The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Connie's Corner

  • Week 11 was two long days, March 25th and 26th, with business concluding at 10:30 Tuesday night.
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  • Connie's Corner
    Weeks 11 and 12 - March 25 thru April 5th.
    Week 11 was two long days, March 25th and 26th, with business concluding at 10:30 Tuesday night. House members debated many bills. Some sent over from the Senate, were amended and sent to Conference Committee. The Conference Committees meet to discuss the difference in the bills. When a bill is passed from the House to the Senate or vice versa, any amendments made in one of the chambers must be reconciled in Conference Committee. Conference Committees consist of three House members and three Senate members, (four republicans and two democrats), work to resolve the differences. An agreement on final language is reached and all six Conference Committee members sign the report. The report is then sent to both chambers for a up or down, yes or no vote. At this point in the process amendments are not allowed. This was the process for both chambers during the final two weeks of the regular session which concluded on Friday, April 5.
    First Adjournment
    The legislature is recessed until May 8th. Exempt Committees and Conference Committees will still meet and work on whatever legislation is still pending. This break in the legislative session gives the governor and his staff time to look over those bills passed by legislators. He will then either sign the legislation into law, allow it to become law without his signature, or veto the proposed legislation. (The governor has 10 day to sign or veto legislation. Bills passed by the legislature and not signed by the governor will automatically become law after 10 days)
    Legislators will return on May 8th to finish any unfinished business. The House calendar shows them in session From Wednesday, May 8th thru Saturday, May 11th. and again from Wednesday, May 15th thru Saturday, May 18th. I doubt legislators will work on those Saturdays but they might. It all depends on how fast they settle on a budget and tax plan for the next two years. I'm confident that legislators will settle on a tax and budget plan that keeps the Kansas economy moving in the right direction. Here's some good news. Kansas unemployment dropped from 7% in 2009 to the current 5.5%. The recession that gripped the country caused Kansas to deplete its unemployment funds. Kansas had to borrow money from the federal government to pay unemployment benefits. All that borrowed money has been paid back.
    When legislators return to Topeka for the veto session they will have an opportunity to revisit legislation that remains in exempt committees. Leadership is hoping to finish their work in 80 days. Normally the legislative session is on a 90 day schedule. Finishing in 80 days will save the state (taxpayers) money. In all likelihood the legislature will adjourn for the final time by May 17th or 18th. June 1st is Sine Die. Sine Die, "without day." is the term used to indicate the final adjournment of the year's 2013 legislative session.
    Here's the list of bills that have been signed into law by Governor Brownback:
HB 2019 - HB 2019 changed the judicial selection process for applet court justices.
· SB 21 amends several firearms-related statutes including authorizing official recognition of any valid concealed carry permit from another state for individuals traveling through or visiting Kansas.
· SB 24 amends certain risk-based capital (RBC) provisions in the Insurance Code to update the specified effective date of risk-based capital instructions and increase an RBC factor associated with a trend test calculation for life and health insurance companies. The new law also updates the effective date specified in current law for the RBC instructions promulgated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners from the date currently specified, December 31, 2011, to December 31, 2012 and increases one of the RBC calculation factors specified in determining a company action level event for a life and health insurance company from 2.5 to 3.0.
· SB 25 amends certain risk-based capital (RBC) provisions in the Insurance Code to add a calculation provision associated with the determination of a company action level event for health organizations.
· SB 58 restructures penalties for unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance and clarifies a special sentencing rule for a second or subsequent conviction of the same crime.
· SB 68 allows all locations for driver's license examinations to be established by the Secretary of Revenue, by removing a requirement that a commercial driver's license also be issued at certain locations.
· SB 75 prohibits a recycler from purchasing "plastic bulk merchandise containers" without first obtaining certain information about the seller and details about the containers.
· SB 113 amends statutes governing the loan approval process and certain reporting requirements for credit unions.
· SB 118 amends statutes related to missing persons including creating a "high-risk missing person" category.
· SB 135 moves responsibility for administering the Boiler Safety Act to the State Fire Marshal from the Department of Labor.
