Wins and Losses in the Pursuit of Liberty
Hello everyone!

We just wrapped up a busy two weeks in the legislature, finishing up debate and moving bills out of Committees, and then spending all day on the floor Monday through Wednesday of this past week, debating and taking final action on bills. There is more work to be done next week in Conference Committees and floor work, before the three week break in advance of Veto Session.

The most important and hotly contested issues we tackled the last two weeks include the following:

  • Parents Bill of Rights
  • Health Freedom and Ending Mandate Power of Public Health Officials
  • School Choice
  • Fairness in Women's Sports
  • Election integrity
  • Constitutional Amendments

I address each of these below, followed by a more comprehensive Vote Tracker at the end, where you can see how I voted on all the bills we debated this last week.
Parents Bill of Rights
In the last two years, parents have become rightly angered by masking and isolation of their children during COVID, and the increasing level of indoctrination by schools in liberal ideologies such as Critical Race Theory and radical gender ideology. Many times, the objections raised by parents at school board meetings were met with contempt and refusal to listen or address their concerns.

This week, we passed the Parents' Bill of Rights, SB 496, which affirms the right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, care, and mental health of their children. The bill would require the boards of education of each school district to develop and adopt policies to guarantee parents’ rights, including curriculum transparency that provides parents the right to be informed about, and review all materials related to their children's education, including educational and health records related to their child. SB 496 passed by a vote of 24-15, short of a veto proof 27. Governor Kelly is almost certain to override the bill.
It's sad that we must affirm the rights of parents to direct the health and education of their own children. Parents should not have to go before school boards to present evidence to support their wish to raise their child as they see fit. If we can't protect that most basic liberty...we are lost.
Health Freedom
We are now two years removed from “two weeks to slow the spread” and the associated dystopian nightmare that impacted vast areas of the country, including Kansas. Even with all but a few areas of the country removing COVID-related mandates and restrictions, a few of them – such as mask mandates on airplanes and vaccine mandates in places like New York City – remain in place. In addition, Americans are concerned that the mandates may return at some point and are rightfully demanding their elected representatives take decisive action to ensure the mandates never return.

This week we passed a number of bills to ensure Kansas remains a place where freedom thrives, even in difficult circumstances such as a pandemic.

Among the bills:

SB 541 is a comprehensive bill containing several provisions to protect the public from governmental overreach, particularly in the area of mask mandates, vaccine passports, and closing churches. Over the past two years, Americans have seen local governments run amok by requiring vaccine passports, issuing mask mandates, and closing churches. While Kansas did not go as far as areas like New York City or Los Angeles, our state was far from immune to the overreach. Even as late as February, some cities and counties in Kansas were still requiring masks, such as Douglas County’s order which required masks at KU basketball games. 

SB 541 addresses this concern in several areas:

Closing of Businesses/Limits on Gatherings: The bill would state if a city adopts an ordinance or takes any action related to a contagious or infectious disease, including, but not limited to, an order, resolution or ordinance issued or adopted pursuant to a declared state of disaster or state of local disaster emergency under KEMA, that limits the size of gatherings of individuals, restricts the operation of business or controls the movement of persons, such ordinance or action could not exceed 30 days in duration at a time before such ordinance or action would need to be renewed, modified, rescinded or allowed to expire. The bill would allow any party aggrieved by such decision of the city to file a civil action, within 30 days after the issuance of the decision, in the district court of the county where the city is located. It would require the court conduct a hearing within 72 hours of receiving a petition in such action, and the court would be required to grant the request for relief unless the court finds the order is narrowly tailored to the purpose stated in the order and uses the least restrictive means to achieve such purpose. The bill would require the court to issue an order on such petition without reasonable delay after the hearing

Mask Mandate Ban: The bill would prohibit any governmental entity or public official from
ordering or otherwise requiring a person to wear a face mask as a response to a contagious or infectious disease, but such entity or official could recommend the wearing of face masks
under the bill.

