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Contact Susan

 
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 Friend:

I can’t believe we are already at Turnaround! As you will recall, this is where all House bills must be heard and passed out of their committees, debated and passed the House floor, and sent to the Senate. The same goes for bills originating in the Senate. Bills exempt from this process are those which spent time in the budget, tax, or federal and state affairs committees in either chamber. Turnaround produces a flurry of floor activity. This week we debated and passed 63 bills! Detailed below in our Floor Action you will find a sampling of bills passed by large majorities and I voted YES, unless otherwise specified.
 
Bills not having left their original chamber are considered “dead” for the year, meaning their bill number does not go forward. However, the issue is not necessarily dead as the content of a bill can be introduced as an amendment or incorporated into other legislation. 
 
At this point in the legislative session, we are mostly spending our time hearing bills sent to us from the Senate. We are busy in committees and not spending as much time on the House floor, though that will pick up as we get closer to the end of the regular session in early April.

LOCAL ISSUES

HB 2214, which transfers the remaining tract of land from the state to the City of Beloit passed the House with flying colors (124-0). Again, thanks to Jason Rabe and Katie Schroeder for their leadership in this matter. 

FROM THE HOUSE FLOOR - This week’s Calendar

Elections
Current law allows the Secretary of State to determine alternative ballot delivery in emergency situations. HB 2183 would repeal that authority and bar him/her from changing election procedure without the approval of the Legislative Coordinating Council. The bill would also block a Governor from changing election laws or procedures by Executive Order. It passed the House 84-39Hearing testimony
 
Education
HB 2101 extends the university engineering initiative act, which was set to expire this year. The initiative transfers funds from the Kansas Lottery to increase the number of engineering graduates from K-State, KU, and Wichita State. Hearing testimony
 
HB 2085 is the Students’ Right to Know Act, which would require the state to distribute degree prospectus information and potential earnings for careers to all Kansas students beginning in seventh grade. Hearing testimony
 
After the last year, most of us would agree that a basic civics course could be helpful. HB 2039 seeks to require high school students pass a civics test before graduation. This is beyond the legislature’s scope and we should not be meddling in the authority of our local school districts to set curriculum and determine graduation eligibility. It passed the House 69-54, I voted NO.

If you moved from outside the state, and are participating in the Rural Opportunity Zones (ROZ) Student Loan Forgiveness Program, HB 2237 extends the income tax credit available through the program to include tax year 2023. Passed 107-16.
 
Business
Are you a business owner? HB 2391 would reduce your paperwork by allowing your business report filings to be completed every other year instead of every year. #redtapereduction
 
HB 2239 would allow Kansas businesses to carry forward operating losses beyond the current cap of ten years.
 
Unemployment claims skyrocketed beginning in March of last year, followed by unemployment fraud reaching epic proportions in the fall. Sub HB 2196 has a number of functions to protect business and employees. 
  • Prevents employers from fraudulent unemployment claims and cover the cost of fraudulent benefits paid since March 12, 2020.
  • Creates the Unemployment Compensation Modernization and Improvement Council, an 11-member board of employers, employees, legislators, and Department of Labor appointees.
  • Requires deployment of new technology to manage the state’s unemployment system (the current system is nearly 30 years old).
  • Ties unemployment benefits to the unemployment rate – when the unemployment rate is at least 6%, benefits can be claimed up to 26 weeks, with a maximum of 16 weeks when the rate is less than 5%.
  • The bill passed 87-36
Crime & Punishment
HB 2228 would require all rape kits must be submitted to the KBI or another accredited agency within 30 days of collection. 
 
Current law defines three types of child abuse. HB 2362 would add four more and establish crimes based on severity and the child’s age. The types of crimes are detailed in the supplemental note, but the following is the least severe and still makes my stomach churn: 
  • Knowingly torturing, cruelly beating, cruelly striking, or cruelly kicking (this conduct would be a severity level 5 person felony if the child is at least 6 years of age but less than 18 years of age and a severity level 3 person felony if the child is under 6 years of age).
HB 2088 would establish Adrian’s Law, requiring the Department for Children & Families to have visual observation of a child who has been reported as a victim of abuse. Adrian Jones was killed by his parents following numerous child abuse reports but no visual observation by the Department. 
 
HB 2231 helps define a pyramid promotional scheme to prohibit “inventory loading” which requires participants to purchase more inventory than is reasonably expected to be sold or used. This passed 78-45.
 
HB 2058 establishes concealed carry license reciprocity with other states, in addition to allowing concealed carry for non-residents under 21, so long as the state in which they are licensed allows it. Finally, the bill creates a provisional concealed carry license for 18 year olds which meet the requirements other than minimum age. This passed the House 85-38.
 
Finance
In an effort to take advantage of interest rates, HB 2405 would allow $1B in bonds to be issued to cover the KPERS unfunded liability. 
 
SB 13 would repeal the property tax lid for local governments, but in exchange, establish an extensive public notification and hearing process. The bill also incorporates provisions of HB 2003, which would allow county treasurers to establish payment plans for property taxes.
Hearing testimony
 
Children
If you are a care provider for a child placed in your care by the state, HB 2116 exempts you from the 20-hour weekly work requirement to receive state childcare assistance. Hearing testimony. The bill easily passed 123-0.
 
Transportation           
HB 2313 would allow Kansas National Guard Reservists a property tax exemption for up to two vehicles. Also passed 123-0.
 
Sub HB 2166 would create the following new license plate options for Kansas drivers: 
  • Military Service Plates: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Space Force
  • KS Educators Support Foundation: Proud Educator plate
  • Passed 124-0.
 
 
You may have heard of Turo, the AirBNB for vehicles. HB 2379 would establish the regulatory framework to allow peer-to-peer vehicle sharing in Kansas. 
 
Determining emergency contact information when someone is in an auto or other accident has been an obstacle for law enforcement. HB 2245 would authorize the division of vehicles to collect emergency contact information for those Kansans holding driver’s licenses and non-driver’s ID cards. The information would remain confidential and disclosed only to law enforcement for injury or death reporting purposes.
 
COMMITTEE WORK

 

Appropriations

Listen Live

This committee’s work is exempt from all legislative deadlines, so our list of work never slows down! There are two pieces of work I want to highlight: 
  1. In 2026, the United States will celebrate its 250th birthday. HB 2353 establishes the Kansas Commission for the United States Semiquincentennial and authorizes cooperation with the United States Semiquincentennial Commission.
  2. We heard from a representative with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which provides books to kids from birth to age five. The books are free of charge to the recipient when a funding mechanism is in place. Kansas has a patchwork of areas participating in the program:
Please wear a mask and stay safe!

Sincerely,

Rep. Susan Concannon
Serving North Central Kansas
Copyright © 2021 Paid for by Concannon for Kansas, Tamarah Pruitt, Treasurer, All rights reserved.


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