Last week was the final week for committees to meet as we head toward the “turnaround deadline” where we push bills from the House to the Senate and vice versa. We will spend most of this week on the “floor” voting on bills that have advanced through the committee process.
The Kansas City Kansas Chamber of Commerce hosted the Wyandotte/Leavenworth County Tuesday Luncheon. We discussed a number of issues of importance to the KCK business community.
HB 2279, that Representative Ponka-We Victors and I introduced passed out of committee on Friday. The bill will enhance notifications for victims of domestic violence to aid them in making safe decisions. It will require that law enforcement inform a victim that the person arrested can be released from custody in a short amount of time, and that there may be a 72 hour no-contact order imposed, and that they can sign up for “VINE” (Kansas Victim Information Notification Everyday) to know when the person arrested has been released. We appreciate everyone’s assistance in reaching consensus to pass HB 2279 out of committee. It now heads to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
It is a special honor to serve as your state representative. I value and appreciate your input on issues facing state government. Please feel free to contact me with your comments and questions. My office address at the Statehouse is: Room 452-S, 300 SW 10th, Topeka, KS 66612. You can reach me at (785) 296-7430 or call the legislative hotline at 1-800-432-3924 to leave a message for me. You can also e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kansas Black Legislative Day
On Thursday, February 21, the Kansas African American Legislative Caucus and the KS Quad-Caucus, in cooperation with the Kansas Black Leadership Council, hosted Black Legislative Day at the Capitol. There were many in attendance, with special guests from the Kansas Black Farmers Association, the NAACP Youth, the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and the Kansas African American Affairs Commission. They hosted advocacy training workshops, forums on issues, and met with legislators, as well as the Governor.
Anti-LGBTQ Bills Receive Bipartisan Backlash
Kansas made national headlines when a group of Republican legislators introduced and sponsored several radical bills targeting the LGBTQ community. The bills declare same-sex marriages as “parody marriages” and would disallow the state from recognizing them, despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Another bill creates a special category of “elevated marriage” that requires counseling before a divorce is permitted.
The Republican legislators modeled these bills after drafts given to them by a controversial anti-gay activist who attempted to wed his laptop and has been declared “incapacitated… by reason of mental infirmity or illness” by the Supreme Court of Tennessee. He also has a criminal history and immense background of lawsuits.
A few Republican lawmakers that signed onto the bills denounced their support, claiming they hadn’t fully read the bills.
This Week on the Floor
This week, the House worked several bills on the floor. All of these bills passed through the chamber. They are as follows:
HB 2070: Designates a portion of United States highway 75 as the John Armstrong memorial highway.
HB 2123: Amends the Kansas national guard educational assistance act.
HB 2143: Updates the version of risk-based capital instructions in effect.
HB 2199: Amends documentation requirements related to the preparation of dead bodies.
HB 2087: Allows certain light screening material on motor vehicle windows.
HB 2097: Provides the method for calculating the cost of keeping civil prisoners in a county jail.
HB 2104: Amendments related to driving under the influence, including preliminary screening tests, implied consent advisories and test refusal.
HB 2105: Updates laws concerning limited liability companies.
HB 2125: Requires licensees operating a motor vehicle to promptly deliver driver's license upon demand by authorized persons.
HB 2127: Eliminates the marking requirements for certain truck and truck tractors.
SB 9: Authorizes the transfer of $115,000,000 from the state general fund to the Kansas public employees retirement fund during the fiscal year 2019.
HB 2085: Adds a time requirement for reinstatement of a forfeited benefit unit of a rural water district.
HB 2007: Creates the United States army, navy, air force, marine corp, and coast guard veteran license plates.
HB 2101: Updates state credit union statutes.
HB 2119: Empowers the KPERS board to develop policies and procedures relating to procurement, enter into certain contracts and allow travel for trustees and employees of the system.