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Contact Susan

Majority Caucus Chair
 
In Topeka:
State Capitol, Room 149-S
785-296-7644
susan@concannonforkansas.com

At home in Beloit:
921 N. Mill Street
Beloit, KS 67420
785-738-8087
susan@concannonforkansas.com


About the 107th

Committee Appointments

Dear Neighbor:

What a week! Between Appropriations and Tax Committees, and the SIX bills I’m working on outside those committees, it has been a crazy year so far. This is also the point in the session when I really look forward to the brain-break of the weekend. Although when I walk in the door at home, the demands of a household whose mom and wife have been gone for a week are waiting on me. Those duties are less taxing, and I can have a glass of wine while folding laundry!
 
About the District

If you’re bored on a Friday night (February 16), turn over to Smoky Hills Public Television (KOOD) for their weekly Kansas Legislature series. It’s a call-in show with an opportunity to discuss the current legislative issues. I’ll be joined by Sen. John Doll (Garden City), Rep. Eber Phelps (Hays) and Rep. Ken Rahjes (Agra). If you miss it, they post previous episodes online. I serve on the KanCare oversight committee and it meets that day, so I will provide an update fresh from the committee.
 
Please join me at Kristy’s in Concordia, March 3 at 9:00 a.m. for a legislative coffee. 
I enjoyed a day with my daughter, Jess Loveless, when the chiropractors had their advocacy day. We are pictured with Sen. Julia Lynn, who Jess interned for in 2007. 
On Farm Bureau Advocacy Day at the Capitol, I had lunch with Scott Chapman of Beloit and my intern Jessie Pringle where we discussed the issues regarding farming in the state. 
I was delighted to visit with Eli Ohlde (Clyde), FFA State President 2017-2018
In the News
Since I last wrote, we have a new governor. Governor Sam Brownback resigned as of January 31 and his Lieutenant was sworn in. This week, Governor Jeff Colyer gave what we’re calling a “State of the State 2.0” speech, since just a few days prior, Governor Brownback gave his own State of the State address.

The new governor is spearheading new transparency efforts:
  • Provide the first 100 pages of an open records request for free
  • Prohibit the use of private email by state officials
  • Aggregate open meetings notices for all departments on a central website
  • Develop performance metrics for each cabinet agency’s core functions
Finally, he announced support for a comprehensive approach to the opioid and methamphetamine epidemic reaching across the United States. Former Rep. Greg Lakin is the new medical director for the Department of Health & Environment and will lead a task force on the issue.
 
Dr. Lakin is one of many new appointments which chart an encouraging direction for this administration. I have found the new appointees to be qualified, open, and engaging with the legislature. I hope this trend continues!


On the Floor
This week’s legislative calendarlive stream
It’s noteworthy that the first bill passed by both chambers and headed to the governor’s desk this year allows construction of a statue of President Dwight Eisenhower on the northwest lawn of the Capitol.
 
American Heart Association Wear Red for Women Day
I was honored to carry Resolution 6048 in the House recognizing Go Red for Women. The majority of the legislature expressed their support on Feb. 8
th by wearing red dresses, jackets, and ties. Heart disease is recognized as the #1 killer of women, causing 1/3 of deaths each year. My office sent out emails throughout the week sharing information on how to prevent heart disease. These messages encouraged women to check their blood pressure, cholesterol & glucose, to stop smoking, lose weight and get active, and lastly, to make healthy food choices.
 
Gun bills:
Last week the House debated and passed two bills related to possession of firearms.
HB 2042 started out as a reciprocity bill to recognize concealed carry licenses from other states. More than half of the states in the US allow 18 year olds to possess a firearm, so this bill would recognize those licenses. An amendment was offered to allow 18-year-old possession in Kansas with a training requirement. For those of us interested in restoring the training requirement to possess a gun in Kansas, this was an important step forward. Additionally, I support allowing each campus to decide if they wish to allow guns on their campuses, and with this move, at least those who are possessing firearms on campus will be required to be trained.
 
