Logo for Health at the Capitol

During First Adjournment, Governor Kelly took action on more than 70 bills, including more than 20 health-related bills related to professional interstate compacts, controlled substances, abortion and child welfare, including foster care, adoption and health care. Legislators returned to the Capitol on April 25 and sine die adjournment is scheduled for Tuesday, April 30. This edition of Health at the Capitol looks at health-related bills signed, vetoed or allowed to become law by Gov. Kelly between April 10‒24.

Health at the Capitol is a weekly summary providing highlights of the Kansas legislative session, with a specific focus on health policy related issues. Sign up here to receive these summaries and more, and also follow KHI on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Previous editions of Health at the Capitol can be found on our ARCHIVE PAGE.

On Friday, April 19, the Consensus Estimating Group met to revise the Nov. 9, 2023, State General Fund estimates for Fiscal Years (FY) 2024 and 2025. The overall estimate for both years was increased by a combined $45.9 million, which includes a decrease in total taxes of $39.0 million and an increase in other revenues of $84.9 million. For FY 2024, the estimate was decreased by $100.3 million below the November estimate and the revised estimate for FY 2025 is $10.404 billion, which is $146.2 million above the previous estimate.

On Wednesday, April 24, Gov. Kelly vetoed Senate Substitute (Sub.) for House Bill (HB) 2036, the tax cut package passed by the Legislature on April 5. In her veto message, the Governor stated she could not sign a bill that “jeopardizes our state’s future fiscal stability” and that the bill “is too expensive.” At the same time she also proposed an alternative tax cuts package for the Legislature to consider during the Veto Session.

Bills Signed by the Governor

 HB 2144 creates the crime of encouraging suicide and establishes penalties for it under the Kansas Criminal Code. The bill defines “encouraging suicide” as knowingly encouraging a person to commit or attempt to commit suicide when:

  • Such person knows the other person has communicated a desire to commit suicide.
  • Encouragement of suicide is made proximate in time to the other person committing or attempting to commit suicide.
  • Such encouragement substantially influences the other person’s decision or methods used to commit or attempt to commit suicide.

The bill also defines “encouraging a person to commit or attempt to commit suicide” as oral, written or visual communication that is persuasive or intended to be persuasive and that gives advice to commit suicide, attempt to commit suicide or develop a plan to commit suicide. Signed on April 24.

HB 2358 modifies the Uniform Vital Statistics Act provisions concerning who may certify a cause of death. The bill specifies that a cause of death certifier can certify the cause of death of a deceased person. “Cause of death certifier” means:

  • A person licensed to practice medicine and surgery by the State Board of Healing Arts (Board).
  • A physician assistant licensed by the Board.
  • An advanced practice registered nurse licensed by the State Board of Nursing.
  • A district coroner.
  • A deputy coroner.
  • A special deputy coroner.

Signed on April 12.

HB 2453 enacts the Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact (Compact) to provide interstate practice privileges for dentists and dental hygienists. The bill contains uniform language that enacts the Compact in Kansas. Signed on April 12.

HB 2484 establishes the Social Work Licensure Compact to facilitate interstate practice of regulated social workers. The bill also amends law to add the background check procedure for the Social Work Licensure Act and adds a fee relating to multistate licenses under the Compact. Signed on April 12.

HB 2536 establishes a new legal permanency option for children 16 years of age or older who are in the custody of the Secretary for the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF). The bill also amends various statutes contained in the Revised Kansas Code for Care of Children to reference this new form of permanency, which will be designated as SOUL Family Legal Permanency. Signed on April 15.

HB 2547 amends the state Uniform Controlled Substances Act and amends the law regarding the stock maintenance and administration of emergency medication kits in schools, including epinephrine and albuterol. The bill adds 35 new substances to the Act, including 23 fentanyl-related controlled substances. The bill adds four additional substances to be excluded from control as Schedule II opioids: thebaine-derived butorphanol, naidemedine, naloxegol and samidorphen. The bill adds daridorexant (brand name Quiviviq), a medication used to treat insomnia, and serdexmethylphenidate, an active ingredient in medication used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to the list of Schedule IV substances. The bill removes fenfluramine (brand name Fintelpia), a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved medication used to treat seizures, to mirror the federal descheduling of the drug. The bill adds ganaxolone (brand name Ztalmy), a medication used to treat a particular type of seizure, to the list of Schedule V substances. The bill provides a level of immunity from liability for a pharmacist, physician or a mid-level practitioner who distributes or prescribes emergency medications to a school or provides training on the administration of the emergency medicine for school personnel, and for the school personnel who administer the medications under specific circumstances. Signed on April 19.