Education Vaccine Passport Ban: The bill would prohibit all educational institutions, including school boards, from issuing vaccine passports or segregating students based on vaccination status.

Churches Remain Open: The bill prohibits restrictions on or the closing of churches. 

SB 541 passed the Senate 24-14. I voted yes.

SB 489, which I carried on the senate floor, would amend statute concerning the powers of the Secretary of Health and Environment and local health officers to issue health orders in response to infectious or contagious diseases, by removing the ability of appointed officials to issue orders that restrict or shut down businesses or gatherings, and to quarantine individuals or groups, leaving such authority to elected officials who are accountable to the people, where it belongs. Instead, such appointed officials would have the power to issue recommendations. SB 489 passed the Senate 24-15. I voted yes.

S Sub for HB 2280 would ensure Kansans have access to off-label medications for COVID-19 by allowing physicians to write prescriptions for off-label medications for COVID-19 and ensuring they will be filled by pharmacists. We have seen pharmacists refuse to fill prescriptions for early treatment medications for COVID 19, such as Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine, simply because they were prescribed for COVID. The bill does not prevent a pharmacist from refusing to fill the prescription for any other reason, such as improper dosing or drug interactions. The legislation also would clarify that the law regarding religious exemptions passed during the special session is consistent across all vaccines, ensuring that the sincerity of the religious beliefs of Kansans is not questioned. S Sub for HB 2280 passed 21-16. I voted yes.

S Sub for HB 2416 would create law regarding compensation for the use, restriction of use,
loss, or destruction of property as a result of governmental actions related to the prevention of, or response to, contagious or infectious disease. The bill also would amend law related to property tax relief for businesses affected by governmental shutdowns or restrictions related to certain emergencies and would enact the COVID-19 Retail Storefront Property Tax Relief Act. Some details of the bill include:

Compensation would be provided to property owners affected by governmental action, but a claimant would not be eligible for compensation if the claimant knew or should have known of a dangerous condition and failed to respond in a reasonable manner to address the dangerous condition that resulted in the use, restriction on use, damage, loss, or destruction of property, including, but not limited to, sanitization or food safety. The bill would provide any award of compensation would be paid by the governmental entity ordering the contested action, be limited to the actual cost of such use or restriction on use as determined by the board of appraisers, but would not include loss of present or future profits,
opportunity cost, or other extraordinary damages.

It would enact the Retail Storefront Property Tax Relief Act to provide for claims for refunds to be paid for tax years 2020 and 2021 for certain claimants that were operationally shut down or restricted at their retail storefront by a COVID-19-related order or action imposed by the State, a local unit of government, or a local health officer.
S Sub for HB 2416 passed the Senate 26-11. I voted yes.

The goal of many of our bills this session has been to limit governmental over-reach in responding to emergencies. The lessons we learned over the past two years should be remedied while the abuses are fresh in mind. Otherwise, future legislators who do not remember what happened during this pandemic, will have to deal with similar problems if we don't address them now. We made a good start this session. More needs to be done.

School Choice

SB455, this year's school choice bill, passed the Senate with a vote of 23 - 16.

As you all probably know, not all school districts across Kansas are created equal. Some are better than others...and some under-perform for various reasons. For many years, the question has been; what can be done to give students in those districts a chance to thrive academically when they are stuck in a district that is not providing the instruction necessary to help them succeed?

This bill provides an answer. It allows students to attend a school in a district other than the district where the student resides. However, there are conditions that must be met before the student is allowed to attend the other school. Here is the language from the bill regarding some of those conditions: On or before January 1, 2023, each board of education of a school district shall adopt a policy to determine the number of nonresident students that the school district has the capacity to accept in each grade level for each school of the school district (pursuant to K.S.A. 72-3123, and amendments thereto). Such policies shall clearly specify the reasons that the board may use to deny continued enrollment of a nonresident student who is not in good standing. Such reasons for a denial of continued enrollment may include, but shall not be limited to, the nonresident student's record of school absenteeism and repeated suspensions or expulsions.

