Last Friday marked the last day for
introduction of bills into nonexempt committees. This means the majority of
bills that had a chance at passing this session are already in a committee
awaiting a hearing. How far they proceed will determine the glut of other bills
ahead of them in priority for each committee. The committees have until Friday,
February 28 to get bills of out their house of origin or they fall victim to
turnaround and die. Since this is an outbound year, those bills failing to make
this critical date will not be held over. So the move is on and committees are
in full gear.
As stated above,
the Kansas Legislature will reach its halfway point of the 2014
session on Saturday, March 1 with the passage of the House of Origin deadline,
marking the date in which all non-exempt legislation must advance out of its
house of introduction, or it is considered dead for the remainder of the
several exempt committees will continue to work through legislative initials. These
exempt committees include House Appropriations, Senate
Ways and Means, House and Senate Federal and State Affairs, and House Taxation.
The House and Senate Judiciary committees are not exempt committees and all
legislation must be passed out prior to the deadline to be considered.
The KBA is on track to move both of their
bills out of the House since HB 2398, dealing with the Kansas Limited Liability
Company Act, and HB 2444, dealing with spendthrift trusts, were recommended
favorably by the House Judiciary Committee. Reps. Rob Bruchman and John
Carmichael are tapped to carry theses bills on the House floor later this week
Sen. Jeff King’s bills, based off the Blue
Ribbon Commission Report, also appear to be on track for passage. Each was
approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and is on the Senate Calendar for
debate. These bills include:
note SB 289 was changed to Sub. for HB 2070
In addition, SB 311 made its way out of the
Senate Judiciary Committee. This was not unexpected but will require more
effort to defeat on the House side. The KBA testified against SB 311, the non-economic
cap bill. This bill increases the cap on non-economic damages but allows
evidence of collateral source and changes expert witness testimony rules to
follow the federal model.
The KBA testified against several bills over
the last five days and they include: two apology bills in House Judiciary, one
case management bill in Children and Seniors, and two Judicial Branch
reorganization efforts in Senate Judiciary. These bills are as flows:
can view the written testimony online at http://www.ksbar.org/?2014testimony.
Looking forward, the KBA will support HB 2568
introduced by the Kansas Judicial Council. Several years back the Judicial
Council did a reorganization of all the domestic laws by combining three
chapters into one. HB 2568 is a continuation of the project. The KBA supported
the initial reorganization and all of the clean-up efforts introduced by the
Family Law Advisory Council.
Also opposed was HB 2650, benefit corporations. The Kansas
Corporate, Banking and Business Section was working on a revision of the entire
corporation code. This revision will look at the need for benefit corporations.
The Section met with the drafters of HB 2650, via conference call, this past
summer to indicate our plan to update the corporation code.
The Section will also review HB 2721, enacting
the business entity standard treatment act. This bill,
introduced by the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office, attempts to harmonize the
business filing regulation in Kansas.
Finally, there are several bills that should
be brought to your attention. They include four family law bills, two elder law
bills, and a bill dealing with competency.
- HB 2663, Bad Faith assertions of patent
- HB 2664, Domestic case management
- HB 2665, Repealing the
revised Kansas code for care of children; enacting the Kansas code for minors
- HB 2678, Limiting recovery of attorney fees
to claims of property damage
- HB 2684, Allocating moneys
from driver's license fees to the judicial branch nonjudicial salary
- HB 2696, Child
in need of care code; supervised visits by family members when child is injured
- HB 2699, Excluding corporal punishment from
the crimes of battery, domestic battery, endangering a child
- HB 2711, Public Speech Protection Act
- HB 2716, Adoptions
- HB 2718, Parentage, establishing the
putative father registry
- HB 2719, Uniform Power of Attorney Act