It was a busy three day work week in the Senate as we worked a few dozen bills and prepared for the final week of regular session next week. At this point in the session, Conference Committee work has begun to gear up and we anticipate votes on Conference Committee reports as they are prepared and sent out for votes. A Conference Committee is a small, bipartisan and bicameral committee that works to smooth out the differences between the House’s and Senate’s version of a similar bill. Once the Conference Committee comes to a compromise, the committee’s version of the bill will be sent to both the House and the Senate for a final vote, before advancing the bill to the Governor’s desk. Governor Kelly has now signed 3 bills into law this session and 3 are on her desk awaiting action. By law, the Kansas governor has 10 calendar days to sign the bill into law, veto the bill or allow the bill to become law without their signature.
DISSOLVING THE WHITE CLAY WATERSHED DISTRICT NO. 26: House Bill 2188 would make the City of Atchison responsible for the maintenance and repair of all watershed lakes, dams, and other projects of the White Clay Watershed District 26.
TRANSFER OF TUBERCULOSIS CONTROL PROGRAM DUTIES: House Bill 2201 would transfer the powers, duties, and functions of the Tuberculosis Control Program from the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).
DELAYING KPERS MEMBERSHIP ELIGIBILITY: Senate Bill 210 would delay the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) membership eligibility by two years for employees employed in direct support positions in Community Developmental Disability Organizations. An employee would become a member of KPERS on the first day of the payroll period coinciding with or following completion of a two-year training period.
AMENDING REQUIREMENTS FOR KTA AND THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION: Senate Substitute for House Bill 2007 would amend requirements for tolled projects of the Kansas Turnpike Authority (KTA) and the Secretary of Transportation.
AMENDING THE KANSAS 911 ACT: House Bill 2084 would revise the Kansas 911 Act and repeal three outdated statutes not included in the Act.
REQUIREMENTS FOR REINSTATEMENT OF A RURAL WATER DISTRICT: House Bill 2085 would clarify if a rural water district (RWD) has available capacity, the board of a RWD must adhere to the benefit unit reinstatement requirements in current law. The bill also increases the maximum repayment period from 20 years to 40 years for loans provided by the Secretary of Health and Environment to municipalities for the payment of all or part of a project associated with a public water supply system.
UPDATING STATE CREDIT UNION STATUTES: House Bill 2101 would make several amendments and technical updates to the laws governing credit unions and related credit union procedures and designate Article 22 of Chapter 17.
AMENDING THE REVISED KANSAS CODE FOR THE CARE OF CHILDREN: House Bill 2103 would amend the revised Kansas Code for the Care of Children and enact statutory provisions to enable the state to meet the requirements of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act.
AMENDMENTS RELATING TO DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE: House Bill 2104 would amend the statute governing tests related to driving under the influence (DUI), effective July 1, 2019, to amend the oral and written notice a law enforcement officer must provide when requesting a person take such a test. Specifically, the bill would clarify in such notice that refusal to submit to and complete the test or tests will result in suspension of the person’s driving privileges for a period of one year and test failure will result in suspension of the person’s driving privileges for a period of either 30 days or one year. The bill also would amend the statute governing preliminary screening tests related to DUI to remove provisions stating a person operating or attempting to operate a vehicle in Kansas is deemed to have given consent to such tests, setting forth the required notice when a person is requested to take such test, and stating refusal to take and complete such test is a traffic infraction.
ACCOUNTING TREATMENT OF CERTAIN DERIVATIVE INSTRUMENTS OF FIXED INDEX ANNUITIES: House Bill 2177 would create law permitting life insurance companies that offer fixed index annuities (FIAs) to utilize an alternative methodology accounting for FIA hedging and associated reserves.
REVISING THE WORKING AFTER RETIREMENT PROVISIONS OF KPERS: House Bill 2203 would revise the working-after retirement provisions of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) by adding staff employed by the Kansas academies of the U.S. Department of Defense STARBASE Program to the list of exemptions.
INCREASING REGISTRATION FEES FOR ELECTRIC & HYBRID VEHICLES: Senate Substitute for House Bill 2214 would add vehicle registration fees of $100 for all-electric vehicles and $50 for motor vehicles that are conventional electric hybrid and plug-in electric hybrid vehicles. The new fees would be effective on and after January 1, 2020.
