Apr 12, 2021 10:14 AM

BOWERS: Senate Scene, Weeks 12 & 13

Posted Apr 12, 2021 10:14 AM
Sen. Elaine Bowers, R-Concordia, 36th Dist. 
Sen. Elaine Bowers, R-Concordia, 36th Dist. 

April 12, 2021

SENATE HIGHLIGHTS - WEEKLY OVERVIEWS

This week was the last week of legislative activity before VETO session.  Late Friday afternoon, the Senate gaveled out for adjournment and will reconvene on May 3 for VETO Session.  The Senate voted on numerous conference committee reports and also debated bills on the Senate Floor the last few short weeks.  A conference committee is a small, bipartisan, and bicameral committee that works to smooth out the differences between the House and Senate’s version of a similar bill.  Once the conference committee reaches a compromise, the negotiated bill is sent to both the House and Senate for a final vote before advancing to the governor’s desk. 

SENATE CONFIRMATION

The Senate voted to confirm ten appointments:
Daniel Klucas to the Office of the State Securities Commissioner; Amber Shultz, new Secretary of Labor; Steven Anderson, Office of Inspector General; Rebecca Dickinson, Kansas Crime Victims Compensation Board; Sheryl Gilchrist and Tom Phillips to the State Civil Service Board; Brandon Jones, Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission; Suchitra Padmanabhan, Kansas Development Finance Authority; Mark Uhlig, University of Kansas Hospital Authority; and Kristen Wheeler to the State Board of Tax Appeals.  

SENATE FLOOR ACTION

SB 50 - Marketplace Facilitators and Income Tax Deductions and Exemptions.  It would  require the collection and remittance of taxes by marketplace facilitators.  The bill also amends income tax law regarding fraudulent unemployment benefits, itemized and standard deductions, business income related to 2017 federal legislation, corporation return filing, net operating losses, and the business expensing deduction.

HB 2332 & S Sub for HB 2183 – would require any third-party who sends out advance voting applications to identify who they are, who the head of their organization is, and a clear statement indicating it is not mailed from the government.  It would also prevent the Governor, the Executive Branch, and the Judicial Branch from altering election laws, as occurred last year.  It also broadened the definition of election tampering.

HB 2039 - Civics Education bill - would require, beginning in the 2022-2023 school year, students enrolled in an accredited public, private, or parochial high school to pass a civics test, or series of tests, as part of the Kansas required courses of instruction for graduation.

S Sub for HB 2074 - Technology Enabled Fiduciary Financial Institutions (TEFFI) - Fiduciary Financial Institutions Act (Act), Kansas trusts will be established by investors across the United States to hold their alternative asset investments with the goal to provide cash flow to Kansas “economic growth zones,” which largely overlap Rural Opportunity Zones.

SB 199 would amend law in the Insurance Code governing specially designed policies and short-term policies to update references to short-term limited duration up to a maximum policy period of 36 months total in duration. 

SB 100  would amend a statute requiring suspension of a driver’s license for driving when the person’s driving privileges are canceled, suspended, or revoked, a provision requiring the Division of Vehicles to extend a period of suspension or revocation an additional 90 days.

SB 265 would authorize the Governor’s allotment for the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) Death and Disability Program and institute a moratorium on all payments made by KPERS employers for Fiscal Year 2021.

SB 304 would remove the expiration date of May 1, 2021, contained in the COVID-19 Contact Tracing Privacy Act.

HB 2064 would amend provisions in the Kansas Deferred Retirement Option Program (DROP) Act relating to participating members’ election and extension of their DROP periods.

HB 2077 would amend law related to the Kansas Criminal Justice Reform Commission and the Kansas Closed Case Task Force. 

HB 2079 would transfer certain duties from the Secretary of State to the Attorney General. It would also amend statutes to transfer responsibility for administering the Safe at Home program from the Secretary of State to the Attorney General.

HB 2085 would create the Students’ Right to Know Act. It would require the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) to ensure the distribution, electronic or otherwise, of certain information to all students in grades 7 through 12.

HB 2101 extend the current transfer of the first $10.5 million credited to the Expanded Lottery Act Revenues Fund (ELARF) from ELARF to the Kangrow engineering fund - KU, the Kan-grow engineering fund - KSU, and the Kan-grow engineering fund - WSU with each such engineering fund.

