Letters from the State Senate

2017 Session – Week Thirteen

Submitted by 12th District State Senator Caryn Tyson

May tends to be a busy month with graduations, Mother’s Day, Memorial weekend and other events.  It is also a busy month for the legislature.  Veto session began May 1.  It used to be a time to consider legislation that had been vetoed by the Governor.  It should be more accurately re-named to “wrap-up session.”  The budget, tax and K-12 funding are items that still need to be completed.

The state has collected $4.8 billion in tax receipts for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, which ends June 30. This is a $53.5 million increase for the same time frame in fiscal year 2016. It’s difficult to say if this trend will continue because of the devastating losses in agriculture caused by the March wildfires and the late April freeze. However, there is optimism at the national level that could offset the losses. We don’t need to use the budget shortfall as an excuse to massively increase our State spending and to cover that with a huge tax increase.

Other legislation worked on included the Kansas Consumer Protection Act in Senate Bill (SB) 201.  It was amended by adding current members of the military to the definition of “protected consumer.”  The bill passed the Senate unanimously.

Conference committees are meeting and this is when a bunch of bills can be combined into one bill. A few years ago, the House amended the rules to limit the number of bills that could be combined in conference committee to four bills, with a few exceptions.  It is disappointing that a couple of House committees combine several bills into one before the bill leaves committee and before it gets to conference; undermining the intent of the rule and not letting bills stand on their own merit.  SB 112 was one such bill.  It has topics from drug paraphernalia to dog fighting. The bill decreases the penalty for unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia from a class A to a class B nonperson misdemeanor.  It increases sentencing for a burglary with intent to commit a felony, theft or sex crime. SB 112 defines “Animal shelter” to be the same definition as in the Kansas Pet Animal Act. The bill had more items Senators wanted, than not.  It seems the increased sentences for persons convicted of a hate crime against law enforcement would be one of the main reasons to support the bill.  The bill passed the Senate 38 to 0.

May 8-12 is Teacher Appreciation week. “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”  – Albert Einstein.  Thank you to my friends, family and all who have chosen to teach.  Teachers can, and often do, influence a student’s future – the way they see themselves for the rest of their lives.  This is a powerful role and a privilege, not to be taken lightly.  I hope you take time this week to thank teachers who have influenced your life.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.

Caryn

Office Telephone: 785.296.6838

Telephone: 913.898.2366

Email: Caryn.Tyson@senate.ks.gov

 

Submitted by 13th District Senator Richard Hilderbrand

Weekly Review

This was the legislature’s first week back in session after First Adjournment. We voted on numerous Conference Committee Reports, wrapping up most of our non-tax, budget or education-related work.

National Day of Prayer

Thursday in the Capitol, we celebrated National Day of Prayer. Many of our Senators participated in a mid-day prayer service to extend prayers for our legislators, our staffs, our families, our servicemen and women, teachers, law enforcement, doctors and nurses, children and for the general well-being of our state.

National Police Week

This week, both the Senate and the House of Representatives passed SB 112, The Law Enforcement Protection Act, a bill strengthening protections for police officers and creating tougher sentences for individuals convicted of hate crimes toward police officers. This is a great piece of legislation that shows, concretely, our appreciation and respect for our law enforcement officials. This bill passed both chambers with large bipartisan support, and many of our Senators attended the bill’s signing ceremony in Governor Brownback’s office on Friday.

Thank You for Engaging

Thank you for all of 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 am proud to be your voice in the Kansas Senate.

FLOOR ACTION:

KANSAS CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT (SB 201): SB 201 amends the Kansas Consumer Protection Act adding members of the military to the definition of “protected consumer” found in the Act. Currently, law includes veterans, surviving spouses of veterans and immediate family members of members of the military, but does not specifically include current members of the military. This bill passed the Senate Tuesday May 2, by a vote of 39-0.

BOB GRANT BISON HERD (HB 2098): HB 2098 names the bison herd at the Mined Land Wildlife Area in Crawford Country the “Bob Grant Bison Herd.” This bill passed the Senate Tuesday May 2, by a vote of 39-0

QUALIFIED VENDOR REQUIREMENTS (HB 2353): HB 2353 revises the definition section of the State use Law by redefining the term “qualified vendor” and includes a new definition for persons who are disabled. Qualified vendor would mean a Kansas business that employs Kansas who are blind or disabled, excluding employees hired by third-party entities. Currently, the definition for qualified vendor is silent on the extent of employment and the location of operations. The bill would define “persons who are disabled” to mean any person of employable age whose physical or mental condition is a substantial barrier to employment. This bill passed the Senate Tuesday May 2, by a vote of 39-0