HB 2145 was another gun bill which saw a number of amendments. The underlying bill created a few more gun-related crimes of those possessing a firearm while:
  • A fugitive from justice
  • Illegally or unlawfully in the US
  • Convicted of a misdemeanor for domestic violence in the last five years
  • Subject to a restraining order for harassing, stalking, or threatening a child or intimate partner
Net Neutrality
HB 2438 is a bill to prevent conflicts of interest in contracts for information technology consulting contracts with the state. View hearing testimony on the original bill here. However, an amendment was offered on a federal issue you’ve likely heard about – Net Neutrality. While I support many of the tenets of net neutrality (banning “throttling” of internet streaming services), this is a federal issue that is being handled in Washington, DC. Moreover, this is such a huge, multi-state, multi-industry, and wide-ranging concept which involves dozens of stakeholders, that a floor amendment is not an appropriate venue for such an initiative, and should have been proposed in committee for a hearing. I voted against the amendment and supported the underlying bill, which passed unanimously.
 

Committee Work
AppropriationsLivestream link
The Setoff Program was created in 1981 to allow the state to set off money owed to vendors and individuals against debts they owe to the state. HB 2402 would require the state contract with a third-party vendor to help collect those debts. In theory, this will help improve the state’s debt collection and reduce the cost of collecting those debts over the long run.
 
HB 2435—The committee reviewed a bill to amend the Kansas 911 Act to change the frequency that Legislative Post Audit is required to conduct audits of the state 911 system from every three years to every five years. The first audit would be due on or before Dec. 31, 2018. The purpose of the audits is to determine if funding received by Public Safety Answering Points is used appropriately; whether funding collected for the 911 system is adequate; and report on the status of 911 service implementation.
 
The committee heard briefings this week from the
Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association and two regarding Cedar Crest, the Kansas Governor’s official residence.
 
The committee heard several informational briefings this week. Members heard from:
Health & Human Services
HB 2496 would allow Kansas to join the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC), which would enable registered nurses (RN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN) practicing in Kansas to also practice in other states that are a part of the NLC after obtaining a multistate license.
 
For years, insurance companies have reimbursed providers at different rates (or not at all) for telemedicine appointments versus in-person care. There are numerous reasons of cost, efficiency and practicality to support policy for telemed/telehealth payment. I sat on the interim Special Committee on Health to study telemed/telehealth last fall. From that, HB 2674 was written which would create parity in coverage between in-person and telemedicine appointments. The bill has become very complicated and required significant give and take, and many are still unhappy with the bill. We are planning to work the bill this week and expect numerous amendments. It will be a stressful meeting, but we hope to pass it out of committee this week.
 
You’ve probably heard that California’s largest mental hospital is the LA County jail? These issues are also prevalent in Kansas. Those with unmanaged mental health issues often end up in our corrections systems due to lack of access to mental health services.
HB 2549 would clarify existing law to ensure defendants, regardless of the type of charge, could be committed to a state security hospital or any appropriate state, county or private institution to be examined for mental competency.
 
“KanCare 2.0” would not be implemented under
HB 2591. The bill would extend the current Kansas Medical Assistance Program (KanCare 1.0) until Jan. 1, 2022, with no changes in eligibility requirements or limitations to receive state Medicaid services. The hearing on this bill last week showed lots of interest in NOT moving forward with KanCare 2.0 at this time, but raised many questions regarding the procurement process and the opportunity to have new managed care organizations (MCO’s) participate in the process. Again, the KanCare Oversight Committee meets next week.
 
TaxationLivestream link
A recent court case determined that the installation of an appliance or electronic product (television, refrigerator, etc.) by a retailer was considered remodeling and, therefore, exempt from sales tax. HB 2491 would clarify that the sales tax exemption connected with original construction does not include the installation of an appliance or electronic product, nor would the mere installation of an appliance or electronic product make them tax exempt. If the Legislature does not pass the bill, the Department of Revenue estimates Kansas could lose out on $1 million in sales tax each fiscal year.
 
Internet Sales
The committee joined our Senate Assessment & Taxation Committee colleagues for a conference call with Chief Deputy Attorney General Charles McGuigan of South Dakota to learn more about their
internet sales tax case. South Dakota sued online commerce sites Wayfair, Overstock.com and Newegg Inc. after legislators passed a bill in 2016 requiring internet companies with more than $100,000 in annual sales or 200 transactions to remit state sales tax. That directly conflicts with a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the collection of sales tax isn’t required in states in which a company doesn’t have a physical presence. The case is being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court to see if the court will hear the case.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve and represent you in Topeka.

Sincerely,

Rep. Susan Concannon
R-Beloit
Copyright © 2018 Paid for by Concannon for Kansas, Tamarah Pruitt, Treasurer, All rights reserved.


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