MARCH 14, 2022
Senate Committees continued to review bills which have been sent over from the House and we had two days of General Orders last week in the Senate. As we work though committee bills on the floor, we will also begin to have Conference Committee reports to vote on as well. A Conference Committee is a small, bipartisan and bicameral committee that works to smooth out the differences between the House’s and Senate’s version of a similar bill. Once the Conference Committee comes to a compromise, the committee’s version of the bill will be sent to both the House and the Senate for a final vote, before advancing the bill to the Governor’s desk.
SENATE FLOOR ACTION
The Senate confirmed the appointments of Angela Coble - a Plainville native - to the Kansas Court of Appeals and Janet Stanek as Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health & Environment.
SB282 offers a series of tax credits in addition to property tax relief for Kansans. The components of the bill included:
Aviation Tax Credit - the bill would allow employers whose principal business activity involves the aviation sector to receive a nonrefundable income tax credit.
Kansas Housing Investor Tax Credit Act - the purpose of HITCA is to bring housing investment dollars to communities lacking adequate housing, and that development of housing will complement economic development of rural and urban areas.
Kansas Affordable Housing Tax Credit Act (AHTCA) - the bill would create tax credits for individual, person, firm, corporation, or other entity owning an interest in a “qualified development” and subject to applicable Kansas taxes. Qualified developments would be low-income housing projects which are located in Kansas and determined by Kansas Housing Resources Corporation to be eligible for a federal tax credit.
Teacher Classroom Supplies Tax Credit - the bill would create an individual income tax credit for public or private school teachers residing in Kansas equal to the taxpayer’s expenditures for school and classroom supplies during the tax year. The credit would be effective beginning in tax year 2022 and would be limited to $250 per year.
Homestead Property Tax Refund Claims - the bill would provide for refund claims to be paid to claimants for the amount by which the claimant’s residential property tax exceeds the amount of the claimants’ property tax in the claimant’s base year. Claimants would be required to be at least 65 years old or a disabled veteran, reside in a homestead with an appraised value of $350,000 or less for the entire year, and have a household income of $50,000 or less.
Residential Property Tax Exemption - the bill would increase the amount of the residential exemption from the 20 mill uniform statewide school finance property tax levy from $20,000 of valuation to $65,000 of valuation beginning in tax year. SB 282 passed the Senate 33-4.
SB 523 would authorize the transfer of $1.0 billion from the State General Fund (SGF) to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) Trust Fund in four scheduled payments. Of that amount, $600.0 million would be transferred in FY 2022 in two installments—$300.0 million on the effective date of the bill and $300.0 million on June 1, 2022. The remaining $400.0 million would be transferred in FY 2023 in two installments, both subject to approval from the State Finance Council—$200.0 million on October 1, 2022, and $200.0 million on January 1, 2023. SB 523 passed the Senate 28-12.
SB 479 would require the Capitol Preservation Committee to approve plans to place a permanent memorial in the state capitol commemorating the work of Kansas suffragists toward achieving the right of women to vote in Kansas and the passage of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. SB 479 passed 40-0.
HB 2591 would repeal the statute that authorizes quarterly $100,000 State General Fund and $200,000 Conservation Fee Fund transfers to the Abandoned Oil and Gas Well Fund in the Kansas Corporation Commission. HB 2591 passed 40-0.
SB 326 would create an income tax credit for any Class II or III railroad or any owner or lessee of rail siding located on or adjacent to a Class II or III railroad for tax years 2022 through 2031 equal to 50 percent of the qualified track maintenance expenditures paid or incurred during the taxable year for track located in the state of Kansas. SB 326 passed 29-7-4.
SB 276 prohibit blindness from being a determinant factor for denial or restriction of legal custody, residency, or parenting time when it is determined to otherwise be in the best interest of a child. SB 276 passed 40-0.
HB 2075 would amend a provision governing the venue of agency adoptions in the Kansas Adoption and Relinquishment Act to allow such adoption proceedings to take place in a county where the Department for Children and Families (DCF) or subcontracting agency has an office when the State or a department of the State is the adoption agency. HB 2075 passed 34-0-6.
HB 2237 would amend law related to the Rural Opportunity Zone (ROZ) student loan repayment program and the child day care services income tax credit. The bill would extend the sunset on the ROZ student loan repayment program to July 1, 2026 and would also extend the sunset on the income tax credit and reporting requirements for the Secretary of Commerce to January 1, 2027. The bill also would expand the eligibility for the ROZ income tax credit to include individuals who move to a ROZ on or after July 1, 2021, and prior to January 1, 2026, from a metropolitan county within Kansas, which would be defined to be Douglas, Johnson, Leavenworth, Sedgwick, Shawnee, and Wyandotte counties. The bill also would also allow any income or privilege taxpayer to claim the child day care services credit and would permit taxpayers to claim 50 percent of expenditures paid to an organization providing childcare to the taxpayer’s employees beginning in tax year 2021. Current law limits the credit to corporation income taxpayers and does not permit the credit for payments made to organizations. HB 2237 passed the Senate 32-5-3.
HB 2329 would modify the list of entities that are subject to Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) rules and regulations adopted to ensure conformity with the federal Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Act. HB 2329 passe the Senate 40-0.
HB 2594 would create an exemption in law related to vehicle identification number (VIN) offenses for antique vehicles. HB 2594 passe the Senate 40-0.
S Sub for HB 2057 would enact the Kansas Assistance Animals in Housing Act. The bill would allow a housing provider, upon receiving a request for exemption from the housing provider’s pet policy for the purpose of housing an assistance animal, to require the requestor provide reliable documentation of the disability-related need for the animal. The housing provider would be prohibited from requiring documentation if the requestor’s need is readily apparent or already known to the housing provider. S Sub for HB 2057 passed 29-6-3.
