Legislative Update from Representative Shannon Francis

Newsletter - April 10, 2022 


First Adjournment Reached

The session is not over but the legislature is on a short recess before returning for the Veto Session. The recess allows the legislature to await consensus revenue estimating numbers, vetoes from the Governor, and hear from you at home.
The week before the recess we were on the floor debating, voting on bills, and awaiting conference committee reports. Conference committee reports are the product of negotiations when the House and Senate pass different versions of a bill. To work out the differences, conference committees meet. These committees have 6 members and are made up of committee leadership from both houses and both parties. When they find consensus in their negotiations, the final product must be passed by both the House and Senate before going to the Governor. Should the Governor veto any bills during the April break, the Legislature will have the opportunity to consider veto overrides when we return to Topeka on April 25.

Responsible Budget Passes,
Maintains Key Republican Priorities

The House passed SB 267, the appropriations bill, with a vote of 104-12.  The Senate also passed the bill, sending it to the Governor for her consideration.  Any line-item vetoes in the budget can be considered by the Legislature when it returns for the Veto Session.  The priorities include:
  • Securing the Rainy-Day Fund with $500 million appropriated to the Fund.
  • Taking a “save more” instead of “spend more” approach, resisting the urge to overspend one-time federal stimulus dollars. Federal SPARK dollars were allocated to one-time expenditures, not creating future years of expenditure growth.
  • Continuing to invest in mental health, so our children, our veterans, and our families can access services when and where they need them. Additional funds were put in to increase reimbursement rates for those caring for our most vulnerable citizens (the Intellectual and Developmentally Disabled Frail Elderly waivers, behavioral health services).
  • Making smart economic decisions that do not drive up debt by utilizing federal ARPA funds to spur economic development and critical infrastructure at the state’s universities, independent colleges, community colleges and technical colleges.
  • There is also a total of $40 million provided for the Moderate-Income Housing program and the Rural Housing Revolving Loan Program.

Veto Session Priorities

When the House returns later this month, legislation that was agreed upon in conference, but not yet acted upon by the House will be considered. That legislation includes:
  • Creating comprehensive tax legislation, including responsibly addressing a lowering of the food sales tax rate (HB 2106)
  • Building upon on the safety and integrity of our Kansas elections system by addressing ballot boxes (HB 2056), elections, voting and audits (HB 2138), and preventing the Governor from modifying elections laws or procedures without Legislative consent (HB 2252)
  • Fully funding K-12 education and directing policy, including strengthening the Promise Act; addressing school safety and security; increasing proficiency, especially in reading (Every Child Can Read Act) and providing educational opportunities through open enrollment. (HB 2567)
  • Extending the KanCare contracts for Managed Care Organizations (MCOs), allowing the next Governor to consider how best to serve Kansans being served by MCOs while providing Kansans on Medicaid with continuity leading up to the bidding process. The bill also continues limits on the Governor’s power regarding firearms and ammunition and prohibits the Governor from closing places of worship. (HB 2387)

