March part 2
Notes from the 14th Kansas Senate District
NOTES FROM THE 14TH
Kansas Senator Bruce Givens
Well, this is “March Madness,” my favorite time of the year. Of course, I’m talking about college basketball, not the madness at the state legislature.
There are many issues the legislature must deal with this session. Two issues that have received a lot of attention are HB2042 and SCR 1611. HB 2042 was passed by the House. The original bill was introduced to allow conceal and carry permits from other states to be reciprocal with Kansas. However, it was amended to lower the age for conceal and carry to age 18. After that, a Florida 19 year old took 17 lives with an AR-15. At this point, the Federal & State Affairs committee (which I serve on) took up the issue this week. We removed all amendments that the House added and returned it to the reciprocal bill the Attorney General wanted. Just an FYI, in Kansas a person under 21 cannot purchase a handgun. As I understand it, Walmart has changed a policy and will no longer sell ammunition to anyone under age 21. I doubt that HB2042 will ever be heard on the floor of the Senate, which is fine with me.
SCR 1611 is a resolution to call for a Convention of States. I was reluctant at first to support this. I have found it to be a way that amendments could be proposed or drafted out of this convention. That is all this Convention can do – propose amendments. Then 37 states must ratify any proposals. I think it is safe that this process is not about throwing out the US Constitution or making radical changes.
On March 8, the Senate voted 22-16 to call a Convention of State. Since a 2/3 majority was not reached, this notion failed. I was one of the 22. I do not believe this endangers our Constitution.
At one of our recent forums –the issue of sales tax exemptions came up. There are more than an estimated $60 million dollars in sales tax exemptions that are in our state alone. A complete list can be found on my website – www.brucegivens.com/resources
Senator Bruce Givens
300 SW 10th St. 225 E
Topeka KS 66612
I will not reply to emails that are sent to me via some sort of canned advocacy email program. Please take time to use your own words and use your own email. In addition, I will not use state funds to send out a printed newsletter. Email newsletters and newspapers will be my only mass communication unless you check my website. www.brucegivens.com
Senate and House Live Stream Audio
You can listen to the action of the Kansas Senate and House proceedings through live audio streaming of all the Senate and House sessions and committees. The following link is provided for your convenience: www.kslegislature.org
If you have difficulty, click on audio/live at the extreme top right of the screen. You may access the House and Senate proceedings when in session as well as committee meetings for both Chambers.
From Your State Library
Many of us have “learn a new language” on our to-do list. With Mango Languages, you can learn over 70 languages right from your own computer (or smartphone!). This online language learning service provided by the State Library is easy to use. Choose from 72 languages including Spanish, French, Mandarin, Japanese, plus many more. Mango uses real life situations and conversations to more effectively teach a new language. Mango also includes 19 English as a second language options. Use as a Guest or register to track your progress (and for smartphone use). https://kslib.info/Mango
Easy registration and self-supplied password is necessary to use this resource and allows you to resume your work. 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 inside Kansas and will not need this step. Questions: contact the State Library at email@example.com or 785-296-3296.
Statewide Recognition for
Audra Hughes, Waverly
Audra Jane Hughes of Waverly was recognized by the Kansas Health Care Association as the Kansas 2018 Ambassador of Community Involvement. Audra was nominated by Sunset Manor of Waverly where she lives. Audra’s friends say she is a humble, kind, loving person, who not only maintains her positive attitude throughout the day but also encourages and motivates others. She is a natural leader and greeter of both visitors and new residents. Audra enjoys crocheting and gifts her creations to others. She was Deputy County Clerk in Coffey County for 18 years.
