Thursday, Feb. 28 marked a critical deadline known as “turnaround,” marking the official halfway point for the 2019 Legislative session. It was a busy week for the Senate, as we spent two full days debating and voting on bills ahead of the Turnaround deadline. After being on the floor all day Tuesday and Wednesday, the Legislature was on break until March 6th to give clerical staff time to process the significant amount of paperwork resulting from this week. By “turnaround,” a bill, with few exceptions, must have passed its Chamber of origin in order to be considered by the other Chamber before session is over for the year. When the Senate returned on Wednesday, the focus was to consider bills passed by the House Chamber and bills exempt from the Turnaround deadline.
FLOOR ACTION LAST WEEK
REGISTERING FLEET VEHICLES – SB 97: Senate Bill 97 authorizes the registration of certain rental vehicles in fleets and the issuance of permanent license plates to reflect that registration – must be 250 motor vehicles submitted electronically.
COMPANY SIGNS IN VEHICLES – SB 63: Senate Bill 63 authorizes the governing body of a city to adopt an ordinance to allow a driver for a transportation network company (Uber, Lyft and others), when the driver is logged on to the transportation network company’s digital network, to equip the vehicle with a device capable of displaying a light visible from directly in front of the center of the vehicle. The lighting device can display steady light and can be any color except red.
REMEDIATION REIMBURSEMENT PROGRAM – HB 2001: House Bill 2001 extends the sunset on the Kansas Remediation Linked Deposit Loan Program, the Kansas Remediation Reimbursement Program, and the Kansas Agricultural Remediation Fund from July 1, 2020, to July 1, 2030.
UNCLAIMED LIFE INSURANCE BENEFITS ACT – SB 67: Senate Bill 67 establishes the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act (Act). The bill would require an insurer to compare its insureds’ in-force policies, contracts, and retained asset accounts against a DMF, on at least a semi-annual basis. The bill would require insurers, for group life insurance, to confirm the possible death of an insured when the insurers maintain at least the Social Security number or name and date of birth, beneficiary designation information, coverage eligibility, benefit amount, and premium payment status of those covered under a policy or certificate.
SERVICE-CONNECTED DEFINITION IN POLICE AND FIREMEN’S RETIREMENT SYSTEM – SB 15: Senate Bill 15 revises the definition for “service-connected” as that term is used to determine death and disability benefits in the Kansas Police and Firemen’s Retirement System. Under current law, service-connected causes for death and disability benefits include heart disease, lung or respiratory disease, and cancer. The bill would add bloodborne pathogens.
UPDATING THE STATE BANKING CODE (SB 82): Senate Bill 82 amends provisions of the State Banking Code relating to certificate of existence, voting rights for conversion to a state charter, and the method of delivery for certain notices. The bill includes certificates of existence, conversion to a State Charter and delivery methods for certain notices.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP ACT – SB 90: Senate Bill 90 would allow financial institutions to claim the Center for Entrepreneurship tax credit beginning in tax year 2019, which would be applied to the privilege tax owed. The maximum amount of tax credits that any taxpayer could claim would be increased from $50,000 to $100,000. The total amount of tax credits that could be claimed for all taxpayers would remain capped at $2.0 million per fiscal year.
KANSAS REAL ESTATE COMMISSION LICENSING –SB 60: Senate Bill 60 modifies statutes related to licensing of real-estate brokers and the Kansas Real Estate Commission. The bill reduces real estate broker’s licenses time from five years to three years preceding the date of application for the license for which an applicant for a broker’s license may satisfy the requirement of two years’ experience as a resident salesperson or a licensee in another state. It also increases the pre-license education course from 24 hours to 30 hours, and no more than 45 hours, and renames the course the “Kansas Real Estate Fundamentals Course.” It also creates a new course titled “Kansas Real Estate Management Course,” which would be 30 to 45 hours in length and would be required for original broker’s license applicants beginning January 1, 2020.
REGULATING ASSIGNMENT OF RIGHT OR BENEFITS TO A RESIDENTIAL CONTRACTOR – SB 78: Senate Bill 78 creates law within the Kansas Consumer Protection Act regarding a post-loss assignment of rights or benefits to a residential contractor under a property and casualty insurance policy insuring residential real estate. The residential contractor would be required to provide the assignment to the insurer of the residential real estate within three days of the signing of the assignment, and the assignment would have to provide that, in addition to any other right to revoke, the named insured has the right to cancel the assignment within five business days after execution.
AT-RISK PROGRAMS – SB 16: Senate Bill 16 requires, on and after July 1, 2019, the best practices identified and approved by KSBE for at-risk programs and instruction of students receiving at-risk program services. The bill would also specify Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) and Boys and Girls Club as programs eligible to receive state appropriations for providing individualized support to students enrolled in unified school districts and assisting with student achievement goals.
