TOPEKA — A total of 98 bills became law during the 2023 Kansas Legislative session.
Of those bills, 77 have provisions that become effective on July 1, 2023 (generally referred to as “publication in the statute book”). A summary of those bills is reported below:
Democrats and Republicans clashed over abortion during debates. Democrats pushed back on several Republican proposals to place restrictions on abortion practices after the state voted to uphold abortion rights last year.
Republicans overrode democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s veto on some of the proposals that are set to take effect July 1.
That includes the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, HB 2313. The new law requires emergency care and legal protections for infants born alive after a failed abortion.
Another abortion law, HB 2264, would amend the Women’s Right to Know Act. It’s temporarily blocked from being enforced, as a legal battle is underway.
The law would require physicians to tell patients that a drug-induced abortion can be reversed.
The law also adds to the definition of abortion that the use or prescription of any instrument,
medicine, drug, or any other means to terminate the pregnancy of a woman does not mean an
“abortion” when done with the intent to:
- Preserve the life or health of the unborn child;
- Increase the probability of a live birth;
- Remove a dead unborn child who died as a result of natural causes in utero,
- accidental trauma, or a criminal assault on the pregnant woman or the unborn
- child; or
- Remove an ectopic pregnancy.
The law affirmatively states that “abortion” does not include the prescription, dispensing,
administration, sale or use of any method of contraception.
DEFINING ‘BIOLOGICAL SEX’
SB 180, which would establish the ‘Women’s Bill of Rights,’ defines biological sex in several areas. This includes restrooms, locker rooms, prisons and domestic violence centers.
While the bill does not provide enforcement mechanisms, Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach issued a legal opinion on the new law, during a press conference Monday. Kobach stated that birth certificates and drivers’ licenses must reflect an individual’s sex at birth.
Supporters say that the new law protects women’s rights, but it’s taken heat from transgender rights advocates and the ACLU of Kansas. Opponents argue it’s an ‘erasure bill’ that targets transgender people.
Another law, S Sub for HB 2138, would require school districts to provide separate accommodations for students of each biological sex on overnight school district sponsored trips.
HB 2238, creating the ‘Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,’ was also touted by supporters as a bill that leveled the playing field in women’s sports. The new law prevents transgender athletes from playing on women’s sports teams.
KSHSAA, the state high school activities association established a new rule, requiring students to present their first birth certificate to verify their biological sex. If they’re not able to, then a physician would have to sign off on documentation, verifying the athlete’s “sex at birth.”
The Director of KSHSAA discussed the changes to their transgender athlete policy with Kansas Capitol Bureau in an exclusive interview.
Starting July 1, human smuggling will be a level-five felony in Kansas. It could land someone in prison for years. According to legal experts, the law is also raising questions over how it will be enforced.
HB 2350, defines the crime of human smuggling as intentionally transporting, harboring or concealing someone when a person “knows or should have known” that they are entering the U.S. illegally.
This also includes when they benefit financially or receive anything of value. It can also be considered a crime when the person being smuggled is likely to be exploited for financial gain.
Kansas Capitol Bureau spoke with David Treviño, an Immigration Attorney in Lawrence, about what impact the law could have.
FENTANYL TEST STRIPS
Fentanyl test strips will be legal in Kansas, starting July 1. SB 174 changes the definition of “drug paraphernalia” to exclude tests used to detect the presence of fentanyl, ketamine or gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB).
The law also increases criminal penalties for manufacturing or distributing fentanyl.
CONCEALED CARRY FEES
Effective July 1, concealed carry fees in Kansas will become a lot cheaper.
The law eliminates $100 from the total concealed carry license issuance fee, which was set at $132.50, before the provision.
The application fee provided by the new law, H. Sub. for SB 116, is $32.50 payable to the Sheriff of the applicant’s county of residence, and the fee to the Office of the Attorney General is reduced to $0. The minimum age to apply for a concealed carry handgun license is 18 years of age.
HB 2059 amends several provisions of the Kansas Liquor Control Act, the Kansas Cereal Malt Beverage Act and the Club and Drinking Establishment Act.
One of the more highlighted features of the proposal is the expansion of common consumption areas in the state. This would allow for local governments to have more flexibility in designating areas for drinking.