HB 2549 amends law in the Kansas Adoption and Relinquishment Act governing petitions to terminate parental rights and notice required to be given in a hearing on a petition for adoption. The bill specifies a termination of parental rights (TPR) petition may be filed only as part of a petition for adoption or as a separate action in connection with the petition for adoption. Current law provides that a TPR may be filed as an independent action. For TPR petitions that are filed separately from petitions for adoption, the bill specifies venue for TPR petitions must be in the county where the child or a parent resides or is found and satisfy other legal requirements as stated in the bill. Signed on April 15.

HB 2628 modifies the law governing access to confidential information regarding children alleged or adjudicated to be in need of care. The bill requires DCF to release certain information to the public in response to an open records request pursuant to the Kansas Open Records Act within seven business days of receipt of the request if criminal charges are filed with a court alleging that a person caused a child fatality. Signed on April 12.

HB 2629 amends provisions in law pertaining to the State Child Death Review Board. The bill eliminates certain reporting requirements by a coroner involving the investigation and autopsy of child death and requires the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to provide the Review Board with a copy of the child death certificate. The bill also increases the Review Board’s membership, outlines its responsibilities, allows for member compensation, addresses the disclosure and maintenance of the Review Board’s records and removes the limit on the Review Board’s access to DCF and other social service agency records involving services provided to the child or the child’s family. Signed on April 15.

HB 2675 enacts the Uniform Nonparent Visitation Act (UNVA). “Nonparent” means an individual, other than a parent or person acting as a parent of a child. The bill specifies the term includes a grandparent, sibling or stepparent to a child. The UNVA applies to a proceeding commenced on or after July 1, 2024, in which a nonparent seeks visitation. The UNVA also applies to proceedings commenced before July 1, 2024, where a final order has not been entered. The bill provides that a nonparent may commence a proceeding under the UNVA by filing a petition in the court having jurisdiction to determine visitation under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. Signed on April 15.

HB 2703 adds students in the custody of the Secretary of DCF to the list of students identified as eligible to receive at-risk programs and services. Signed on April 12.

HB 2787 amends the Kansas Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association Act, including allocating long-term care insurance assessments equally between life insurance and health insurance members. The bill also includes health maintenance organizations (HMOs) as member insurers of the Guaranty Association. Signed on April 22.

Senate Bill (SB) 19 requires school districts to adopt cardiac emergency response plans based on the statewide standards developed by KDHE. Signed on April 23.

SB 28 contains supplemental funding in FY 2024, funding for most state agencies for FY 2025 and selected adjustments for FY 2026 through FY 2028. For FY 2024 the bill adjusts total state expenditures to $25.4 billion, including $10.0 billion State General Funds (SGF) and for FY 2025, the bill includes expenditures totaling $25.1 billion, including $10.4 billion SGF. Signed on April 24 with more than 30 line item vetoes, including the following health-related items:

  • 31(d): $47,000 for FY 2024 for drug abuse and addiction prevention services for youth at the Kansas City Full Circle Program, Inc.
  • 32(b): $185,000 for FY 2025 for drug and abuse addiction prevention services for youth at the Kansas City Full Circle Program, Inc.
  • 35(a): $2.0 million for FY 2025 for the Pregnancy Compassion Awareness Program.
  • 68(a): $500,000 for FY 2025 for expenditures to implement a pilot program for the recruitment and retention of home-based child care providers to increase the number of child care slots in Kansas.
  • 83(a): For FY 2025, expenditures to establish the Mental Health Intervention Team Program.
  • 83(b): For FY 2025, $2.5 million for the Valley Hope Substance Use Disorder Fund for infrastructure to expand Valley Hope located in Atchison, Kansas; and $5.0 million for the Indigent Support Fund to provide support to the substance use disorder providers who provide services to individuals who have no insurance or other medical coverage.
  • 83(w): For FY 2025, expenditures to convene a workgroup to study the opening of Medicaid rehabilitation codes to new provider types and provide a report to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means Human Services Subcommittee and the House of Representatives Social Services Budget Committee.
  • 83(aa): For FY 2025, prohibiting the making of any changes to targeted case management services for persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities unless the Legislature expressly consents to, and approves of, such changes by an act or appropriation act of the Legislature.
  • 83(bb): For FY 2025, transfer of $2.5 million from the Kansas Fights Addiction Fund of the Attorney General to the Valley Hope Substance Use Disorder Fund of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS).
  • 83(cc): For FY 2025, transfer of $5.0 million from the Kansas Fights Addiction Fund of the Attorney General to the Indigent Support Fund of KDADS.
  • 83(dd): For FY 2025, expenditures to decrease the waiting list for eligible individuals to receive home and community based services (HCBS) pursuant to the physical disability (PD) waiver to not more than 2,000 eligible individuals.
  • 83(ee): For FY 2025, expenditures to decrease the waiting list for eligible individuals to receive HCBS pursuant to the intellectual or developmental disability waiver to not more than 4,800 eligible individuals.
  • 86(a): For FY 2025, expenditures not to exceed $250,000 for funding for Keys for Networking, Inc., to provide the iGRAD program for use among Kansas foster care children.
  • 86(b): For FY 2025, expenditures to provide toiletry kits for public elementary or secondary schools in an amount not to exceed $1.8 million.
  • 112(a): For FY 2025, $750,000 to the Department of Family and Community Medicine of the University of Kansas School of Medicine Wichita, for use in the Smoky Hill Family Medicine Residency Program, Wesley Family Medicine Residency Program and Ascension Via Christi Family Medicine Residency Program.
  • 116(a): For FY 2025, $2.2 million for osteopathic service scholarship.

