Kansas Legislators entered the second week of the session still in a bit of a honeymoon phase. Bills have been rolling out slower than previous years, fewer hearings have been set. Some attribute this to a feeling-out stage with the new administration, while others believe the mass roll-out of bills will hit next week.
There was some big news last week: Gov. Kelly rolled out her Council on Education, created via Executive Order. See: https://www.cjonline.com/news/20190124/gov-laura-kelly-issues-order-authorizing-education-advisory-council
This advisory council will study how best to invest in Kansas education system. There are no legislators on this council.
Not to be outdone, Senate President Susan Wagle created a new tax committee that will consider windfall legislation based on the federal tax cut. President Wagle named herself as chairperson. See: http://www.gctelegram.com/news/20190123/wagle-takes-charge-of-tax-windfall-panel
Sen. Tom Holland (D-Baldwin City) introduced SB 37 – requiring a duly ordained minister of religion or an employee of or volunteer for a religious organization to report certain abuse and neglect of children. Sen. Holland has a constituent who is a victim of abuse and brought this bill on their behalf. See: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/state-government/2019/jan/23/sen-holland-introduces-bill-to-make-church-clergy-mandatory-reporters-of-suspected-sex-crimes/
The KBA introduced two bills this week; Revised LLC Update and the uniform arbitration act contract for insurance fix. The LLC bill is being finalized by the revisor’s office, but the arbitration bill has hit the website. It is: HB 2072 – Amending the uniform arbitration act of 2000 to address validity of an agreement to arbitrate in a contract of insurance
The LLC bill was crafted by Bill Matthews, Bill Quick, Prof. Webb Hecker and Prof. Virginia Harper-Ho. These members worked closely with the Kansas Secretary of State’s office, as well as other interested parties, on this proposed legislation and they will represent the KBA for the LLC hearing. Larry Rute and Robert Sullivan will testify for the arbitration bill. We appreciate these individuals and their efforts on behalf of the KBA.
The KBA provided testimony on HB 2039—Tribal Judgments this week. Also supporting the bill was the Kansas Judicial Council. The hearing was held open until Monday to allow any tribal elders an opportunity to testify.
Next week the KBA will testify on HB 2020 - Changing the supreme court clerk's information requirements for licensed attorneys and changing procedures related to the supreme court nominating commission and the judicial district nominating commissions. This bill would repeal changes made ito attorney registration in 2016. The KBA supported this proposal in 2017.
The KBA will also testify on SB 20 – Extending the judicial branch surcharge fee; the KBA has supported this bill since its inception.