Environmental:

HB 2727 – Will improve disclosure of oil and gas activity during the real estate transaction. This is important because it will help people buying rural property to better understand the impacts that oil and gas drilling, pumping, injection wells may have on their properties. The bill will get a hearing this Thursday, March 15. Contact me if you’d like to provide testimony on this issue!

Medicaid Eligibility:

HB2508 – Creating a suspended eligibility status for recipients of state Medicaid services. This would allow people who are incarcerated or involuntarily committed to a state mental hospital the ability to immediately reinstate Medicaid coverage upon release. This is important so that they don’t have a coverage gap after release that would keep them from accessing the medications they need to get well.

Government Transparency:

HB2548 – This bill would end the practice of anonymous bills, and would require legislators, organizations, lobbyists, etc. who introduce bills to have their name associated with the legislation in the minutes and on the bill.

HB2699 – This bill would end the infamous “gut and go” procedure where legislators remove the contents of one bill that has already passed, and replace it with unrelated legislation.

Local Food:

HB2668 – This bill would exempt farm products sold at farmers’ markets from state sales tax.

Firearms:

HB2685 – This would permanently exempt postsecondary educational institutions from the public buildings law under the personal and family protection act, and allow them to ban firearms on campus.

Sexual Harassment:

HB2695 – This would prohibit state funds being used to pay sexual harassment settlements and prohibiting non-disclosure agreements for sexual harassment settlements in certain circumstances.

Bills that passed on the House Floor:

HB 2439: This bill increases the penalty for involuntary manslaughter while driving under the influence.

HB 2482: This bill amends the time of day that alcohol can be served by the drink in Kansas from 9:00am to 6:00am.

HB 2042: This bill requires the state of Kansas to recognize out-of-state issued concealed carry permits and licenses. It was amended by Republican Rep. Landwehr to reduce the age to conceal carry down from 21 to 18. Democrat Rep. Ballard offered an amendment to permanently exempt Kansas college campuses from concealed carry laws. Rep. Ballard’s amendment failed; however, Republican Rep. Aurand offered an amendment that requires a permit for those who choose to conceal carry on college campuses. This amendment passed 70-52, and is an important step forward in security for Kansas college students, staff, and faculty.

HB 2145: Currently there are 9 instances where federal law prohibits individuals from purchasing a firearm and Kansas law does not. Among these are individuals under a protection from abuse order and those who have committed domestic violence. This bill will add those 9 instances to Kansas law and passed easily on a voice vote.

HB 2470: This bill allows microbreweries within the state of Kansas to contract with other microbreweries for production and packaging of beer and hard cider.

HB 2502: This bill will provide for newly authorized sales of beer containing no more than 6.0 percent alcohol by volume by cereal malt beverage (CMB) licensees to be subject to state and local sales taxes instead of the state liquor enforcement tax.

HB 2446: This bill adds a designation of ranking minority member to the Joint Committee on Kansas Security and to the Joint Committee on Information Technology.

HB 2438: This bill prohibits state agencies from contracting with a vendor on an information technology project if that vendor prepared or assisted with: 1) The preparation of the program statement; 2) The project planning documents; or 3) Any other project plans prepared prior to approval of the project by the Chief Information Technology Officer of the relevant branch of government.

SB 262: This bill authorizes the Capitol Preservation Committee to approve plans to place a permanent statue of Dwight D. Eisenhower on the Kansas Capitol grounds.

HB 2441: This bill transfers responsibility for procuring independent audits from the Legislative Division of Post Audit (LPA) to the audited agencies.

HB 2492: This bill increases the maximum local sales tax rate that could be imposed by Thomas County from 1.50 percent to 1.75 percent

HB 2469: This bill prohibits local units of government from imposing restrictions or enforcing local licensing or registration ordinances on insurance claims’ handling operations during any catastrophic event threatening life or property.