The bill also permits restaurants to allow dogs in outside areas on their premises and allows dogs in microbreweries upon meeting specific conditions.
- S. Sub. for HB 2053– Providing for a Presidential Preference Primary election on March 19, 2024.
- SB 221– Amending statutes concerning election officials, election crimes and election procedures. Kansas Capitol Bureau spoke with Secretary of State Scott Schwab about the long list of changes under the new law, in an exclusive interview.
- HB 2087– The bill requires recognized political parties to adopt procedures for the party’s selection of presidential electors and select electors in accordance with such procedures.
- HB 2092– Reapportioning the districts of certain members of the Washburn University board of regents who are appointed by the City of Topeka.
- HB 2138– In addition to requiring separate accommodations based on biological sex for overnight school trips, this bill also has several other education provisions. The bill also permits certain local broadcasters to broadcast a school’s postseason activities. The bill also allows citizens to request the State Board to conduct an administrative review of a resolution to close a school building.
- SB 66– Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact– Enacting the interstate teacher mobility compact to recognize equivalent teacher licenses across member states
- HB 2322– Revising the definition of “children with disabilities” for purposes of providing special education to replace emotional disturbance with emotional disability.
- HB 2080– Virtual state assessments for students in virtual school-enacts law supplemental to the Virtual School Act to allow any student enrolled full-time in a Kansas virtual school to take statewide assessments, required by state law, in a virtual setting.
- HB 2290– Authorizing the affiliation of northwest Kansas technical college and north central Kansas technical college with Fort Hays state university.
Crime and Law Enforcement
- SB 174– In addition to decriminalizing fentanyl test strips, the law increases penalties for committing battery against a healthcare provides. It also amends the crime of interference with a law enforcement officer, and extends the prosecutorial authority of the Attorney General.
- S. Sub. for HB 2010– Firearm-related crimes and sentencing; 2003 SB 123 program eligibility; post-release supervision time.
- HB 2216– Suspended Licenses-Removing the mandatory term of imprisonment as a penalty for driving with license that is canceled, suspended or revoked for failure to pay fines.
- SB 189– Law Enforcement Hiring– Authorizing state and local law enforcement agencies to receive files and information about an applicant from other agencies that received an application for employment from the applicant or conducted an employment background investigation on the applicant.
Federal and State Affairs
- HB 2269– ‘Tobacco 21’– Amending the Kansas cigarette and tobacco products act to raise the minimum age to 21 years old for the sale, purchase or possession of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes or tobacco products.
- SB 3– State Land Fossil– Designating Silvisaurus condrayi as the official state land fossil.
- S. Sub. for HB 2170–Donor Intent Protection Act– Creating the donor intent protection act to provide enforcement of donor-imposed restrictions on philanthropic gifts of endowment funds or to endowment funds
- S. Sub. for HB 2127– Child Sex Abuse Statute of Limitations– Removes statute of limitations for prosecution for childhood sexual abuse
- SB 217– Electronic tracking; timeframes of protective orders
- SB 243– Settlement agreements involving minors-Providing requirements and procedures for settlement agreements involving a minor.
- HB 2172– Uniform Decanting Act-The bill defines various terms used throughout the UTDA. Among the definitions in the bill: “Decanting power” is defined to mean the power of an authorized fiduciary under the UTDA to distribute property of a first trust to one or more second trusts or to modify the terms of the first trust
- HB 2326– Scrap Metal Theft Reduction Act; catalytic converters – Extending the sunset date on the scrap metal theft reduction act and clarifying that catalytic converters are covered by the act.
- HB 2131– Amends Kansas Judicial Council mission and funding
Courts and Juvenile Justice
- SB 75– Rate of legal interest for civil tort actions – In all civil tort actions filed on or after July 1, 2023, the rate is set at two percentage points below the rate specified as calculated and published by the Secretary of State each July, as provided by continuing law. [Note: KSA 16-204(e)(1) outlines the calculation and publication schedule for such rates.]