· SB 139 amends the Kansas Money Transmitter Act to allow money transmitters to submit applications for licensure and allow the Bank Commissioner to request and receive licensure information and report violations of the law and other relevant information through a nationwide multi-state licensing system and registry. The new law also revises and adds definitions in the Act; clarifies licensee activities and authorizes the Commissioner to adopt rules and regulations necessary to implement the Act.
· SB 166 amends the Insurers Supervision, Rehabilitation and Liquidation Act to state no person could be stayed, enjoined, or prohibited from exercising any contractual right to terminate, liquidate, accelerate, or close out of obligations in connection with any netting agreement or qualified financial contract due to certain conditions specified in the bill.
· HB 2007 establishes the Insurance Holding Company Act and amends the Insurance Code to modify existing provisions governing insurance holding companies.
· HB 2030 authorizes the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to issue up to ten wounded warrior deer permits each calendar year to disabled veterans who sustained injuries in combat and have a service-connected disability of not less than 30% through a random drawing if the number of eligible individuals exceeds ten.
· HB 2041 requires a municipal judge to forward conviction of city violations as well as cases involving boating under the influence and driving under the influence to the KBI. The new law also requires KBI director to adopt rules and regulations by July 1, 2013, requiring district courts to report the filing and disposition of all cases alleging DUI or refusal to submit to a test to determine the presence of alcohol or drugs (criminal refusal) and it clarifies the Department of Corrections or a jail may provide notice of release.
· HB 2096 expands options for governmental entities to invest public moneys in demand deposit accounts in banks, savings and loan associations, and savings banks, that have main or branch offices in the place where the governmental entity resides or in the county or counties where all or part of the investing governmental entity is located.
· HB 2138 repeals seventeen statutes concerning oil and gas.
· HB 2147 repeals 15 outdated statutes related to roads and bridges, including requiring highway signs that list distances to include metric system distances if a U.S. Department of Transportation demonstration project was approved.
· HB 2177 updates state motor carrier rules, including to reflect current vehicle sizes.
· HB 2202 allows automatic exemptions for drought declarations have been made either by the governor or by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
· HB 2305 amends the Kansas Storage Tank Act by requiring new or replacement installations of underground storage tank systems to be built with secondary containment, which would be monitored for leaks. The new law also requires any new motor fuel dispenser system installed after June 30, 2013, to include under dispenser spill containment.
· SB 69 amends certain motor vehicle registration requirements including bring statutes in compliance with Department of Revenue's Division of Vehicles current practices.
· SB 62 strikes the terms utility, public utility, corporation, municipal corporation, and quasi-municipal corporation in certain existing statutes and replace the terms with the term "person." The new law also adds various references to federal regulations.
Page 2 of 2 - There are several bills which have passed both chambers and are waiting to be signed: Here's some information on a few that have generated public discussion this session.
SB 199 was debated in the House chambers and establishes the Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The MSCTC will treat patients using adult stem cells, train doctors about adult stem cell treatments, educate the public about adult stem cell therapies, and create a database of available adult stem cell (ASC) treatments and clinical trials. The final proposal passed the senate by a vote of 31 to 8 and the House by a vote of 90 to 30. Two additional abortion related measures were passed. Kansas legislators joined fourteen other states in defining fertilization as the beginning of human life. Legislators also outlawed sex selection abortions. The governor is expected to sign both pieces of legislation.
SB 102 - Formerly known as HB 2199, The Second Amendment Protection Act passed the House 96 to 24 and the Senate by a vote of 35 to 4.
Senate Substitute for HB 2052, the bill now known as the Mega Gun Bill passed the House by a vote of 104 to 16 and the Senate by 35 to 5.
HB 2037 - Concerning public property, religious displays, and other displays. This religious liberty bill will be signed by Governor Brownback on April 10th.
You can track the progress of bills at, www.kslegislature.org
There is only a few days left to consider legislation this session. I encourage you to let me know your thoughts and concerns on issues being discussed by the legislature. Please feel free to call me, 785-296-7683, or email me at connie.obrien@house.ks.gov. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you for the honor of serving you in the Kansas House.
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