In other words, the board of education for each district has control over the number of students it can accept from another district. "Nonresident student" means a student from another district. The state funding follows the student so the receiving school district will get the funds to educate the student. There are a number of other stipulations contained in the bill and if you are interested in the details, click on the link to the bill to see all the information.

The aim of this bill is to give families and students a choice of schools to improve their educational opportunities, and to create competition among schools so as to push under-performing schools to pick up their to speak.

Bills like this have been passed in Florida, Arizona, and Colorado.

I do have some concerns over how this bill could potentially create some local control issues. It is likely that each school district will have different capacity policies. As a result, some student or parent might disagree with those policies and argue they are being denied access to that school district. At that point, I could see lawsuits arise, and the decisions on capacity policies could end up in the courts. The worse case scenario would be another Gannon type decision that removes policy decisions from local school boards and place it with the courts where the policies set could be arbitrary and problematic. I hope that situation does not arise, but that was one of the reasons I had some reservations about voting for the bill. But, ultimately, we need to make progress toward increasing competitiveness among schools, and I believe this bill is a good first step.
Fairness in Women's Sports
In recent weeks, Lia Thomas, a University of Pennsylvania swimmer who was born male, was declared the winner of the Women's 500 yard freestyle event in the NCAA national championship. Thomas has been undergoing hormone suppression treatment to "transition to female." The 22-year-old has gone from 554th in the event as Will Thomas, to first place competing against women.

Scenarios like this make SB484, the Fairness in Women's Sports Act, a necessary bill for Kansas. A similar bill was passed last year by the Senate and House, but was vetoed by Governor Kelly. The current bill, which passed Tuesday morning in the Senate by a veto-proof majority vote of 27 - 12, requires that student athletic teams only include members who are of the same biological sex unless designated as coed. The bill would impact all teams or sports that are sponsored by a public elementary, secondary or post-secondary (college) institution. I voted "yes".

Biological differences between men and women, including men having larger hearts, greater lung capacity and higher natural levels of testosterone, result in men generating higher speed and power during physical activity. These natural differences inherently create an unfair advantage for men competing against women in many sports, and that translates to reduced opportunities for girls, unrealistic metrics for measuring success in sports where they are competing directly against males, and a potential for injury at higher rates.

We now turn to the House to hear the bill and also pass it with a veto-proof majority. I encourage you to contact your representatives!
Election Integrity

This week, the Kansas Senate adopted several bills enhancing election security in Kansas:
SB 351 would require the Secretary of State to develop an affidavit system to be used for persons transferring ballots; provide for the use of electronic poll books in elections; authorize the Secretary to review, approve, and adopt rules and regulations regarding the use of such electronic poll books; prohibit voting systems from having the capability of connecting to the internet or other network; create the crime of electronic poll book fraud; and amend requirements related to the testing of election equipment. SB 351 passed 29-10.
SB 438 requires audits of any federal, statewide or state legislative race that is within 1% of the total votes cast and requiring randomized audits of elections procedures used in four counties in even-numbered years.  SB 438 passed 38-1.
S Sub for HB 2056 would limit county election offices to one remote ballot box for every
30,000 registered voters in the county; require remote ballot boxes to be monitored; tie the available hours of a remote ballot box to the hours of operation of a county election office; extend the advance voting period by three days; and shorten the voter registration deadline before an election by three days. Among the provisions of the bill, it would change the deadline for the receipt by mail of advance voting ballots by county election officers to 7:00 p.m. on the date of the election. Under current law, such ballots must be received by the election officer by the last delivery of the mail of the U.S. Postal Service on the third day following the date of the election. It would also require remote ballot boxes, when open, to be continuously observed by an employee of the county election office. The ballot boxes would be located inside a state or municipal building where employees are physically present or located inside any other building and continuously observed by two authorized poll agents who shall not be registered with the same political party. S Sub for HB 2056 passed 22-17. I voted yes on all three bills.