MINIMUM SCHOOL SAFETY DRILLS EACH YEAR – SB 128: Senate Bill 128 requires the State Fire Marshal to adopt rules and regulations requiring administrators of public and private schools and educational institutions, except community colleges, colleges, and universities, to conduct at least four fire drills, two tornado drills (one in September and one in March), and three crisis drills each school year. The bill would require the three crisis drills to be conducted at some time during school hours, aside from the regular dismissal at the close of the day’s session.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCIDENT PREVENTION COURSE –SB 94: Senate Bill 94 would require a motor vehicle accident avoidance course associated with required reduction in motor vehicle insurance premium charges to be at least four hours in duration. The bill would require the course utilize a nationally recognized driver training curriculum or a curriculum approved by a state or federal agency.
POLICE AUDIBLE AND VISUAL SIGNALS – SB 62: Senate Bill 62 authorizes the violation of certain rules of the road in the Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways by the driver of a police vehicle who has reason to believe vehicle operation while using lights and audible signals could impede a law enforcement action under circumstances specified by the bill.
WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES – SB 68: Senate Bill 68 make changes to law relating to valid contract franchise ordinances and their application to wireless service providers and wireless infrastructure providers. The bill would allow a city to govern a wireless services provider’s or wireless infrastructure provider’s use of the public right-of-way using any combination of a master license agreement, permitting requirement, or municipal ordinance or code. The bill also would allow a city to assess a wireless services provider or a wireless infrastructure provider a fixed right-of-way access fee for each small cell facility that a provider deploys that requires the use of the city’s right-of-way. The fee could not be based on such a provider’s gross receipts derived from services provided within a city’s corporate limits.
KANSAS STATE GRAPE – SB 53: Senate Bill 53 designates the official Kansas red Winegrape as Chambourcy, and the official Kansas white Winegrape as Vignola’s.
POSTSECONDARY TECHNICAL EDUCATION AUTHORITY – SB 71: Senate Bill 71 reauthorizes the Postsecondary Technical Education Authority (TEA) by repealing the statute specifying sunset date of June 30, 2019. The bill would also require the TEA to make an annual report to the Legislature on the performance of its functions and duties.
DATE FOR TAKING OFFICE – SB 105: Senate Bill 105 authorizes a city to determine the start date of a regular term of office for a city officer by resolution of the city. In law regarding city elections, the bill would require the start date be on or after December 1 following certification of the election and no later than the second Monday in January following certification of the election. If the city does not establish an alternative date, the bill would specify such term would begin on the second Monday in January.
EMPLOYMENT FOR BLIND OR DISABLED INDIVIDUALS – HB 2044: House Bill 2044 authorizes a new income tax credit for tax years 2019 through 2023 equivalent to 15.0 percent of expenditures on goods and services purchased from qualified vendors or non-profit certified businesses, as those terms would be defined by the bill, that provide a certain level of health insurance benefits and have at least 30.0 percent of their employees be resident Kansans with disabilities. The amount of the credit would be capped at $500,000 per each qualified vendor each tax year, and the total amount of cumulative credits allowed for the life of the program would be capped at $5.0 million. The tax credits would be nonrefundable, but unused credits could be carried forward for up to four years and applied against the liability of future tax years.
AO-K TO WORK PROGRAM – SB 199: Senate Bill 199 creates the AO-K to work program that allows certain adults to earn high school equivalency credentials through the participation of career pathway oriented postsecondary classes.
SERVICES FOR CHILDREN WITH PROBLEM SEXUAL BEHAVIOR – SB 77: Senate Bill 77 requires the Department for Children and Families (DCF) to offer services to children with problem sexual behavior and their families.
REQUIRING THE NOTIFICATION OF MISSING FOSTER CARE CHILDREN – SB 162: Senate Bill 162 requires the notification to the governor and legislature whenever a child goes missing in foster care. The Department for Children and Families (DCF) would be required to notify the governor and legislature as well as the newspaper of the county wherever the child went missing. The bill also requires DCF to issue a fine of $500 to the contractor for each day the contractor fails to report the missing child.
STATE CABIN RENTAL FEES – SB 49: Senate Bill 49 authorizes the Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism to establish fees for the public use of cabins owned or operated by the department and for camping permits at state parks. SB 49 eliminates current law that requires the department to obtain approval from the Kansas Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism Commission to establish fees for the use of cabins by the public.
KANSAS CEREAL MALT BEVERAGE ACT – HB 2035: House Bill 2035 provides uniformity in the issuance of citations for violations of the Kansas Cereal Malt Beverage Act by ABC.
ALLOWING CERTAIN PODIATRISTS TO PERFORM SURGERY – SB 61: Senate Bill 61 adds podiatrists who completed a two-year post-doctoral surgical residency program prior to July 1, 2007, in reconstructive rearfoot/ankle surgery to the podiatrists who may perform surgery on the ankle, as long as they are board-certified or in the process of being certified.
