Sports Wagering in Kansas
This week, the House Federal and State Affairs Committee held hearings on House Bill 2671 which would authorize sports wagering under Kansas expanded lottery act. This bill would change state law regarding sports wagering in several ways.
First, the bill would allow the state to enter into contracts with sports wagering retailers, lottery gaming facility managers, racetrack gaming facility managers, or licensed interactive sports wagering platforms. These contracts would offer sports wagering in Kansas on behalf of the state through the Kansas Lottery. The maximum number of contracts being would be 1,200.
Qualifications for those contracts would be extensive. Those seeking to enter into a contract would be required to pay annual fees for licensure to operate under the law, only be able to offer sports wagering based on the outcome of an event prior to it occuring, be at least 21 years old, have the actual resources to retail sports wager, be current on state and local taxes, and not be engaged exclusively in sports wagering for business.
Another change in the bill would create two new gaming crimes. One would be a Class A nonperson misdemeanor for sports wagering by sports wagering retailers and their employees and employees of the Kansas Lottery, Kansas Lottery Commission, and members of the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission. The other would be a nonperson felony for the misuse of nonpublic sports information, punishable as a severity level 5.
The bill also sets tax rates for sports wagers at 14% in Kansas Lottery facilities and 20% for those on the interactive platform.
This bill is currently still in the House Federal and State Affairs committee and has not been passed out for a vote by the full House.
Helping Needy Children
On March 11, the House Appropriations Committee worked on the fiscal year 2020 and 2021 budgets for the Department of Children and Families. I brought forward an amendment in committee for the fiscal year 2021 budget which creates a grant program, using federal funds, for the purpose of packaging excess food from the school districts to children. If the school districts wish to participate, this grant program would assist in meeting the needs of many children across our state who may not have the sources of food to eat at home. The school districts would apply for the grant through the Department of Children and Families and the funding source would be from the Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Those eligible would be children in families with incomes 200% or below the federal poverty level and are enrolled in school districts that wish to be a part of the program.
House Appropriations has been very busy this week. The committee passed out several important pieces of legislation, finished budget committee reports, and passed out the state budget.
On Monday, House Appropriations worked on and finished the budget reports for the Legislature, Kansas Corporation Commission, Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Department of Health and Environment, and the Kansas Water Office.
Tuesday, we finished work on the budget reports for the Department of Administration, Office of Information and Technology Services, Department of Revenue, State Treasurer, Pooled Money Investment Board, Office of the Governor, Department of Transportation, and Judicial Branch. On Wednesday, House Appropriations finished the budget reports for Department of Children and Families, and the Department of Aging and Disability.
Thursday the committee passed out House Bill 2588, the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation Plan. Due to the concerns and uncertainty regarding the Corona Virus 19, on Friday, we worked expeditiously on the state budget and passed it out of committee. The budget has been sent to the House Floor for debate.
Corona Virus Update
This is not a political issue. This is a public health issue. The health and safety of all Kansans comes first, and it is the highest priority for me and my fellow legislators at this time.
We are working with the members of the governor’s public health team and other legislators in both chambers to make sure our first responders, health care providers and communities have all they need to help slow the spread of the virus and treat those who may have it.
I encourage every Kansan to follow basic good health practices:
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
· Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
· To keep from spreading respiratory illness to others, you should:
o Stay home when you are sick.
o Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
o Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
The most comprehensive and up to date information about the corona virus in Kansas can be found at kdhe.ks.gov. I encourage anyone who has questions and who wants the facts to go there for information.
The legislature has one job that must be done each year, the passage of a budget. As already mentioned, the Appropriations Committee passed a basic budget so that the state is ready and able to serve Kansans throughout this rapidly changing situation.
By following sound public health practices and each of us doing our part we will meet this challenge with resolve and as Kansans always do, make it through together.
Anytime that one would like to participate and listen to the developments of committee hearings or discussion on the House floor, one can tune in by listening to the audio footage at www.kslegislature.org.
As always, if you have any concerns, feel free to contact me (785) 296-7672, follow on twitter at #waymaster4house, or email me at [email protected] Also, if you happen to visit the statehouse, please let my office know.
It is a distinct honor to serve as your representative for the 109th Kansas House District and the state of Kansas. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions. I always appreciate hearing from the residents of the 109th House District and others from the state of Kansas, as well.