While these bills are a good start to providing election integrity, I believe we need to go farther. My concern is that we do not have a good way to ensure that these electronic devices cannot be connected to the internet. There are ways for hidden programs residing on the mother board to trigger software that temporarily connects to the internet for a short time then turns it detection would be virtually impossible unless you were an IT expert. My preference would be to go back to a one day election using paper ballots that are verified and secure...and counted in person in front of election officials. There was election fraud in Kansas according to testimony presented in the Federal and State Affairs Committee this session. We need to revisit this issue until we can say with certainty that we have the most secure elections anywhere.
Constitutional Amendments

The founders of this country originally envisioned a small, weak Federal government and more powerful state governments so critical decisions would be made closer to home, and citizens could easily have direct conversations with those who represent them. Over the course of time, that has been completely flipped on its head.

Like you, I am worried about the high gas prices, the out-of-control inflation, the shrinking buying power at the grocery store, and the fact that the Federal government is printing and spending money as if they are not to blame for all of these crises. Every day, we hear of some insane new policy decision from Washington DC we know will have negative effects. And, yet, we feel like all we can do is throw up our hands and brace for the consequences.

Before the passage of the 17th amendment in 1913, state legislatures elected their U.S. Senators. That way, if the person serving in the Senate in Washington was not doing a good job, or properly representing their state, they could be called home and replaced. After the 17th amendment, we lost that ability, and as a result, Senatorial elections at the Federal level have become increasingly expensive, as special interests from all over the country pour money into those races so they can have the ear of influential lawmakers, and shape policies in Washington. That cuts you, and the state out of the mix, and it’s one of the reasons why fixing a problem in Washington is nearly impossible. And, that’s just one of the reasons that all Federal money descending from Washington to the states, have significant strings attached.

We need more people to realize that the clamor for funding from Washington is enslaving us. Profligate spending has propelled our national debt to over $30 trillion dollars with no end in sight. We have mortgaged our future and that of future generations and will never be able to restore trust in our currency with modern monetary theorists in control.

That’s why some of us at the state level recognize the need to push back and to find ways to bring policy making decisions back closer to home. It’s why we proposed four constitutional amendments this session.

The only one to pass was an amendment you will have the opportunity to vote on in August, proposing that county sheriffs remain an elected official, and not an appointed position. That is so important because our sheriffs are our last line of constitutional defense here at home.
Two important amendments failed to receive enough votes to send to a ballot. One would have required a two thirds majority of the legislature to raise your taxes. And the other would have given you a stronger voice in selecting state Supreme Court nominees. Our current system is devoid of checks and balances on that nominating process. We need a strong state supreme court who will defend states’ rights and properly uphold the constitution of Kansas.

I was very disappointed that those measures failed, as they would have been important and necessary steps toward restoring your voice in government. 
Vote Tracker

S Sub for HB 2448 is a bill to reduce dependency on government by able-bodied adults. It requires able-bodied adults without dependents to complete an employment and training program in order to receive food assistance. S Sub for HB 2448 passed the Senate 27-12. I voted YES.
SB 340 would make changes to the Kansas Promise Scholarship Act. The bill would address
the responsibilities of the State Board of Regents and the responsibilities of postsecondary institutions, and it would authorize the designation of additional eligible programs and
fields of study. SB 340 passed 39-0.
HB 2574 amends law related to awards by the Crime Victims Compensation Board. The bill would raise the award limit for funeral and related expenses from $5,000 to $7,500 and raise the award limit for crime scene cleanup from $1,000 to $2,500. It also amends the definition of “crime scene cleanup” to state it may include replacement of materials that were removed because such materials were biohazardous or were damages as part of evidence collection, and adds to the list of victims who may be awarded compensation for mental health counseling certain victims who are required to testify in a sexually violent predator commitment, are notified that DNA testing of a sexual assault kit or other evidence has revealed a DNA profile of a suspected offender who victimized the victim, or are notified of the identification of a suspected offender who victimized the victim, if such claims are made within two years of the testimony or notification, respectively. HB 2574 passed 37-0.
HB 2510 would amend certain investment limitation requirements to increase the permissible investment options in equity interests and preferred stock for Kansas-domiciled life insurance companies. HB 2510 passed 37-2. I voted YES.

