State senator Richard Hilderbrand 13th district
communications from the state capitol
March 16, 2018 ∙ Week Ten
Quote of the Week:
“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
― James Madison
- According to the State General Fund Profile for FY 2016-2022, Kansas will have a $300.7 million deficit. This does not include additional funding to K-12 education and continues to transfer sales tax from the State Highway Fund. (Kansas Legislative Research Department) http://www.kslegresearch.org/KLRD-web/SGF-Receipts.html.
- Four of the five metropolitan areas reported positive job growth since December 2017 with Kansas City reporting the largest gain of 800 jobs (Kansas Department of Labor) https://klic.dol.ks.gov/gsipub/index.asp?docid=472.
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MOTORCYCLE APPROVED SAFTEY TRAINING CURRICULUM (SUB HB 2194): Substitute for House Bill 2194 would exempt applicants for Class M (motorcycle) driver’s licenses who have completed curriculum recognized by the Kansas Department of Education and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation from completing further written and driving testing by the Division of Vehicles. The bill would require an applicant who completes a motorcycle safety curriculum to provide a copy of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation completion form to the Division of Vehicles prior to receiving a Class M license. The bill would also clarify the driving examination required for licensure shall be administered by the Division of Vehicles, the U.S. Department of Defense, or as part of a recognized curriculum. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
ALCOHOLIC CANDY (HB 2476): House Bill 2476 defines “alcoholic candy” as any candy or other confectionery product with an alcohol content greater than 1.0 percent alcohol by volume. Alcoholic candy would be subject to regulation by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division of the Kansas Department of Revenue, and retailers would be required to have a liquor license to sell such products. The bill also would increase an exemption for the alcohol allowed in confectionery products under current law regarding adulterated foods from less than 0.5 percent to not more than 1.0 percent.
The bill would also allow licensed microbrewers in the State to produce beer containing up to 15.0 percent alcohol by weight. Current law prohibits microbrewers from producing beer with more than 10.0 percent alcohol by weight. A microbrewery licensee would be allowed to sell beer manufactured by the licensee in refillable and sealable containers to consumers for off-premises consumption if containers do not contain less than 32 fluid ounces or more than 64 fluid ounces of beer. Licensees would be required to affix labels to all containers sold, which would include the licensee’s name and the name and type of beer in such container. This bill passed the Senate 38-2. (I voted against this bill. This bill will contradict federal law that only allows up to 0.5 percent of alcohol in confectionery products. Without making the necessary changes to protect the vendors in our state, this could leave them vulnerable to prosecution by the federal government.)
EMERGENCY OR CATASTROPHE (HB 2469): House Bill 2469 prohibits local units of government from imposing restrictions or enforcing local licensing or registration ordinances on insurance claims’ handling operations during any catastrophic event threatening life or property. The bill would require insurers to notify the city or county prior to establishing a claims handling operation. Under the bill, a political subdivision would not be prohibited from exercising its police power when necessary to preserve public health and welfare, including, but not limited to, enforcing its building, zoning, and fire safety codes. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
OFFENDER’S CRIMINAL HISTORY CLASSIFICATION (HB 2567): House Bill 2567 modifies a statute governing determination of criminal history to replace references to “another state” with “the convicting jurisdiction,” clarify the comparable offense to be used for comparison for misdemeanor crimes in another jurisdiction is the offense under the Kansas Criminal Code in effect on the date the current crime of conviction was committed and standardize terminology.
The bill also would add a provision that if a crime is not classified as either a felony or misdemeanor in the convicting jurisdiction, the comparable offense under the Kansas Criminal Code in effect on the date the current crime of conviction was committed shall be used to classify the out-of-state crime as either a felony or misdemeanor. If Kansas does not have such comparable offense, the out-of-state crime would not be used in classifying the offender’s criminal history. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
TRIBAL REGALIA AND OBJECTS OF CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE AT PUBLIC EVENTS (HB 2498): House Bill 2498 would prohibit state agencies and municipalities from prohibiting any individual from wearing tribal regalia or objects of cultural significance at an event held or sponsored by a state agency or municipality, including, but not limited to, an award ceremony, a graduation ceremony, or a meeting of a governing body. Kansas Legislature declares the purpose of the bill is to help further the State’s recognition of the distinct and unique cultural heritage of Native Americans and the State’s commitment to preserving Native Americans’ cultural integrity. On the effective date of the bill, the Secretary of State would have to send a copy of the bill to each tribal government on the four reservations in Kansas on the effective date of the bill. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
CHANGING LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR CHILD CARE FACILITIES (SB 428): Senate Bill 428 changes the licensure requirements for a child care facility operating in a public recreation center or school. A public recreation center means any building used by a political or taxing subdivision of the state, and does not include child care facilities located in an individual’s residence. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
CAMPUS FREE SPEECH PROTECTION ACT (SB 340): Senate Bill 340, the Campus Free Speech Protection Act, forbids public universities from creating free-speech zones, requiring students from adopting certain beliefs, and prevents schools from banning speakers based on the content of their speech.