AUTHORIZING THE KANSAS STATE FAIR BOARD TO CREATE A NONPROFIT CORPORATION: House Bill 2215 would authorize the Kansas State Fair Board to establish a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.
CHANGING THE REQUIREMENTS TO BEGIN PRODUCTION ON DISTINCTIVE LICENSE PLATES: House Bill 2246 would amend requirements for distinctive license plate development and for continuing distinctive license plates and would add several new distinctive license plates to be issued on and after January 1, 2020. The bill would add military branch license plates and three license plates for which royalty fees would be paid: proud educator license plates, Alpha Kappa Alpha license plates, and Knights of Columbus license plates.
REQUIRING A DULY ORDAINED MINISTER OF RELIGION TO REPORT CHILD ABUSE: Senate Bill 218 would amend law related to mandated reports of child abuse. The bill would add duly ordained ministers of religion to the list of persons required to report suspected child abuse. The bill would specifically state ordained ministers would not be required to violate penitential communication privilege to make such a report. Continuing law requires listed persons to make a report when such person has reason to suspect that a child has been harmed as a result of physical, mental, emotional, or sexual abuse, or neglect. Willful and knowing failure to make a required report is a Class B misdemeanor.
AMENDING LICENSE AND RENEWAL APPLICATION FEES FOR INSURANCE THIRD PARTY ADMINISTRATORS: Senate Bill 228 would amend license and renewal application fees and establish an annual report fee in the Third Party Administrators Act.
AMENDING PROVISIONS RELATING TO ADULT CARE HOME LICENSURE: Senate Bill 232 would amend the Adult Care Home Licensure Act regarding the application for licensure, financial solvency, and receivership of adult care homes. The bill would require the application for a license to operate an adult care home include evidence of access to sufficient working capital necessary to operate an adult care home and include a list of current or previously licensed facilities in Kansas or outside the state in which an applicant has or previously had any ownership interest in the operations or the real property of the facility.
CONTINUING THE 20 MILL STATEWIDE LEVY FOR SCHOOLS: Senate Bill 235 would continue the 20 mill statewide levy for schools and exempt certain portions of property used for residential purposes from such levy.
AMENDING THE DEFINITION OF SERVICE-CONNECTED IN THE KANSAS POLICE AND FIREMEN’S RETIREMENT SYSTEM: House Bill 2031 would revise 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. The bill would add bloodborne pathogens.
PROVIDING SALES TAX AUTHORITY TO CERTAIN COUNTIES: House Bill 2033 would retroactively ratify the results of a 2017 election in Finney County seeking to increase that county’s tax by 0.3 percent and would clarify the county has such rate authority.
REVOKING SPOUSAL INHERITANCE RIGHTS UPON DIVORCE: House Bill 2038 would create law within the Kansas Probate Code providing for the automatic revocation of certain inheritance rights of a former spouse or former spouse’s relatives upon divorce.
DESIGNATING A PORTION OF US HIGHWAY 75 AS THE JOHN ARMSTRONG MEMORIAL HIGHWAY: House Bill 2070 would designate the portion of US-75 from the junction of US-75 and NW 46th Street in Shawnee County to the junction of US-75 and I-70 as the John Armstrong Memorial Highway and would remove this portion of US-75 from designation as the Purple Heart/Combat Wounded Veterans Highway. The bill also would designate bridge No. 018-011 on US77 in Cowley County as the SGT Kevin A. Gilbertson Memorial Bridge.
ALLOWING CERTAIN LIGHT SCREENING MATERIAL ON MOTOR VEHICLE WINDOWS: House Bill 2087 would amend the Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways regarding sun screening devices on motor vehicle windows. The bill would authorize the installation of a clear, colorless, and transparent material on a vehicle’s windshields, side wings, side windows, or rear windows if certain conditions are met.
ALLOWING KPERS BOARD MEMBERS TO DEVELOP CERTAIN POLICIES: House Bill 2119 would authorize the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) Board of Trustees to develop policies and procedures to procure goods and services based upon sound business practices and in accordance to the Professional Services Sunshine Act.