HB 2564 would amend the effective date specified in the Insurance Code for the risk-based capital
instructions promulgated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) for property and casualty companies and for life insurance companies. HB 2564 passed 39-0.
SB 546 would permit operation of driverless-capable vehicles without a human driver with the
automated driving system engaged under certain circumstances. SB 564 passed 24-12. I voted YES.
SCR 1619 urges the adoption of the 2021 Special Committee on Taxation’s conclusions and recommendations regarding the fiscal future of Kansas. The resolution contains “whereas” clauses noting the recommendations of the Special Committee concerning the use of State General Fund ending balances and receipts in excess of expenditures, constitutional amendment proposals limiting taxes or expenditures, energy production taxation, income taxation of retirement income and Social Security benefits, and property tax circuit breakers. SCR 1619 passed the Senate 28-11. I voted YES.
HB 2110 would require, for the next State Employee Health Plan (SEHP) coverage year (Plan Year 2023), the State Employees Health Care Commission to provide coverage for the diagnosis and prescribed treatment for pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS) and pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorders associated with streptococcal infections (PANDAS), for the purposes of studying the utilization and cost of such coverage. HB 2110 passed 32-4. Although this bill would definitely help these families, I passed because any time we mandate insurance coverage for anything, it increases health insurance rates for everyone, and I feel that insurance companies can better control the cost of coverage if they can offer options to their customers. This removes those options.
HB 2363 would amend law governing compensation for services provided to indigents to require
appointed counsel be paid at a rate not to exceed $100 per hour through June 30, 2023, and at a rate not to exceed $120 per hour on and after July 1, 2023. The current rate is $80. HB 2363 passed 35-3. I voted yes.

