2019 Legislative Update 7

This past week has been especially busy with turnaround deadline on Thursday, February 28th. We are officially halfway through session. Turnaround is when all bills in non-exempt committees must be passed through their respective committee, and the House. Only “blessed” bills, outside of the exempt committees may continue to be worked. The Speaker of the House decides which bills will be blessed. After turnaround, we will work the bills that are sent to the House from the Senate. Turnaround rules do not apply to exempt committees, which are: Federal and State Affairs, Taxation, and Appropriations.

On Wednesday HB 2279 passed the House of Representatives in final action. This is the bill that Representative Ponka-We Victors and I sponsored to provide better information to victims of domestic violence at the time of arrest so they can make safe decisions. We appreciate everyone's help in working to reach consensus on language to get this bill passed. The bill now heads to the Senate.

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: pam.curtis@house.ks.gov

 

Brownback Tax Plan 2.0 Passes House Committee, Heads to Floor

This week, SB 22 passed through the House Taxation Committee. It will head to the floor. This bill is designed to benefit giant, multi-national corporations. At a minimum, this bill is estimated to cost Kansas $187.3 million for fiscal year 2020 alone, however, estimates could be much more. By fiscal year 2022, it’s estimated to cost Kansas upwards of $416 million. This would steal more money out of our state, local economies, and Kansan’s pockets. This is a repeat of the failed Brownback tax plan that was repealed less than two years ago. Additionally, a 2016 study by a non-partisan non-profit, Feeding America, found that the cost of eliminating hunger in Kansas is $185 million. Furthermore, the failed Brownback tax plan left Kansas bankrupt, with crumbling infrastructure, dangerously underfunded state agencies, struggling schools, decreases in Kansans’ pocketbooks, and more. The recent state of emergency declared at El Dorado by the Governor and the Kansas Department of Corrections is a prime example of the threats these policies still hold – and how dangerous the passage of another tax experiment will be.

This further calls into question the priorities of our Republican colleagues. We should put Kansans first, instead of more tax handouts to giant, multi-national corporations.

House Democrats reject any legislation that doesn’t put Kansas on a path to fiscal responsibility and that will harm hardworking Kansans. We’ve only just begun to stabilize our economy after the failed Brownback tax plan and cannot go backward.

Link to Feeding America study: http://map.feedingamerica.org/county/2016/overall/kansas

Washington Days State Convention

This weekend is our annual Democratic Convention, Washington Days, held in Topeka. It’s the largest gathering of Democrats in the state. Activities range from rallies to caucus meetings and auctions to luncheons – as well as a special dinner with speakers. This year, the featured speakers will be Governor Laura Kelly and Montana Senator John Tester.

Alongside the festivities, this year is also the biennial election of the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer of the Kansas Democratic Party.

 

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 2201: Updates statutory references necessitated by 2012 executive reorganization order no. 41 related to administration of tuberculosis programs.

HB 2215: Kansas state fair board is authorized to create a nonprofit corporation for the benefit of the state fair.

HB 2365: Provides for confidential communications of Kansas national guard members in peer support counseling sessions.

HB 2006: Requires the department of commerce to create a database of economic development incentive program information.

HB 2103: Amends the revised Kansas code for care of children to provide requirements for placement of a child in a qualified residential treatment program.

HB 2290: Creates a crime victims compensation division within the attorney general's office.

HB 2031: Amends the definition of "service-connected" in the Kansas police and firemen's retirement system.

HB 2140: Allows agents of the KBI to participate in the Kansas DROP act and extending the sunset date for the act.

HB 2147: Increases bond maturity limitations in the Kansas rural housing incentive district act.

HB 2174: Extends the sunset date of the state use law for five years.

HB 2177: Pertains to the accounting treatment of certain derivative instruments of fixed index annuities.

HB 2191: Amends the procedure for execution of a search warrant for electronically stored information.

HB 2209: Authorizes the state board of regents to purchase cybersecurity insurance.

HB 2211: Allows judges to waive or reduce driver's license reinstatement fees.

HB 2239: Liquor sales by licensees in common consumption areas.

HB 2281: Provides that a court order modifying a criminal sentence only modifies the portion of the sentence referenced by the court and not remaining portions of the original sentence.

HB 2084: Amends the Kansas 911 act.

HB 2126: Regulates the operation of electric-assisted scooters on roads and highways.

HB 2167: Establishes a system for the transfer of certain deer hunting permits to nonresidents.

HB 2168: Authorizes the state board of regents to sell and convey certain real property in Cherokee County and Riley county on behalf of Kansas state university.

HB 2174: Extends the sunset date of the state use law for five years.

HB 2177: Pertains to the accounting treatment of certain derivative instruments of fixed index annuities.

HB 2178: Amends the Kansas underground utility damage prevention act.

HB 2185: Clarifies the naturopathic medicine scope of practice to include diagnostic imaging.

HB 2191: Amends the procedure for execution of a search warrant for electronically stored information.

HB 2198: Allows the use of expedited partner therapy to treat a sexually transmitted disease.

HB 2206: Changes the bonding and cost requirements for animals taken into custody under a violation of cruelty to animals.

HB 2209: Authorizes the state board of regents to purchase cybersecurity insurance.

HB 2211: Allows judges to waive or reduce driver's license reinstatement fees.

HB 2214: Changes the definition of a school bus for purposes of the motor-fuel tax law.

HB 2225: Adds on-track train equipment to the circumstances that a vehicle driver must stop at railroad crossings.

HB 2239: Liquor sales by licensees in common consumption areas.

HB 2243: Exempts animal shelters from registration requirements as a charitable organization.

HB 2248: Allows all-terrain vehicles to cross federal or state highways.

HB 2281: Provides that a court order modifying a criminal sentence only modifies the portion of the sentence referenced by the court and not remaining portions of the original sentence.

HB 2290: Creates a crime victims compensation division within the attorney general's office.

HB 2203: Exempts individuals employed by the Kansas academies of U.S. Department of Defense STARBASE program from KPERS working after retirement requirements and authorizing reimbursement of suspended retirement benefits for certain retirants.

HB 2048: Clarifies the definition of a comparable offense under the Kansas criminal code.

HB 2144: Creates budget and taxing authority of community colleges; articulation of credits; and student residency requirements.

HB 2223: Replaces vineyard permits with producer permits to allow individuals to use a wider variety of agricultural products in the production of wine under such permit.

HB 2336: Clarifies when offenders under the supervision of the secretary of corrections are awarded jail credit.

HB 2360: Concerning background checks of employees and volunteers that have unsupervised access to children, the elderly or individuals with disabilities.

HB 2346: Relating to standards for school-administered vision screenings.

HB 2279: Requires law enforcement officers to provide information about timing of release from custody when an arrest is made following a domestic violence call.

State Library of Kansas

Small business owners and would-be entrepreneurs, as well as others, might 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 

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