Anna Zuern, Senator Givens and Audra Jane Hughes
VISITS AROUND DISTRICT 14
- More than 4% of all job holders in Kansas are employed by hospitals. State hospitals account for 75,659 indirect jobs as well (Wichita Business Journal)
- In 2017, the number of Kansans unemployed decreased to 61,879, the lowest number of unemployed people in the state in 15 years (Kansas Department of Labor)
- Tax receipts for February totaled $373.1 million, $41.58 million above February 2017 and collected nearly $27 million more in taxes than anticipated in February (Kansas Department of Revenue)
- Total tax receipts are $612.7 million above last year at this time (Kansas Department of Revenue)
TASK FORCE ON SUBSTANCE USE DISORDER
Governor Jeff Colyer issued an executive order creating a task force addressing substance use disorder. The objective of the task force is to gather information regarding substance abuse in Kansas, particularly regarding the growing number of opioid and heroin overdoses in the state along with methamphetamine addiction. The task force will work to find useful resources and initiatives to fight drug abuse and examine practices for prevention and treatment along with recovery options for at-risk individuals through early detection and education.
Since 2012, more than 1,500 Kansans have died from opioid or heroin overdoses and more than 100 Kansas residents continue to die each year. In 2016, drug poisoning was the cause of death to more than 300 people in Kansas, with 95 deaths caused by methamphetamine alone. The task force acknowledges that substance abuse is an illness which not only impacts the lives of those addicted but also their families and surrounding communities.
The task force will be chaired by Dr. Greg Lakin, Chief Medical Officer at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Membership will be comprised of heads from numerous state agencies, legislators, and professionals in industries such as education, law enforcement, hospitals, and more.
The Kansas Department of Transportation Division of Aviation along with the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education (KCAE) held their 4th annual Aviation Day in Topeka.
The day began with an economic development training event for city officials on how to best harness state and local resources to boost the aviation industry. During the Aviation Day event, legislators, manufacturers, suppliers, and aviation organizations gathered to discuss industry growth and opportunities and addressed development potentials for Kansas economic stakeholders.
The Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education highlighted industry development opportunities throughout the day, spreading awareness regarding Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and aviation education through KCA
For more information see: www.KDOT.KDOTAviation@ks.gov
SENATOR DOLL’S PARTY
This week Senator John Doll (I- Garden City) changed his party affiliation from republican to independent. Senator Doll changed his party affiliation to join Greg Orman’s Independent ticket for governor.
In 2006, Doll ran as a democrat for US Congress against Jerry Moran in District 1. From 2010-2011 Doll served as the mayor of Garden City and then served in the Kansas House of Representatives as a republican from 2013 to 2016. Doll has been in the Kansas Senate since 2016.
Due to Sen. Doll’s affiliation change and in accordance to Senate Rule 22, the following Senators have replaced Sen. Doll in his committees:
Senator Larry Alley – Vice Chair
Senator Bruce Givens
Senator Dan Goddard – Vice Chair
Senator Ty Masterson
Ethics, Election & Local Government
Senator Susan Wagle
Ways & Means:
Senator Susan Wagle
QUALIFICATIONS FOR CERTAIN STATEWIDE OFFICE:
On Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Ethics, Elections and Local Government held a hearing on HB 2539 which deals with qualifications for candidates seeking certain statewide office. The bill would list a minimum age requirement to run for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state treasurer, and insurance commissioner.
Currently, there is not a minimum age requirement therefore any current resident of Kansas is eligible to run. There were two proponents of the bill at Wednesday’s hearing, the Kansas Secretary of State’s office and Kansas House Representative Blake Carpenter. Both noted that a “qualified elector” should be at least 18 years of age.
2018 SESSION DATES AND DEADLINES
Please be aware of the following dates and deadlines for the 2018 legislative session. As always, each is subject to modification as leadership provides updates on changes which might occur.
