· The Kansas House of Representatives rejected Gov. Kelly’s proposal to re-amortize KPERS on a vote of 36-87. The proposal would have provided the state with $770 million over the next five years but would cost the state $7.4 billion over the next 30 years (Kansas City Star
· On Tuesday, The Kansas Department of Corrections declared an emergency at El Dorado Correctional Facility, one of the state’s largest prisons. The prison has 95 vacant staff positions (more than 25 percent of uniformed positions) while housing 74 inmates over its limit (Wichita Eagle
· Job openings hit record high of 7.3 million in December. The number of job openings hit a record high of 7.3 million in December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Tuesday in a sign of the labor market’s strength. The previous high was sent in August. Data goes back to the year 2000. The private sector drove the new record, with private entities accounting for 6.7 million job vacancies-also a record high. The construction industry recorded 382,00 new jobs, far more than ever before (Washington Examiner
· Kelly Flip Flops – Proposes KPERS Plan she recently opposed. Governor Kelly’s KPERS re-amortization plan, which was defeated overwhelmingly in the House this week, is similar to a plan proposed by the Brownback administration in 2017 that then Senator Kelly opposed and said, “would unravel all the work done to ensure the financial stability of KPERS.” Senator Kelly also went on to criticize Governor Brownback for “short-term thinking.” (The Wichita Eagle
). I agree with Senator Kelly’s assessment of how re-amortizing KPERS would unravel the financial stability of KPERS, and is short-term thinking. That is why I oppose this procedure.
Find reliable and age appropriate information online with Britannica – Public Library https://kslib.info/eor
from the State Library of Kansas. Three levels of learning (Children, Young Adult, and Reference Center) offer continually updated entries, multimedia, primary –source material, maps, and links to expert websites. Double–click any word in the article for the definition to pop up with audio pronunciation. Also available at https://kslib.info/eor
, Britannica – Academic includes more scholarly content. Another link https://kslib.info/kids
takes you to Britannica – School for learning about any subject for all grades and reading abilities.
If the page above asks for a Kansas Library eCard number, you may get one at any library in Kansas. Most people will be automatically recognized as being in Kansas and will not need this step. Questions: email@example.com
ACCESS OF CRIMINAL DEFENDANT’S PRESENTENCE INVESTIGATION REPORT (SB 19
): Senate Bill 19 changes the statute governing the presentence investigation report prepared in criminal cases, allowing access of the report for community correctional services and any entity required to receive the information under the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision. The bill makes technical changes to provide consistency in references to the report and consistency in statutory phrasing. This bill passed the Senate 40-0 (I voted in favor of this bill).
JUDICIAL BRANCH SURCHARGE (SB 20
): Senate Bill 20 makes the judicial branch surcharge permanent. The Legislature reauthorized the surcharge (HB2041) in 2017, which funds non-judicial personnel. Current law allows the Judicial Branch to impose this additional charge on various docket fees to fund the costs of non-judicial personnel until June 30, 2019. The bill also makes technical changes by removing outdated statutory references and effective dates. This bill passed the Senate 35-5 (I voted against this bill. It eliminated the sunset revision, and did not set a new sunset date. I felt that there were a lot of fees in this bill that put a heavy burden on those that cannot afford to pay the fines).
ATTORNEY GENERAL ENTERING INTO DIVERSION AGREEMENTS (SB 18
): Senate Bill 18 allows the attorney general to enter into diversion agreements pursuant to statutes; to add a provision specifying that any diversion costs or fees collected under a diversion agreement entered into by the attorney general would be deposited in the Fraud and Abuse Criminal Prosecution Fund; and to add a provision allowing the attorney general to enter into agreements with the appropriate county or district attorney, or other appropriate parties, regarding the supervision of conditions of the diversion agreement. This bill passed the Senate 40-0(I voted in favor of this bill).
VEHICLE DEALERS AND MANUFACTURERS LICENSING ACT (SB 39
): Senate Bill 39 identifies that the dealer may establish its average percentage markup for parts or its labor rate, by submitting to the manufacturer or distributor copies of 100 sequential retail service orders paid by the dealer’s customers, or all of the dealer’s retail service orders paid by the dealer’s customers in a 90-day period, whichever is less, for services provided within the previous 180-day period. The bill would authorize the manufacturer or distributor to choose to audit the submitted orders, within 30 days of receiving the dealer’s submission. The manufacturer or distributor would then approve or deny the establishment of the dealer’s average percentage markup or labor rate. If the manufacturer or distributor approves the average percentage markup or labor rate, the markup or rate go into effect 45 days after approval.
If the manufacturer or distributor denies the establishment the average percentage markup or labor rate, the dealer would be able to file a complaint with the Director of Vehicles and require a hearing following procedure in continuing law for hearings on violations of any provision of the Act. The burden of proof would be on the manufacturer or distributor to establish that the denial of the dealer’s average percentage markup or labor rate was reasonable. If the Director of Vehicles finds the denial was not reasonable, the Director of Vehicles then determines the dealer’s average percentage markup or labor rate for purposes of calculating a reasonable schedule of compensation. SB 39 would prohibit a dealer from requesting a change in the dealer’s average percentage markup or labor rate more than once in any one-year period and would prohibit the compensation to the dealer for warranty parts and labor from being less than rates charged by the dealer for like parts and services to retail customers, provided the rates are reasonable. This bill passed the Senate 39-0(I voted in favor of this bill).