REQUIRING OPERATORS OF A MOTOR VEHICLE TO PROMPTLY DELIVER DRIVER’S LICENSE UPON DEMAND BY OFFICER: House Bill 2125 would require the holder of a driver’s license who is operating a motor vehicle to promptly deliver, rather than display, the driver’s license upon demand of any officer of a court of competent jurisdiction, any peace officer, or any examiner or officer of the Division of Vehicles of the Department of Revenue.
ALLOWING THE KBI TO PARTICIPATE IN THE KANSAS DROP ACT: House Bill 2140 would allow agents of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) to participate in the Kansas Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) of the Kansas Police and Firemen’s Retirement System, which is currently authorized for troopers, examiners, and officers of the Kansas Highway Patrol (KHP). The sunset date for the program would be extended from January 1, 2020, to January 1, 2025.
REQUIRING COMMUNITY COLLEGES TO PUBLISH CERTAIN TAXPAYER AND STUDENT TRANSPARENCY DATA: House Bill 2144 would amend law related to community college student fees and enact the Community College Taxpayer Transparency Act. The bill would include findings and conclusions generally noting the structure and financing of community colleges; the duty of transparency owed by community colleges to property taxpayers and students of community colleges; and reaffirming the students and taxpayers of community colleges as the priority in financial decisions, reporting processes, and transparency measures of community colleges.
PROVIDING SALES TAX AUTHORITY FOR WABAUNSEE COUNTY: House Bill 2160 would make a number of changes to local sales tax authorization statutes and create a sales tax exemption for certain coins and bullion.
AUTHORIZING THE STATE BOARD OF REGENTS TO SELL TWO PIECES OF PROPERTY: House Bill 2168 would authorize the Kansas Board of Regents to sell two pieces of property on behalf of Kansas State University and one on behalf of the University of Kansas, with the proceeds from the funds deposited to the restricted use account of the respective universities to be used for deferred maintenance.
ALLOWING FOR WIDER VARIETY OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS IN THE PRODUCTION OF WINE: House Bill 2223 would revise the Liquor Control Act to allow for producers of certain fermentative products to sell wine made at a farm winery. The farm wine would be required to meet the minimum Kansas content requirements. A vineyard permit would be renamed a producer license, which would be available to producers of grapes, with not less than 100 vines; ripe fruit, or berries, not less than 1,000 pounds; or honey, not less than 100 pounds. If the producer licensee also has a cereal malt beverage license, the producer would be allowed to sell beer not exceeding 6.0 percent by volume, as authorized by the Kansas Cereal Malt Beverage Act. The bill would allow a producer licensee to prohibit a person from possessing alcoholic liquor or cereal malt beverage not purchased on the licensee’s premises.
INCREASING PERMIT FEES FOR OVERSIZED VEHICLES: Senate Substitute for House Bill 2225 would increase fees for certain permits authorizing oversize or overweight vehicles to operate on designated routes and would require registration of escort vehicle companies.
ALLOWING ATVS TO CROSS FEDERAL OR STATE HIGHWAYS: House Bill 2248 would authorize operation of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and work-site utility vehicles to cross a federal highway or a state highway. The bill also would authorize a person engaged in agricultural purposes to operate an ATV or work-site utility vehicle on a federal highway or state highway outside the corporate limits of any city under certain conditions.
ENACTING THE KANSAS TAXPAYER PROTECTION ACT: Senate Bill 104 would enact the Kansas Taxpayer Protection Act, enact the Golden Years Homestead Property Tax Freeze Act, allow disabled veteran renters to claim the property tax refunds under the current Homestead Property Tax Refund Act, and allow individual income taxpayers to claim the expense deduction.
INCREASING PENALTIES FOR THE ABUSE OF A CHILD AND INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER: Senate Bill 108 would amend the penalties for the crimes of involuntary manslaughter and abuse of a child and a mitigating factor for sentencing when a victim is an aggressor or participant in the criminal conduct associated with a crime of conviction.