Other Legislation of Note Considered
by the Kansas House Recently

HB 2087 Requires the review of rules and regulations by state agencies every five years and provides an alternative procedure for revocation of certain rules and regulations. The Senate and House passed the conference committee report, and now it goes to the Governor for her consideration.
HB 2239  provides over $90 million in tax relief with over $40 million in property tax relief by increasing the amount of a home’s value that that is exempt from property taxes. This should mean property tax relief for nearly every Kansas homeowner. Other provisions in HB 2239 include increased transparency in property taxation at the local level, allowing for the abatement of property taxes when improvements are destroyed by natural disasters, the creation of a personal tax exemption for disabled veterans, and the creation of a sales tax exemption for agricultural fencing. The Senate and House passed the conference committee report, and now it goes to the Governor for her consideration.
HB 2279 Amending the advanced practice registered nurse authorized scope of practice to permit the prescribing of drugs without a collaboration agreement with a supervising physician.  The House concurred with Senate amendments in conference, 80-34HB 2279 goes to the Governor for her consideration.
HB 2361 authorizing the Supreme Court to adopt rules for specialty court programs; establishing the specialty court funding advisory committee and the specialty court resources fund; authorizing courts to order defendants to participate in specialty court programs; allowing expungement of certain convictions when defendants complete the requirements of such programs. The Senate and House passed the conference committee report, and now it goes to the Governor for her consideration.
HB 2448 Requiring able-bodied adults without dependents to complete an employment and training program to receive food assistance.  The Senate passed the conference committee report, as did the House, 70-46HB 2448 goes to the Governor for her consideration.
HB 2456 Establishing the Kansas kids lifetime combination hunting and fishing license.  The Senate and House passed the conference committee report, and now it goes to the Governor for her consideration.
HB 2476 Adding several distinctive license plates, authorizing the creation and issuance of new distinctive plates for: Silver Star; Bronze Star; four Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks; City of Hutchinson; and Daughters of the American Revolution.  The Senate and House passed the conference committee report, and now it goes to the Governor for her consideration.
HB 2717  prohibits municipalities from restricting law enforcement cooperation with Federal authorities.  HB 2717 also prohibits the use of municipal identification cards from being used to satisfy state proof of identity requirements, including for voter identification. The bill was brought to the Legislature by Attorney General Derek Schmidt.  The House passed the bill last week, 84-38.  The Senate also passed it and now the bill goes to the Governor for her consideration.
SB 58 the Parent’s Bill of Rights ensures parents have a right to information from their child’s school district. This includes:
  • The ability to review their child’s academic and health records
  • The ability to review curriculum material, including any books and magazines used in the classroom
  • The ability to object to any learning material or activity based upon harm to the child or impairment of the parent’s firmly held beliefs, values, or principles and to withdraw the child from those activities
  • The ability to challenge the educational benefit of any book, magazine, or other material available in the school library
The House passed the conference committee report, 67-46, as did the Senate and now goes to the Governor for her consideration.
SB 84 commonly known as Sports Gaming.  The House passed the conference committee report, 63-49  and awaits action by the Senate.
SB 160 The Fairness in Women's Sports Act; restricts participation on women's teams to female students.  The House passed the conference committee report, 74-39, as did the Senate and goes to the Governor for her consideration.
SB 261 Prohibiting the use of identifiable meat terms on the labels of meat analogs when such labels do not include proper qualifying language to indicate that such products do not contain meat.  The House passed the conference committee report, 113-0 and now awaits action by the Senate.
SB 286 relating to the governmental response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Kansas;; creating the crime of interference with the conduct of a hospital; increasing the criminal penalty for battery of a healthcare provider; extending the expanded use of telemedicine and expiring such provisions; extending the suspension of certain requirements related to medical care facilities; modifying the COVID-19 response and reopening for business liability protection act; extending immunity from civil liability for certain healthcare providers, certain persons conducting business in this state and covered facilities for COVID-19 claims until January 20, 2023.  The House passed the conference committee report, 64-51, as did the Senate.  SB 286 goes to the Governor for her consideration.
SB 421 The House passed SB 421 this week to pay down the unfunded portion of our state’s pension system. This keeps our promises to retirees and helps all Kansans by reducing the amount of money we spend on pension funding. That means less spending in the future and less taxes.  The bill will put over a billion dollars into reducing our pension debt and preliminary figures estimate savings of $463.5 million over the first five years.   The House passed the conference committee report, 106-10SB 421 awaits action by the Senate.
SB 446 Allowing restricted driver's license holders beginning at age 15 to drive to and from religious activities held by any religious organization.  The House and Senate passed the conference committee report and now it goes to the Governor for her consideration.
SB 453 establishes a statutory framework for unlicensed employee training courses in adult care homes. And for licensees of the behavioral sciences regulatory board, allows board-approved postgraduate experience to count toward graduate level supervised clinical practicum of supervised professional experience and permits current master's and clinical level licensees to take the addiction counselor's test.  The House and Senate passed the conference committee report and now it goes to the Governor for her consideration.

“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, 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

At Home:

1501 Tucker Court
Liberal, Kansas 67901
Phone: 620-624-9571

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

Child/Adult Abuse Hotline

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Consumer Protection

Crime Tip Hotline

Crime Victims'
Information Referral

Disability / Social
Security Fraud Hotline

Edler Abuse Hotline
Governor Laura Kelly
Constituent Services

Highway Road Conditions
In-State Dial 511

Housing Hotline

KanCare Clearinghouse

Kansas Lottery

Legislative Hotline

Mental Health Services

National Suicide
Prevention Lifeline

School Safety Hotline

Taxpayer Assistance

Tax Refund Status

Unclaimed Property

Unemployment Insurance

Voter Registration

Welfare Fraud Hotline

Workmans Compensation

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