April

Notes from the 14th Kansas Senate District

Issue 6  

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April 2018

NOTES FROM THE 14TH

And I thought March was madness.  April started with snow and sleet here in Topeka - on Easter.  That should have given me a clue what would happen in the upcoming week.  This has been a crazy week – with a lot accomplished.

On April 3, the Senate Majority Leader announced that the Senate would not take up a school finance bill until a constitutional amendment is passed.  Please note:  even if we were to pass a constitutional amendment this week, it would not help us meet the current deadline set by the Kansas Supreme Court for this year.  The court gave the legislature a deadline of April 30, 2018 to have a bill for them to review.  We are supposed to adjourn on April 6th and reconvene on April 26th.  It would be irresponsible to adjourn without taking action on the school issue.  The House has passed a bill that at first glance looks like it would meet the courts approval.

Current language in the Kansas Constitution:  “The legislature shall make suitable provision for finance of the educational interests of the state.”

Regarding a constitutional amendment.  The one that is being considered is a clear denouncement of the Kansas Supreme Court.  The proposed wording states that funding is “exclusively a legislative power” that decides what “suitable” funding is and no court can alter it.  I will agree that suitable needs to be defined better in our constitution.  However, I do not support this bill nor the timing of this bill.

The Senate passed SB 423. It was not what I wanted for Kansas schools.  However, there does not seem to be a path to bring a richer plan to the Senate floor.  I voted for it to move the process along.  A vote against it was going to send us home with nothing to give the Kansas Supreme Court.  The court may very well recall us to work on this issue.  I believe we can do better than the current SB 423.

Senate Bill 427 will bring back horse racing in Kansas.  Indirectly, there would be funds to reopen the track in Eureka (because Eureka would get a small percentage of the Woodlands take. To get this all done, the dog track North of Wichita would have to reopen with slot machines.  I’m not excited about that part but will swallow it to reopen Eureka.  The House Bill 2793 does the same thing with a bit different language.  I’m hoping for a vote on this issue very soon.  Representative Hibbard has worked very hard on the issue.

A summary of the bills passed is on my website! It is 50 pages long!  Very soon I will post my voting record on the website.

 If you have any questions, please contact me!

Senator Bruce Givens

300 SW 10th St.  225 E

Topeka KS 66612

Topeka Office:785-296-7678

Cell: 316-377-6605

Bruce.givens@senate.ks.gov

www.brucegivens.com


From Your State Library

April is Financial Literacy Month. Check out Financial Literacy for Kansans for a list of trustworthy resources put together by the State Library of Kansas and organized by age group. Available from the State Library, Learning Express Library has added a new facet to their tutorials.  The Student Success Skills Center helps high school and college students develop health money habits including managing debt  and investing for life. To get to those tutorials, click on the LE link above, and then click on Skills for SuccessUniversal Class offers online courses such as Personal Finance 101, Investing 101, and Retirement Planning. Select “Finance” under the Areas of Study tab. Both resources require easy registration and self-supplied password to allow you to resume your work. Questions: kslc@library.ks.gov or 785-296-3296

Job & Career Accelerator is an integrated online career and job search resource.  With this job hunting system provided by the State Library of Kansas, you can create professional resumes and cover letters, practice and master interviewing skills, and get job search tips and advice. Using Career Match take a quiz to learn what occupations are the best matches based on your skills and interests. Students have easy access to job and internship opportunities. https://www.kslib.info/JCA

Explora is an online resource available from the State Library’s web site: http://kslib.info/students. Click on the grade appropriate icon for assistance with Middle School or High School homework or class assignments. Explora delivers high-quality articles from reputable publishers with no pop-ups or ads.  Reading level indicators allow selection of material that matches students’ reading abilities.  Broad topic overviews provide students with a starting point for their research.  Easy registration and self-supplied password is necessary to use these resources 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 kslc@ks.gov or 785-296-3296.

The Kansas Talking Books program, a division of the State Library of Kansas, provides library materials in a specialized format to any Kansas resident with a visual impairment, physical impairment, or reading disability.  A signature from a certifying authority such as a medical doctor, optometrist, or librarian is needed.  This no-charge service includes fiction and nonfiction audiobooks, magazines such as Kansas! and Reader’s Digest, plus descriptive videos.  A simple application is available at https://kslib.info/talking-books .  If you would like information or an application, please visit the Kansas Talking Books website https://kslib.info/talking-books or call 620-341-6280 or 1-800-362-0699.


Givens Appointed to Energy Council of North America

Senator Givens has been appointed to represent Kansas on The Energy Council,-North America, a legislative organization comprised of 12 state and two international affiliates drawn from the major North American energy producing regions of the United States and Canada.  The Energy Council provides an international forum for discussing government policies regarding energy and the environment, both issues close to the heart of Kansas District 14, the proud home of the great Kansas Flint Hills and the Kansas oil fields.

Entities that work cooperatively with the The Energy Council include the Pacific Northwest Economic Council, the Embassy of Canada and the Government of Alberta.  Topics addressed by the Energy Council include America’s infrastructure, coal, energy and environmental policy, energy research, federal regulations, reliability, resiliency and the power grid.  The broad Energy Council works with energy uses and producers on all continents.


 2018 KANSAS MASTER TEACHER:

CONNSTANCE ALLMOND

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The Senate recently recognized the 2018 Kansas Master Teachers.  Senators, including Bruce Givens (R-El Dorado) introduced Senate Resolution 1781, congratulating and commending this year’s Master Teachers.

Emporia State University established the Master Teacher awards in 1954. The awards are presented annually to teachers who have served the profession for at least five years and exemplify outstanding qualities. Candidates are nominated by their school district and the selection committee decides on seven recipients. Only one person from a USD can be selected.

The 2018 Master Teachers are:

  • Connstance Allmond- El Dorado
  • Deanna Burton- Manhattan
  • Abby Cornelius- Overland Park
  • Todd Flory- Andover
  • Chitra Harris- Wichita
  • Matthew Irby- Emporia
  • Kimberly S. Schneweis- Hays

Connstance Allmond,, is an El Dorado Middle School teacher working in an interrelated classroom.

This year’s Kansas Master Teacher Recognition Day was held on April 4th at Emporia State University.


Colyer signs 5 bills

Gov. Jeff Colyer recently signed five additional bills into law. That takes him to 41 this session.

Here they are, as described by his staff:

HB 2516: Provides civil immunity for damaging a motor vehicle in the process of rescuing an animal or person in danger.

 HB 2524: Allows wireless telephone number transfers to be included in protection from abuse orders.

HB 2590: Amends law relating to the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.

HB 2628: Allows the City of Pratt to dissolve its airport authority by adopting an appropriate ordinance.

SB 279: Amends the Gas Safety and Reliability Policy Act.


VISITORS FROM DISTRICT 14

Circle Middle School Students

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Seven 8TH grade social studies students from Circle Middle School earned the

 opportunity for a day in the Capital with their teacher, McKenzie Smithson.  

 

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Senator Givens sponsored four students as Pages.

Jackson Bumgarner, Remington Middle School, was a Page for Senator Givens


KANSAS HARD FACTS

  • 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).
  • Kansas is one of seven states with decreasing unemployment rates as of February 2018 (S. Department of Labor).
  • According to unemployment insurance weekly review, weekly claims for the week for March 23rd are 24.9 percent less than last year (Kansas Department of Labor).
  • In 2017, Kansas had 88,000 veterans in the civilian labor force. The Kansas veteran unemployment rate was 2.5% (Kansas Department of Labor)
  • 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).
  • Service Master DSI will move its headquarters to Shawnee. It is estimated this will generate 100 new jobs in the area with an average salary of $67,000 (Kansas Department of Commerce).
  • For each dollar earned as a result of vocational rehabilitation placement, there is about $1.66 in total earnings generated through the economy (Kansas Department for Children and Families)
  • The agriculture industry employs nearly 247,000 Kansans, accounting for 13 percent of the state’s workforce (Kansas Department of Agriculture)
  • In Kansas, there are 46,137,295 acres of farmland, which accounts for 88 percent of all Kansas land. More than 21 million acres in Kansas is harvested for crops and over 16 million acres is pasteurized for grazing animals (Kansas Department of Agriculture).
  • From 2000 to 2015, Kansas soybean farmers have increased no-till acres planted by 41 percent (Kansas Soybean Association).

