State senator Richard Hilderbrand 13th district
communications from the state capitol
April 27, 2018, ∙ Week Twelve
Quote of the Week:
“On every occasion [of Constitutional interpretation] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying [to force] what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, [instead let us] conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823
- Preliminary estimates reported by the Kansas Department of Labor and Bureau of Labor Statistics show a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.4 percent in March. This was unchanged from February and down from 3.7 percent in March 2017 (Kansas Department of Labor).https://www.dol.ks.gov/Uploads/LR_Mar2018_News_Release.pdf
- Seasonally adjusted job estimates indicate total Kansas nonfarm jobs increased by 2,100 from February. Private sector jobs, a subset of total nonfarm jobs, increased by 2,200 from the previous month (Kansas Department of Labor). https://www.dol.ks.gov/Uploads/LR_Mar2018_News_Release.pdf
- Since March 2017, Kansas gained 10,700 seasonally adjusted total nonfarm jobs and 9,400 private sector jobs (Kansas Department of Labor). https://www.dol.ks.gov/Uploads/LR_Mar2018_News_Release.pdf
Student Success Skills Center helps students develop skills that are vital for success in high school, college, and in life. This online resource from the State Library of Kansas has interactive tutorials on multi-tasking, time management, and information literacy. Skills featured for new high school students cover study and classroom skills, finding good sources, and how to cite work and avoid plagiarism. College students receive tutorials on organizational strategies, using campus resources, and personal skills like money management, healthy habits, and understanding insurance, credit, and taxes. Go to https://kslib.info/LEL and click on the tile for Student Success Skills.
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. Easy registration and self-supplied password are necessary in order to save your work and revisit any practice tests or tutorials. Questions: [email protected] or 785-296-3296.
The legislature reconvened on Thursday, April 26th for the start of Veto Session. This week the Senate voted on eight Conference Committee Reports and two bills. The Senate will continue to work until Sine Die on Friday, May 4th.
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY PROJECTS (HB 2438): House Bill 2438 would prohibit state agencies from contracting with a vendor on an information technology project if that vendor prepared or assisted with:
- The preparation of the program statement;
- The project planning documents;
- Any other project plans prepared prior to approval of the project by the Chief Information Technology Officer of the relevant branch of government.
Information technology projects with estimated cumulative costs less than $50 million would be exempted from the provisions of the bill. This bill passed the Senate 38-0.
KANSAS RACETRACKS AND CASINOS (SB 427): Senate Bill 427 would amend the Kansas Expanded Lottery Act and the Kansas Pari-mutuel Racing Act concerning racetrack gaming facilities and lottery gaming facilities. SB 427 would require racetracks with slot machines to pay back about 22 percent of their earnings to the state, the same as state-owned casinos. Currently, racetracks are required to pay 40 percent of earnings back to the state. SB 427 would also allow for greyhound and horse racing in Kansas. This bill failed on a vote of 17-20. (I voted against this bill. I had many concerns with this bill. The treatment of the greyhound dogs. This bill had a clause that would allow the owner of the race tracks the ability not to open any facilities if they were not able to open the Wichita track. There is also some concern that the Wichita track will be the only track that opens.)
CONFERENCE COMMITTEE REPORTS:
(SB 56): Senate Bill 56 would create the Kansas Cybersecurity Act and would amend the membership and the frequency of required meetings for the Information Technology Executive Council (ITEC). The Conference Committee Report was adopted by a vote of 37-2. (I voted against this bill. I had some concerns about the cybersecurity reports being open to KORA.)
(SB 217): Senate Bill 217 would update several statutory references in accordance with enacted 2016 SB 449 and Executive Reorganization Order No. 41. The bill would replace the term “mentally retarded and other handicapped persons” in statutes with “individuals with intellectual or other disabilities” in accordance with current law. The Conference Committee Report was adopted by a vote of 39-0.
(SB 272): Senate Bill 272 would amend the Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways regarding the passing of waste collection vehicles, length and weight limits for certain vehicles, the fine for improper passing of a school bus, and operation of golf carts on city streets. The Conference Committee Report was adopted by a vote of 35-4. (I voted for this bill)
(SB 282): Senate Bill 282 would amend the Uniform Controlled Substances Act and certain statutes pertaining to crimes involving controlled substances. The bill would amend the definition of “marijuana” to exempt cannabidiol. The Conference Committee Report was adopted by a vote of 39-0.
(SB 307): Senate Bill 307 would make amendments to the Kansas Amusement Ride Act. The Conference Committee Report was adopted by a vote of 37-1. (I voted for this bill)
(SB 331): Senate Bill 331 would add to the list of designated state parks the Flint Hills Trail State Park located in Miami, Franklin, Osage, Lyon, Morris, and Dickinson counties, and Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park located in Logan County. SB 331 would also establish the Flint Hills Advisory Council, which would study and assess the development, staffing, maintenance, and promotion of the Flint Hills Nature Trail. The Conference Committee Report was adopted by a vote of 27-12. (I voted against this bill. I think that the state shouldn’t be taking control of private property and the land should be reverted to the landowners. There are over 117 miles of land that will be affected by this. There are also concerns that the state has accepted the liability of some ongoing issues regarding land usage.)
(SB 335): Senate Bill 335 would amend the State Banking Code related to savings and loan associations, savings banks, and the Kansas Money Transmitter Act. The Conference Committee Report was adopted by a vote of 39-0.
(SB 348): Senate Bill 348 would authorize electronic delivery as the standard method of delivery for certain health insurance related documents and require the State Employees Health Care Commission to provide coverage for amino acid-based elemental formula, as specified. The Conference Committee Report was adopted by a vote of 35-4. (I voted against this bill. It has language in it that will mandate and expand the state’s role in medical insurance.)
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.