Friday, March 23
Last day for non-exempt committee consideration
On floor all day
Thursday, March 29
On floor all day; Last day to consider non-exempt bills not in originating chamber
Friday, March 30
Friday, April 6
Drop dead day; first adjournment
Thursday, April 26
Veto Session begins
Thursday, May 4
RECENT FLOOR ACTION 2018
MAXIMUM WEIGHT LIMITS OF EMERGENCY VEHICLES (SB 391): Senate Bill 391 prohibits emergency vehicles from operating if their gross weight exceeds 86,000 pounds. Under this legislation, emergency vehicles are subject to maximum weights on axles of 24,000 pounds on a single steering axle, 33,500 pounds on a single drive axle, 62,000 pounds on a tandem axle, and 52,000 pounds on a tandem rear drive steer axle. This bill passed the Senate 40-0
UNLAWFUL PASSING OF A WASTE COLLECTION VEHICLE (SB 272): Senate Bill 272 regulates the passing of a waste collection vehicle by requiring motorists to change lanes if possible or slow down when passing a stationary waste collection vehicle that is in the process of collecting waste. This bill passed 40-0.
EXTENDING HOURS OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE SALES (HB 2482): House Bill 2482 allows for the sale of alcohol to begin at 6:00 a.m. Currently, establishments may not sell drinks between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. This bill passed the Senate 35-5. I voted yes.
DEANNEXATION OF VALLEY CENTER FROM HILLSIDE CEMETARTY DISTRICT (SB 247): Senate Bill 247 would deannex the city of Valley Center territory from the Hillside Cemetery District, located in Harvey and Sedgwick counties as of December 31, 2018. After January 1, 2019, any territory added to the City of Valley Center by annexation, included in the Hillside Cemetery District, would be excluded from the cemetery district upon annexation. After March 1, 2022, the Hillside Cemetery District would receive no property tax revenues generated from property located within the territory of the city of Valley Center. This bill passed the Senate
ADJUSTING BIANNUAL TRANSFERS OF CERTAIN BALANCES IN MCLFF TO SHF (SB 276): Senate Bill 276 would increase the statutory limit on unencumbered balances in the Motor Carrier License Fees Fund (MCLFF), the excess which is transferred to the State Highway Fund (SHF) on July 30 and January 30 of each fiscal year. Currently, all unencumbered funds in excess of $700,000 are transferred from the MCLFF to the SHF on July 30 and January 30 of each fiscal year. SB 276 would increase the amount of money to remain in the MCLFF to $2.8 million. This bill passed the Senate 39-1.
I voted yes.
SEATBELT USAGE ADMISSABLE IN COURT (SB 296): Senate Bill 296 allows for evidence of failure of seatbelt usage to be considered in court cases to determine any aspect of comparative negligence or mitigation of damages. Currently, the law now states that such evidence shall not be admissible. This bill passed the Senate 25-15.
I voted for this bill.
ADDITION TO THE LIST OF DESIGNATED STATE PARKS (SB 331): Senate Bill 331 adds 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. This bill passed the Senate 26-14.
I voted for this bill.
AGENCIES RESPONSIBLE FOR PROCUREMENT INDEPENDENT AUDITS (SB 260): Senate Bill 260 would transfer the responsibility for procuring independent audits from the Legislative Division of Post Audit (LPA) to the audited agencies. Currently, LPA is responsible for administering the audit contracts, but the agencies are responsible for the costs. Agencies are then billed by LPA who collects the funds and pays the contracted auditing firms for their services. This bill would transfer responsibility for four audits that are currently administered by LPA, including the Statewide Single Audit, a financial audit of the Kansas Lottery, a security audit of the Kansas Lottery, and a financial audit of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS). This bill passed the Senate 40-0
CREATION OF THE LIQUOR LICENSE MODERNIZATION FEE (HB 2362): House Bill 2362 would amend the liquor license fees by creating a $20 alcoholic beverage control (ABC) modernization fee to be charged on both initial and renewal liquor license applications. The bill would reduce the initial application fee for a liquor license from $50 to $30 plus the $20 modernization fee. The $20 modernization fee would also be added to the renewal application fee which would remain at $10. The revenue from the $20 fee would be deposited into the ABC Modernization Fund created by the bill, to be used for the software and equipment upgrades associated with the Department of Revenue’s licensing, permitting, enforcement, and case management. This bill passed 37-3. I voted yes.