S Sub. for HB 2279 expands access to APRNs by amending provisions in the Kansas Nurse Practice Act governing the licensure of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) to allow an APRN to prescribe drugs without a written protocol as authorized by a responsible physician, maintain the scope of practice defined currently in law and be regulated by the state Board of Nursing, require an APRN to maintain malpractice insurance, and require national certification for initial licensure as an APRN. S Sub for HB 2279 passed the Senate 30-7-1.
HB 2231 would exclude from the definition of the crime of conducting a pyramid promotional scheme plans and operations in which participants give consideration in return for the right to receive compensation based upon purchases, provided that the plan or operation does not cause “inventory loading.” The bill would define “inventory loading” to mean the requirement or encouragement by a plan or operation to have an independent salesperson purchase inventory in an amount that exceeds the amount the salesperson can expect to resell or to use or consume in a reasonable time period. HB 2231 passed 36-0-2.
HB 2560 would extend the sunset for the Water Right Transition Assistance Program (WTAP) from July 1, 2022, to July 1, 2030, and extend the sunset for various existing fees of the Pesticide and Fertilizer Program within the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) from July 1, 2023, to July 1, 2028. HB 2560 passed the Senate 36-4.
SB 418 specifies the Governor, the Secretary of State, and any other officer in the executive branch could not enter into a consent decree or other agreement with any state or federal court or any agreement with any other party regarding the enforcement of election law or the alteration of any election procedure without specific approval by the Legislature. If the Legislature is not in session when such agreement is submitted for review, the bill would require approval be sought from the LCC. SB 418 passed the Senate 28-12.
SB 439 would allow a county election officer to remove a registered voter from the registration list if such registrant has had no election-related activity for any four-calendar year period, or if the registrant has failed to respond to a confirmation notice sent by the county election officer. SB 439 passed the Senate 33-6.
HB 2387 would create the crime of operating an aircraft under the influence, provide for testing related to the crime, and repeal current statutes prohibiting the operation of aircraft under influence of alcohol or drugs and providing for related testing. HB 2387 passed the Senate 40-0.
S Sub for HB 2361 would create law requiring the Kansas Supreme Court to adopt rules for establishment and operation of specialty court programs within the State. It defines “specialty court” to mean a district court program that uses therapeutic or problem-solving procedures to address underlying factors that may be contributing to a person’s involvement in the judicial system, including, but not limited to, mental illness or drug, alcohol, or other addictions. S Sub for HB 2361 passed the Senate 38-1.
SB 506 authorizes a Kansas Down syndrome awareness distinctive license plate for issuance on or after January 1, 2023, for use on a passenger vehicle or truck registered for a gross weight of 20,000 pounds or less. The bill would authorize the North Central Kansas Down Syndrome Society to authorize the use of its logo to be affixed on these license plates. SB 506 passed the Senate 40-0.
Full texts of the bills and supplemental notes as well as the Final Action vote on these measures can be found at www.kslegislature.org.
Gabriel and Taryn Paulino from Bennington; Dreyton Hughes from Phillipsburg, and Allison Rhea from Kensington spent the day with us in the Capitol where they ran errands for the Senators, attended Committee hearings, had lunch with me, and toured the capitol.
This month I will be conducting numerous legislative townhalls throughout the 36th Kansas Senate District. On Saturday, March 19, Representative Lisa Moser, Senator Dennis Pyle, and I have a Legislative Forum scheduled for 9 AM at Landoll Lanes. On Thursday, March 24, Representative Troy Waymaster and I will be starting the day in Mankato at 8:30 AM. We will then have a townhall in Smith Center at 10 AM. In the afternoon, we will then move to Osborne for a scheduled townhall at 1 PM; and then move on to Paradise United Methodist Church for one scheduled at 3 PM. On Saturday, March 26, Representative Waymaster, Representative Susan Concannon, and I will be conducting a townhall at Violette’s Coffee Shop in Lincoln at 9 AM.
WATCH AND LISTEN TO THE KANSAS LEGISLATURE
Kansas Legislature YouTube – Here you can follow the legislature live as it happens, or access archives of past sessions and committee meetings.
Kansas Legislature Audio – Here you can listen in on session or committees when they are in session, or access prior committee meetings, as well.
Kansas Legislature website – www.kslegislature.org - has extensive information on legislators, committees, bills, and past sessions.
Thank you for all of your calls, emails, and letters regarding your thoughts and concerns about happenings in Kansas. I always encourage you to stay informed of the issues under consideration by the Kansas Legislature. Committee schedules, bills, and other helpful information can be easily accessed through the legislature’s website at www.kslegislature.org. You are also able to ‘listen in live’ at this website to current committees and also past hearings. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts, concerns, and suggestions. An email is the best at this point in the session.
Thank you for the honor of serving you!
Elaine Bowers, R-Concordia, is senator of the 36th District in Kansas which includes:
* Cloud, Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Osborne, Ottawa, Republic, Rooks, Russell, Smith and Washington Counties
* Marshall County: Cities: Blue Rapids, Marysville, Oketo and Waterville; Townships: Blue Rapids, Blue Rapids City, Cottage Hill, Elm Creek, Herkimer, Logan, Marysville, Oketo, Walnut and Waterville
* Phillips County: Cities: Agra, Glade, Kirwin and Phillipsburg; Townships: Arcade, Bow Creek, Crystal Deer Creek, Freedom, Glenwood, Greenwood, Kirwin, Phillipsburg, Plum, Rushville, Solomon(part), Sumner, Valley and Walnut