COMPETITIVE BID PROCESS FOR STATE CONTRACTS (HB 2356): HB 2356 revises provisions of the state’s bidding process as it relates to the definitions of “certified business” and “individual with a disability.” Under current law, most contracts are awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. However, a contract may be awarded to a certified business (or a disabled veteran business) whose bid is not more than 10 percent greater than the lowest competitive bid. The bills states that certified business must conduct most of its operations in Kansas, employing at least 10 percent of its workforce with individuals that have disabilities, contributing at least 75 percent of their health insurance premium costs, and not paying a subminimum wage, which is allowable under federal law. The Department of Administration (Department) would certify businesses every three years instead of annually. An individual could be certified as having a disability by either the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) or the Kansas Department for Children and Families (KDCF), using the disability standards established by the U.S. Social Security Administration as determined by the Kansas Disability Determination Services within KDCF. Under current law, disability certification is determined by KDADS using a clinical assessment. This bill passed the Senate Wednesday May 3, by a vote of 39-0

CONFERENCE COMMITTEE REPORTS:

IGNITION INTERLOCK AND EXPUNGEMENTS (HB 2085): HB 2085 requires every person who has an ignition interlock device installed to complete the ignition interlock device program pursuant to rules and regulations adopted by the Secretary of Revenue. An approved service provider would have to provide proof of completion to the Division of Vehicles before the person’s driving privileges would be fully reinstated. The bill would also revise statutes governing expungements in municipal and district courts to state that provisions regarding expungement of violations of driving under the influence (DUI) or test refusal would apply to all violations committed on or after July 1, 2006, except that the district court expungement provision for a second or subsequent violation would not apply to violations committed on or after July 1, 2014, but prior to July 1, 2015. The Senate adopted the Conference Committee Report Tuesday May 2 by a vote of 39-0

GENERAL CORPORATION CODE (HB 2153): HB 2153 would create and modify law within the Kansas General Corporation Code (GCC) and alter related statutes to create a type of business entity known as a “Public Benefit Corporation.” The Senate adopted the Conference Committee Report Tuesday May 2 by a vote of 37-2

PROTECTION FROM ABUSE ACT (H Sub for SB 101): House sub. for SB 101 would adjust law concerning protective orders, notification of a sexual assault examination of a minor child, infectious disease testing, and claims for compensation through the Crime Victims Compensation Board. The Senate adopted the Conference Committee Report Tuesday May 2 by a vote of 39-0

KPERS AND KANSAS POLICE AND FIREMAN (SB 205): SB 205 makes numerous changes to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS or Retirement System) pertaining to participating service; Kansas Police and Firemen’s (KP&F) death benefits for certain surviving spouses; the Board of Regents Retirement Plan, as it relates to working after retirement; and the administration of KPERS. The Senate Concurred with amendments in conference Wednesday May 3, 39-0

CRIMES, CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, AND CUSTODIAL INTERROGATIONS (SB 112): SB 112 creates the crime of aggravated domestic battery and modifies the crimes of domestic battery, possession of drug paraphernalia, burglary, cruelty to animals and dog fighting. Further, it would amend provisions concerning illegal sentences, post-release supervision for persons convicted of sexually violent crimes, and expungement of arrest records. It also would enact the Law Enforcement Protection Act and provisions concerning the electronic recording of certain custodial interrogations. The Senate adopted the Conference Committee Report Wednesday May 3, by a vote of 38-0

CRISIS INTERVENTION ACT (S Sub for HB 2053): Senate Substitute for HB 2053 creates the Crisis Intervention Act (Act) and amends law related to mental health to reflect the provisions of the Act. The Senate adopted the Conference Committee Report Wednesday May 3, by a vote of 39-0

PUBLIC RECORDS AND MEETINGS (HB 2301): HB 2301 modifies law related to public records and public meetings. One of these modifications includes amending law within the Kansas Code of Criminal Procedure relating to trial jurors. The bill would remove addresses of prospective jurors from the information included in the list of prospective jurors filed as a public record with the clerk of the court. The bill would also alter the Kansas Open Meetings Act (KOMA) with respect to closed or executive meetings. The bill would require any motion to recess for a closed or executive session to include a statement describing the subjects to be discussed during the closed or executive session and the justification for closing the meeting. Current law requires a statement of the justification for closing the meeting and the subjects to be discussed during the closed meeting. Unchanged in the bill would be the requirement the motion contain the time and place at which the open meeting will resume. The Senate adopted the Conference Committee Report Wednesday May 3, by a vote of 40-0

INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR SELF- STORAGE UNITS (SB 14): SB 14 creates a limited line of insurance for self-service storage unit insurance; enacts new law pertaining to this limited line; and amends a provision in the Uniform Insurance Agents Licensing Act concerning application requirements for resident agent licensure to authorize the fingerprinting of resident insurance agent applicants for the purposes of obtaining a state and national criminal history record check. The Senate adopted the Conference Committee Report Thursday May 4, by a vote of 37-3