S Sub for HB 2458 would clarify law regarding liability for optometrists and ophthalmologists who provide information required for issuance or renewal of an applicant’s driver’s license. Under current law, no optometrist or ophthalmologist reporting in good faith information regarding visual condition or other ability to safely operate a motor vehicle is subject to a civil action for damages as a result of reporting such information to the Division of Vehicles of the Kansas Department of Revenue or the Medical Advisory Board. The bill would specify no optometrist or ophthalmologist reporting to the Division or the Medical Advisory Board in good faith any information relating to vision would be liable to any person subsequent to the issuance or the renewal of a driver’s license to the applicant.
S Sub for HB 2458 passed 38-1. I voted YES.
HB 2462 would amend law to remove committee membership requirements for legislators appointed to the Joint Committee on State-Tribal Relations. Under current law, legislators appointed to the Joint Committee on State-Tribal Relations must be selected only from the membership of the standing committees on Federal and State Affairs and Judiciary, the House Committee on Taxation, or the Senate Committee on Assessment and Taxation. HB 2462 passed 39-0.
HB 2476 would authorize two distinctive license plates related to military honors and four distinctive
license plates related to the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) for issuance on or after January 1, 2023. The military honors plates would be available to recipients of the Silver Star or the Bronze Star, and the KDWP plates would represent state parks, hunting, fishing, and nongame wildlife. HB 2476 passed 39-0.
HB 2481 would authorize members of the Kansas Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (KP&F) to purchase service time credited as KP&F service for eligible prior in-state, non-federal governmental employment. Under the bill, eligible members would not be able to purchase service that is already credited as service time in another pension plan. The bill would allow the purchase to be paid through a single, lump-sum payment or through payroll deductions. Costs would be determined by an actuarial calculation based on the member’s current age and salary, the number of years being purchased, and the actuarial assumptions in place at the time of purchase. Under current law, members of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) may purchase service time for prior in-state, non-federal governmental employment. In addition, while current law allows members of KP&F to purchase service time for prior military service, these members cannot purchase service time for prior in-state, nonfederal governmental employment. HB 2481 passed 39-0.
HB 2489 would make several amendments to the Technology-enabled Fiduciary Financial
Institutions Act (TEFFI Act) pertaining to an updated definition, fingerprinting requirement, existing application fee, governing documents, evaluation and examination, customer disclosure, and services and authorized activities. The bill also would amend the definition of “financial institution” within a statute requiring the reporting of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of certain individuals to include fiduciary financial institutions. HB 2489 passed 37-0.
HH 2490 amends law governing the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) savings program to
make the program compliant with the federal Internal Revenue Code and mandatory federal regulations. The program allows individuals with a disability and their families to save private funds without violating federal means-tested benefit requirements. HB 2490 passed 39-0.
HB 2547 would amend and enact law supplemental to the Captive Insurance Act to allow a
technology-enabled fiduciary financial institution (TEFFI) insurance company to operate as an authorized captive insurance company in Kansas. HB 2547 passed 36-1. I voted yes.
HB 2559 would establish the Kansas Cotton Boll Weevil Act and create the Kansas Cotton Boll Weevil Program, which would be administered by a board of directors. The Board would consist of five voting members and three ex officio non-voting members: the Dean of the Kansas State University College of Agriculture, or the Dean’s designee; the Secretary of Agriculture, or the Secretary’s designee; and the Association chairperson, or the chairperson’s designee. The Board would have the authority, for the purposes of administering and implementing the Program, to establish and implement a cotton pest monitoring plan. The bill would require an individual entering private property to perform inspections or to set or monitor traps to notify the owner, operator, or lessee of the property for the purpose of the entry and allow any present and notified owner, operator, or lessee, or any representative, to accompany the individual conducting the inspections or setting or monitoring traps. The bill would allow the Board to authorize the development and implementation of an eradication plan with the Secretary of Agriculture, pursuant to the Plant Pest and Agriculture Commodity Certification Act. After considerable debate, HB 2559 passed 32-6. I Voted no because I felt this should be a voluntary program for cotton farmers, and it unnecessarily increased costs for those farmers who can just as easily test for boll weevils on their own, and mitigate the spread if needed.
S Sub for HB 2567 would alter the calculation of local foundation aid within the Kansas School
Equity and Enhancement Act (KSEEA) by removing federal impact aid from the formula. It would also exclude the Fort Leavenworth school district and virtual school students from the capital improvement state aid determination. S Sub for HB 2567 passed 39-0.
HB 2568 would update the Kansas Mortgage Business Act (KMBA) to allow certain mortgage business to be conducted remotely and make changes to definitions and branch licensure and other registration requirements for mortgage companies. HB 2568 passed 38-1. I voted YES.
HB 2595 makes certain antique vehicle titling procedures applicable to vehicles having a model year of 1960 or later instead of 1950 or later. HB 2595 passed 39-0.
HB 2605 would expand and clarify the requirements for the Veterinary Training Program for Rural
Kansas at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine and create an advisory
committee to oversee the Program. HB 2605 passed 39-0.
HB 2703 would amend law related to unemployment compensation regarding out-of-state
reimbursing employers, fund control tables, solvency and credit rate schedules, and the My Reemployment Plan program. HB 2703 passed 39-0.