GOV. COLYER’S EXECUTIVE ORDER ON DROUGHT AND WILDFIRE HAZARDS:

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.

SCHOOL FINANCE COST STUDY:

On March 15 the legislature received the highly anticipated Legislative Coordinating council requested 156-page report by Dr. Lori Taylor on K-12 education funding in Kansas., Dr. Taylor presented the report to the House K-12 Education Budget Committee and the Senate Select Committee on Education Finance.  The study provided three recommendations of either $451 million, $1.7 billion, or $2 billion.

The $451 million scenario would be enough to maintain current student achievement targets in reading and math while improving graduation rates toward 95 percent as set by the Kansas State Board of Education. The $1.7 billion scenario would increase achievement further and the most expensive scenario, $2 billion, calls for even higher achievement standards toward the 95% rate.

The study explained that the additional money is needed to reach a 95 percent graduation rate.  Iowa ranks at number one with a graduation rate of 91 percent. The national average is 84.1 percent. Kansas has a graduation rate of 86.1 percent placing it 22nd in the nation.

Dr. Taylor was hired by the Legislative Coordinating Council after the Supreme Court ruled in October that last year’s increase of $300 million in state aid, paid for with a tax increase, was not enough. The

ADOPTION PROTECTION ACT:

The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee held hearings on SB 401, the Adoption Protection Act. The bill works to protect faith-based adoption agencies from being forced to place children in homes that violate their religious beliefs. The bill would ensure that faith-based organizations cannot be denied permits, licenses, or authorizations due to their refusal of placing children in certain homes.

There are currently no laws that restrict organizations that do not receive state funding from their placement criteria, but SB 401 is meant to act as a proactive measure. Proponents of the bill want to ensure that faith-based organizations are free to serve and protected from any future policies that might target them.

Opponents of the bill say it is discriminatory against same-sex couples since faith-based adoption agencies would be allowed to deny child placement to those couples.

The Kansas Department of Children and Families supports SB 401, saying that it allows for more adoption agencies to help place the 7,000 children that are currently in DCF custody.



The 2018 Senate

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ARMED FORCES APPRECIATION DAY:

March 22nd was Armed Forces Appreciation Day at the Capitol. Outside the statehouse, members of the Kansas National Guard showcased military equipment including specific equipment used to help fight wildfires.

Governor Jeff Colyer signed two proclamation recently, the first officially declared March 22nd as Armed Forces Appreciation Day in Kansas. The second proclamation declares Thursday, March 29th as Vietnam War Veterans Day, honoring Kansans who fought in the Vietnam War.

DID YOU KNOW?

Kansas school children led the way for the

DESIGNATION OF THE STATE ROCK, MINERAL, GEMSTONE, AND FISH (HB 2650): House Bill 2650 designates the state rock as greenhorn limestone; the state mineral as galena; the state gemstone as jelinite amber; and the state fish as the channel catfish. This bill passed the Senate 38-0.


FLOOR ACTION:

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 yes.

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 the bill

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 the bill.

DESIGNATING THE STATE ROCK, MINERAL, GEMSTONE, AND FISH (HB 2650): House Bill 2650 designates the state rock as greenhorn limestone; the state mineral as galena; the state gemstone as jelinite amber; and the state fish as the channel catfish. This bill passed the Senate 38-0.

AIRPORT AUTHORITY DISSOLUTION PROCEDURES (HB 2628): House Bill 2628 allows the City of Pratt to dissolve, via adoption of an appropriate ordinance, any airport authority created and established by the city. If such an airport authority is dissolved, the city would acquire the property of the authority subject to any leases or agreements made by the authority. This bill passed the Senate 39-0.

MODIFYING CERTAIN FEES IN THE KANSAS POSTSECONDARY EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION ACT(HB 2542): House Bill 2542 removes the June 30, 2018, sunset on a statute authorizing the Kansas Board of Regents to fix, charge, and collect fees for state institutions domiciled or having their principal place of business outside the state of Kansas. The bill would also remove fees concerning program modification; om-site branch campus reviews; renewal of registration of a representative; and changes in institution profiles. This bill passed the Senate 39-0.

SELF SERVICE OF BEER FROM AUTOMATED DEVICES (SB 433): Senate Bill 433 allows licensed public venues, clubs, and drinking establishments to provide self-service beer to customers from automated devices in the same manner as is permitted for wine under current law. The licensee must monitor the dispensing of beer and must be able to control such dispensing. This bill passed the Senate 37-3.  I voted for the bill.

PROVIDING COMPENSATION FOR THE WRONGFULLY CONVICTED (HB 2579): House Bill 2579 creates a civil cause of action allowing claimants to seek damages from the state for wrongful conviction. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

REGULATING ACCESS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT RECORDINGS(HB 2571): House Bill 2571 modifies the statute governing disclosure of video or audio recordings made and retained by law enforcement using a body camera or a vehicle camera. HB 2571 would add a provision requiring the agency to allow the listening or viewing of the recording within 20 days after the request is made by the person who is subject to the recording or any parent or legal guardian if the subject is under 18 years old. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

URGING THE KCC TO LOWER RETAIL ELECTRIC RATES (SCR 1612): Senate Concurrent Resolution 1612 urges the State Corporation Commission (KCC) to have regionally competitive retail electric service rates and urges the KCC to take any and all lawful action to reduce Kansas electric rates to such levels and maintain the rates and such levels. This concurrent resolution passed the Senate 30-9.

AMENDING THE KANSAS STANDARD ASSET AND FORFEITURE ACT(HB 2459): House Bill 2459 amends the Kansas standard asset seizure and forfeiture act and establishes the Kansas asset seizure and forfeiture repository. This bill passed the Senate 39-0.

UNFAIR TRADE AND CONSUMER PROTECTION (HB 2580): House Bill 2580 eliminates consumer reporting agencies’ authority to charge certain fees related to consumer report security freezes. HB 2580 amends current law to allow a consumer to place a security freeze on the consumer’s consumer report by written request, sent by certified mail or regular mail, through a secure website if made available by a consumer reporting agency, or by telephone, if the consumer reporting agency does not have an available secure website. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

REPEALING RESTRICTIONS FOR KPERS INVESTMENTS WITH COMPANIES IN SUDAN (HB 2444): House Bill 2444 repeals requirements of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) Board regarding new investments and divestment of current investments in companies with business operations in Sudan. The bill would also repeal the associated indemnification for the KPERS Board and its employees, research firms, and investment management. This bill passed the Senate 38-2.  I voted for the bill.

RAINY DAY FUND (HB 2419): House Bill 2419 concerns transfers to and expenditures from the budget stabilization fund. HB 2419 outlines that the rainy-day fund would earmark any excess revenue or over-projected estimates to be split in half, with 50 percent to pay off debt to the PMIB loan and the other 50 percent to be stored in a rainy-day fund for when projected revenues are short of projections. Historically, the legislature spends available money rather than set aside money to meet the statutory requirement of a seven percent remaining balance. This bill failed the Senate 21-19. 

I voted for the bill.

AMENDING THE UNIFORM ANATOMICAL GIFT ACT(HB 2472): House Bill 2472 amends the uniform anatomical gift act to give drivers license applicants’ authorization to be listed as an organ, eye, and tissue donor in the Kansas donor registry. HB 2472 would require the word “Donor” be placed on the front of the driver’s license or identification card of an individual who provides authorization on an application for a driver’s license or an identification card to be listed in the Registry. The gift would become effective upon the death of the donor. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

HEALTH OCCUPATIONS CREDENTIALING FEE FUND (HB 2501): House Bill 2501 would create the Health Occupations Credentialing Fee Fund to be administered by the Secretary for Aging and Disability Services. Fees collected under provisions of the Adult Care Home Licensure Act, Dieticians Licensing Act, Operator Registration Act, and the act regulating speech-language pathologists and audiologists would be deposited into the fee fund instead of the State General Fund. This bill passed the Senate 39-1. I voted for the bill.