HB 2106  expends the dates when corporate tax returns are required to be filed.  It would clarify that victims of identity theft would not owe Kansas individual income tax on any compensation that was fraudulently obtained by another.

HB 2114 would establish the Kansas Senior Care Task Force.

HB 2121 would amend the penalties for the crime of mistreatment of a dependent adult or elder person, define the term “absconds from supervision,” and amend law regarding sureties and delivery of a person arrested.  The bill would amend the crime of mistreatment of a dependent adult or elder person to raise the penalty.

HB 2136 would amend several provisions in the Insurance Code pertaining to service contracts, surplus lines insurance, the Standard Nonforfeiture Law for Individual Deferred Annuities, the Utilization Review Organization Act and oversight of utilization review organizations, and risk retention groups. 

 2158 would amend provisions in the statute governing the State Child Death Review Board regarding confidentiality of information acquired by and records of the Board.

S Sub HB 2196 would create the Unemployment Compensation Modernization and Improvement Council; require the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) to modernize its information technology (IT) infrastructure.

S Sub HB 2201 would authorize the Secretary of Transportation to let construction any modernization or expansion project under the Eisenhower Program that would utilize federal stimulus funds.

S Sub HB 2208 would enact the Rural Emergency Hospital Act and create a category of licensure to enable certain Kansas hospitals to receive federal health care reimbursement as rural emergency hospitals.  The bill would require benefits coverage for services provided by rural emergency hospitals if covered when performed by a general hospital or critical access hospital.

HB 2244 would amend the Commercial Industrial Hemp Act to transfer registration and regulation of industrial hemp processors currently regulated by the Kansas Department of Agriculture to the State Fire Marshal.  It would also amend law regarding the disposal of industrial hemp; unlawful marketing, selling, or distributing hemp products without registration or license; and create an exception for transportation of industrial hemp between producers and processors.

HB 2247 designates several highways and bridges across Kansas as memorial highways and bridges, naming them after certain individuals who served Kansas in distinguished ways, including veterans and former elected officials.  This bill includes Marshall County US Hwy 77 as the CPL Allen E. Oatney and SP4 Gene A. Myers memorial highway.

HB 2379 would enact the Peer-to-Peer (or P2P) Vehicle Sharing Program Act, which would allow the authorized use of a shared vehicle by an individual other than the shared vehicle’s owner through a P2P program.

HB 2390 would amend the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) to make certain temporary exceptions in current law permanent.

HB 2391 would revise and update certain provisions pertaining to business and other related filings and repeal obsolete laws, related to the Secretary of State.

SB 283 extends several provisions of law related to COVID-19, extending provisions regarding Telemedicine, Temporary Licensure, and Immunity.

HB 2021 would authorize the Kansas Development Finance Authority (KDFA), on and after July 1, 2021, to issue bonds, not to exceed $10.5 million, for the purpose of financing the construction of a state veterans home facility located in northeast Kansas.

HB 2143 would extend the sunset on an exclusion of motor vehicle manufacturer rebates from the selling price for sales tax purposes to June 30, 2024.  It would also exempt the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation of Kansas and Multi Community Diversified Services from paying sales tax on purchases related to the building, maintenance, and enlargement of facilities.  Also, the bill would increase, as of January 1, 2022, the threshold filing amounts for retailers to submit sales taxes to the Department of Revenue - from $400 to $15,000 for annual filings and $4,000 to $25,000 for quarterly filings.  Retailers with annual liability in excess of $25,000 would be required to file and remit sales tax on a monthly basis.

HB 2245 authorizes the Division of Vehicles of the Department of Revenue to collect emergency contact information and would provide for the use of such information by law enforcement agencies.

S Sub SB 2104 would amend law related to the list of eligible county appraisers, the qualifications of county and district appraisers, appraisal standards, Board of Tax Appeals (BOTA) administration and membership, property valuation appeals, judicial review of property tax disputes, BOTA membership and school district budget certification.

SB 124 reauthorizes and amends several provisions related to the STAR Bonds program.

HB 2238 would remove a $500,000 limit on gifts school districts, governing bodies of cities, or both jointly are able to accept for the express purpose of the construction or furnishing of a library.

HB 2295 would exempt municipal motor grader vehicles from requirements of the Kansas Uniform Commercial Drivers’ License Act.