- SB 228– County jail administration and reimbursement costs– The bill requires, whenever a person is in the custody of a county jail awaiting examination, evaluation, or treatment pursuant to the Kansas Code of Criminal Code of Procedure, the Secretary for Aging and Disability Services (Secretary) to reimburse such county for costs related to the custody at the rate of $100 per day.
- HB 2027– Slayer Rule – Kansas Probate Code– amends the “slayer rule” in the Kansas Probate Code to create a procedure to prevent the distribution of estate assets until the resolution of criminal proceedings involving a person who has interest in the estate and who has been arrested or charged with the felonious killing of the decedent.
- HB 2065– Legal name changes in divorce– Allowing a court to change a spouse’s name to a name that is different than a maiden or former name during a divorce proceeding.
- HB 2021– Evidence-based program account expenditures; agency collaboration in juvenile offender and child-in-need-of-care cases.
- HB 2130– Amends the Kansas Probate Code.
- HB 2240– Notice regarding child in qualified residential treatment program-Requiring the clerk of the district court to give notice of qualified residential treatment program placement.
Social Services and Retirement
- HB 2094– Public Assistance Eligibility– The bill requires the Secretary for Children and Families (Secretary), or the Secretary’s designee, to review a parent’s child support compliance at certain specified times. The bill also amends law pertaining to eligibility requirements for the food assistance program (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) to require work registrants ages 50 through 59 without dependents who are not exempt under federal law to participate in an employment and training program.
- HB 2100– Kansas Public Investments and Contracts Protection Act
Tax and Insurance
- HB 2002– Creates two sales tax exemptions, authorizes additional sales tax authority for Grant and Dickinson counties, makes various changes to property tax law, and establishes a requirement for filing the release of tax warrants by the Secretary of Revenue.
- SB 24– Autism Spectrum Disorder Coverage– Changing the required number of employees contained in the definitions of “large employer” and “small employer” for purposes of coverage for autism spectrum disorder.
- SB 85– Kansas Travel Insurance Act– The bill addresses the licensure and registration of limited lines travel insurance producers (travel insurance producers) and travel retailers, establishes a premium tax for travel insurers, regulates the sale and marketing of travel insurance and travel protection plans, provides for travel administrators, and establishes standards for travel insurance policies.
- HB 2197–First-time Home Buyer Savings Account Act-Providing a procedure for the distribution of a first-time home buyer savings account balance upon the death of an account holder, changing the term “transfer on death” to “payable on death” and resolving a conflict when beneficiaries differ on a financial institution’s account records and tax forms required by the secretary of revenue.
- HB 2093– Group-funded Pools Refund Fund, premium taxes, discontinuing payments to certain group-funded insurance pools, COBRA coverage for families of fallen firefighters.
- SB 119– Various changes to insurance-related statutory definitions and requirements.
- HB 2090– Amends insurance code.
- H. Sub. for SB 244– Kansas General Corporation Code– Updating the Kansas general corporation code, the business entity transactions act, the business entity standard treatment act, the Kansas revised uniform limited partnership act and the Kansas uniform partnership act.
- HB 2042– Self-storage operators and towing service– Authorizing towing by self-storage unit operators of motor vehicles, watercraft or trailers for nonpayment of rent or abandonment and providing for notice to occupants, a right of redemption prior to towing and liability protection for operators.
Workforce and Employment
- Sub. for SB 131– Sports waivers for health care professionals; vaccination administration by pharmacy technicians; behavioral sciences licensure.
- HB 2014– Boiler Safety Act; updates emergency medical services statutes- amends law related to the Boiler Safety Act to remove statutory qualifications of the Chief Inspector of Boiler Safety and deputy inspectors and removes references in emergency medical services (EMS) law to persons holding the instructor-coordinator designation.
- HB 2262– Embalmer apprenticeships prior to mortuary science school- Allowing six months of an embalmer apprenticeship to be completed prior to an individual attending mortuary science school.
- HB 2288– Counseling Compact– establishes the Counseling Compact (Compact) to facilitate interstate practice of licensed professional counselors. The bill also amends law to add a licensure fee relating to the privilege to practice under the Compact.
- HB 2292– Kansas Apprenticeship Act and other grant program funds- expanding apprenticeships with businesses, healthcare organizations and nonprofit organizations through tax credits and grants and to develop teaching apprenticeships with public schools.