INTERNATIONALLY ACTIVE INSURANCE GROUPS (SB 16): SB 16 enact new law pertaining to internationally active insurance groups and the corporate governance practices of all domestic insurers. The bill would also amend a provision in the Insurance Code that exempts the marketing and sale of service contacts from regulation by the Kansas Insurance Department. The Senate adopted the Conference Committee Report Thursday May 4, by a vote of 35-4

VEHICLE TITLE AND REGISTRATION FEES AND SEAT BELT SAFETY FUND (SB 89): SB 89 makes modifications to law relating to the collection of certain vehicle title and registration fees and the remittance of such fees. The bill also would increase fines for certain seat belt violations and direct related moneys to the Seat Belt Safety Fund created by the bill. The Senate adopted the Conference Committee Report Friday May 5, by a vote of 32-7

BILL SIGNINGS

Governor Brownback signed the following bills into law during the adjournment period and the first week of Veto Session:

Senate Bill 112 – Creates tougher sentences for individuals convicted of committing hate crimes against law enforcement.

House Substitute for Senate Bill 51 – Updates the controlled substance schedule and allows the Board of Pharmacy to conduct emergency scheduling when required.

Senate Bill 124 – Specifies the factors considered in determinations of child custody and modifies the process for admitting court ordered drug and alcohol tests into evidence at Child in Need of Care hearings.

Senate Bill 202 – Approves the compact between the Kickapoo Tribe in Kansas and the State of Kansas and the compact between the Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska and the State of Kansas, which relate to cigarette and tobacco sales, taxation and escrow collection.

Senate Substitute for House Bill 2026 – Makes changes to KanCare processes and contract requirements.

House Substitute for Senate Bill 70 – Amends the Kansas Amusement Ride Act and the Amusement Ride Insurance Act.

Sub for Sub for SB 95 – Authorizes the use of telephonic signatures for public assistance applications.

Senate Bill 184 – Enacts the Kansas Intelligence Fusion Center Act.

House Bill 2006 – Addresses how vacancies on county commissions are filled.

House Bill 2025 – Amends regulations related to the Kansas Board of Nursing and laws related to Mental Health Technicians.

Senate Substitute for House Bill 2027 – Amends the Kansas Healing Arts Act.

House Bill 2030 – Changes the law related to vaccination and reporting requirements.

House Bill 2043 – Amends certain financial examination requirements by the Kansas Insurance Commissioner.

S Sub for HB 2055 – Amends the Kansas Pharmacy Act.

House Bill 2094 – Addresses interlocal cooperation among local government entities.

House Bill 2118 – Provides liability exceptions and inactive provider coverage limits under the health care provider insurance availability act.

House Bill 2137 – Allows county commissioners and members of city government to serve in various volunteer capacities.

House Bill 2140 – Adopts the Great Plains Interstate Fire Compact to promote prevention and control of wild fires in the Great Plains region.

Senate Substitute for House Bill 2174 – Authorizes various distinctive license plates and allows persons with distinctive plates to obtain a wheel chair emblem.

Senate Substitute for House Bill 2304 – Amends law regarding standards and regulations of maternity centers and child care facilities.

Senate Substitute for House Bill 2052 – Concerns Appropriations for Fiscal Years 2017 through 2021.

House Bill 2080 – Concerns reinstatement of forfeited benefit units and rural water district.

House Bill 2095 – Provides a special vehicle permit for certain vehicle combinations.

House Bill 2158 – Amends the law related to canvassing of advanced ballots.

House Bill 2170 – Amends the traffic safety laws related to bicycles.

House Bill 2213 – Reauthorizes the Kansas Board of Regents fee schedule in the Kansas private and out-of-state post-secondary educational institution act.

House Substitute for Senate Bill 13 – Amends the laws related to the sale of certain alcoholic beverages.

Senate Bill 20 – Amends the State Banking Code, Kansas Money Transmitter Act, Kansas Mortgage Business Act, and the Kansas Credit Services Organization Act.

Senate Bill 46 – Amends the law pertaining to rights and procedures related to water rights.

Senate Bill 50 – Changes membership of the advisory committee on uniform state laws and the joint committee on claims against the state, and adds the unauthorized practice of law to the Kansas Consumer Protection Act.

Senate Bill 65 – Allows for creditor sale of repossessed alcoholic liquors pledged as collateral.

The Governor has now signed 62 bills into law this session and vetoed two. 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 his or her signature.

NEXT WEEK:

Next week is the second week of Veto Session. We will continue working on our three big ticket items: taxes, budget and school finance. I hope you’ll reach out with any comments, questions, or concerns regarding these issues or others. 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 as we work to wrap this legislative session up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *