With the start of the 2019 Kansas legislative session, Kansas Health Institute (KHI) staff will prepare a brief summary of the highlights of each week of the session, with a specific focus on the activities of committees addressing health policy related issues. Sign up here to receive these summaries and more, and also follow KHI on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Previous editions of Health at the Capitol can be found on our ARCHIVE PAGE.
In addition to debates on school finance and the budget, legislators were busy with conference committees and moving bills toward the finish line with first adjournment on Friday, April 5. Legislators will return to Topeka for the veto session on May 1.
On April 1, the Senate confirmed Laura Howard as secretary of both the Department for Children and Families (DCF) and the Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS).
On April 2, Gov. Kelly held a press conference urging the Senate to vote on Medicaid expansion. The House previously passed an expansion bill, House Bill (HB) 2066, on March 21. The governor said she would consider an interim study on expansion during the April break so a vote could be taken when legislators return in May. On April 5, a motion was made in the Senate to pull the bill from the Public Health and Welfare Committee and place it on General Orders in the Senate calendar in May. The motion will be considered when the Senate reconvenes on May 1.
On April 4, the House adopted the conference committee report (CCR) for House Substitute for Senate Bill (SB) 16, the school finance bill, on a vote of 76-47. The Senate adopted it on a vote of 31-8 later in the day and sent it to the governor, who signed it into law on Saturday. Attorney General Derek Schmidt is required to submit filings to the Kansas Supreme Court by April 15 demonstrating that the state has responded to the court ruling last year that public schools are not adequately funded.
Conference committee members working on SB 25, the Mega appropriations bill, announced on April 4 that they would not be presenting the bill for the full Legislature to consider before first adjournment. Two items still to be resolved include the repayment of $288 million borrowed from the state Pooled Money Investment Board and the inclusion of a provision that would “prohibit expenditures from any state agency for the purpose of Medicaid expansion without prior legislative authorization.”
Action on Bills We’re Watching
SB 15 – The conference committee agreed on April 3 to remove the contents of SB 15 (previously related to amending the definition of “service-connected” in the Kansas police and firemen’s retirement system) and insert the contents of SB 193, SB 232 and HB 2185. SB 193 would provide for licensure by reciprocity for social workers at baccalaureate, master’s and specialist clinical levels and amends the requirements for licensure by reciprocity for other professions regulated by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board. The bill also would allow applicants who are deficient in the qualifications or in the quality of educational experience required for licensure to obtain provisional licenses to allow the applicants time to fulfill remedial or other requirements prescribed by the Board. For several professions, the bill also would amend provisions related to temporary licenses for applicants who have met all licensure requirements except for taking the required licensing examination. SB 232 would amend provisions of the Adult Care Home Licensure Act related to applications for licensure, financial solvency and receivership of adult care homes. HB 2185 would amend the naturopathic medicine scope of practice to include diagnostic imaging. The CCR was adopted by the House on April 4 and the Senate on April 5.
SB 67 – The conference committee agreed to remove the contents of SB 67 (previously establishing the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act and amending the unfair trade practices law relating to the refusal to insure or limiting of life insurance coverage to certain individuals). Members then inserted the contents of HB 2274, as amended, which would require certain notifications be posted in facilities that provide medication abortions using mifepristone. The conference committee amended the contents of HB 2274 to require a report be made to KDHE regarding the prescription and administration of progesterone for the purpose of reversing a medication abortion by a person licensed by the State Board of Healing Arts or the Board of Nursing. The CCR was adopted by the House and Senate on April 5. (See comments below for HB 2209, which now includes the original provisions of SB 67.)
SB 77 – Would amend the Revised Kansas Code for Care of Children (CINC Code) to require DCF to take certain actions when reports of child abuse or neglect are received, and the subject of the report is a child with sexual behavior problems. Actions include providing a referral to a child advocacy center or other mental health provider, as needed. The bill was enrolled and presented to Gov. Kelly on April 2.
SB 109 – Would repeal the Kansas Uninsurable Health Insurance Plan Act, also known as the state high-risk pool. The bill was withdrawn from the calendar and rereferred to the Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee on April 5.
SB 218 – Would amend law related to mandated reports of child abuse, adding duly ordained ministers of religion to the list of persons required to report suspected child abuse. The bill was referred to the Federal and State Affairs Committee on April 2.