SCRAP METAL THEFT REDUCTION ACT: Substitute for Senate Bill 219 modifies the Scrap Metal Theft Reduction Act (Act). The bill would establish the Scrap Metal Data Repository Fund (Fund) in the State Treasury, to be administered by the Director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI). Moneys credited to the Fund would be expended for the administration of the duties, functions, and operating expenses incurred and will make the KBI responsible for establishing and maintaining the database. The review deadline and sunset date for a Kansas Open Records Act exception for the information maintained in the database is extended until July 1, 2024. An outdated database report requirement is replaced with a requirement that the Attorney General submit annual reports on or before February 1, beginning in 2020, regarding the implementation, administration, and enforcement of the Act. The report is then submitted to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Senate and House Committees on Judiciary. Requirements in a statute related to information a seller of regulated scrap metal must provide and the dealer’s register of such information requires the seller’s telephone number be provided and included in the register; remove a requirement that a legible fingerprint be obtained from a seller if the seller uses an official governmental document for a country other than the United States to meet certain requirements; allow a copy of a card or document already in a dealer’s register to suffice for subsequent transactions; remove civil penalties for failure to comply with these requirements; and remove a provision making these requirements unenforceable from June 1, 2017,to January 1, 2020. Removed is the criminal history records check and fingerprinting requirements for persons filing for registration. Effective January 1, 2020, the registration and registration renewal fees at “not more than $500.”
RECOGNITION OF TRIBAL COURT JUDGMENTS: House bill 2039 creates law that district courts shall extend full faith and credit to orders, judgments, and other judicial acts of tribal courts of any federally recognized Indian tribe, pursuant to Kansas Supreme Court rules.
ESTABLISHING A COMMERCIAL INDUSTRIAL HEMP PROGRAM: Senate Substitute for House Bill 2167 would require 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. The bill would establish the Commercial Industrial Hemp Program and create the Industrial Hemp Regulatory Commission, and the Hemp Processor License.
KANSAS UNDERGROUND UTILITY DAMAGE PREVENTION ACT: House Bill 2178 modifies law concerning the duty of an operator to mark the tolerance zone around an underground facility within the Kansas Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act (KUUDPA). The definition of “operator” changes to specify an electric public utility would not be considered an operator of any portion of an underground facility that is on another person’s side of the point where ownership of the facility changes from the electric public utility to another person. On or after July 1, 2019, the notification center must notify any person or excavator requesting identification of the location of underground facilities that utilities are only required to identify the location of utility-owned facilities and not the location of privately-owned facilities.
EXECUTION OF A SEARCH WARRANT FOR ELECTRONICALLY STORED INFORMATION: House Bill 2191 adjust law concerning the execution of search warrants. Specifically stated is warrants issued after July 1, 2019, for electronically stored information, electronic devices, or media capable of storing electronically stored information located in Kansas would authorize the transfer of such information, devices, or media for examination and review anywhere within the state or outside the state at any time after the seizure unless otherwise specified by the warrant.
WAVIER OR REDUCING DRIVER’S LICENSE REINSTATEMENT FEES: House Bill 2211 alters the law concerning driver’s license reinstatement fees. Specifically, it would allow a person who is assessed a driver’s license reinstatement fee and surcharge as provided by continuing law to petition the court to waive payment of such fee and surcharge.
CREATING A CRIME VICTIMS COMPENSATION DIVISION: House Bill 2290 would create and amend law concerning the Office of the Attorney General and amend law concerning payment of claims and defense expenses pursuant to the Kansas Tort Claims Act.
PROVIDING FOR CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATIONS OF KANSAS NATIONAL GUARD MEMBERS IN PEER SUPPORT COUNSELING SESSIONS: House Bill 2365 revises law concerning the peer support counseling session communication privilege within the Code of Civil Procedure by adding National Guard members to the statute.
Mark Burghart, Secretary of the Department of Revenue and Julie Lorenz, Secretary of Transportation (KDOT) were confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 38-1.
Visitors from Senate District #36
Two senior classes from home visited Topeka and the Capitol this week sponsored by Farm Bureau – Rock Hill School from Jewell County and Russell School from Russell County. Seniors from Northern Valley were recognized in the Senate along with their teacher Jason Dibble. Each class was able to tour the building and climb the 296 steps to the top of the dome.
Thank You for Engaging
Thank you for your calls, emails, and letters regarding your thoughts and concerns about happenings in Kansas. As always, I’ll keep you updated on the activities of the Senate while we continue through the last week before the break this spring. Visit the Legislative website at www.kslegislature.org to ‘listen in live’ to the Senate which will be in session each day this week at 10:00AM.
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.