SB 340 was introduced to protect all students’ First Amendment rights and helps to prevent unfair treatment due to students’ individual beliefs. Censorship on college campuses has been an issue throughout the nation in recent years, growing even more common since the 2016 election. The implementation of free-speech zones act as restrictive measures where students are only allowed to express their beliefs or host tabling in designated areas on campus. Legislators argued during debate that as state institutions, students should be allowed to exercise their First Amendment rights throughout the entire campus. This bill failed 20-20 (21 votes are needed to pass). (I voted for this bill. It is very disappointing to know that we were not able to guarantee freedom of speech on our college campuses.)
CLARIFYING JUVENILE OFFENDER REVIEW REQUIREMENTS (HB 2454): House Bill 2454 would amend the statute in the Revised Kansas Juvenile Justice Code governing detention hearings to expand the permitted use of two-way electronic audio-visual communication between the juvenile and the judge. The bill would further amend law related to detention review hearing by adding a provision stating that hearings are not required for a juvenile offender that is held in detention awaiting case disposition. If a juvenile is being held in detention, HB 2454 would require sentencing to take place within 45 days after the juvenile has been adjudicated. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
PROHIBITING GUN OWNERSHIP TO THOSE CONVICTED OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (HB 2145): House Bill 2145 would prohibit gun ownership to those convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense within the last five years. HB 2145 would also amend state law by adding throwing star with intent to harm as a crime. Before this amendment, an individual could be held accountable for simply possessing a throwing star. This amendment clarifies that individuals can only be held accountable if they possess a throwing star and have an intent to harm another person. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.
FIREARM RECIPROCITY (HB 2042): House Bill 2042 allows for the recognition of out-of-state concealed carry permits. HB 2042 requires individuals with out-of-state concealed carry permits to abide by Kansas law while in the state. This bill passed the Senate 25-15 (I voted for this bill)
- During the debate over the attempt to raise the age for purchasing a rifle to 21, Senator Barbara Bollier tried to make the argument that the brain development of 18-20 year-olds made it inappropriate for them to have a rifle, even though they can vote and serve in the military. Sen. Masterson responded, “We’re getting way off topic talking about cerebral cortexes.”
- In that same portion of the debate, Sen. Richard Hilderbrand argued that it was inappropriate to not allow those 18-20 to carry a rifle, because they can vote and serve in the military. Sen. Holland countered that we restrict the right of such individuals to drink. However, Sen. Hilderbrand pointed out that there is a right to bear arms in the Second Amendment, but there is no right to drink anywhere in the Constitution. This time, Sen. Bollier attempted to claim there was a “Constitutional right to alcohol” in the Twenty-first Amendment, but that is incorrect. The Twenty-first Amendment merely repealed the federal prohibition on the sale, transportation, and manufacture of intoxicating liquors. In fact, Section 2 of that amendment essentially provides states complete control over alcohol laws. We’ve seen that play out here in Kansas, where alcohol laws were strict and have since been somewhat loosened.
GOV. COLYER’S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON DROUGHT AND WILDFIRE HAZARDS:
On Monday, Governor Jeff Colyer signed an executive order covering all 105 counties in Kansas on the hazard of severe drought and wildfires. He placed 28 counties in emergency status, 29 in warning status, and 48 in watch status. The executive order comes after several wildfires took place over the past week. The most severe region in the state includes Hamilton, Barton, Rice, Reno, Sedgwick, and Sumner counties. The least threatened areas include counties on the Nebraska line and Northeast Kansas along the Missouri border.