HB 2299 would amend the Code of Criminal Procedure to extend, from 96 hours to 240 hours,
the time period within which a search warrant must be executed after it is issued. HB 2299 passed 39-0.
HB 2712 would establish the Kansas Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial Act. The U.S. Semiquincentennial, on July 4, 2026, will commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the country. HB 2712 passed 39-0.
HB 2456 would authorize the Secretary of Wildlife and Parks to issue a Kansas kids lifetime
combination hunting and fishing license on or after January 1, 2023, to Kansas residents of certain ages upon payment of a fee, which could be paid on behalf of the child. For a child five years of age or younger, the license fee would be $300 and for a child six years of age or older, but not more than 12 years of age, the license fee would be $400. On and after July 1, 2027, the license fees could be increased up to an additional $100, with approval from the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission. HB 2456 passed 39-0.
HB 2537 would amend a statute governing hearings by the Commissioner of Insurance to add a provision allowing a person subject to any order, as defined in the Kansas Administrative Procedure Act (KAPA), issued by the Commissioner to request a hearing on such order. If such a request is made, the bill would require the Commissioner to conduct a hearing in accordance with KAPA provisions.
HB 2537 passed 39-0.
HB 2386 would establish requirements and restrictions for the payment and reimbursement of dental
services. HB 2386 passed 39-0.
Sub for HB 2466 would create the Promoting Advancement in Computing Knowledge Act (PACK
Act), the Computer Science Pre-service Educator Program, and authorize the State Board of Education to provide grants to high-quality professional learning providers. The PACK Act would require, beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, each secondary school operated by a school district to offer at least one computer science course, or submit to the State Board of Education a plan describing how the district intends to offer a computer science course and in which school year such course will be offered. Sub for HB 2466 passed 28-11. I voted YES.
HB 2228 would create and amend law related to sexual assault evidence kits and collection of evidence related to abuse or sexual assault. It would create law requiring all law enforcement agencies in Kansas to adopt a written policy requiring submission of all sexual assault kits that correspond to a law enforcement report of sexual assault to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Criminalistics Laboratory, Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI), or another accredited forensic laboratory. The bill would require the policy to ensure such submission occurs within 30 business days from collection of the kit for examination and to include a procedure to ensure the examination results are received by the investigating officer.
All law enforcement agencies in Kansas would be required to collaborate with the county or district attorneys in the appropriate jurisdiction regarding the contents of the policies required by the bill, and the bill would require each law enforcement agency’s policy to be made available to all law enforcement officers employed by the agency and to be available for public inspection during normal business hours. The bill would require the policies to be adopted and implemented by all law enforcement agencies in Kansas prior to January 31, 2023. HB 2228 passed 39-0.
HB 2607 would amend time limitations for habeas corpus motions under KSA 60-1507 and would amend the Kansas Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA) regarding the notice of release or anticipated release of sexually violent predators (SVPs). Under continuing law, such motions must be filed within one year of the final order of the last Kansas appellate court to exercise jurisdiction on a direct appeal or the termination of such appellate jurisdiction or the denial of a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court or issuance of such court’s final order following granting such petition. The bill would add that such motions would have to be filed within one year of the decision of the district court denying a prior motion under the section, the opinion of the last appellate court in this state to exercise jurisdiction on such prior motion, or the denial of the petition for review on
such prior motion, whichever is later. HB 2607 passed 39-0.
HB 2377 would create and amend law related to driving under the influence (DUI) and driving a commercial motor vehicle under the influence (commercial DUI). The bill also would make additional amendments regarding diversions and commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs). HB 2377 passed 38-1. I voted YES.
SB 155 would update statutes related to newborn screening and designate those statutes as the Newborn Screening Act. The bill would also establish the Universal Newborn Screening Program (UNSP) within the Act. SB 155 passed 39-0.

HB 2608 removes provisions authorizing criminal restitution to be enforced as a civil judgment and authorizing judicial districts to contract for collection services for criminal restitution. HB 2608 passed 34-5. I voted YES.
HB 2541 would shift deposit of certain fees and surcharges from Judicial Branch fee funds to the State General Fund. HB 2541 passed 34-5. I voted YES.
Forecasting the Future
Next week, Conference Committees will meet. Conference Committees are held when the Senate and the House versions of the same bill do not agree. Three members of the Senate (appointed by the President) and three members of the House (appointed by the Speaker) meet to work on a compromise for each Chamber to consider. These members are usually the Committee Chair, Vice-Chair, and Ranking Member of the respective Committees that passed the bill. We then consider the Conference Committee Reports on the Senate floor. There will be some late nights ahead!

We will then adjourn for three weeks, and return on April 25th for the veto session.

I encourage you to follow the happenings at the statehouse in the following ways:

YouTube Streaming:

I look forward to reporting on our progress again very soon. 

Your Senator,

Mike Thompson