 SB 115 enacts the Child Advocate Act, which establishes the Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) as an independent agency. The bill also amends law in the revised Kansas Code for Care of Children (CINC Code) and the Revised Kansas Juvenile Justice Code to specify the OCA would have access to certain files and records of a child subject to proceedings under these Codes. Signed on April 22.

 SB 384 authorizes the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Board to grant a permanent variance from a rule and regulation adopted to implement, enforce or otherwise regulate provisions regarding minimal staffing on each vehicle providing emergency service. The bill also makes a technical amendment to clarify the personnel required on each vehicle providing emergency medical services. Signed on April 22.

Bills Vetoed by the Governor

Senate Sub. for HB 2036 would have made various changes to income, sales and property tax law, including restructuring individual tax brackets and rates to provide for a two-bracket system beginning in tax year 2024, exempting Social Security income from Kansas income tax and accelerating the elimination of the state sales and compensating use tax on food and food ingredients from Jan. 1, 2025, to July 1, 2024. Vetoed on April 24.

Senate Sub. for HB 2436 would have created the crime of coercion to obtain an abortion. Vetoed on April 12.

HB 2446, as amended, would have prohibited municipalities from adopting or enforcing an ordinance, resolution or regulation that restricts, taxes, imposes a fee upon, prohibits or regulates the use of auxiliary containers. The bill would have defined “auxiliary container” as a straw, bag, cup, package, container, bottle, device or other packaging, without limitation. Vetoed on April 12.

HB 2465 would have enacted the Adoption Savings Account Act to allow an individual, on and after July 1, 2025, to open an account with a financial institution and designate the entirety of the account as an account that would be used to pay or reimburse a designated beneficiary’s eligible expenses for the adoption of a child. The bill also would have enacted the Pregnancy Resource Act that would provide a tax credit for certain contributions to certain pregnancy resource centers and residential maternity facilities and enacted a sales tax exemption for pregnancy resource centers and residential maternity facilities. Vetoed on April 19.

HB 2749 would have amended reporting requirements for abortions performed in Kansas. The bill would have provided for the written report of pregnancies lawfully terminated to be submitted by medical care facilities and persons licensed to practice medicine and surgery to KDHE on a biannual basis. (Current law requires submitting reports on an annual basis.) The bill would have required, except in the case of medical emergency, patients to be asked, prior to the termination of a pregnancy, to indicate the most important factor regarding their reason for deciding to seek an abortion. Vetoed on April 12.

House Sub. for SB 233 would have stated that a recipient of state funds could not use those funds to provide or subsidize medication or surgery as a treatment for a child’s perception of gender or sex that is inconsistent with the child’s sex. The bill would have stated that an individual or entity that receives state funds to pay for or subsidize the treatment of children for psychological conditions, including gender dysphoria, could not promote or advocate for such medication or surgery as a treatment for such child. The bill would have prohibited the Kansas Program of Medical Assistance and its managed care organizations from reimbursing or providing coverage for medication or surgery as a treatment for such child. Except to the extent required by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the bill would have prohibited a state property, facility or building from being used to promote or advocate the use of social transitioning, medication or surgery as a treatment for such child. A state property, facility or building also would have been prohibited from being used to prescribe, administer or dispense medication or perform surgery as a treatment for such child. The bill also would have prohibited a state employee whose official duties include the care of children from, while engaged in official duties, providing or promoting the use of social transitioning, medication or surgery as a treatment for such child. The bill would have prohibited a health care provider from knowingly providing surgical procedures or medications stated in the bill as treatment for such child. The bill would have made related definitions and outlined exceptions to prohibitions. The bill would have stated a health care professional who violates the provisions of the bill has engaged in unprofessional conduct and would have their license revoked by the appropriate licensing entity or disciplinary review board. The bill would have stated that a health care professional who provides treatment to a child in violation of the bill would be held strictly liable to the child if the treatment or effects of such treatment results in any physical, psychological, emotional or physiological harms to the child in the next 10 years from the date that the individual turns 18 years old. The bill would have allowed a civil cause of action against health care providers in violation of the provisions of the Act and also would have prevented professional liability insurance from covering related damages. Vetoed on April 12.

Bill Allowed to Become Law Without Governor’s Signature

 SB 394 creates law requiring the use of age verification technology to permit access to internet websites containing material harmful to minors. Allowed to become law without signature on April 12.

About Kansas Health Institute

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.

Learn More About KHI