CONDEMNING THE ENACTMENT OF NEW YORK’S REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT (SCR 1606
): Senate Concurrent Resolution 1606 condemns the enactment of New York’s Reproductive Health Act (RHA) because it violates the health and well-being of a woman and her unborn child.
Last month, the State of New York passed RHA which expands legal abortion from 24 weeks to full-term; removes abortion in its entirety from the state penal code; allows non-physicians to commit abortion such as nurses, physician assistants, or midwives; jeopardizes a health professional’s right to not participate in abortion.
Kansas pro-life senators signed on to the resolution to take a stance against New York’s progressive late-term abortion legislation. This resolution passed the Senate 27-13(I co-sponsored and voted in favor of this bill).
Senators and members of the Kansas House of Representatives held a press conference on Monday to discuss the resolution and display their commitment to protecting the life of the unborn.
To watch the press conference, click here
Kansas lawmakers held a press conference on Monday to condemn New York’s Reproductive Health Act, which allows for late-term abortion.
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ON POPULATION ADJUSTMENTS
On Wednesday, Secretary of State Scott Schwab testified in front of the Senate Ethics, Elections and Local Government Committee in support of a constitutional amendment (SCR 1605
) that would end the revision of population figures to reflect where military members and college students reside for the purpose of redistricting.
Secretary of State Schwab told the committee that Kansas would have to spend an estimated $834,000 to adjust the 2020 U.S. Census figures to prepare for redrawing political boundaries for House and Senate districts.
“The adjustment requirement is burdensome, antiquated and expensive,” Schwab told the committee. “Kansas is the only state in the nation that continues to adjust census numbers. I think this provision of the constitution is a waste.”
Secretary of State Schwab explained that the population report relied on for redistricting would be delayed three to six months while a private consultant contacted college students and military personnel in Kansas to determine where they want to be counted as residents.
The district maps are based on population. The adjustment of census figures was originally done to allow rural areas -for redistricting- to retain people who had moved elsewhere to serve in the military or attend college. While the original purpose was to help rural areas, the revisions favored urban centers after the 2010 census.
For SCR 1605 to be placed on a statewide ballot, it would require the approval by two-thirds majorities of the House and Senate.
DECREASING NUMBER OF SCHOOL SAFETY DRILLS
The Senate Education Committee is considering legislation that would decrease the number of school safety drills from 16 to nine a year. Currently, all schools in Kansas, except colleges and universities, must complete 16 emergency-preparedness drills during school hours. The 16 drills include nine crisis drills, four fire drills, and three tornado drills. Senate Bill 128
would reduce requirements to three crises drills and two tornado drills, while retaining the four fire drills.
G.A. Buie, executive director of United School Administrators of Kansas and Kansas School Superintendents Association, polled district superintendents and 150 principals. He said 95 percent support the reduction of crisis drills.
· Hearing on: SB 47, creating the student opportunity scholarship program – [Senate Education Committee; February 18 at 1:30 pm]
· Hearing on: SB 152, Authorizing the secretary of health and environment to collect underground injection control program fees and redirecting water well license program fees – [Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee; February 19 at 8:30 am]
· Hearing on: SB 125, extending the eligible time period for rural opportunity zones loan repayment program and income tax credit – [Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee; February 19 at 9:30 am]
· Hearing on: SB 135, adding certain counties to the list of eligible rural opportunity zone counties – [Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee; February 19 at 9:30 am]
· Hearing on: SB 140, establishing an income tax credit for contributions to the Eisenhower foundation – [Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee; February 19 at 9:30 am]
· Hearing on: SB 43, Elections; registration; election day registration – [Senate Ethics, Elections and Local Government; February 19 at 9:30 am]
· Hearing on: SB 144, allowing the use of expedited partner therapy to treat a sexually transmitted disease – [Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee; February 19 at 9:30 am]
· Hearing on: SB 108, increasing criminal penalties for abuse of a child and involuntary manslaughter when the victim is under 6 years of age and making a presumption of unfitness against any parent convicted of either crime – [Senate Judiciary Committee; February 19 at 10:30 am]
· Hearing on: (opponents) SB 69, requiring the state corporation commission to study electric rates and consider certain factors in establishing just and reasonable electric rates – [Senate Utilities Committee; February 19 at 1:30 pm]
· Hearing on: SB 49, authorizing the secretary of wildlife, parks and tourism to establish fees for cabins operated by the department of camping permits at state parks – [Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources; February 20 at 8:30 am]
· Hearing on SB 122, implementing Medicaid and educational services for foster care youth and certain former foster care youth – [Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee; February 20 at 9:30 am]
· Informational briefing on sports wagering – [Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee; February 20 at 10:30 am]
· Hearing on: SB 80, increasing the criminal penalty for criminal possession of a weapon by a felon and adding ammunition to the definition of a weapon – [Senate Judiciary Committee; February 20 at 10:30 am]
· Hearing on: SB 76, sales tax rate on food and food ingredients – [Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee; February 21 at 9:30 am]
Thank You for Engaging
Thank you for all your calls, emails, and letters regarding your thoughts and concerns about happenings in Kansas. 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.
Please know that I am fully committed to addressing the current issues in our state, and I am proud to be your voice in the Kansas Senate.