hearing and deliberation on Agency Budget -  Kansas Department of Transportation
    - SB 95 — Exempting motor vehicle odometer reading recording requirements when such recording requirements are exempted by federal law.
    - SB99 — Increasing the bond amount required for a vehicle dealer license.

National Wear Red Day

On Thursday, February 4th  Senator Carolyn McGinn (standing in the picture) carried SR 1708 on the Senate floor, which recognized Friday, February 5th as National Wear Red Day to signify the importance of the ongoing fight against heart diseases and stroke among women.
    

Cardiovascular diseases kill 1 in 3 women, despite the fact that about 80% of cardiac events can be prevented through education and lifestyle changes.  All women are encouraged to move more, eat smart and manage their blood pressure to reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases.  The Go Red for Women movement of the American Heart Association motivates women to learn about their family history and to meet with a healthcare provider to determine their risk for cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
 

Senate Debate - Final Action Items


Kansas Economic Recovery Loan Deposit Program

On Monday, the Kansas Senate adopted SB 15, which would establish the Kansas Economic Recovery Loan Deposit Program, which updates the field of membership requirements of credit unions and allowing privilege tax deductions on agricultural real estate loans and single-family residence loans. The bill is supported by a wide coalition of stakeholders in Kansas, including bankers, the restaurant and hospitality industry, and those in agriculture, all who share a mutual interest in boosting our economy by giving low interest loans to Kansas businesses who have struggled during the pandemic.

As NFIB testified, The proposed program in SB15 will provide small businesses with the critical low-interest capital that they need in these trying times.”  The Kansas Bankers Association testified that the bill “will provide low-cost credit to ag producers and rural housing and create an economic recovery linked deposit loan program for small businesses, including farmers and ranchers, financially affected by the pandemic.”  The Kansas Chamber said, “While the economic recovery remains slow, any effort to make capital available at low costs to businesses should be fully supported.”  Passed unanimously, 39-0.

Energy Choice Act

The Energy Choice Act, SB 24 , preserves the right to use natural gas throughout Kansas.  There was concern that, in many areas around the country, local governments are seeking to limit or prohibit the use of natural gas.  There are  870,000 households in Kansas who use natural gas and rely on it to heat their homes and water, cook meals for their families, and many other uses.  Natural gas is the cheapest form of energy, and its continued availability is essential to those on lower and fixed incomes. This bill passed 27-10.  I voted YES.

Vaccine Prioritization

The Senate sent a message to Governor Kelly regarding vaccine prioritization by adopting SR 1707, which calls upon “the Governor to revise her Administration's current COVID-19 vaccination plan by removing prisoners from the front of the line in Phase 2 and instead prioritizing the vaccination of the elderly, the teachers and those aged 16 to 64 who have severe medical risks.”  I voted in favor of this Resolution because teachers need to be one of our highest priorities right now and local districts are reporting staff members may not have a chance to get vaccinated until October.  That is too late.  We need our schools to open safely so our parents can go back to work and we can prevent any potential learning loss.  We owe it to our students.  SR 1707 was adopted on a bi-partisan vote of 28-8.  I voted YES.

Other Bills we voted on this week



SB 21 would retroactively ratify the results of a November 2020 election in Cherokee County that would impose a 0.5 percent retail sales tax for the purpose of financing ambulance services, renovation and maintenance of county buildings and facilities, or other projects within the county approved by the governing body of Cherokee County. The tax would be required to terminate prior to January 1, 2033.  Passed unanimously, 39-0.

