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Legislative Update from Representative Shannon Francis
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Newsletter - March 26, 2022 

 
Lead Liberal Congratulations to this year’s graduates of LEAD Liberal. Lead teaches servant leadership to Liberal’s future and current leaders.  Thank you Lisa Oliver Hatcher, Molly Colvin, Tyler Prater, Bill Prater and the many others that dedicate their time every year to make this program happen.   

Congratulations to the Liberal Chamber of Commerce’s Merit award winners, Mel Patterson and Ada Linenbroker. These women contribute so much to the success of our community.  The Chamber is one of the networking centers of our community.  They represent Liberal locally, statewide, and nationally.   Whether it’s advocating for “Focus on the Future” and highway improvements, or glamping and “Duck Races” the Chamber the Chamber fills a vital role in our community.

Busy Week of Debating Legislation;
Moving Towards First Adjournment

March 23rd marked an important deadline in the 2022 Legislative Session. That is the date by which all non-exempt bills, from committees other than Appropriations, Federal and State Affairs, and Taxation, had to be considered in either chamber.  This week the House debated and approved 55 bills.  Senate bills that were not amended by the House will be advanced to the Governor for her consideration.  Over the coming week, Conference Committees will be meeting to hammer out differences between House and Senate versions of bills that have passed at least one chamber.  The Legislature will then vote on Conference Committee Reports, which reflect the bill language agreed upon by members of each conference committee.  These reports will be voted on prior to the Legislature’s First Adjournment deadline, which is set for April 1.

Highlights of legislation
passed this week include:

  • Implementation of the 988 Suicide prevention and mental health crisis hotline in Kansas.  Federal law has created 988 as an alternative to using the 911 system.  The 988 system will connect people in crisis to immediate care and assistance (SB 19)
  • Honoring the Gold Star Families of Kansas with a memorial to be placed on the Statehouse grounds (SB 330)
  • Providing accountability with performance-based contracts within the foster care system and ensuring that children and families in need are receiving satisfactory care (SB 12)
  • Protecting Kansas ranchers with passage of the Fake Meat labeling bill (SB 261)

House Budget Bill Reflects
Republican Priorities

The House passed SB 267, the state budget minus K-12 expenditures.  The K-12 budget can be found in HB 2512.  Priorities in the budget include:
  • Setting aside $500 million in the Rainy-Day Fund, so that our families will not be on the hook for higher taxes as the economy ebbs and flows.
  • Caring for our most vulnerable citizens with additional dollars for social service programs.
  • Removing the Governor’s one-time tax handout, recommending meaningful tax cuts.
  • Addressing rural housing needs with a $50 million appropriation.  House Republicans continue to work on legislation to best address how to keep rural Kansas thriving.
  • Crafting reasonable recommendations on state employee pay by funding essential retention pay, while providing an increase for other employees.  In addition, the bill requests an interim study to look at pay issues across all agencies.
 
The budget bill now goes to a conference committee to work out differences between the House and Senate budgets.

Fully Funded Education Bill Advances


The House advanced HB 2512, an education bill containing constitutional school finance appropriations and adjustments to K-12 policy.  HB 2512 also adds $5 million to fund the Safe and Secure grants, which were left unfunded by both the Governor and the State Board of Education. The policy changes promote transparency, ensure accountability, and improve achievement.  Key provisions include:
  • Helps students recover credits and obtain a diploma through the “Virtual School Dropout Student State Aid”
  • Prioritizes 3rd grade literacy, an agreed upon goal between the Legislature and the Kansas State Board of Education.  Addresses the lack of proficiency with 3rd grade readers by providing Every Child Can Read Act.
  • Provides additional accountability with requirement for two types of needs assessments, giving local boards more information on challenges faced by the children in their district.
  • Increases number of mandatory reporters for child abuse by expanding the list to include KSHSAA employees to the list.
  • Creates flexibility for students by allowing for part-time enrollment and the opportunity to earn course credit through alternative education sources.
  • Addresses the concern for lack of proficiency in math, by encouraging districts to utilize virtual math programs to increase students’ math competency.

Other Notable Legislation this week


HB 2447 Concerning crimes, punishment, and criminal procedure; relating to preliminary hearings; Permitting witness testimony through two-way electronic audio-video communication device. 
 
HB 2495 Prohibiting the disclosure of personal information about a person's affiliation with an entity that is exempt from federal income taxation under section 501(c) of the federal internal revenue code. 
 
HB 2504 Allowing the printing of the international symbol of access for disabled veteran distinctive license plates and certain parking privileges for disabled veterans who meet certain physical disability definitions.
 
HB 2609 Allowing restricted driver's license holders to drive to and from worship services for any religious organizations at age 15. 
 