- S. Sub. for HB 2060– Medical student loan programs; driver training payments; AO-K to Work program; high school equivalency credential.
- HB 2125– Allows State Board of Cosmetology to issue demonstration and charitable event permits, exempts adult care homes and long-term care units from barbering and cosmetology statutes.
- HB 2015–Court-ordered infectious disease testing– Current law allows the head of an agency or head of an entity that employs certain persons to petition a court to apply for a court-ordered infectious disease test of another person when an employee is exposed to the transmission of bodily fluids of another person during the course of their work. Employees within the scope of this law include corrections officers, emergency services staff, juvenile correctional facility staff, and law enforcement employees. The bill allows a designee of the head of an agency or head of an entity to apply for such court-ordered testing.
- SB 120– Public water supply system approval– The bill allows the Secretary of Health and Environment to adopt rules and regulations authorizing approval of, as part of a continuing program of annual certification by public water supply systems, the replacement of segments of distribution systems.
- HB 2279– Kansas Groundwater Management Act changes– Requiring groundwater management districts to submit annual written reports to the legislature and to provide water conservation and stabilization action plans to the chief engineer.
- HB 2225– Utility rates– Limiting cost recovery for certain electric public utilities’ transmission-related costs.
- SB 49– Requiring installation of light-mitigating technology systems on new and existing wind energy conversion systems subject to certain conditions.
- SB 144– Video Competition Act– Exempting satellite service and video programming services accessed over the internet from the video competition act.
- HB 2226– Kansas Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act– Extending the time period for notice of excavations and permitting use of virtual white-lining for excavations.
Agriculture and Environment
- SB 114– Advanced recycling regulation– Creating definitions for “advanced recycling” and related terms and separating advanced recycling from the current solid waste management system.
- HB 2160– Cotton bale transport– Exempting the transport of cotton bales from the secured load requirements under certain conditions.
- HB 2020– Driver employment status– Providing that the employment status of a driver of a motor carrier does not change as a result of the inclusion of safety improvements on a vehicle and establishing conditions for when a driver is an independent contractor for a transportation network company.
- HB 2298– Highways honoring deceased Kansans– Designating a portion of interstate 435 as the Officer Donald Burton Gamblin Jr. memorial highway and a portion of United States Highway 69 as the Robert Lessen memorial highway.
- HB 2335– Short line railroad projects– authorizes the Rail Service Improvement Fund to be used for qualified track maintenance and increases transfers from the State Highway Fund to the Rail Service Improvement Fund from $5.0 million to $10.0 million annually, starting July 1, 2023. Continuing law authorizes use of these funds for financing, acquisition, or rehabilitation of railroad and rolling stock.
- S. Sub. for HB 2346– City of Topeka and “Back the Blue” distinctive license plates– Providing for the back the blue license plate and the city of Topeka distinctive license plate and allowing distinctive license plates to be personalized license plates.
- HB 2147– Sale of towed vehicles; counterfeit airbags; ground effect lighting- creates and amends law to change procedures regarding purchase of a vehicle that had been towed. It also amends the Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways to add law to prohibit counterfeit airbags and to amend law to authorize certain ground effect lighting on vehicles.
- HB 2019– State cybersecurity and IT projects– Implementing additional reporting requirements for information technology projects and state agencies.
- HB 2332– Division of Tourism; transfer to the Department of Commerce.
- HB 2114– Renaming of the J. Russell (Russ) Jennings Joint Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice Oversight and requiring the committee to monitor the implementation of juvenile justice reforms.
- HB 2082– Authorizes creation of County Code Inspection and Enforcement fund and Municipalities Fight Addiction fund; expands uses of County Equipment Reserve fund.
- HB 2323– Transfer of annexed property between a fire district and city- Providing for the detachment and transfer of fire district property annexed by a city.
- HB 2336– Airport authority bonding; increases to state construction project thresholds.
Legislature and Open Records
- S. Sub. for HB 2395– Kansas Open Records Act exceptions– Continuing in existence certain exceptions to the disclosure of public records under the open records act.
- SB 106– Reconciles amendments in statutes. Technical bill only.