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During spring break of the 2023 legislative session, Gov. Laura Kelly signed 74 bills, including 15 health-related bills, and vetoed 14 bills, including nine health-related bills. Legislators will return to the Capitol on Wednesday, April 26, for the veto session to consider overrides of bills vetoed by the Governor, including her line-item vetoes in House Bill 2184, the mega appropriations bill, and House Substitute for Senate Bill 169, the tax bill, and to finish their work on both the omnibus and K-12 education budget bills. This edition of Health at the Capitol looks at health-related bills that were passed or vetoed by the Governor during the 2023 Legislature’s spring break that began on April 7, 2023.

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 Wednesday, April 12, Gov. Kelly announced the award of $100,000 to support two new healthcare apprenticeship programs at Pratt Regional Medical Center and Labette Health. These programs include training opportunities for positions such as certified nursing assistant, phlebotomist, surgical technician, medical coding specialist, and other healthcare occupations. Funding for the program is being made available through the Patterson Family Foundation.

On Thursday, April 20, the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group projected state revenues will increase by $237 million for the remaining two months of this fiscal year and fiscal year 2024, which begins on July 1, 2023.

On Friday, April 21, the Governor announced that $9.8 million in grants have been awarded to nine recipients for the construction or renovation of housing for persons with disabilities and older adults. The funding for these projects is being made available through the American Rescue Plan Act Building Opportunities for the Disabled and Elderly program, as designated by the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Executive Committee and approved by the State Finance Council. The nine grant awardees are in Cottonwood Falls, Derby, Wichita, Topeka, Victoria, Manhattan, Ottawa, Spring Hill and Meade.

Bills Signed by the Governor

House Bill (HB) 2015 modifies the law governing court-ordered infectious disease testing to allow a designee of the head of an agency or entity to apply for such court-ordered testing when an employee is exposed to the transmission of bodily fluids of another person during the course of their work. Employees within the scope of this law include corrections officers, emergency services staff, juvenile correctional facility staff and law enforcement. (Signed on April 18.)

HB 2024 amends the Newborn Infant Protection Act within the Revised Kansas Code for Care of Children to provide an alternate means to legally surrender an infant pursuant to the Act; creates a program within the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) for the training of and payment for Child Abuse Review and Evaluation (CARE) providers who conduct CARE exams; and enacts the Representative Gail Finney Memorial Foster Care Bill of Rights to enumerate and codify the rights of children in need of care in the child welfare system and the rights of foster parents and kinship caregivers. (Signed on April 24.)

HB 2082 authorizes counties to create a Municipalities Fight Addiction Fund for the purpose of retaining and expending money received from the Attorney General, in accordance with the Kansas Fights Addiction Act. (Signed on April 7.)

HB 2114 renames the Joint Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice Oversight in honor of Rep. J. Russell Jennings and requires the Committee to monitor the implementation of juvenile justice reforms. (Signed on April 13.)

Senate Substitute (S. Sub.) For HB 2127 permits a criminal prosecution for childhood sexual abuse to be commenced at any time, extends the time to file a civil action for recovery of damages resulting from childhood sexual abuse, and provides exceptions in the Kansas Tort Claims Act for claims arising from such abuse. (Signed on April 14.)

HB 2184 makes appropriations for fiscal years 2023 through 2028 for state agencies. (Signed on April 20 with 26 line-item vetoes, including Sec. 15(b) related to the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board; Sec. 25(b) and Sec. 26(d) related to the Board of Pharmacy; Sec. 39(e) related to expenditures of the Kansas youth suicide prevention coordinator; Sec. 42(a) related to the Alternatives to Abortion program; Sec. 89(b) related to funding for the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) from the American Rescue Plan Act State Relief Fund; Sec. 90(b) and Sec. 91(a) related to foster care licensing and placement software; and Sec. 118(a) related to the Pathways to Purpose Pilot Program for the treatment of substance use disorder and opioid use disorder on incarcerated adult offenders in the custody of the Secretary of Corrections.)

HB 2214 changes the name of the Larned Correctional Mental Health Facility to the Larned State Correctional Facility. (Signed on April 18.)

HB 2240 amends the Revised Kansas Code for Care of Children to clarify and require the clerk of the district court to provide various parties with written notice when a child is placed in a qualified residential treatment program, after receipt of such written notice from the Secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF). The specified entities who must be notified are the petitioner; the attorney for the parents, if 12 years of age or older; the child’s guardian ad litem; any other party or interested party; and the child’s court-appointed special advocate. (Signed on April 10.)

HB 2269 amends the Kansas Cigarette and Tobacco Products Act to raise the minimum age to 21 to sell, purchase, and possess cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, and tobacco products. (Signed on April 10.)

HB 2288 establishes the Counseling Compact to facilitate interstate practice of licensed professional counselors. The bill also amends law to add a licensure fee relating to the privilege to practice under the Compact. The Compact will state the practice of professional counseling occurs in the state where the client is located at the time of the counseling services and preserves the regulatory authority of states to protect public health and safety through the current system of licensure. (Signed on April 10.)

HB 2322 amends provisions within the Special Education for Exceptional Children Act to define the term “emotional disability” to mean the same as the term “emotional disturbance” as used in the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, revise the definition of “children with disabilities” to include dyslexia, and replace the term “emotional disturbance” with “emotional disability.” The bill also makes similar updates in the definition of “individuals with disabilities” used in law relating to transition planning services for individuals with disabilities. (Signed on April 18.)