HB 2615 Allowing K-12 students to transfer to and attend school in any school district in the state.
 
HB 2631 Enacting the career technical education credential and transition incentive for employment success act to provide additional state aid for school districts based on students obtaining a credential. 
 
HB 2632 Requiring a referral of an alleged victim of child abuse or neglect for an examination as part of an investigation, creating a program in the department of health and environment to provide training and payment and defining child abuse review and evaluation providers, networks, examinations and referrals and child abuse medical resource centers.
 
HB 2716 Concerning the authorization of educational benefits for spouses and dependents of deceased, injured, or disabled public safety officers and employees and certain deceased, injured, or disabled military personnel and prisoners of war; definitions; increasing the limitation on reimbursements to Kansas educational institutions. 
 
HB 2717 Prohibiting any municipality from preventing the enforcement of federal immigration laws, requiring municipal law enforcement agencies to provide written notice to each law enforcement officer of the officer's duty to cooperate with state and federal agencies in the enforcement of immigration laws and requiring any municipal identification card to state on its face that it is not valid for state identification.
 
SB 34 Requiring review of administrative rules and regulations every five years. 
 
SB 199 Providing for short-term, limited-duration health plans. 
 
SB 200  Expanding the pharmacist's scope of practice to include initiation of therapy for influenza, strep throat, or urinary tract infection.
 
SB 300 Amending the Kansas racketeer influenced and corrupt organization act to add a person who has engaged in identity theft or identity fraud to the definition of "covered person" and add identity theft and identity fraud to the definition of "racketeering activity." 
 
SB 440 Establishing when an occupational therapist may treat a patient without referral from a physician and requiring occupational therapists to maintain professional liability insurance.
 
SB 479 Authorizing a permanent memorial commemorating the Kansas suffragist movement to be placed in the state capitol and establishing the Kansas suffragist memorial fund. 
 
SB 483 Increasing criminal penalties for theft and criminal damage to property involving remote service units such as automated cash dispensing machines and automated teller machines.
 
SB 493 Prohibiting cities and counties from regulating plastic and other containers designed for the consumption, transportation or protection of merchandise, food, or beverages. 

 
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” - Abraham Lincoln
 

Pages and other Student Opportunities

This year, the Page program is active again. The Page program is designed for students in middle school, junior high or the first years of high school. Working as a page in the Kansas Legislature is an excellent way to learn more about the legislative process. Older high school and college students can contact me about spending the day in Topeka assisting in my office, attending committee meetings, and learning more about the daily operations of the legislature. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact me for more information.

Constituent Services

Thank you for the opportunity to continue serving working families in Seward County. Please reach out to me any time I can assist you with a state agency concern. I do ask that you send the request to me by email. This ensures that I get the information correctly to the agency we are working with. You can reach me when I’m in Topeka by email Shannon.francis@house.ks.gov, by phone (785) 296-7466, or by mail at 300 SW 10th Avenue, 274-W, Topeka, KS 66612

Contact Shannon

At the Legislature

Room: 274-W
State Capitol Building
300 SW 10th Street
Topeka, KS 66612
Phone: 785-296-7466
shannon.francis@house.ks.gov

At Home:

1501 Tucker Court
Liberal, Kansas 67901
Phone: 620-624-9571
sfran83384@aol.com

Useful Resources

State of Kansas Website

The Kansas Legislature

Legislative Bill Reports

Listen Live to Proceedings

Find a State Agency

Kansas Unclaimed Property

Current Road Conditions

National Do Not Call List

Kansas Charity Check

Useful Phone Numbers

Department On Aging
800-432-3535

Child/Adult Abuse Hotline
800-922-5330

Child & Family Services
888-369-4777

Consumer Protection
800-432-2310

Crime Tip Hotline
1-800-KSCRIME
(1-800-572-7463)

Crime Victims'
Information Referral
800-828-9745

Disability / Social
Security Fraud Hotline
800-269-0271

Edler Abuse Hotline
800-842-0078
Governor Laura Kelly
Constituent Services
785-368-8500

Highway Road Conditions
1-866-511-5638
In-State Dial 511

Housing Hotline
800-752-4422

KanCare Clearinghouse
800-792-4884

Kansas Lottery
800-544-9467

Legislative Hotline
800-432-3924

Mental Health Services
888-582-3759

National Suicide
Prevention Lifeline
800-273-8255

School Safety Hotline
877-626-8203

Taxpayer Assistance
785-368-8222

Tax Refund Status
800-894-0318

Unclaimed Property
800-432-0386

Unemployment Insurance
800-292-6333

Voter Registration
800-262-8683

Welfare Fraud Hotline
800-432-3913

Workmans Compensation
800-332-0353

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Shannon Francis for State Representative · 1501 Tucker Court · Liberal, KS 67901 · USA

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