HB 2103 – Would amend the revised Kansas Code for Care of Children and enact statutory provisions to enable the state to meet requirements of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA). The FFPSA allowed for an enhanced match rate toward the use of Social Security Act Title IV-E funds for certain child welfare system evidence-based prevention services and programs beginning October 1, 2019. The bill also would define a qualified residential treatment program (QRTP) and provide for certain notice and hearing requirements when QRTP placement occurs. The House concurred with the bill, as amended by the Senate, on April 4.
HB 2119 – The conference committee agreed to remove the contents of HB 2119 (previously related to empowering the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System [KPERS] board to develop policies and procedures related to procurement, enter into certain contracts, and allow travel for trustees and employees of the system) and insert the contents of HB 2389, HB 2082 and HB 2402. HB 2389 would amend the Pharmacy Act of the State of Kansas to require every prescription order issued for a controlled substance in schedule II-V that contains opiate to be transmitted electronically with some exceptions. A prescriber would be allowed to request a waiver from electronically transmitting prescriptions for a period not to exceed six months if the prescriber could not comply with the electronic transmitting requirements due to economic hardship, technological limitations or other circumstance demonstrated by the prescriber. HB 2082 would amend the Pharmacy Act of the State of Kansas by permitting a licensed pharmacist to administer a drug by injection that, in the judgment of the prescriber, could safely be self-administered by a patient, to a patient pursuant to a prescription order, unless the prescription order includes the words “not to be administered by a pharmacist.” HB 2402 would allow a business entity issued a certificate of authorization by the Board of Healing Arts (Board) to employ or contract with one or more licensed physicians or other licensees of the Board, to provide professional services for which such licensees hold a valid license issued by the Board. The CCR was adopted by both the House and Senate on April 5.
Senate Sub. For HB 2167 – Would require the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA), in consultation with the governor and attorney general, to submit a plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding how KDA will monitor and regulate the commercial production of industrial hemp within the state in accordance with federal law. The bill also would establish the Commercial Industrial Hemp Program, make changes to the Industrial Hemp Research Program and establish hemp processing registrations, prohibitions on specific products, sentencing guidelines and waste disposal requirements. The conference committee was requested on April 2 and the Senate and House adopted the CCR on April 5.
HB 2201 – Transfers the powers, duties and functions of the Tuberculosis Control Program from KDADS to KDHE. The bill was signed by Gov. Kelly on April 4.
HB 2209 – Would permit the Kansas Board of Regents to purchase cybersecurity insurance. The bill was amended by the conference committee on April 4 by inserting the provisions of several bills: SB 32, exempting the Kansas Farm Bureau-proposed healthcare benefits coverage from the jurisdiction of the commissioner of insurance; SB 67, establishing the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act and amending the unfair trade practices act related to the refusal to insure or limit life insurance coverage to certain individuals; SB 228, amending license and renewal application fees and establish an annual report fee in the Third Party Administrators (TPA) Act; and HB 2054, amending several provisions in the Insurance Code related to the regulation of association health plans and small employer plans. The CCR was adopted by the Senate and the House on April 5.
HB 2244 – Would create and amend law related to possession of cannabidiol treatment preparations; create “Claire and Lola’s Law,” which would prohibit state agencies and political subdivisions from initiating child removal proceedings or child protection actions or proceedings based solely upon the possession or use of cannabidiol treatment preparation. Such preparations would be defined to mean an oil including cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol and having a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of no more than 5 percent that has been tested by a third-party, independent laboratory. The bill would prohibit construing its provisions to require the Kansas Medical Assistance Program or other policies, plans, contracts or organizations that provide coverage for accident and health services and that are delivered, issued for delivery, amended or renewed on or after July 1, 2019, to provide payment or reimbursement for any cannabidiol treatment preparation. The bill also would amend the crime of unlawful possession of controlled substances to provide an affirmative defense in certain circumstances. The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee on April 3.
HB 2413 – Would enact the Human Solution for Kansas Act providing for licensure and regulation of the manufacture, transportation and sale of medical cannabis and imposing a privilege tax on medical cannabis. The bill was introduced in the House and referred to the Federal and State Affairs Committee on April 4.
HB 2415 – Would prohibit health care providers from inquiring whether any patient being evaluated or treated, or any person who resides with such patient, keeps or maintains a firearm at such patient’s residence or owns a firearm. The bill was introduced in the House and referred to the Health and Human Services Committee on April 5.