INDIA DAY AT THE STATEHOUSE:
India Day at the Kansas Capitol was held on Wednesday March 14th. The event was sponsored by Governor Colyer, Senate President Wagle, Speaker of the House Ron Ryckman, and Senator Rob Olson. The event promoted Indian culture and recognized prominent Indian decision makers from across the state. There were numerous tables in the Capitol rotunda that showcased different regions, religions, arts, and culture of India.
- Hearing on: (opponents) HB 2583, relating to the control and eradication of noxious weeds in the state of Kansas — [Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, March 19 at 8:30 am]
- Hearing on: HB 2674, establishing Kansas telemedicine act — [Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, March 19 at 9:30 am]
- Hearing on: Sub HB 2556, establishing the state interoperability advisory committee — [Senate Ways and Means Committee, March 19 at 10:30 am]
- Presentation on: Overview of Study-Dr. Lori Taylor and Jason Willis — [Joint Meeting with Senate Select Committee on Education Finance & House K-12 Education Budget, March 19 at 12 pm in 346-S]
- Hearing on: SB 444, decreasing the sales and use tax rate on food and food ingredients — [Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee, March 20 at 9:30 am]
- Hearing on: HB 2604, secretary of state; posting precinct level election results; certain offices — [Senate Ethics, Elections and Local Government, March 20 at 9:30 am]
- Hearing on: HB 2642, elections; corrupt political advertising — [Senate Ethics, Elections and Local Government, March 20 at 9:30 am]
- Hearing continuation on: Proponents SB 401, creating the adoption protection act — [Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee, March 20 at 10:30 am, Room Change: 346-S]
- Hearing on: SB 431, creating the extreme risk protective order act — [Senate Judiciary Committee, March 20 at 10:30 am, Room Change: 144-S]
- Hearing on: HB 2566, making the criminal penalty for possession of THC equal to the criminal penalty of possession of marijuana — [Senate Judiciary Committee, March 20 at 10:30 am, Room Change: 144-S]
- Informational hearing on: HB 2701, establishing the statewide broadband expansion task force — [Senate Utilities Committee, March 20 at 1:30 pm]
- Hearing on: SB 422, requiring a minimum local option budget and requiring local school boards to notify the state board of education of their intent to increase local option budget authority — [Senate Select Committee on Education Finance, March 20 at 1:00 pm in 144-S]
- Hearing on: HB 2416, income tax credit for certain purchases of goods and services by a taxpayer from qualified vendors that provide employment to the individuals who are blind or severely disabled — [Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee, March 21 at 9:30 am]
- Informational hearing on: SB 49, elections; registration; election day registration — [Senate Ethics, Elections and Local Government, March 21 at 9:30 am]
- Hearing on: HB 2496, enacting the nurse licensure compact — [Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, March 21 at 9:30 am]
- Hearing on: Opponents SB 401, creating the adoption protection act — [Senate Federal and State Affairs, March 21 at 10:30 am, Room Change: 346-S]
- Hearing on: HB 2648, including federal law enforcement officers in assault and battery against a law enforcement officer — [Senate Judiciary Committee, March 21 at 10:30am, Room Change: 144-S]
- Hearing on: Senate “simplified transportation formula” — [Senate Select Committee on Education Finance, March 21 at 1:30 pm in 144-S]
- Hearing on: SB 376, increasing the rates of taxation of cigarettes and tobacco products; establishing the cigarette and tobacco product cessation fund — [Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee, March 22 at 9:30 am]
- Presentation on: Concurrent Enrollment and ACT – for all High School — [Senate Select Committee on Education Finance, March 22 at 1:00 pm in 144-S]
Below are links to make it easy for constituents to follow the Kansas Legislature:
Website – www.kslegislature.org. It is great for looking up bills, calendars, journals, as well as, the roster in each Chamber.
YouTube of Legislature – http://bit.ly/2CZj9O0 Did you know the legislature is now streaming its proceedings? The YouTube page has an archive of the sessions thus far – including the State of the State and the State of the Judiciary.
Committee Streaming – http://sg001-harmony.sliq.net/00287/Harmony/en/View/Calendar/ The Kansas Legislature is also streaming committees, with every committee room equipped with audio streaming technology.
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.