SB 33 would authorize the Director of Vehicles, Kansas Department of Revenue, to issue a temporary display show license to a sponsor of a motor vehicle display show. A display show sponsor, which the bill would not require to be a licensed new vehicle dealer, would be responsible for organizing and operating the display show under such terms and conditions as the Director may reasonably require. A fee of $100 would be paid by the sponsor upon application, and each show participant displaying vehicles would pay $35 to the sponsor.  This is important because it would allow the Auto Show to come to KansasPassed unanimously, 39-0

SB 47 would enact the Kansas Taxpayer Protection Act (Act), requiring, on and after January 1, 2022, paid tax return preparers to sign any income tax return prepared by or substantially prepared by the preparer and to include the preparer’s federal preparer tax identification number on any such return. Any failure to do so would subject the preparer to a civil penalty of $50 per return with a maximum of $25,000 in civil penalties per preparer per year. Passed unanimously, 39-0.

SB 27 would extend the sunset dates for certain funds, an advisory board, and operators’ ability to apply for funds relating to underground storage tanks (UST). The bill would also increase deductible amounts and liability and replacement limits for certain funds within the Kansas Storage Tank Act (Act) that are managed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). Passed unanimously, 39-0.
 
SB 28 would codify the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Credit for Reinsurance Model Regulation (Model Regulation) into statute and amend the Kansas credit for reinsurance statute to add another condition under which a ceding insurer is permitted credit for reinsurance.  Passed unanimously, 39-0

SB 29 would amend the effective date specified in the Insurance Code for the risk-based capital (RBC) instructions promulgated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for property and casualty companies and for life insurance companies. The instructions currently specified became effective on December 31, 2019. The bill would update the effective date on the RBC instructions to December 31, 2020.  Passed unanimously, 39-0.

SB 1 would allow the State Fair Board to expend or transfer moneys from its State Fair Capital Improvements Fund in the same manner as moneys from its State Fair Fee Fund for fiscal year (FY) 2021 and FY 2022. Currently, the State Fair Capital Improvements Fund may be used only for the payment of capital improvements and maintenance for the state fairgrounds and payment of capital improvements obligations that have been financed.  Passed unanimously, 37-0

SB 16 would amend statutes to remove requirements that several reports and certifications be provided to the Legislative Division of Post Audit (LPA), the Post Auditor, or the Legislative Post Audit Committee because the Legislative Division of Post Audit no longer oversees the audit work associated with the reports due to enactment of 2018 SB 260 and receives no meaningful information from the reports.  Passed unanimously, 37-0.

SB 39 would change several license, bond, and permit renewal fee deadlines related to livestock and domestic animals from June 30 to September 30 of each year. The bill would also allow the Animal Health Commissioner (Commissioner), Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA), to recover the actual cost of official calfhood vaccination tags.  Passed 36-1.  I voted YES.

SB 53 establishes the membership of the Sedgwick county charter commission which, if created, will review and recommend changes regarding the structure of county government.
Passed unanimously, 37-0.

SB 38 would establish the Kansas Pesticide Waste Disposal Program (Program) that would be administered by the Secretary of Agriculture (Secretary) for the collection and disposal of pesticide waste in the state. Among other provisions, the bill would also create in the State Treasury the Kansas Pesticide Waste Disposal Fund (Disposal Fund) with the purpose of funding the Program. Passed 35-2.  I voted YES.

SB 40 would add and amend law regarding the roles of the Division of Conservation within the
Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) and the State Conservation Commission. Passed Unanimously.
 

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
 

1099-G Forms from Kansas
Department of Labor – Helpful Information


If a claimant wishes to dispute her or his IRS Form 1099-G or has erroneously received one due to fraud, the person should do so using the KDOL Self Service Portal, which can be accessed here. The portal can also be reached by visiting: www.UIAssistance.GetKansasBenefits.gov.

 If payments made due to identity theft are mistakenly reported on the IRS Form 1099-G in the name of an identity theft victim, KDOL will issue a corrected IRS Form 1099-G reporting $0 to the identity theft victim and file a corrected form with the IRS.

Additionally, there is a designated phone line where claimants can call for more information concerning their IRS Form 1099-G.  That number is 785-575-1461 or toll-free at 888-499-0063. The number will be staffed during regular and extended business hours from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. CST to 8 p.m. CST, and on Saturday from 8 a.m. CST to 2 p.m. CST.
 

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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