AMENDING THE CRIME OF COUNTERFEITING –SB 134: Senate Bill 134 amends the crime of counterfeiting currency.
REMOVING A RESTRICTION IN UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE –SB 27: Senate Bill 27 repeals the provision in Kansas Employment Security Law that prohibits professional employer organizations from including a client company’s owners and officers in the same quarterly report as that company’s employees.
LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR SOCIAL WORKERS – SB 193: Senate Bill 193 provides for licensure by reciprocity for social workers at baccalaureate, master’s, and specialist clinical levels and amends the requirement for licensure by reciprocity for other professions regulated by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board. SB 193 allows applicants who are deficient in the qualifications or in the quality of educational experience required for licensure, to obtain provisional licenses to allow the applicant’s time to fulfill remedial or other requirements prescribed by the Board. The bill also amends the licensure requirements for a specialist clinical social worker by reducing the number of hours of postgraduate supervised professional experience required.
ADDRESSING ISSUES WITH SIGNATURES ON ADVANCE BALLOTS – Sub SB 130: Substitute for Senate Bill 130 amends law concerning advance ballots and associated signature requirements. The bill requires county election officers to try 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.
CHANGES TO MUNICIPAL OFFICE ELECTIONS – SB 131: Senate Bill 131 amends law concerning the filing date for municipal offices and the date certain newly elected township officers take the oath of office. SB 131 changes the filing deadline for a candidate in a municipal election where a primary election is not authorized or required by law from September 1 prior to the general election in odd-numbered years to the day before the primary election date in both odd- and even-numbered years. The bill also changes the date a newly elected trustee, clerk, or treasurer of any township must take the oath of office, from within 20 days after being notified of such election to on or before the second Monday in January when the term of office begins.
SCHOOL BOARD ELECTIONS – SB 7: Senate Bill 7 amends current law regarding the timing of appointing a replacement school board member, timing of elections of officers of a local board of education, the date local school district board officials take office, and the timing of an election to change the method of election or voting plan for school board members. SB 7 also requires the first meeting of the Board of Education to be on or after the second Monday in January or at a later meeting if so determined by the Board at the first meeting, rather than in July.
EUDORA COMMUNITY LIBRARY DISTRICT ACT – SB 59: Senate Bill 59 allows the city of Eudora to continue to be part of a library district previously established by the City of Eudora and Eudora Township.
VISIT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF KANSAS—www.kansas.gov
You can find a wealth of information at this well-designed website which focuses on Kansas with topics of business, education, government, residents and services with links to agencies and staff to help answer any question you might have. Webfile will take you directly to the Department of Revenue to file your taxes; Form finder will take you to the Secretary of States office for all types of forms for businesses; Learning Quest will direct you to the State Treasurer’s Office; the three branches of Government; and Plan your Trip to Kansas will open to the Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.
UNCLAIMED PROPERTY IN KANSAS
The State of Kansas has over $350 million dollars in unclaimed property waiting for the rightful owner to find and claim. Unclaimed property stats from July 1, 2018 to March 2, 2019 include 825,558 searches, $19,702,309.57 returned with the average claim paid at $250.16. These holdings at the Treasurer’s office include bank accounts, cash, stocks, bonds, refunds (utilities), royalties, insurance proceeds and even safe deposit box contents. To search for your name, visit www.kansasastatetreasurer.com and enter your name or business name to see if your name is on this list. Senate District #36 has over 4000 entries in the thirteen counties it covers. If you would like more personal assistance, call 800-432-0386 or 785-296-4165.
Thank you for all of your calls, emails, and letters this week. Constituent correspondence helps inform my decision-making process and is taken into great consideration when I cast my vote in the Kansas Senate. I hope you’ll continue to engage with me on the issues that matter most to you, your family, and our community.
If you are on Twitter or Facebook, I encourage you to follow along with the #ksleg hashtag for real-time updates on legislative happenings in Topeka.
It is easy to “get into the weed” on pieces of legislation that seem on the surface to have universal appeal, but for those who want to pursue a more in-depth analysis of the ones which did not have such agreement, go to www.kslegislature.org and pull up “Bills & Laws,” then “Senate Bills,” before scrolling to the desired number and hitting “SN” (Supplemental Notes) for a general explanation which is written by the Legislative research & reviser staff.
Thank you for the honor of serving you!
Senator Elaine Bowers
Kansas State Capitol Building
300 SW 10th St.
Topeka, KS 66612
Elaine Bowers, R-Concordia, is the 36th Dist. state senator and serves as the Senate Majority Whip. The 36th Senate District includes Cloud, Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Osborne, Ottawa, Republic, Rooks, Russell, Smith and Washington counties and portions of Marshall and Phillips counties.