AMENDING THE REVISDED KANSAS CODE FOR CARE OF CHILDREN AND THE NEWBORN INFANT PROTECTION ACT (SB 221): Senate Bill 221 would delete the term “extended out of home placement” and replace it in various sections in the Code with the specific time frame of when a child has been in the custody of the Secretary for Children and Families. SB 221 would add language to state the purpose of the Act is to protect newborn children from injury and death caused by abandonment by a parent and to provide safe and secure alternatives to such abandonment. This bill passed 35-5. I voted yes.
TOWNSHIPS AND THE SPECIAL HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENT FUND (SB 314): Senate Bill 314 would add “township” to the definition of “municipality,” and would add “township board” to the definition of “governing body” to allow a township, as well as a city or county as in current law, to transfer funds into a special highway improvement fund. Under continuing law, moneys in such fund are dedicated for construction or reconstruction of highways, bridges, roads, streets, and necessary incidental facilities. This bill passed the Senate 40-0
AMENDING THE DEFINITION OF ESCAPE IN CRIMES OF ESCAPE AND AGGRAVATED ESCAPE FROM CUSTODY (SB 310): Senate Bill 310 amends the law governing the crime of escape from custody. SB 310 would amend the definition of “escape” to include failure to return to custody following temporary leave lawfully granted by a custodial official authorized to grant such leave. This bill would accommodate the multiple instances in which individuals held in custody are released to attend work programs or medical, dental, or counseling appointments, or to accommodate other circumstances. This bill passed 40-0
PROHIBITING THE OUTSOURCING OR PRIVATIZATION OF CORRECTIONAL FACILITIES (SB 328): Senate Bill 328 would require prior legislative authorization for any state agency to enter into an agreement or take any action to outsource or privatize security operations of correctional or juvenile correctional facilities operated by a state agency. SB 328 defines security operations to include the supervision of inmates in a correctional institution or juvenile correctional facility by a corrections officer or warden. This bill does not prevent the Department of Corrections from renewing such an agreement for services if the agreement is substantially similar to an agreement existing prior to January 1, 2018. This bill 40-0
LOBBYING TRANSPARENCY BILL (SB 394): Senate Bill 394 would expand the definition of “lobbying” to include lobbying of the executive and judicial branches. SB 394 requires lobbyist registration of anyone attempting to influence a member of the executive or judicial branch. Currently, the law only requires registration for those attempting to influence legislative action. This bill passed the Senate 40-0
ELECTRONIC DELIVERY FOR EXPLANATION OF BENEFITS AND MEMBER POLICIES OF HEALTH PLANS (SB 348): Senate Bill 348 would authorize a health benefit plan or nonprofit dental services corporation to utilize electronic delivery as the standard method of delivery for explanation of benefits and policy. This bill passed 39-0
ENACTING THE KANSAS PHARMACY PATIENTS FAIR PRACTICES ACT (SB 351): Senate Bill 351 would create the Kansas Pharmacy Patients Fair Practices Act. The bill would specify co-payments applied by a health carrier for a prescription drug may not exceed the total submitted charges by the network pharmacy. A pharmacy or pharmacist would have the right to provide a covered person with information regarding the amount of the covered person’s cost share for a prescription drug. Further, the bill would specify neither a pharmacy or pharmacist would be proscribed by a PBM from discussing any such information or selling a more affordable alternative to the covered person, if such alternative is available. This bill passed the Senate 39-0
UPDATING EGG REPACKAGING REQUIREMENTS (Sub SB 414): Senate Bill 414 would repeal the limitations on egg repackaging set forth in the Kansas Egg Law. The bill would permit repackaged eggs to be graded Grade B or better under certain requirements as outlined in the bill. Those requirements would be if: undamaged eggs from damaged containers are placed only into containers with the same distributor and packer information; the container holding repackaged egg is not labeled with a declaration of enhanced quality or any other claim that did not appear on the original container; the eggs with undamaged shells are handled and repackaged using good manufacturing processes and under refrigerated conditions in accordance with Food and Drug Administration regulations; all damaged containers and packing materials identified with the United States Department of Agriculture grade shield are destroyed; all segregated inedible eggs are destroyed to prevent human consumption. This bill passed the Senate 39-0