SB 181 would create the Elevator Safety Act. It would establish requirements for licensure of elevator contractors, mechanics, and inspectors; require elevators to be certified as having been annually inspected; establish the Elevator Safety Advisory Board. 

SB 290 would amend coverage requirements specified in the Health Care Provider Insurance Availability Act (HCPIAA) for all new and renewal professional liability insurance policies for defined health care providers.

HB 2134 would codify the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Credit for Reinsurance Model Regulation into statute and amend the Kansas credit for reinsurance statute.

HB 2165 would define all vehicles more than 35 years old as an antique vehicle.

HB 2167 would add two exceptions to law requiring a license plate to be attached to the rear of a motor vehicle. The bill would allow concrete mixer trucks the option to display a license plate on the front of the vehicle rather than on the rear of the vehicle and would require a dump truck with a gross weight of 26,000 pounds or more to display a license plate on the front of the vehicle.  The requirement for a dump truck to display a license plate on the front of the vehicle would not apply to a vehicle registered as a farm truck.

HB 2203 would establish the Asbestos Remediation Fund.

HB 2218 would amend law governing the implementation and administration of the State Health Care Benefits Program.

SB 172 would protect critical infrastructure in Kansas. It would amend the Kansas Criminal Code regarding crimes involving property by establishing four new crimes: trespassing on a critical infrastructure facility, aggravated trespassing and criminal damage to a CIF. The bill would also allow a judge to order restitution for property damage.

HCR 5015 - - A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION urging the United States Congress to reject legislation to federalize elections in the United States of America.

HB 2224 would expand the definition of "infectious disease" in certain statutes related to crimes in which bodily fluids may have been transmitted from one person to another.

S Sub HB2138 would make changes to the Kansas Liquor Control Act and Club and Drinking Establishment Act concerning suspending, canceling, or revoking certain liquor licenses; days and times of sale of liquor and cereal malt beverage (CMB); and refillable and sealable containers of liquor and CMB.

Sub HB 2089 would create law related to firearm safety education programs conducted in public school districts.

HB 2408 would authorize and direct the Kansas Historical Society (KSHS) to convey by quitclaim deed, a parcel of land in Doniphan County to the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska.

HB 2405 would authorize the Kansas Development Finance Authority (KDFA) to issue bonds, in one or more series, in an amount not to exceed $500 million, plus all amounts required to pay the costs of issuance. Proceeds from those bonds must be applied to the unfunded actuarial pension liability of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS).

HB 2401 would authorize the Secretary of Corrections to enter into agreements for public-private partnerships for projects for new or renovated buildings at correctional institutions.

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

CONFERENCE COMMITTEE REPORTS AND ACTION BY THE GOVERNOR 

Numerous conference committee reports – the blended House and Senate versions of bills – from the last week are being processed and sent to the governor’s office.  Within ten days after passage, a bill must be signed by the presiding officers of each chamber, the chief clerk of the House and the secretary of the Senate, and be presented to the governor for approval.  The governor has ten days after receipt of the bill to act on it.  If the governor does not act on it during the ten-day period, the bill automatically becomes law without the governor’s signature.  Most bills passed by the Legislature are approved by the governor.  However, the governor may veto a bill by refusing to sign it and returning it to the chamber in which the bill originated, together with a statement of the reasons for the veto.  In appropriation bills only, the governor may veto some items (line-item) and approve the others by signing the bill.  However, should the governor veto a bill, the Legislature, by a two-thirds vote in both chambers, may override (overturn) the governor's veto and the bill will be enacted into law without the governor’s signature.  Once the bill becomes a law, whether by the governor’s approval or a legislative override, it is filed with the secretary of state.

OFF SESSION AT HOME

Please email me at [email protected] or call 785 243-3325x2 at my office in Concordia with questions or concerns during the break.

Thank you for the honor of serving you.

Senator Elaine Bowers
Kansas State Capitol Building
Room 223-E300
SW 10th St.
Topeka, KS 66612
[email protected]
785-296-7389

www.kslegislature.org

Elaine Bowers, R-Concordia, is the 36th Kansas District senator. The 36th District includes Cloud, Jewell, Lincoln, Mitchell, Osborne, Ottawa, Republic, Rooks, Russell, Smith and Washington counties.