OMBUDSMAN LONG-TERM CARE PROGRAM (HB 2590): House Bill 2590 amends the state long-term care ombudsman program, activities, and access to certain records. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

NUCLEAR ENERGY DEVELOPMENT AND RADIATION CONTROL ACT (S Sub HB 2600): Senate Substitute for House Bill 2600 provides for the assessment of fees by the Department of Health and Environment for noncontiguous sites where radioactive material is stored or used. S Sub HB 2600 also directs the Secretary of Health and Environment to study and investigate maternal deaths in Kansas. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

WORKERS COMPENSATION DEATH BENEFITS (S Sub HB 2184): Senate Substitute for House Bill 2184 amends workers compensation death benefits. The act allows for an initial payment to be shared between the surviving spouse and the dependent children. This bill passed the Senate 35-5.  I voted against the bill.

INCREASED PENALTIES FOR FAKE POLICE CALLS (HB 2581): House Bill 2581 increases the criminal penalties for the crime of giving a false alarm in certain circumstances. The practice which is known as “swatting,” is when a person makes a call to the police with a false story of an ongoing crime in attempt to draw police officers to a particular address. Any false call for emergency help would be at least a misdemeanor, becoming a felony if the person uses a fake identity or electronically masks their identity. HB 2581 would make fake calls that result in death a felony comparable to second-degree murder. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

HUNTING GUIDES AND OUTFITTER REGISTRATION (SB 301): Senate Bill 301 requires hunting guides and outfitters to register with the Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism. This bill passed the Senate 31-9.  I voted for the bill.

EXEMPTING DIVISION OF LEGISLATIVE POST AUDIT FROM PAYING MONUMENTAL BUILDING SURCHARGES (S Sub HB 2129): Senate Substitute for House Bill 2129 exempts the Division of Legislative Post Audit from paying any monumental building surcharge charged and collected by the Department of Administration or any other state agency that is levied against all state agency-leased square footage in Shawnee County. This bill would permit the Secretary of Administration to approve a new lease or renew or extend an existing lease without an energy audit being performed if the Secretary determines an energy audit is not economically feasible. This bill passed the Senate 33-7.  I voted for the bill.

INTEROPERABILITY ADVISORY COMMITTEE (Sub HB 2556): Substitute for House Bill 2556 establishes the state interoperability advisory committee. In 2007, the Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee was created by Executive Order to provide governance and guidance pertaining to the interoperability of public safety communications systems. The committee’s focus has been on radio frequency communications and data interoperability. HB 2556 would take the current statewide council and put it in statute. The bill would direct the committee to make recommendations to the Adjutant General’s Department (TAG). This bill passed the Senate 37-3.  I voted for the bill.

SPECIAL OLYMPICS, CHOOSE LIFE, WICHITA LICENSE PLATE (HB 2599): House Bill 2599 provides for the distinctive plates for Special Olympics, Choose Life, the Wichita city flag. The bill also authorizes special license plates for veterans of the Korean War, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. This bill passed the Senate 36-2 . I voted for the bill.

COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSE RENEWAL (HB 2511): House Bill 2511 would make commercial driver’s licenses renewable every five years. The bill would extend the period of time before expiration from four years to five years. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

RENEWAL OF DRIVER’S LICESNES; VISION REQUIREMENT (HB 2606): specifies vision test requirements for qualifying applicants for electronic online driver’s license renewal. The bill would waive the requirement currently that a driver’s license examiner administer an eyesight exam prior to the electronic online renewal of a driver’s license only under certain conditions. An applicant for an online renewal must be at least 21 years old but less than 50 years old and confirm under penalty of law that their vision meets requirements currently in law of 20/40 or better in at least one eye as tested by the driver’s license examiner, or 20/60 or better in at least one eye submitted in a vision report from an ophthalmologist or optometrist. The applicant must certify they have undergone an examination by a licensed ophthalmologist or a licensed optometrist within the previous year and must authorize the exchange of vision and medical information between the Division of Vehicles and the applicant’s ophthalmologist or optometrist. This bill passed the Senate 35-5.  I voted for the bill.

DESIGNATING SEDGWICK COUNTY AS URBAN AREA (HB 2597): House Bill 2597 designates Sedgwick County as an urban area, concerning nonprofit cemetery corporations in certain urban area counties. The designation would allow the Kansas Legislature to pass laws specific to those areas. Currently, Johnson, Wyandotte, Shawnee, and Greeley counties already have this designation. The designation only allows for a county to make a request for specific legislation. This bill passed the Senate 39-1.

 QUALIFICATIONS FOR LICENSING OF PROESSIONAL OCCUPATIONS (S Sub HB 2386): Senate Substitute for House Bill 2386 implements restrictions on requirements for licensing of professional occupations. S Sub HB 2386 would require any person, board, commission, or similar body that determines the qualifications of individuals for licensure, certification, or registration to revise their existing requirements to list the specific civil and criminal records that could disqualify an applicant from receiving a license, certification, or registration. The revision would occur within 180 days after the effective date of the bill. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT (HB 2496): House Bill 2496 creates the Nurse Licensure Compact and amend the Kansas Nurse Practice Act to enable the Board of Nursing to carry out the provisions of the Compact and establish the duties of registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPNs) under the Compact. The Compact allows RNs and LPNs to have one multi-state license, with the privilege to practice in the home state of Kansas and in other Compact states physically, electronically, and/or telephonically. This bill Passed the Senate 40-0.

THE CHILD CARE CRIMINAL BACKGROUND AND FINGERPRINTING FUND (HB 2639): House Bill 2639 requires local and state law enforcement officers and agencies to assist the Secretary of Health and Environment in taking and processing fingerprints of persons residing, working, or regularly volunteering in a child care facility and to release all records of adult convictions and non-convictions and adult convictions or adjudications of another state or country to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. KDHE would be required to adopt rules and regulations on January 1, 2019 to fix a fee for fingerprinting such persons as required to reimburse KDHE for the cost of fingerprinting. The bill would create the Child Care Criminal Background and Fingerprinting Fund in the State Treasury to be administered by the Secretary. All fingerprinting fees collected would be deposited in the Fund for use in paying local and state law enforcement officers and agencies for the processing of fingerprints and criminal history background checks. This bill passed the Senate 36-4.  

I voted for the bill.

APPROPRIATION REVISIONS (Sub SB 269): Substitute Senate Bill 269 creates appropriation revisions for FY 2018 and FY 2019 for various state agencies.

In FY 2018, Sub. SB 269 recommends expenditures of $16.3 billion, including $6.7 billion from the State General Fund. The recommendation is an all funds reduction of $3.0 million and a State General Fund increase of $1.6 million from the Governor’s Recommendation for FY 2018.

Some key components for the FY 2018 appropriation revisions:

  • Add $1.5 million, all from the State General Fund to fully fund the Technical Education Incentive for the Department of Education.

For FY 2019, Sub. SB 269 recommends expenditures of $16.8 billion, including $6.8 billion from the State General Fund. The recommendation is a reduction of $79.2 million, including $80.7 million from the State General Fund, from the Governor’s Recommendation for FY 2019. The bill also reduces State General Fund revenue by $11.7 million for FY 2019.

Some key components of the FY 2019 appropriation revisions:

  • Add $22.1 million, including $10.0 million from the State General Fund, for an increase in nursing facility reimbursements rates.
  • Add $4.7 million, including $2.1 million, from the State General Fund, to provide a salary adjustment to all employees who did not receive a salary adjustment as part of the 2017 Legislative Pay Plan.
  • Add $5.5 million, including $3.3 million from the State General Fund, to increase payments for foster care kinship placements from an average of $3 per day to an average of $10 per day for the Department of Children and Families.

 This bill passed the Senate 34-6.  I voted for the bill.

DEFENDANT’S COMPETENCY AND COMMITMENT FOR TREATMENT (HB 2549): House Bill 2549 creates judicial determinations of defendant’s competency and commitment for treatment. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

LEGISLATIVE TASK FORCE ON DYSLEXIA (Sub HB 2602): Substitute House Bill 2602 establishes the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia and Other Reading Comprehension Impairments (Task Force), which would advise and make recommendations to the Governor, Legislature, and the Kansas State Board of Education regarding matters concerning the use of evidence-based practices for students with dyslexia and other reading comprehension impairments. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

RESCUING VULNERABLE PERSON OR ANIMAL FROM A VEHICLE (HB 2516): House Bill 2516 provides immunity from civil liability for damage to a motor vehicle for a person who enters the vehicle, by force or otherwise, to remove a vulnerable person or domestic animal if they are in imminent danger. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

SCRAP METAL THEFT REDUCTION ACT (SB 429): Senate Bill 429 delays certain provisions of the Scrap Metal Theft Reduction Act until January 1, 2020. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE OFFICE OF SHERIFF (HB 2523): House Bill 2523 amends the statute setting forth the qualifications required of sheriffs. Specifically, the bill would narrow language disqualifying a person from holding the office of sheriff if the person has been convicted of a violation of any federal or state laws or city ordinances relating to gambling, liquor, or narcotics. The bill would disqualify only for a misdemeanor related to gambling, liquor, or narcotics within five years immediately proceeding election or appointment. HB 2523 would remove a specific 320-hour training requirement and clarify the training and testing required of sheriffs. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

SCHOOL TRANSPORTATION FUNDING (SB 352): Senate Bill 352 requires transportation funding for school districts from the state general fund, not the state highway fund; making and concerning appropriations for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

LOCAL OPTION BUDGET (SB 422): Senate Bill 422 requires a minimum local option budget and requires school boards to notify the state board of education of their intent to increase local option budget authority. Any resolution increasing a district’s local option budget adopted prior to July 1, 2017, that was not subsequently submitted to an approved by a majority of the district’s qualified electors, would expire June 30, 2018. Districts that desire to increase their local option budget authority for the next school year would submit written notice of such intent to the State Board of Education by March 1. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

REFERENCES RELATED TO KDADS AND DCF (S Sub HB 2028): Senate Substitute for House Bill 2028 updates statutory references related to the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services and the Kansas Department for Children and Families in accordance with 2-12 Executive Reorganization Order No. 41. The bill would make conforming and technical amendments to law. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

STATEWIDE BROADBAND EXPANSION PLANNING TASK FORCE (S Sub HB 2701): Senate Substitute for House Bill 2701 creates a broadband expansion planning task force. The purpose of this task force is to develop a group to evaluate and expand broadband throughout Kansas. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

ALLOWING CRIMINAL CASES TO BE STAYED DURING STATE APPEAL OF WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS (HB 2479): House Bill 2479 allows criminal cases to be stayed during state of appeal of writ of habeas corpus relief. HB 2479 creates procedures and limitations concerning contact with jurors following a criminal jury trial and clarifies grand jury proceedings. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

COUNTERFEIT CURRENCY, MISTREATMENT LAWS, AND DEFINING LAW ENFOCEMENT OFFICER (HB 2458): House Bill 2458 defines counterfeiting currency as anything intended to defraud through forging currency. Another element of this bill combines the two laws into one that deal with mistreatment of a dependent adult and elder person. HB 2458 also amends the definition of law enforcement officer to include uniformed or properly identified while on duty. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

GOLF CARTS ON CERTAIN STREETS AT NIGHT (HB 2486): House Bill 2486 allows golf carts to be driven on any public street or highway between sunset and sunrise if the golf cart has lights as required by law for motorcycles and has a properly mounted slow moving vehicle emblem. This bill passed the Senate 36-4.  I voted for the bill.

AMEND CERTAIN SALES TAXATION FOR MOTOR VEHICLES (SB 367): Senate Bill 367 amends current sales tax law that includes the value of a rebate from a manufacturer of a new vehicle to the potential buyer. Current law includes this amount to calculate sales tax liability. SB 367 requires the rebate to be paid directly to the retailer. This bill passed the Senate 38-0.

KANSAS RIGHT-TO-KNOW FEE FUND (HB 2577): House Bill 2577, as amended creates a maximum annual fee for the Right-To-Know Program that would only be used for the administration of the Program. Current law allows the fees to go into a general fund. The Program deals with hazardous substances.  This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

CONTROL AND ERADICATION OF NOXIOUS WEEDS (HB 2583): House Bill 2583 clarifies definitions for terms related to noxious weeds. This legislation allows the Secretary of Agriculture to declare an emergency for noxious weeds that can be potentially harmful because of a natural disaster. This bill passed the Senate 36-4. 

I voted for the bill.

HIGH-PERFORMANCE INCENTIVE PROGRAM TAX CREDIT (SB 430): Senate Bill 430 extends 50 percent of the unused High-Performance Incentive Program tax credits beyond the current carryforward limit, from 16 years to 25 years, for those taxpayers who initially claimed a HPIP credit prior to January 1, 2018. In any tax year after the 16th year, the amount of tax credits used by a taxpayer would be limited to 10 percent of the reduced amount. Taxpayers would be required annually to certify under oath to the Secretary of Commerce that they continue to meet HPIP requirements. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR CANDIDATES SEEKING CERTAIN STATEWIDE OFFICES (HB 2539): House Bill 2539 would amend qualifications for certain state offices. This legislation would clarify require these positions to be a “qualified elector.” A qualified elector must be at least 30 years old when becoming a candidate for the office of the governor or lieutenant governor. Another provision is a candidate must be licensed to practice law in Kansas for the office of the attorney general.

The House’s original age requirement for the office of governor and lieutenant governor was 18 before the Senate changed it to 30. The final age requirement will be settled in conference. This bill passed the Senate 29-9.

I voted for the bill. 

CORRUPT POLITICAL ADVERTISING (HB 2642): House Bill 2642 amends the “corrupt political advertising” statute. Currently, social media communication is exempt from the requirement to include “paid for” or “sponsored by” information if the limit of characters is 200. The amended bill increases that limit to 280 characters. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

KANSAS ADOPTION AND RELINQUISMENT ACT (HB 2481): House Bill 2481 provides several provisions to the Kansas Adoption and Relinquishment Act. Senator Molly Baumgardner (R-Louisburg) placed an amendment on the bill which protects faith-based adoption agencies. This bill passed the Senate 28-12.  I voted for the bill.

KANSAS PET ANIMAL ACT (HB 2477): House Bill would create several changes to the Kansas Pet Animal Act pertaining to licensure of those providing temporary care of dogs or cats, maximum license fees, notice of inspections, requested inspections, no-contact inspections, failed inspections, and license renewal dates. This bill passed the Senate 34-6.  I voted for the bill.

INCOME TAX REFUND FOR CERTAIN NATIVE AMERICAN VETERANS (Sub HB 2147): Substitute House Bill 2147 would create a process by which certain Native American military veterans would be able to apply for a refund of state personal income taxes improperly withheld from such veteran’s federal military income in the amount of income taxes paid plus interest. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

REMOVING ALCOHOL AS A SPECIAL FUEL (HB 2488): House Bill 2488 would remove the word “alcohol” from the definition of “special fuels” under the motor-fuel tax law. The bill clarifies how fuels are taxed. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

SALES TAX AUTHORITY FOR THOMAS COUNTY (HB 2492): House Bill 2492 increases the maximum local sales tax rate that can be imposed by Thomas Country from 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent, provided all taxes levied in excess of 1.00 percent remain earmarked for financing a courthouse, jail, law enforcement center, or other county administrative facility. An election would be required for an increase in the current Thomas County sales tax, which is 1.5 percent. This bill passed the Senate 38-2.

I voted for the bill.

