Tuesday, February 27, 2018

2018 Session Week Seven Update from Senator Caryn Tyson

by Senator Caryn Tyson

Turnaround – is the halfway point of the legislative session. It is when bills are supposed to have passed the originating chamber and are now proceeding to the other chamber for consideration.  Both chambers were on the floor last week before turnaround, debating several bills.  Over 30 bills were discussed and voted on in the Senate.  Here is a brief overview of major bills debated.  All the bills can be found online at www.KSLegislature.gov.        

Caryn Tyson
Seatbelt usage admissible in court – Currently, evidence that a seatbelt was or was not used cannot be presented in court.  Senate Bill (SB) 296 would allow this information to be used in court cases.  It makes sense that we have transparency in court and that all the facts are available to make an informed decision. The bill passed 25 to 15.  I voted Yes.

Egg repackaging – Senate Substitute (Sub) for SB Bill 414 will allow for eggs to be repacked instead of being thrown away.  If an egg breaks in a container, then all of eggs in the container are thrown away.  This bill will allow the unbroken eggs to be repackaged.  Once repackaged they must meet grade B requirements and shall not be graded higher than grade B.  Talk about government overreach – we are writing a law that says unbroken eggs can be put in another container?  I would have thought this was already happening.  Who’s going to police this?  I voted Yes, as did all the Senate.  Think about all the eggs that have been wasted.    

Allowing Small Businesses to Expense Deductions – SB 303 will allow small businesses to claim expenses on their state income tax return.  In 2011 this legislation was passed and repealed in 2012.  Last year it was left out of the 2017 massive retroactive tax increase.  Corporations and others can expense placing certain property and computer software into service.  SB 303 will allow small businesses to do the same.  The bill is retroactive so if it becomes law, small businesses and farmers who qualify could file amended state income tax returns.  The bill passed 31 to 8.  I supported the bill and voted Yes.

Transparency in Lobbying – SB 394 would require any person attempting to influence a member of the executive and judicial branch to register as a lobbyist.  It’s a start in the right direction.  The only person required to register as a lobbyist now is a person trying to influence legislative action.  The bill passed the Senate unanimously.

Hemp – SB 263 establishes a pilot hemp program in Russell County, allowing the Department of Agriculture and state colleges for research and to work with local farmers who pass a state and federal background check.  The bill passed 36 to 3.  I voted Yes.

Clarification for Poultry Facilities – KS law has restrictions on Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) for hog and dairy but not poultry.  While Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has rules on poultry, SB 405 will require registration and a federal permit for operations over 125,000 broilers with a dry manure system.  The bill passed the Senate 29 to 10.  I voted Yes. 

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.                                                   Caryn

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