House Substitute (H. Sub.) for SB 42 exempts rural emergency hospitals licensed under the Rural Emergency Hospital Act from an assessment imposed on hospital providers as part of the Health Care Access Improvement Program and requires members of a hospital board to be qualified electors of either the county where the hospital is located or any county adjacent to such county. The bill also requires a majority of the members of a hospital board to be residents of the county in which the hospital is located. (Signed on April 20.)

SB 85 eliminates the requirement that the Kansas State Employees Health Care Commission offer as a benefit the option to purchase long-term care insurance and indemnity insurance and enacts the Kansas travel insurance act. (Signed on April 19.)

SB 119 updates various provisions of the Insurance Code, including amending the requirements for demonstration of fiscal soundness to be submitted by health maintenance organizations and Medicare provider organizations when applying for a certificate of authority. (Signed on April 19.)

 SB 123 creates the Kansas Adult Learner Grant Act and grant-eligible programs, including healthcare, nursing, and early childhood education and development; creates a workforce retention incentive tax credit of $1,500 for individuals who receive a grant if they successfully complete their grant-eligible program with the awarding of their degree and either currently reside in Kansas or have resided in Kansas for at least two consecutive years following the completion of their program and are currently employed in Kansas or have commenced service as a military servicemember; and adds both elementary and secondary education programs to the fields of study designated by an eligible postsecondary educational institution for which scholarships are available under the Kansas Promise Scholarship Act, including mental and physical healthcare and early childhood education. (Signed on April 20.)

Bills Vetoed by the Governor

HB 2094 would continue the existing statutory requirement that parents cooperate with child support services administered by DCF as a condition of receiving a childcare subsidy and maintain the periods of ineligibility for a childcare subsidy for noncooperation and require the Secretary of DCF to review a parent’s child support compliance at certain specified times. The bill also would amend law pertaining to eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to require work registrants ages 50 through 59 without dependents who are not exempt under federal law to participate in an employment and training program. The bill also would amend law relating to the financial documentation demonstrating fiscal soundness that must be submitted by a health maintenance organization (HMO) or a Medicare provider organization (MPO) when applying for a certificate of authority to provide healthcare in the state. (Vetoed on April 24.)

HB 2264 would amend the Woman’s-Right-to-Know Act to add a notification requirement about reversal of abortion options with certain medications and amend the definition of abortion. The bill also would clarify that certain medical procedures and methods of contraception would not be considered an abortion and would adopt the amended definition of abortion uniformly for multiple statutes. (Vetoed on April 19.)

HB 2304 would provide that for the purposes of promoting the safety and protection of students and emphasizing how students should respond when encountering a firearm, school districts could provide firearm safety education programs. The State Board of Education would be required to establish curriculum guidelines for a standardized firearm safety education program that would include accident prevention. If a local board of education would elect to provide firearm safety education, the instruction would be required to be in accordance with the guidelines established by the State Board of Education. The local board of education also would be required to ensure that all students are provided the opportunity to take the course. (Vetoed on April 14.)

HB 2313 would create the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, provide legal protections for infants born alive, require certain standards of care by healthcare providers for infants who are born alive, and provide criminal penalties and civil liability for violations of the act. “Born alive” as defined in the bill means the complete expulsion or extraction of a human being from its mother, at any stage of development, who, after such expulsion or extraction, breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section or induced abortion. (Vetoed on April 14.)

HB 2325 would add certain maternity centers to the definition of “healthcare provider” for purposes of the Healthcare Provider Insurance Availability Act and add facilities where elective abortions are performed to the list of entities that are not healthcare providers as defined in the bill, which would make such facilities ineligible to purchase professional liability insurance from the Health Care Stabilization Fund. (Vetoed on April 24.)

S. Sub. for HB 2344 would establish and update law regulating childcare centers and childcare homes. The bill would provide certain definitions, provide license capacity and set staff-to-child ratios, and establish staffing requirements, including professional development training. (Vetoed on April 19.)

SB 26 would allow an individual who had what the bill defines as a “childhood gender reassignment service” to bring a civil cause of action against the physician who performed such service. The provisions of the bill would not apply if the child was born with a medically verifiable disorder of sex development, as defined in the bill. The bill also would establish the statute of limitations for such cause of action, the medically verifiable disorders of sex development to which the Act would not apply, the relief that could be sought, and the time frame to which the Act would apply. The bill also would require the Board of Healing Arts to revoke the license of a physician who performed such service. (Vetoed on April 20.)

H. Sub. for SB 169 would make various changes to income, sales, and property tax law, including replacing individual income tax brackets with a single rate of 5.15 percent and accelerating the elimination of state sales and compensating use tax on food and food ingredients to Jan. 1, 2024, and sunsetting the food sales tax credit at the end of tax year 2023. (Vetoed on April 24.)

SB 180 would establish the Women’s Bill of Rights and would specify that for purposes of any state law or rules and regulations an individual’s “sex” means such individual’s biological sex, either male or female, at birth. The bill would state that with respect to biological sex, separate accommodations are not inherently unequal. The bill would state that laws, and rules and regulations, that distinguish between the sexes are subject to intermediate constitutional scrutiny. The bill also would require schools, state agencies, or political subdivisions that collect vital statistics to identify individuals within the data as either male or female at birth. (Vetoed on April 20.)

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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.

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