STATE FAIR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS FUND (SB 415): Senate Bill 415 creates a diversion of state sales tax receipts so that collections by the Kansas State Fair and retailers on the fairgrounds would be deposited into the State Fair Capital Improvements Fund, effective July 1, 2018. Current law allocates 83.8 percent of collections go to the State General Fund and 16.2 percent go to the State Highway Fund. This bill would repeal an existing statutory transfer from the State General Fund to the State Fair Capital Improvements Fund. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

March part 2

Notes from the 14th Kansas Senate District

Issue 5                                                                                                                   

March 2018

NOTES FROM THE 14TH

Kansas Senator Bruce Givens

image001.jpgWell, 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

785-296-7678

Bruce.givens@senate.ks.gov

www.brucegivens.com

NOTE:

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 kslc@ks.gov or 785-296-3296.


Statewide Recognition for

Audra Hughes, Waverly

 

image002.jpgAudra 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

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HARD FACTS

  • 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.

 

AVIATION DAY:

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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

AFFILIATION CHANGE:

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:

Education Committee:

Senator Larry Alley – Vice Chair

Senator Bruce Givens

Transportation Committee:

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

March 26-28

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

No Session

Friday, April 6

Drop dead day; first adjournment

Thursday, April 26

Veto Session begins

Thursday, May 4

Day 90



 

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)

Notes from 14th District Issue #3

NOTES FROM THE 14TH

Givens.pngIt is turn-around time.  Most of the Senate Committees are done and from these committees – if a bill hasn’t been moved on from the committee – it is done for the year.  Some bills get “blessed.”  This means they can live on through the full Session – a hearing is still required.

The Senate has been meeting at 2:30 each day with Committee meetings being held prior to the daily Session.  Beginning February 20, the Senate met at 10:00 and was on the floor most of the day.

I do not understand all the reasons why we do things this way – but this is “Senate Procedure.”   The House and the Senate will not be meeting February 23, 26 and 27 to give time for revisors, researchers, and leadership to organize bill referrals and put together agendas for the final “round” that will wrap-up April 6.

A bill that would bring back horse racing in Kansas was introduced in my Federal & State Committee February 19th.  The House has their version out of committee.  I will vote for this bill unless it is amended with serious flaws.  I’m not sure when “Fed & State” will have a hearing on this.  Two other bills regarding conceal and carry and domestic abusers with guns have been removed from the Fed & State Committee.  I doubt that these two bills get a hearing this session.

If you have any questions, please contact me! 

 

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Please stop in my office when you are in the area.

Contact Information:

Senator Bruce Givens

300 SW 10th St. 225 E

Topeka KS 66612

785-296-7678

Bruce.givens@senate.ks.gov

www.brucegivens.com

 

 

NOTE:

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


On the Road in the 14th District

Senator Givens’ Future Area Visits with Representatives Good and Blex

February 24             

9:00 a.m.  Moline       Swinging Bridge Café

10:30 a.m.  Sedan     Farm Bureau meeting room, 230 E. Main

March 3         

9:30 – 11:00              El Dorado Civic Center

Jointly sponsored by the Butler County Farm Bureau and El Dorado Chamber of Commerce


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. 


Learning More

 It is easy to “get into the weeds” on pieces of legislation that seem on the surface to have universal appeal, but for those who want to pursue a more in-depth analysis of the ones which did not have such agreement, go to www.kslegislature.org and pull up “Bills & Laws,” then “Senate Bills,” before scrolling to the desired number and hitting “SN” (Supplemental Notes) for a general explanation.

 


From Your State Library

Learn Online with Universal Class

Universal Class https://kslib.info/uclass offers over 500 lifelong learning courses in more than 30 areas of study at no charge. Join a full course with instructors and readings or just watch the lecture videos to brush up on a topic. The wide range of courses offers something for everyone: from accounting to yoga, babysitting to parenting, cake decorating to web development.

Small Business Reference Center

Small business owners and would-be entrepreneurs will be interested in the Small Business Reference Center provided by the State Library of Kansas. It’s a vast resource that provides industry specific data, sample business plans, marketing guides, business start-up kits, and Nolo legal guides. Business Basics covers starting a business, managing employees and more. This Center includes more than 400 full text magazines with articles that can be printed, saved or emailed and 450 full-text reference books.

https://kslib.info/SmBiz 

Consumer Health Complete covers all areas of health and wellness.  Did your doctor prescribe a new medication? Recently diagnosed with diabetes? Look it up here.  Designed for the everyday consumer, this online database provided by the State Library of Kansas offers popular reference books, medical encyclopedias, fact sheets, and magazine articles. This full text database covers topics such as aging, nutrition, cancer, fitness, drugs and alcohol, even yoga.

https://kslib.info/ConHealth

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 kslc@ks.gov or 785-296-3296.


Visitors to the 14th District Office

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Senator Givens and Representative Hibbard are pictured with 4-H members from across the 14th District as they participated in the Kansas 4-H Citizenship in Action event in Topeka on February 18 and 19.  4-H’ers from Greenwood, Neosho and Wilson counties are pictured here.  While here the 4-H delegates debated legislation on the floors of the House and Senate Chambers.

 

 

 


PHI THETA KAPPA HONOR SOCIETY

Phi Theta Kappa is the International honor society for two-year colleges, symbolizing excellence in higher education and a commitment to students.  Students with a Grade Point Average of 3.5 or higher are invited to join Phi Theta Kappa.

Kansas is one of 38 states participating in the All-State Academic Team program. 

The 23rd Annual Kansas All-State Academic Team was announced on February 15, 2018 in Topeka in conjunction with the Kansas Association of Community Colleges events. 

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HARD FACTS:

  • A new report projects that Kansas will collect more than $505 million in additional revenue over the next three years because of changes in federal income tax laws (AP News)
  • Kansas’ health care sector generated $25.7 billion in sales in 2017 and more than $14 billion in income (Wichita Business Journal)
  • Kansas hospitals create the need for 75,659 additional jobs across Kansas- a total employment impact of 162,000 jobs (Kansas Hospitals Association)
  • Spirit delivered the 10,000th Wichita-built 737 fuselage to Boeing (Wichita Business Journal)



TRACEY MANN SWORN IN AS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR:

On Wednesday, February 14th, Tracey Mann of Salina was sworn in as Lieutenant Governor of Kansas. Governor Jeff Colyer announced the appointment Tuesday night at the Kansas Livestock Association Dinner.

Although he has never held elected office, Mann ran in the Republican primary for the 1st District congressional seat in 2010. He currently serves as the managing director and principal for Newmark Grubb Zimmer, a Kansas City-based commercial real estate company. Prior to working for Newmark Grubb Zimmer, Mann served as the director for the National Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values.

Mann, 41, and father of four, served as Student Body President for Kansas State where he graduated in 2000 with a degree in agricultural economics.

 

TRANSPARENCY BILL

On Wednesday, Senate President Susan Wagle (R-Wichita) and Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley (D-Topeka) gave testimony for their transparency bill in the Senate Ethics, Elections, and Local Government Committee. The bipartisan legislation, SB 394, requires the registration of anyone attempting to influence a member of the executive or judicial branch, to register as a lobbyist. Currently, the law only requires registration for those attempting to influence legislative action.

“It’s a sunshine bill,” Wagle said during her testimony. “I think that we hear a lot about transparency. I think this bill will bring more transparency to state government than most things we’ve done in the last 10 years.”

SB 394 passed out of the Senate Ethics, Elections, and Local Government Committee and was approved by the full Senate.

 

CONCEALED CARRY BILL

The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee held a hearing on HB 2042, an act concerning firearms and concealed carry licensing. The bill contains three main provisions:

  1. The original bill which was recommended by the Attorney General, recognizes licenses issued by other jurisdictions.
  2. Lower the age to obtain concealed carry license to 18
  3. Allow postsecondary institutions to prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons if the person does not have a concealed carry license, referred to as the Aurand amendment.

This bill would continue to prohibit the disclosure of records of individuals with concealed carry permits. The second addition to the bill would allow individuals ages 18-20 to conceal and carry with a license approved by the Kansas Attorney General’s Office.

The current law states that individuals must be at least 21 years old. The law also requires those individuals to have eight hours of training before they are eligible to conceal and carry if they wish to have a permit.   This bill is currently not scheduled to be before the full Senate.

 

CAMPUS FREE SPEECH BILL:

The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee held a hearing on SB 340, the campus free speech protection act. SB 340 would solidify the right to freedom of speech on public campuses in Kansas. The act removes speech restriction policies at all public institutions. The legislation would require adoption of free speech policies as well. Under the campus free speech protection act, “free speech zones” are prohibited. These are designated areas where free speech is allowed on campus and censored everywhere outside those designated areas.

The goal of this legislation is to give a voice to views on all sides instead of silencing certain viewpoints. During testimony, supporters expressed that post-secondary institutions should be a marketplace for new ideas and should not be censored. Proponents of the bill explained how this would ensure constitutional rights, open the door for various ideas and thoughts, and allow people to feel free to express opinions without penalty from their university or school. The main purpose of SB 340 is to protect the First Amendment while also promoting freedom of expression and opinion on public campuses.

 

CONVENTION OF STATES:

The Senate Federal & State Affairs committee heard SCR1611, making application to the U.S. Congress to call a convention of the states. This comes after the Kansas House resolution failed in 2016 by a vote of 77-47 (84 votes required).

The Kansas Constitution requires that two-thirds of the legislature approve a resolution to call for a convention. Kansas is the only state in the nation with this requirement, most require only a simple majority.

Currently, twelve states have called for a convention including, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. 34 states are needed for the convention to be called.

The three goals outlined by the states have included the following measures:

  • Reign in federal spending
  • Place restrictions on federal power over the states
  • Term limits for federal officials

The states do not plan to re-write the Constitution but rather amend it like the previous 24 amendments. SCR1611 is currently being co-sponsored by 17 senators. 27 votes are needed to pass the Senate.

 

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.

 

Thursday, February 22

Turnaround Day, last day for non-exempt bills in house of origin

February 24

Senator Givens meeting constituents in Moline and Sedan

Friday, March 2

Pro Forma (Senator in 14th district)

Saturday, March 3

Senator Givens meeting constituents in El Dorado

Friday, March 23

Last day for non-exempt committee consideration

March 26-28

On Senate floor all day

Thursday, March 29

On Senate floor all day; Last day to consider non-exempt bills not in originating chamber 

Friday, March 30

No Session

Friday, April 6

Drop dead day; first adjournment

Thursday, April 26

Veto Session begins

Thursday, May 4

Day 90

 


FLOOR ACTION:

 

GROUNDWATER DISTRICT USER CHARGES (SB 194): Senate Bill 194 permits groundwater management district boards to increase the maximum water withdrawal charge from $1.50 for each acre-foot to $2.00 for each acre-foot. The charge would continue to be used to finance the operations of the groundwater management district. In addition, the bill would eliminate a provision of current law that permits the boards of groundwater management districts to assess a greater annual water withdrawal charge if more than 50 percent of the authorized place of use of the water is outside the district. This bill passed the Senate 34-5.  I voted for this bill.

BOND REQUIREMENTS FOR APPEALS (SB 199): Senate Bill 199 modifies law concerning stay of enforcement of a judgment while on appeal, which specifies that if an appellant seeks such a stay, the supersedeas bond shall be set at the full amount of the judgment. An exception exists if the appellant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that this amount will result in an undue hardship or a denial of the right to an appeal and allows the court to reduce the amount with certain limitations. The bill would delete language stating these limitations would not apply if the court makes a finding on the record that the appellant bringing the appeal is likely to disburse assets reasonably necessary to satisfy the judgment and allowing the court to increase the amount of such bond required not to exceed the full amount of the judgment. The bill would also add exceptions to the requirement to set the bond at the full amount of the judgment to provide the amount of a supersedeas bond of any individual appellant and its successors or corporate affiliates, individually or collectively, would not exceed $25.0 million regardless of the full amount of the judgment. If the appellant is a small business, the bill would prohibit the appellant’s supersedeas bond from exceeding $2.5 million or the amount of the judgment, whichever is less. The bill would define “small business” as an independently owned and operated business or nonprofit organization with not more than 50 full-time employees and not more than $25.0 million in annual revenue. This bill passed the Senate 32-7.  I voted for this bill.

LICENSE RENEWAL OF TREATMENT CENTERS (HB 2106): House Bill 2106 authorizes the Secretary for Aging and Disability Services (Secretary) to grant a treatment facility licensed by the Secretary under the Alcohol or Other Drug Addiction Treatment Act and also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Services, The Joint Commission, the Council on Accreditation, or another national accrediting body approved by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS), a license renewal based on such accreditation, referred to as “deemed status.” An accredited treatment facility that loses accreditation would be required to notify KDADS immediately. Additionally, the bill would require KDADS to inspect an accredited treatment facility to determine compliance with state licensing standards and rules and regulations not covered by the accrediting entity’s standards or inspect and investigate in response to a complaint made against the accredited treatment facility. This bill passed the Senate 39-0.

CONVEY PROPERTY IN SEDGWICK COUNTY (SB 343): Senate Bill 343 allows State Board of Regents to convey by quitclaim deed six parcels of land and the State to convey by quitclaim deed one parcel of land in Sedgwick County to Wichita State University. The bill would require all deeds and conveyances to be reviewed and approved by the Attorney General. These conveyances would not be subject to appraisals, bids, publications, title reviews, title insurance, surplus property statutes, or Regents land acquisition statutes. This bill passed the Senate 39-0

ELECTRONIC MONITORING IN ADULT CARE HOMES (HB 2232): House Bill 2232 allows a resident of an adult care home, or a resident’s guardian or legal representative, to conduct authorized electronic monitoring in the resident’s room subject to requirements set out in the bill. This bill passed the Senate 38-0

VEHICLE DEALERS AND MANUFACTURERS LICENSING ACT (SB 324): Senate Bill 324 add two sections to the Vehicle Dealers and Manufacturers Licensing Act (Act) on improvements to dealer facilities, dealer performance criteria, and recall repairs. This bill passed the Senate 33-2   I voted yes.

CRIME VICTIMS COMPENSATION FUND (SB 266): Senate Bill 266 amends law governing awards from the Crime Victims Compensation Board. Specifically, the bill would amend the definition of “collateral source” to include “any other source” received by or readily available to the victim or claimant. This bill passed the Senate 38-0

LICENSURE OF DENTAL THERAPISTS (SB 312): Senate Bill 312 expands the Dental Practices Act by creating the practice of dental therapy and requiring the Kansas Dental Board (Board) to authorize a person to practice as a dental therapist if such person meets the qualifications set forth in the bill. This bill passed the Senate 38-0

KANSAS RETAIL ELECTRIC SUPPLIERS ACT (Sub SB 323): Substitute for Senate Bill 323 revise law related to Kansas municipal energy agencies (MEAs), the oversight of electric cooperatives by the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC), and retail electric suppliers. This bill passed the Senate 38-0

KANSAS AMUSEMENT RIDE ACT (SB 307): Senate Bill 307 makes multiple amendments to the Kansas Amusement Ride Act. This bill passed the Senate 36-0

Notes from the 14th District Issue #2

Issue 2

February 2018    

Sen_Givens.pngThis Senator is a sophomore.  That means, I know just a tad more than I did this time last year.  The Senate seems slow compared to last year.  There are not very many bills introduced on the Senate side and it appears that the Senate will be waiting for a school finance study to be completed on March 15th.  Very little will be done with the budget, expenses and revenues until then.

There have been many informational hearings however.  You can see some of the reports in these committees by going to my website.  Hopefully, this will be a place where I can disseminate more information than I can in a newsletter.

Of news and interest is the new prison in Lansing.  This was approved by the Legislative Finance Council not the entire legislature.  A private contract was awarded to build it but the prison will be run by KDOC like all the other prisons.  It is not nor will it ever be a private prison.

Today (January 25, 2018) I heard a report regarding KPERS.  The complete presentation is on my website.  In short, KPERS as a fund is doing great.  If we (the legislature keeps making our required payments – it will be an even stronger fund.

If you have a question, please contact me!

I will not use state funds to send out a printed newsletter.  Email newsletters and newspapers will be the only mass communication unless you check my website.  www.brucegivens.com


OUR WORK

As we got settled into the third week of the 2018 legislative session, most of our work was concentrated in committees where bills are being prioritized and vetted. The senate has 13 standing committees which cover many different topics, including education, agriculture, judiciary, and utilities—to name a few. I serve on the Commerce, Financial Institution and Insurance, and the Federal and State Affairs committees.

Once a committee completes hearings and votes on a bill, if passed, it will then make its way to the senate floor and the full body will begin to debate and vote on the measure. Floor debates and votes will begin in the coming weeks. If you’re interested in tracking our work, you can head to our website at www.kslegislature.org and click on the calendar tab at the top of the webpage to view the senate’s daily schedule. You can also view live streams of the senate sessions on the Legislature’s YouTube page by clicking here

Please do not hesitate to contact me at 785-296-7678 or at bruce.givens@senate.ks.gov  with any further comments, questions, or concerns.


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“Here I am with a few pheasant hunters in Pratt County last weekend.  Probably, my last pheasant hunt of the year.”


HARD FACTS:

  • According to the latest revenue report, federal tax reform artificially inflated Kansas revenue receipts for Dec. 2017, putting the state $83.6 million above estimates.
  • The $10,000 cap on state and local tax deductions included in the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act influenced certain Kansas filers to make estimated payments before the end of the calendar year instead of April 17, 2018. The result is individual income tax receipts came in $87.1 million above estimates this fiscal year to date, of which $80.4 million came in December alone.
  • Sales tax receipts are $42 million above last year, and $900,000 above estimates for the current fiscal year. Corporate income tax is $20.9 million above this time last year, coming in $4.9 million under November’s revised estimates
  • The state collected $109.71 million in total tax receipts over December last year, putting the total at $601.5 million for the month. Corporate receipts in December came in $9.58 million below December last year for a total of $49.72 million. Sales tax receipts are $335,000 over December last year for a total of $198.16 million.
  • The S. added 148,000 jobs in December with unemployment at 4.1 percent
  • As of November 2017, preliminary data from the BLS shows Kansas’ unemployment rate at 3.5%, down from 4.3% in November 2016.
  • Kansas currently has a record 1.4 million people employed. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • “The most recent figures show just shy of 86% of Kansas kids get their high school diplomas. That’s slightly above the national average, which is at a record high.” (KCUR)

Givens_Workforce_Committee.png

 

According to Jeremy Hill, Director, Wichita State Center for Economic Development and Business Research, to the Senate Commerce Committee, nationally the labor market is tightening.  In Kansas our working population is leaving the state due to job opportunities and wages. This migration affects all segments of our economy and population.

The highest growth Kansas does see is in occupational groups that require postsecondary & associate level education as well as apprenticeship and long-term training

 


Introducing Real ID                       

Kansans are having questions about Real ID.  The following information will be helpful when you are renewing your driver’s license. 

Anyone boarding an airplane or entering a federal facility, such as a military base, using a state issued ID or driver’s license on October 1, 2020, will be required to have a credential that is Real ID compliant. 

Real ID is a federal law, passed by Congress in 2005 to ensure state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards meet minimum security standards. To get a Real ID before law goes into effect on October 1, 2020, you’ll need to bring certain documentation into the local driver’s license office.  Go here to find your local driver’s license office (https://www.ksrevenue.org/dovstations.html)

You’ll need to show:

  • Valid passport or birth certificate
  • Proof of social security such as a social security card, current W-2 or 1099, or current pay stub with full SSN
  • Proof of residency, which can be a utility bill, your vehicle registration, or your current driver’s license

 All documents should be unlaminated originals.

If your name is not the same on all your documents because of adoption, marriage, divorce, or any court ordered name change, you must provide proof of the name change. Bring the name change document, such as your marriage license, adoption certificate, or divorce decree.

The fees remain the same for Real ID: $26 if you’re renewing and $8 to replace. If your credential expires after the 2020 deadline and you want a Real ID, you can bring your documents in to the office, receive the Real ID, and only pay the $8 replacement charge.

Finally, it is worth noting that you have the option to choose between a Real ID or a non-Real ID card. Kansas credentials that are not Real ID compliant contain a designation that says “NOT FOR FEDERAL ID” on the front of the card. Such credentials will not be able to be used at airports and federal facilities after September 30, 2020. 

For more details and a checklist that will help make sure you bring everything you need when you go to the driver’s license station see my website at http://www.brucegivens.com/resources


KanCare 2.0

Earlier in the session Senate President Susan Wagle, Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Carolyn McGinn, and Senate Public Health and Welfare Chairwoman Vicki Schmidt delivered a joint statement calling for the state to stop moving forward with their plan to make serious changes to the state’s Medicaid system called KanCare.

Healthcare providers and beneficiaries have repeatedly expressed concerns about their ability to provide and receive the appropriate level of care as well as problems with eligibility through the clearinghouse.

The four senators would like to fix ongoing problems with the current KanCare system before moving forward with KanCare 2.0. Legislation to stop KanCare 2.0 will soon be introduced

The following is the joint statement the senators released:

“After careful consideration regarding the discussion that took place during the Public Health and Welfare Committee today, we are hesitant to move forward with KanCare 2.0. We believe there is still work to do to stabilize KanCare 1.0 and that there is no certain path forward for KanCare 2.0., at this time

 


LANSING CORRECTIONAL FACILITY:

The State Finance Council voted January 24th on a plan to rebuild Lansing Correctional Facility.

The $362 million contract with CoreCivic would finance, construct and maintain the new private Lansing facility.   Under the plan developed by KDOC and CoreCivic, the new facility would have 1,920 maximum and minimum-security beds and 512 medium security beds. Technology and design upgrades would allow the KDOC to reduce staffing from 682 to 371.  First-year payment by the state would be $14.9 million and would rise 1.9% yearly during the contracted 20-years. 


DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER STATUE

Eisenhower_New_Statue_.png

On January 20, the Senate Ways and Means Committee held a hearing on S.B. 262 which would authorize the construction of a statue honoring Dwight D. Eisenhower. S.B. 262 would allow for construction to begin on the northwest quadrant of capitol grounds.  State law requires legislation to be passed before any statue or memorial be placed on capitol grounds. The monument would be a replica of the Jim Brothers statue of Eisenhower that resides in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.  The funds required for the installation and construction of the statue were raised through a private fundraising campaign.

At the hearing the great-grandson of Dwight D. Eisenhower, Merill Eisenhower Atwater, spoke to endorse the legislation.  

 

 


From Your State Library 

KS_Seal.pngKansas Day - January 29               

On January 29, 1861, Kansas became the 34th state.  Explore the Kansas Territorial period through the Civil War with the Kansas History database.  You’ll find everything from digitized letters, maps and personal accounts, to photos, sermons and songs.  Use Browse to scroll through the topics, Search, or click on one of five broad categories for an overview of the early Kansas years.  Educators: each of the five categories includes an essay with corresponding primary source documents.

https://kslib.info/kshistory

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: kslc@ks.gov or 785-296-3296.

Early Learning Resources from the State Library

BookFlix is an online resource for children in grades PreK-3 that pairs video storybooks with related nonfiction e-books. Imagine Curious George paired with a nonfiction book about monkeys. The read-along storybook highlights each word as it is read. This option can be turned off. Related word games and puzzles reinforces early learning reading skills. BookFlix requires Flash.

Britannica E-Stax (PreK-6) features nonfiction books that can be read online or downloaded to any Internet enabled device.

Both are available at no charge through the State Library’s web site http://kslib.info/storytime .

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. Adobe Flash is needed to view the animation and hear the narration.  Questions: kslc@library.ks.gov or 785-296-3296. 

 


HEMP LEGISLATION

The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee held hearings on S.B. 263, a bill that creates a program to research the use of industrial hemp.

