Daily Archives: April 17, 2009

Governor signs Kelsey Smith Act, ten other bills

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius signed into law the Kelsey Smith Act, which allows law enforcement officers to obtain cell phone information more quickly during the investigation of a crime.

Here’s the press release from her office about that law and others.

Governor Sebelius signs the Kelsey Smith Act

Governor Kathleen Sebelius has signed the Kelsey Smith Act, allowing law enforcement to gather cell phone information more quickly during an emergency situation.

“While no legislation can ever bring Kelsey back, we can make sure that our dedicated police and rescue workers can now get the information they need, when they need it,” Sebelius said. “Our thoughts continue to be with Kelsey’s family, friends and community.”

Senate Sub. for HB 2126 enacts the Kelsey Smith Act, requiring wireless telecommunications carriers to provide information about the location of the telecommunications device of a user of the carriers’ services, if requested by a law enforcement agency in order to respond to a call for emergency services or to respond in an emergency situation that involves risk of death or serious physical harm. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

The Governor signed an additional ten bills today, bringing the total number of bills signed during the 2009 Legislative Session to 104 with one having been vetoed.

Regarding Community College Land Improvements

SB 11 allows community colleges to acquire land and improvements not only within the community college district, but also within the service area of the community college. This legislation also allows the governing body of a technical college to change the name of the college by adopting a resolution. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Regarding Concealed Carry by Prosecutors

SB 19 authorizes, under certain circumstances, prosecutors while engaged in the duties of their employment or any activities incidental to such duties to carry concealed firearms and to exempt those prosecutors from the crime of discharge of a firearm.

The prosecutors authorized by this legislation include:

  • The United States Attorney for the District of Kansas or any Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Kansas if authorized by the United States Attorney for the District of Kansas;
  • The Kansas Attorney General or any Kansas Assistant Attorney General if authorized by the Kansas Attorney General; and
  • Any district attorney or county attorney, or any assistant district attorney or assistant county attorney if authorized by the district attorney or county attorney by whom such assistant is employed.

This legislation also clarifies that the chief judge of any judicial district may determine any restrictions or prohibitions concerning firearms in the courthouse or court-related facility of that judicial district and authorizes the county commission to opt out of the provisions of this bill by passage of a resolution if the courthouse and court-related facilities have met certain conditions. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Civil Forfeiture of Assets for Crimes

Sub. for SB 28 adds the following crimes to the list of criminal offenses that could lead to civil forfeiture of assets:

  • Unlawful conduct of dog fighting;
  • Unlawful possession of dog fighting paraphernalia;
  • Unlawful conduct of cockfighting;
  • Unlawful possession of cockfighting paraphernalia;
  • Prostitution;
  • Promoting prostitution; and
  • Patronizing a prostitute

This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Concerning the State Board of Technical Professions; related to licensure

SB 29 requires corporate partnerships, limited liability companies, and other legal entities to receive a certificate of authorization to practice a technical profession. Additionally, this legislation alters to a two-year cycle for the issuance of renewal of a certificate of authorization for a business entity under the following conditions:

  • The certificate of authorization is scheduled for renewal on or after December 31, 2010;
  • The name of the business entity begins with a letter in the last half of the alphabet;
  • The fee will be one-half of the new biennial renewal fee;
  • Any certificate which has been renewed for a period of one year shall be renewed subsequently on a biennial basis; and
  • No certificate shall be renewed for a period of one year on or after January 1, 2012.

The legislation also allows the Board of Technical Professions to develop rules and regulations exempting persons from continuing education requirements for license renewal or reinstatement. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Interest Rates on Bonds Issued by Local Governments; Star Bonds

SB 35 increases, temporarily, the cap on interest rates that is placed upon bonds issued by municipalities and other local taxing subdivisions of the state. This legislation increases the caps until June 30, 2010, to be the daily yield for ten-year treasury bonds, plus five percent if the interest is not taxable or six percent if the interest is taxable.

Additionally, this legislation makes technical corrections and clarifications regarding the usage of Sales Tax and Revenue (STAR) bonds. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Register

School Finance Levy; Property Tax on Stored Gas; Fair Market Value of Section 42 Housing

House Sub. for SB 98 renews the mandatory school district general fund property tax levy; amends the definition of public utility; and adds specific factors needed to be considered in the determination of fair market value for property tax purposes. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Regarding the use of the automated external defibrillator

SB 102 deletes the definition and requirement that only a “qualified person” may use an automated external defibrillator. Now, any person using an automated external defibrillator in good faith to render emergency care or treatment will be held harmless from any civil damages as a result of such care or treatment. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Child in Need of Care

SB 134 limits the court’s jurisdiction over a child in need of care to the child’s 18th birthday or June 1 of the school year during which the child turns 18 if the child is still in high school. This legislation also authorizes Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) to have custody of a child 15 years or younger, a 16 or 17 year old child if the child has no identifiable parental or family resources, or a 16 or 17 year old child if the child shows signs of physical, mental, emotional, or sexual abuse. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Regarding Epinephrine and School Nurses

Sub. for HB 2008 authorizes any person to administer epinephrine in emergency situations to a student or a member of a school staff. This legislation exempts from liability for civil damages and from the practice of the healing arts any person who gratuitously and in good faith renders emergency care or treatment. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Concerning the Person and Family Protection Act

HB 2308 requires that when a conceal carry licensee is a military member and requests a separate concealed carry license card, the Attorney General must assign a unique license number. This legislation also allows members of the active duty military to obtain a concealed carry license number if they do not have a Kansas driver’s license or a Kansas non-driver’s license identification card. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

New state revenue estimates out later today

By David Klepper/Eagle Topeka Bureau

Kansans will find out just how bad the state’s revenue outlook is today, and just how much more lawmakers may have to cut from state programs like K-12 schools, universities, prisons and social services.

New revenue projections for the next 15 months are due out late this afternoon. The news is not expected to be good as state revenue continues to flatline.

Last month, for instance, state revenues came in $57 million below estimates.

Every six months, experts on the state’s budget and economy get together and come up with an estimate on future tax revenues, as well as projected costs for programs like Medicaid.

These estimators are remarkably good, but it’s not uncommon for updated revenue numbers to throw legislative budgets into disarray. Today’s likely to be one of those times.

Best case scenario: the state’s economic wizards were conservative enough last time and anticipated just how bad revenues were going to get. If today’s revenue estimates come back only modestly lower than earlier projections, lawmakers may only face moderate headaches when they return in two weeks to finish their work on the budget.

Worst case: the estimates come in several hundred million less than earlier estimates.

Read More »

Senate committee vote on Sebelius set for Tuesday

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate committee has scheduled a vote for Tuesday on President Barack Obama’s nominee for health and human services secretary, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. The Senate Finance Committee will vote on sending Sebelius’ nomination to the full Senate. She’s expected to win confirmation despite concerns raised by anti-abortion activists in recent days over campaign money she got from a Kansas abortion doctor. Lawmakers want Sebelius in place quickly as they get to work on legislation overhauling the nation’s costly health care system. Sebelius is Obama’s second choice for health secretary after former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle withdrew in a tax controversy.