Tuesday, February 27, 2018

2018 Session Week Seven Update from State Representative Eileen Horn

by Eileen Horn

Eileen Horn
We just wrapped up week 7 of the legislative session, which marks “turnaround.”  This means that all of the bills that originated in one chamber (House or Senate) need to be voted on and sent to the opposite chamber. Below, I’ll highlight some key discussions and votes that took place during these busy weeks:   
But First, Mark Your Calendars!
State Senator Tom Holland and I will be hosting town hall meetings on Sunday, March 11th in Baldwin City and Eudora to hear from YOU.  Please join us:
Baldwin City: 1:00p.m. – 2:00p.m. @ Lumberyard Arts Center (718 High Street)
Eudora: 2:30p.m. – 3:30p.m. @ Community Room, Eudora Community Rec Ctr (1630 Elm Street
Issues to Watch:
Medicaid Expansion Passes Senate Health and Welfare Committee:
Senate Bill 38, titled the KanCare Bridge to a Healthy Kansas Program, would expand Medicaid services. SB 38 would expand Medicaid services to include adult applicants under 65 years of age, who are not pregnant and whose income does not exceed 133.0 percent of the federal poverty level ($16,040 for a single individual or $32,718 for a family of 4). Medicaid expansion passed through both the Kansas House and Senate last year, but was vetoed by then-Governor Sam Brownback.
Expert Witness for School Finance Presents to Committee
In the Gannon case on school finance in Kansas, Republican leadership hired an expert witness to assist with determining the correct amount of K-12 education funding. That witness, Lori Taylor, presented to both the House K-12 Budget and Senate Committees on Friday, February 23rd.  The Topeka Capitol Journal provided coverage of the presentation.
Over the last two weeks, we voted on more than 60 bills.  All passed out of the House.  Below are some of the more interesting ones:
HB 2506: This bill will allow cities, as well as certain organizations as authorized by current law, to take temporary possession of abandoned property for purposes of rehabilitating the property.  I voted YES.
HB 2476: This bill will create and amend law related to the sale of alcoholic candy and to the sale of domestic beer in refillable containers (i.e. growlers). The bill would define “alcoholic candy” as any candy or other confectionary product with an alcohol content greater than 0.5 percent alcohol by volume. I voted YES.
HB 2498: This bill will prohibit state agencies and municipalities from prohibiting any individual from wearing tribal regalia or objects of cultural significance. I voted YES.
HB 2539: This bill will amend the qualifications for candidacy for several statewide elected offices. The bill would require every candidate for the office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Treasurer, and State Commissioner of Insurance be a qualified elector of Kansas (over 18, current resident of KS). The bill also would require a candidate for the office of the Attorney General to be licensed to practice law in Kansas.  I voted NO.
HB 2551: This bill prohibits privatization of any correctional or juvenile correctional facility operated by a state agency. I voted YES.
HB 2480: This bill amends the definition of “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” in the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Act to expand protections for victims of domestic violence.  I voted YES.
HB 2571: This bill will amend the statute governing disclosure of audio or video recordings made by law enforcement using a body camera or a vehicle camera (law enforcement recordings).  It allows heirs, parents, and attorneys of a victim to view the recordings within 20 days of the incident.  I voted YES.
HB 2530: This bill will add an emergency medical services (EMS) attendant to the list of mandatory reporters of abuse, neglect, exploitation, therefore expanding the number of public servants who are keeping an eye out for abuse victims.  I voted YES.
HB 2459:  This bill provides some major reforms in our civil asset forfeiture law, protecting citizens who have had their property seized by law enforcement agencies.  I voted YES.
HB 2581: This bill will amend the law related to the crime of giving a false alarm (also known as “swatting”). This bill would increase the criminal penalties for calling law enforcement and reporting a crime that is not occurring.  It was named the “Finch Law” after the Wichita victim of swatting this past year.  I voted YES.
HB 2477:  The Pet Animal Act was amended to change fees, and to require unannounced inspections of animal breeders.  These changes help protect pets in our state and help address our puppy mill problem in Kansas. I voted YES.
HB 2674:  This bill creates the Telemedicine Act in Kansas.  This is a major step forward as it requires insurance companies to cover telemedicine services the same as in-person services.  Telemedicine will provide better access to health care, especially in rural Kansas.  I voted YES.
HB 2579:  This bill provides compensation to victims wrongfully imprisoned. It includes annual monetary amounts for damages.  I voted YES.
HB 2700: This bill amends the law related to the disclosure of public records to require the redaction of all portions of an individual’s social security number on any document or record before it is made available for public inspection or copying. I voted YES.
HB 2496: This bill enacts the Nurse Licensure Compact. The Compact would allow RNs and LPNs to have one multi-state license, with the privilege to practice in the home state of Kansas and in 29 other Compact states.  I voted YES.
HB 2701: This bill establishes the Statewide Broadband Expansion Task Force. I voted YES.
To see the full list of bills considered and passed during turnaround, click here.
It is an honor to serve as your state representative.  I both value and need your input on the various issues facing our state government! Please feel free to contact me with your comments and questions.  
My office address is Room 54-S, 300 SW 10th, Topeka, KS 66612.  
You can reach me at (785) 296-7652 (office) or (913) 708-3929 (cell).  
Additionally, you can e-mail me at eileen.horn@house.ks.gov.  
You can also follow the legislative session online at  www.kslegislature.org

In service,

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