Kansas legislators will return to the Capitol for the final time this session on Monday, May 23, for Sine Die. Before their most recent break, which started April 29, legislators were focused on the Omnibus budget, motions to override Gov. Laura Kelly’s vetoes, and the Department of Education budget. Since then, Gov. Kelly has signed 13 bills and vetoed three. This edition of Health at the Capitol provides a summary of health-related bills from the 2022 Veto Session.
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 and LinkedIn. Previous editions of Health at the Capitol can be found on our ARCHIVE PAGE.
On Monday, April 25, Wyandotte County District Court Judge Bill Klapper struck down as unconstitutional the Republican-drawn congressional reapportionment map. Attorney General Derek Schmidt immediately filed an appeal of the decision with the Kansas Supreme Court, which reversed Judge Klapper’s judgment on May 18, stating that the map did not violate the Kansas Constitution.
On Thursday, April 28, the House, 95-22, and the Senate, 33-7, approved the Omnibus Budget bill, House Bill (HB) 2510, which was signed by Gov. Kelly on May 16, with one line-item veto of a provision that would have allowed the regents institutions to raise tuition in fiscal year 2023. The bill includes the following:
For FY 2022, the bill adds $390.3 million, including $373.7 million from the State General Fund (SGF), including:
- $15.0 million, from federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) funds, to provide funding to nursing facilities to cover rising costs associated with staffing shortages for facilities.
For FY 2023, the bill adds $119.8 million, including $60.1 million SGF, including:
- $10.0 million SGF to fund 988 suicide prevention lifeline operations. The bill includes language to lapse the funding if House Sub. for SB 19 is enacted.
Also on Thursday, legislators:
- Passed HB 2106, the food sales tax bill, which will eliminate the 6.5 percent state sales tax on food and food ingredients (defined to include bottled water, candy, dietary supplements, soft drinks, and food sold through vending machines, but to exclude alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and most prepared food) over the next three years. The sales tax rate will drop to 4.0 percent on January 1, 2023, to 2.0 percent on January 1, 2024, and to zero on January 1, 2025. The bill was signed by Gov. Kelly on May 11.
- Passed Senate Substitute (Sub.) for HB 2567, which makes appropriations for the Kansas State Department of Education for FYs 2022 through 2024 and establishes other education policies, including requiring school districts to establish policies to accept out-of-district students from anywhere in the state if facilities and staffing are available to the district. The bill was signed by the Governor on May 16.
- Overrode Gov. Kelly’s veto of Senate Sub. for HB 2448 that requires the Department for Children and Families to assign all able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) subject to the federal food assistance work requirements to an employment and training program. The provisions of the bill apply to ABAWDs aged 18 through 49 and individuals who are not employed at least 30 hours per week.
- Passed House Sub. for Sub. for Senate Bill (SB) 84 concerning sports wagering operations by lottery gaming facilities and amends provisions in the Kansas Lottery Act and the Kansas Parimutuel Racing Act. The bill was signed by Gov. Kelly on May 12.
On Thursday, April 28, the Conference Committee Report for House Sub. for SB 19, which creates the Living, Investing in Values, and Ending Suicide (LIVES) Act that implements the 988 Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Crisis Hotline in Kansas, was adopted, and could still be considered by legislators before the end of the session.
On Monday, May 2, the Kansas Department of Revenue reported that Kansas tax revenues for April were $1.5 billion, which is $178 million, or 13.4 percent, above the April Consensus Revenue Estimate.
On Thursday, May 5, Gov. Kelly signed HB 2237, which is designed to expand and improve housing development, especially in rural areas of the state and encourages preservation of historic structures, and the redevelopment of small-town buildings, which can be remodeled for downtown housing through tax credits and loan guarantees in the 98 lowest population counties in the state. The bill also allows any income or privilege taxpayer to claim the child day care services tax credit and permits taxpayers to claim 50 percent of expenditures paid to an organization providing child care to the taxpayer’s employees beginning in tax year 2021.
