Legislative Votes & Issues - Late March 2019
Join me on Sat., March 30, 2019 at 10 am for a legislative coffee at the Monticello Branch of the Johnson County Library, right here in District 39. Hosted by the Library and League of Women Voters, the meeting will feature discussion of recent state legislation in the Kansas. Reps. Neighbor and Cox will also attend.
Legislative action at the Capitol
This was a busy week at the Capitol, as we considered dozens of bills over long days. House Republicans worked together to fight on behalf of Kansas taxpayers, families, employers and individuals. Here's a summary of key legislation:
Key Legislative Developments on School Finance & Medicaid
School Finance Policy
SB 16 is a bill intended to be an education policy bill, and was a missed opportunity to make meaningful change in the way schools are funded by and accountable to the taxpayers. In caucus, I spoke about how the bill didn't change anything fundamentally. I urged my Republican colleagues to address teacher effectiveness standards in the bill. I believe the bill just kicked the can down the road, rather than establish policy for improved and accountable standards for teacher effectiveness and student achievement. We've talked for months -- even years -- about teacher standards, yet this bill did not attach recommendations or conditions to establish meaningful change there.
I voted no on this bill (the bill passed 63-61), breaking from some in my party, because I believe we must challenge the enormous demands of the education lobby and the Supreme Court, which will impose $2-3 BILLION more in tax increases in the near future. The people who elected me want me to do something other than kick the can down the road. We must firmly make accountability and fiscal prudence a key part of education funding. This bill accomplishes nothing of the sort.
The House passed Medicaid expansion in Kansas via HB2066 this week by gutting another bill and inserting new language about Medicaid expansion in it (referred to as a "gut and go"). I voted no, primarily because the bill is short-sighted. I am greatly concerned about those on waiting lists, and we had a solution in the works for that. This bill would expand Medicaid benefits to 150,000 additional Kansans whose income has been too high to qualify in the past. The cost of this expanded program is estimated at about $50 million. The bill is now moving to the Senate for consideration.
Gov. Kelly rejects tax savings solution
Despite running on a platform of no new taxes and reducing the sales tax on food, Gov. Kelly quickly did the opposite with her rejection of SB 22, which would have reduced the sales tax by 15% and prevented other tax increases.
Not a single Democrat voted for the House version of the bill. The tax relief bill passed (76-43) with overwhelming Republican support, and would benefit even the most vulnerable Kansans. This bill prevents additional tax increases which would affect many Kansas taxpayers. If this bill does not become law, many Kansans will pay more taxes on their home mortgages and medical expenses, among other things. Many of you have asked about the chances to override the Governor's veto. If Republicans in the Senate and in leadership show strength in support of this bill, I believe we can override it.
House passes abortion-reversal notification
This week the House passed HB 2274, a bill concerning abortion pill reversals, on a vote of 85-39. Eighty-five votes is one more than necessary to override a veto. That's incredibly important given that Governor Kelly is no friend of life. In fact, just this week it was revealed her Commerce Secretary nominee has connections to infamous abortionist George Tiller.
Abortion by pill is a multi-step process requiring pills to be taken over the period of a few days. After the first pill is taken, there is still a possibility of preventing the abortion by taking a different medication to reverse the effects of the first aborion pill. This is a medically-proven technique that has been successfully used for many years. HB 2274 simply requires notification of the possibility of reversal to anyone having an abortion by pill.
How I Voted on House Action this Week
The House committees were active this week and we have conducted many votes on legislation over recent days. Here are a sampling of the bills below and how I voted:
SB 16, AN ACT concerning education; relating to the instruction and financing thereof; amending K.S.A. 72-1167, 72-3422, 72-4352, 72-4354, 72-5131, 72-5132, 72-5150, 72-5170, 72-5171, 72-5173, 72-5193, 72-5461, 72-5462, 72-6147, 72-6487 and 72-8193 and repealing the existing sections. NO
HB 2018 Sub HB 2018, AN ACT creating the Kansas criminal justice reform commission; relating to duties and membership; report to legislature YES
HB 2054, AN ACT concerning insurance; relating to health insurance; pertaining to association health plans; jurisdiction of the commissioner; exemption from regulation as small employer health plans; updating requirements, terminology and references related thereto; amending K.S.A. 40- 2209b and 40-2209e and K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 40-2209, 40-2209d, 40-2222, 40- 2222a and 40-2222b and repealing the existing sections. YES
HB 2137, AN ACT concerning the Kansas open records act; relating to exceptions to disclosure of public records; legislative review; amending K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 9-513c, 40-3407 and 45-229 and repealing the existing sections. YES
HB 2173 AN ACT concerning industrial hemp; establishing a commercial industrial hemp program; amending K.S.A. 65-4101 and 65-4105 and K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 2-3901, 2-3902, 2-3903, 21-5701 and 21-5702 and repealing the existing sections; also repealing K.S.A. 65-4101c and 65-4105b and K.S.A. 2018 YES
HB 2274 AN ACT concerning abortion; relating to medication abortions; notification requirements YES
HB 2307 AN ACT concerning insurance;
relating to dental benefits; covered services and non-covered services;
limitations on plan changes YES
HB 2314 AN ACT concerning cities; relating to the rehabilitation of abandoned property; amending K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 12-1750 and 12-1756a and repealing the existing sections; also repealing K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 12-1756e YES
HB 2389 AN ACT concerning controlled substances; relating to prescriptions therefor; requiring electronic prescriptions for certain controlled substances YES
