TOPEKA (KSNT) – Every member of the Kansas Legislature came together to unanimously pass a bill designed to give victims of child sexual abuse additional legal protections in a rare show of complete bipartisan support Monday.
The Kansas House voted to pass Senate Bill 317 at 120-0 April 3. It had received similar support in the Senate with a vote of 40-0 earlier in the year. The bill now moves to Governor Laura Kelly’s desk for final approval.
SB 317 will amend current state law in dealing with cases of child sexual abuse. New protections for survivors of this kind of abuse, including an extension to the amount of time that victims would be able to seek recovery of damages.
The fiscal note for SB 317 says that the bill would change current state law to eliminate the time period within which notice of claims for recovery of damages against a governmental entity from childhood sexual abuse must be filed. It would also allow prosecution of crimes listed within the bill to be commenced at any time.
The bill would increase the time limit in which an action of recovery of damages may be commenced from three years after the victim turns 18 to age 31 or three years after the date of a criminal conviction related to childhood sexual abuse.
SB 317 was first introduced to the Kansas Legislature in the 2023 session on Thursday, March 16. It was originally sponsored by the Committee on Federal and State Affairs and introduced by Republican Senator Mike Thompson.