On Wednesday, May 18, the Kansas Supreme Court also unanimously approved the Kansas House and Senate district reapportionment maps passed by the Legislature.
Additional Health-Related Bill Signed by the Governor
Senate Sub. for HB 2495, related to fingerprinting for criminal history record checks and other law enforcement matters, also amends a law governing access, exchange, and disclosure of information in the Revised Kansas Code for Care of Children to require the Secretary of the Department for Children and Families to disclose confidential agency records of a child alleged or adjudicated to be a child in need of care (CINC) to the law enforcement agency investigating the alleged or substantiated report or investigation of abuse or neglect, regardless of the disposition of such report or investigation. The bill requires the records to include, but not be limited to:
- Any information regarding such report or investigation;
- Records of past reports or investigations concerning such child and such child’s siblings and the perpetrator or alleged perpetrator; and
- The name and contact information of the reporter or persons alleging abuse or neglect and case managers, investigators, or contracting agency employees assigned to or investigating such report.
The bill adds an investigating law enforcement agency to the lists of persons or entities with access to the official and social files of a CINC proceeding. (May 12).
Health-Related Bills Vetoed by the Governor
Sub. for SB 34 creates law regarding actions by governmental entities or public officials affecting face mask requirements as a response to a contagious or infectious disease and prohibits a COVID-19 vaccination passport from being required by any governmental entity or public official. The bill amends the Kansas Emergency Management Act (KEMA) and public health statutes regarding face mask requirements and judicial review of governmental action in response to state of disaster emergencies and state of local disaster emergencies. The bill removes the authority of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Environment or a local health officer to order any law enforcement officer of the state or any subdivision to assist in the execution or enforcement of any order regarding infectious and contagious diseases. The bill also amends student health statutes regarding certification of tests or inoculations for first-time enrollment in a school or preschool or day care program operated by a school to specify the tests or inoculations the Secretary is prohibited from requiring. (Vetoed May 13).
HB 2387 creates law related to the medical assistance program and amends law regarding the powers of the Governor in the Kansas Emergency Management Act (KEMA). The bill creates law stating that, on or before January 31, 2023, no state agency, including the Governor, shall:
- Issue a request for proposal for the administration and provision of benefits under the medical assistance program; or
- Enter into any new contract with managed care organizations for the administration and provision of benefits under the medical assistance program.
The bill requires, except to the extent prohibited by 42 USC § 1396u-2(a)(2) or other federal law, the Secretary of the Department of Health and Environment to continue to administer medical assistance benefits using managed care entities as described in 42 USC § 1396u-2. These provisions expire on January 31, 2023. The bill also amends a statute in KEMA addressing the powers of the Governor to specify that continuing limits on the Governor’s power regarding firearms or ammunition apply under KEMA or any other law. The bill also states the Governor shall not have the power or authority under KEMA or any other law to prohibit attending or conducting any religious service or worship service in a church, synagogue, or place of worship. (Vetoed May 13).
SB 199, would have amended the definition of short-term limited duration insurance policies to specify a policy period of less than 12 months and a policy that offers renewal or extension periods up to a maximum policy period of 36 months total in duration. The bill also would have removed language required to be included in contracts and application material by insurance companies issuing STLD policies. (Sustained April 28).
House Sub. for Sub. for SB 286, would have amended and extended the expiration dates and effectiveness of provisions regarding the governmental response to the COVID-19 pandemic; amended certain healthcare provider immunity provisions related to the COVID-19 public health emergency; created the crime of interference with the conduct of a hospital; and increased the penalty for the crime of battery when committed against a healthcare provider. (Sustained April 26).
SB 493, would have prohibited municipalities from adopting or enforcing an ordinance, resolution, or regulation that restricts, taxes, prohibits, or regulates the use of auxiliary containers (plastic straws, bags, cups, packages, containers, bottles, or other packaging). (Sustained April 28).