HB 2396 , AN ACT concerning crimes, punishment and criminal procedure; relating to sentencing; certified drug abuse treatment programs; amending K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 21-6824 and repealing the existing section. YES
HR 6018 A RESOLUTION requesting the federal government address water quality issues in the Arkansas River Basin in Southeast Colorado and Southwest Kansas and the prevalence of radionuclides in the waters of the Arkansas River Basin YES
SB 15 SB 15, AN ACT concerning retirement and pensions; relating to the Kansas police and firemen's retirement system; definition of service-connected; amending K.S.A. 74-4952 and repealing the existing section. YES
SB 18 AN ACT concerning crimes, punishment and criminal procedure; relating to counterfeiting currency; sentencing; presentence investigation report; diversion agreements; attorney general; amending K.S.A. 22-2906 and K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 21-5840, 21-6813 and 22-2909 and repealing the existing sections YES
SN 20 AN ACT concerning courts; relating to recognition of tribal court judgments; court fees and costs; judicial branch surcharge fund; amending K.S.A. 65-409 and K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 8-2107, 8-2110, 20-3021, 21-6614, 22- 2410, 23-2510, 28-170, 28-172a, 28-177, 28-178, 28-179, 32-1049a, 38-2215, 38-2312, 38-2314, 59-104, 60-729, 60-2001, 60-2203a, 61-2704 and 61-4001 and repealing the existing sections YES
SB 25 AN ACT making and concerning appropriations for fiscal years ending June 30, 2019, June 30, 2020, June 30, 2021, and June 30, 2022, for state agencies; authorizing and directing payment of certain claims against the state; authorizing certain transfers, capital improvement projects and fees, imposing certain restrictions and limitations, and directing or authorizing certain receipts, disbursements, procedures and acts incidental to the foregoing; amending K.S.A. 74-50,107 and 74-99b34 and K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 2-223, 12- 1775a, 12-5256, 55-193, 75-2263, 75-4209, 75-6707, 76-775, 76-7,107, 79- 2959, 79-2964, 79-3425i, 79-34,171, 79-4804 and 82a-953a and repealing the existing sections. YES
SB 28 AN ACT concerning insurance; relating to fraudulent insurance acts; amount involved; amending K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 40-2,118 and repealing the existing section; also repealing K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 40-2,118a. YES
SB 53 AN ACT concerning state emblems; designating the chambourcin as the state red wine grape; designating the vignoles as the state white wine grape. YES
SB 60 AN ACT concerning real estate; relating to licensing of brokers and salespersons; application, temporary licenses, education requirements, deactivation and reinstatement of licenses, broker's primary office, fees, effect on other licenses of suspension or revocation of certain licenses; Kansas real estate commission; organization, seal; amending K.S.A. 74-4202 and K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 58-3039, 58-3040, 58-3045, 58-3046a, 58-3047, 58-3060, 58-3063, 58-3080 and 58-3081 and repealing the existing sections; also repealing K.S.A. 58-3049. YES
SB 63 , AN ACT concerning transportation; relating to transportation network company vehicles; regulating the use of authorized lights, city ordinances; requiring vehicle drivers to stop for on-track train equipment at railroad grade crossing signals YES
SB 66 AN ACT concerning insurance; relating to the version of risk-based capital instructions in effect; exempting certain domestic insurers from filing enterprise risk reports; amending K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 40-2c01 and 40-3305 and repealing the existing sections. YES
SB 67 AN ACT concerning life insurance; establishing the unclaimed life insurance benefits act YES
SB 68 AN ACT concerning cities; relating to a valid contract franchise ordinance and wireless service providers; prohibitions; amending K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 12-2001 and repealing the existing section YES
SB 69 AN ACT concerning electric utilities; requiring a study of electric rates; relating to the legislative coordinating council; state corporation commission.YES
SB 71 AN ACT concerning postsecondary education; relating to the state board of regents; eliminating the expiration of the postsecondary technical education authority; requiring an annual report; amending K.S.A. 74-32,402 and repealing the existing section; also repealing K.S.A. 74-32,404. YES
SB 77 AN ACT concerning children and minors; relating to children with sexual behavior problems; Kansas department for children and families; voluntary services. YES
SB 78 AN ACT concerning consumer protection; relating to assignment of rights or benefits to a residential contractor under a property and casualty insurance policy insuring residential real estate; consumer protection act; definitions of consumer transaction and supplier; amending K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 50-624 and repealing the existing section YES
SB 82 AN ACT concerning financial institutions; relating to the state banking code; form of delivery of certain notices; certificates of existence; conversion to state banks; amending K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 9-550, 9-808, 9-908 and 9-1506 and repealing the existing sections. YES
SB 90 AN ACT concerning economic development; relating to the center for entrepreneurship act; extending the tax credit for contributions to financial institutions and increasing the annual credit available for all contributors; amending K.S.A. 74-99c09 and repealing the existing section YES
SB 94 AN ACT concerning motor vehicle insurance; relating to reductions in premiums; approved motor vehicle accident prevention courses; pertaining to course duration and approving entities; amending K.S.A. 40-1112a and repealing the existing section. YES
SB 97 AN ACT concerning motor vehicles; relating to fleet rental vehicles; registrations; creating the fleet rental vehicle administration fund; amending K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 8-145 and repealing the existing section. YES
SB 128 AN ACT concerning schools; relating to safety drills; requiring a certain number of fire, tornado and crisis drills; rules and regulations of the state fire marshal; amending K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 31-133 and repealing the existing section. YES