Hemp prohibition began in 1937 in the United States.  In the 2013 Farm Bill, section 7606, legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research was defined as distinct from marijuana.  It authorized institutions of higher education or state department of agriculture (in states that legalized hemp cultivation) to regulate and conduct research and to pilot programs.  The U.S. House passed amendment to the Farm Bill to allow pilot programs and research to begin on industrial help and determine whether hemp farming would be beneficial for American farmers and businesses.  Thirty-one states have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production.  Each state that allows farming may develop its own regulations regarding industrial hemp research and pilot programs.  Production must follow state regulations.

Overview of S.B. 263

The Department of Agriculture, alone or in coordination with a state educational institution (regent schools), may cultivate industrial hemp grown from certified seed and promote the research and development of industrial hemp.

Overview of H.B. 2182

Representatives from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and various law enforcement officer associations spoke in opposition to H.B. 2182 in 2017. They expressed concern the bill would provide a legal defense to the possession of marijuana by a person holding an industrial hemp license.

The Senate Bill will need good language and content to satisfy all sides of the issue before it can be passed out of committee and on to the Senate.

 


Coffeey_County_GOP.pngMark Petterson/managing Coffey County Republican

Senator Givens, second from left, spoke with constituents at a January legislative forum hosted by Coffey County Commissioners. Other speakers included 76th District State Representative Eric Smith, and representatives of Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins and US Senator Jerry Moran.


EXPANDED DENTAL CARE FOR KANSAS 

Kansans would see access to dental care expanded in Kansas under a proposal brought forward by Kansas Senator Vicki Schmidt (R-Topeka). The Chair of the Senate Public Health & Welfare Committee, Sen. Schmidt says her measure is the result of many years spent gathering information and input from interested organizations in an effort to advance access to oral health care.

“This is a Kansas solution to the issue of expanding access to dental care,” Schmidt said. “We’ve have testimony on this topic for several years and we have examined the various proposals from other states. I firmly believe that the proposal before us represents a major step forward in training more dental professionals while preserving quality care for our fellow Kansans. And like most compromises, some will say it goes too far while others will argue it doesn’t go far enough. But I hope my legislative colleagues will agree that while the state doesn’t currently have the financial resources to do more in this area, we can and should move forward with this proposal.”

The measure would allow for the creation of dental therapists to work under the general supervision of licensed dentists to provide non-surgical dental procedures and under the direct supervision of licensed dentists to carry out more complex procedures. These dental therapists would be licensed dental hygienists who would then be required to complete additional training in an accredited course of study which would include 500 hours of clinical training. Upon successful completion, these dental therapists would be authorized to perform 35 additional dental procedures. Previous dental therapy bills called for an additional 38 procedures.

“Additionally, the proposal has an important focus on treatment for low income and disabled citizens by allowing for the expanded workforce only in those dental offices where Medicaid is accepted and at safety-net clinics in our state,” noted Schmidt. “Until the state has a more solid financial footing, we are unable to encourage more dental care through increased reimbursements. This measure is designed to be another way to encourage more Medicaid participation.”

The bill was introduced today in the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee and will soon be assigned a bill number.


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 and leadership will keep you updated on any changes which might occur.

Monday, January 29

Last day for members to request bill drafts

Monday, February 5

Last day for non-exempt committees to request bill drafts

Wednesday, February 7

Last day for bill introductions by members

Friday, February 9

Last day for non-exempt committee bill introduction

Friday, February 16

Pro Forma

Monday, February 19

Last day for AM/PM committees to meet

Tuesday, February 20

On floor all day

Wednesday, February 21

On floor all day

Thursday, February 22

Turnaround Day, last day for non-exempt bills in house of origin

February 23-27

No session

Friday, March 2

Pro Forma

Friday, March 23

Last day for non-exempt committee consideration

March 26-28

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

No Session

Friday, April 6

Drop dead day; first adjournment

Thursday, April 26

Veto Session begins

Thursday, May 4

Day 90

Contact Information:

Senator Bruce Givens

300 SW 10th St. Suite 225 E

Topeka KS 66612

785-296-7678

Bruce.givens@senate.ks.gov

www.brucegivens.com

Notes from the 14th Kansas Senate District

Issue 1

January 2018         

Bruce Givens, Kansas Senate

The session has started! It is a privilege to return to the Senate – representing you in the 14th District. This is a much better start to the session than last year. Last year, we began 2017 in debt, a large financial hole that we have dug out of and now we are exceeding revenue projections. The legislature can only take part of the credit. The state’s economy is improving. In addition, the state’s unemployment rate is significantly below the national average.

Everyone seems to know and understand that the legislature has to come up with a solution to fund public schools. We have some deadlines for this as well – it should not be a long drawn out session to get this done – we have to act.

The Governor made a proposal at the State of the State address on Tuesday evening. He said his proposal would not require a tax increase. The details are not released just yet, but I’m sure he would be taking from KDOT and not making the required KPERS payment to avoid a tax increase. It is just a proposal.

There are a number of issues that need the legislatures’ attention that are not school related. We can deal with these issues but resources are limited.

I encourage you who receive this emailed newsletter to send it on to anyone you would like. The more people that will read it – the better informed on my work you will be. Newspapers will get the same newsletter with the Editor’s option of editing sections.

I would like to remind you of the office number here in Topeka (785-296- 7678). Linda Oborny is the office assistant for me (see picture). If you send a personal email, I will probably respond, however, if you use an advocacy system email – I will not.

The Governor said that the “state of the State is good.” I agree! Kansas is a great place to live, work and enjoy life!

I will not use state funds to send out a printed newsletter. Email newsletters and newspapers will be the only mass communication.                                                                            

Kansas Senator Bruce Givens Bruce Givens

2018 State of the State

Senator Bruce Givens, 14th District

Representative Mary Good, 75th District

Linda Oborny

Office Assistant

 

For your Benefit         

The Kansas Constitution, including the Ordinance, Preamble, and Bill of Rights, is available to print in a pocket-sized version from the State Library’s website https://kslib.info/constitution. Just click on the link and follow the instructions. A helpful diagram shows how to fold and where to cut to assemble your pocket-sized constitution. Be sure you print double sided and check “flip on the long edge”. A long reach stapler is helpful, but not necessary. Need help? Just Ask a Librarian - https://kslib.info/Ask .

2017 KHA Certificate of Appreciation

Senator Givens was presented with a certificate of appreciation from the Kansas Hospital Association for his unwavering support of healthcare issues during the 2017 legislative session. Pictured are hospital administrators from Senate District 14, along with Chad Austin of the Kansas Hospital Association. 
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Top Senate Republican Calls for Pay Hikes for Corrections Officers

Senate President Susan Wagle of Wichita issued a statement Wednesday urging Brownback to take executive action. She toured the El Dorado Correctional Facility with hometown Republican Sen. Bruce Givens.

Read the original story here.

Brownback takes Kansas lawmakers ‘to the brink’ with latest veto

Sen. Bruce Givens, R-El Dorado, called the governor hypocritical for denouncing the income tax bill he vetoed after helping to push through a sales tax increase in 2015. That year, lawmakers raised the sales tax rate to close another budget gap.

Givens said the veto amounted to the governor saying “I dare you” to lawmakers.

“His logic does not make sense to me,” Givens said.

Read the original story here.

KSN.com Profile

What is your number one priority for the upcoming legislative session and how do you plan to address it?

A fair tax plan! We have too much reliance on property tax and sales tax. The income tax issue where over 330,000 people who once paid income taxes and are not now is the biggest issue. What should these people be paying (as far as income tax)? That will be the question and issue that we can work out in the session.

Read the original article here.

Givens files for 14th District Senate Seat

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Career special educator Bruce Givens of El Dorado announced he has filed with the Kansas Secretary of State for the 14th District Kansas Senate seat for the August Republican Primary.

Givens was born in Coffeyville, raised in Arkansas City, and has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education and educational administration from Emporia State University. He currently serves as assistant director of special education with the Butler County Special Education Cooperative.

Read the original story here.

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