The Judiciary Conference Committee spent the majority of the last week bundling bills in order to pass several bills at once. These bundled bills are found in conference committee reports. The difficulty this session was the lack of bills in conference, or bills passed by both chambers but in different forms. This year, there were only six bills in conference, but more than 30 bills up for debate.
The Judiciary Conference Committee prioritized these six bills in conference, and created packages dealing with crime and punishment, contracts, courts, consumer protection, business entities and public agencies.
Crimes, Punishment and Criminal Procedure – CCR for SB 18
The bill in conference was SB 18, which includes amendments to the crime of counterfeiting currency (SB 134), access to pre-sentence reports (SB 19), out-of-state convictions (HB 2048); drug abuse treatment programs (HB 2396); penalties for involuntary manslaughter and child abuse (SB 108); mitigating factors when victim is an aggressor (HB 2283); and domestic violence notifications policies for LEO (HB 2279). The CCR for SB 18 was adopted by the House 123-0. The Senate plans to discuss this CCR during veto session.
Consumer Protection – CCR SB 78
The bill in conference was SB 78 which deals with assignment of certain rights and benefits under an insurance policy for real property. It adds protections relating to housing for victims of domestic abuse (SB 150). CCR for SB 278 passed both chambers (100-23/36-1) and now heads to the governor.
Courts – SB 20
The base bill in this CCR is SB 20 which extends the judicial branch docket fee surcharge. Under current law, the extension expires or sunsets after two years. The Senate removed this provision while the House maintained it. In conference, both sides agreed to place a six-year sunset provision in law. The committee also added language recognizing tribal court judgments in district court (HB 2039). The KS House passed this CCR 120-3. The Senate plans to take it up during Veto Session.
Public Agencies – CCR HB 2290
The bill in conference was HB 2290 which creates the victim’s compensation division within the KSAG. The committee added language concerning background checks for individuals who have unsupervised access to children and the elderly (HB 2360); exceptions to the KS Open Records Act (HB 2137); creation of the criminal justice reform commission (HB 2108); deferring the implementation of scrap metal database until July 1, 2021 (SB 219) and creating the Kansas closed-case task force to investigate hits on CODIS (SB 102). This CCR has not yet been drafted.
The Judiciary Conference Committee was unable to include some bills in conference committee reports this session. Those bills held over include:
- HB 2336 - Clarifies when jail credit is awarded to offenders under supervision of the secretary of corrections. (124-0) (From House Corrections) (Heard in Senate Judiciary, No Action Taken)
- HB 2244 - Creates an affirmative defense to the crime of possession of a controlled substance for possession of certain medical treatments. (House Vote 89-35) (From House Judiciary) (Not Heard in Senate)
- HB 2034 - Enacts the supported decision-making agreements act to provide a statutory framework for adults who want decision-making assistance.(101-15) (House Federal and State Affairs)
- HB 2281 - Provides that a court order modifying a criminal sentence only modifies the portion of the sentence referenced by the court and not remaining portions of the original sentence. (102-22) (House Judiciary)