LOWERING REQUIREMENTS FOR A COSMETOLOGY SENIOR STATUS LICENSE (SB 398): Senate Bill 398 would change the requirements for an individual to qualify for a senior status cosmetologist license by lowering the age and reducing the number of years required to practice. The bill would allow a senior status license to any person who has held a license issued by the Board for at least 10 years and is 60 years or older, if the individual is not regularly engaged in the practice of cosmetology in Kansas and has paid a one-time senior status license fee. Currently, law allows senior status licenses to be issued to those 70 years or older who have held a license for at least 40 years. This bill passed the Senate 39-0
ADDING RELATED EDUCATIONAL DEGREES TO PROFESSIONAL COUNSELOR LICENSURE CRITERIA (SB 386): Senate Bill 386 would amend the Professional Counselors Licensure Act. In continuing law, an individual applying to the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board for licensure as a professional counselor is required, among other things, to have earned a graduate degree in counseling. SB 386 would allow licensure for an applicant who earned a graduate degree in a counseling-related field as long as all the remaining qualifications set forth in statute are met. The change would be applicable to individuals applying for initial licensure and to individuals applying for licensure who are licensed to practice professional counseling in another jurisdiction. This bill passed the Senate 39-0
CREATING A PROGRAM TO RESEARCH THE USE OF INDUSTRIAL HEMP (SB 263): Senate Bill 263 would enact the Alternative Crop Research Act, which would allow the Kansas Department of Agriculture, either alone or in coordination with a state institution of higher education, to grow and cultivate industrial hemp and promote research and development. Growers would include persons who are individuals, partnerships, corporations, associations, or other legal entities. Nothing in the Act would be constructed to authorize any person to violate state or federal law. Research and development of industrial hemp, under provisions of the bill, would include such things as analysis of industrial hemp growth including required soils, growing conditions, and harvest methods; research on seeds most suitable for Kansas; and market analysis to determine the potential for an industrial hemp market in Kansas. This bill passed the Senate 36-3
I voted for this bill.
INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER FOR CERTAIN VIOLATIONS OF DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE (HB 2439): House Bill 2439 would amend the definition of the crime of involuntary manslaughter to include the killing of a human being from driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs while: in violation of any restriction imposed on such person’s driving privileges for DUI; The person’s driving privileges are suspended or revoked for DUI; The person has been deemed a habitual violator, including at least one DUI violation. This bill passed the Senate 39-0
CLARIFYING WHAT CONDUCT IS EXCLUDED FROM THE CRIME OF INCEST (SB 265): Senate Bill 265 would amend the crime of incest to specify the phrase “otherwise lawful sexual intercourse or sodomy” does not include the crimes of rape or aggravated criminal sodomy as defined in the Kansas Criminal Code. SB 265 would clarify that unlawful sexual acts will be prosecuted and punished as rape or aggravated sodomy, rather than receiving a lesser sentence under the incest statute. This bill passed the Senate 39-0
ADDING EMERGENCY MEDICAL PERSONNEL TO THE LIST OF MANDATORY REPORTERS OF ABUSE, NEGLECT, OR EXPLOITATION OF CERTAIN ADULTS (SB 311): Senate Bill 311 adds an emergency medical services (EMS) attendant to the list of mandatory reporters of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or need of protective services as it pertains to a resident or certain adult. This bill passed the Senate 39-0
EXPANDING EXPENSE DEDUCTION TO TAX FILERS IN ADDITION TO CORPORATE FILERS (SB 303): Senate Bill 303 allows certain individual income taxpayers to claim the expensing deduction for the costs of placing certain tangible property and computer software into service in the state. The provisions of the bill would be retroactive to tax year 2017. This bill passed the Senate 31-8
GAS SAFETY RELIABILITY SURCHARGE (SB 279): Senate Bill 279 modifies the Gas Safety Reliability Policy Act. Specifically, the bill would make changes related to definitions used throughout the Act, cost recovery for infrastructure expenses, and gas safety reliability surcharges. The bill would also raise the cap on the gas safety reliability surcharges from $0.40 to $0.80 per residential customer of the base rates. This bill passed the Senate 32-6
ACCOMMODATING VOTERS WITH DISABILITIES THAT PREVENT THEM FROM MEETING BALLOT SIGNATURE REQUIREMENTS (SB 264): Senate Bill 264 amends provisions in election law concerning signatures if the voter has a disability that prevents the individual from signing. This bill passed the Senate 39-0
PROTECTION FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING VICTIMS (SB 281): Senate Bill 281 amends the Protection from Stalking or Sexual Assault Act to apply to victims of human trafficking. SB 281 would rename the Act the Protection from Stalking, Sexual Assault, or Human Trafficking Act. The bill would define “human trafficking” as any act that would constitute the following crimes as defined in Kansas criminal law: human trafficking, aggravated human trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation of a child, and selling sexual relations. When a child is alleged to be a human trafficking victim, the bill would allow the following to seek relief on the minor’s behalf: a parent of the minor child; an adult residing with the minor child; the child’s court-appointed legal custodian or court-appointed legal guardian; a county or district attorney; or the attorney general. This bill passed the Senate 39-0
AUTHORIZING UTILITY FRANCHISES FOR REDEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS WHICH ENCOMPASS A FEDERAL ENCLAVE (SB 185): Senate Bill 185 allows the board of county commissioners of any county that has established a redevelopment district that includes property located within a federal enclave to authorize the installation, maintenance, and operation of utilities to serve the redevelopment district. Utilities would include water, sewer, electricity, gas, telecommunications, and rail services. This bill passed the Senate 39-0
CLARIFYING ANIMAL CONVERSION UNITS FOR POULTRY FACILITIES (SB 405): Senate Bill 405 amends current law that establishes the number of animals permitted in a confined animal feeding facility (CAFO) for the purpose of determining permitting requirements for new construction or expansion of a CAFO. Currently, a CAFO is required to register with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment if the CAFO has an animal unit capacity of 300 or more. SB 405 would establish the animal unit conversion factor for chicken facilities that use a dry manure waste system calculation as the number. In addition, the bill would require confined chicken facilities to obtain a federal permit if the facility uses a dry manure system and if there are 125,000 or more broilers or 82,000 or more laying hens. This bill passed the Senate 29-10. I voted yes
PROVIDING COMPENSATION FOR THOSE WRONGFULLY IMPRISONED (SB 336): Senate Bill 336 would provide compensation, tuition assistance, and state health care benefit programs to individuals who were wrongfully convicted and imprisoned. Under this bill, those individuals would receive $50,000 for each year they were wrongfully imprisoned. This bill passed the Senate 39-0
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE TESTING (SB 374): Senate Bill 374 would amend current law and state that a person who drives a commercial motor vehicle consents to take a blood, breath, urine, or other bodily substance test for the purpose of determining that person’s alcohol concentration or the presence of other drugs. The tests may be administered by a law enforcement officer who after stopping or detaining the commercial motor vehicle driver, has probable cause to believe the driver has alcohol or other drugs in their system. This bill passed the Senate 39-0
MICROBREWERY CONTRACTING (HB 2470): House Bill 2470 allows Kansas microbreweries to contract with other microbreweries to sell and package beer and hard cider. The legislation regulates the amount of beer and hard cider that can be transported between facilities. This bill passed the Senate 39-0.
CEREAL MALT BEVERAGE SALE REGULATIONS (HB 2502): House Bill 2502 allows cereal malt beverage (no more than 6.0 percent alcohol volume) licenses to be subject to state and local taxes instead of the state liquor tax. This bill passed the Senate 39-0.
CONVENTION OF STATES (SCR 1611): Senate Concurrent Resolution 1611 makes the application to the Congress of the United States to call a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States that impose limits on the federal government. This bill failed 22-16 (The resolution needed 27 votes or two-thirds in favor to pass)