During week 12 of the Kansas legislative session, which began on Monday, March 27, both chambers worked and passed bills, including more than 40 health-related bills. Both chambers also worked on tax and budget bills. This edition of Health at the Capitol looks at health-related bills that were passed by one or both chambers prior to week 13, when conference committees meet to discuss and pass remaining bills before First Adjournment on Thursday, April 6.
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.
Bill Signed by the Governor
On Friday, March 31, Gov. Kelly signed Senate Bill (SB) 24, which amends the definitions of “small employer” and “large employer” in K.S.A. 40-2,194, a statute pertaining to insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorder. The bill amends the definition of “small employer” from an average of at least one but not more than 100 employees to an average of at least two but not more than 50 employees and amends the definition of “large employer” from an average of at least 101 employees to an average of at least 51 employees.
House and Senate Floor Action
House Bill (HB) 2015, as amended, would modify the law governing court-ordered infectious disease testing. Current law allows the head of an agency or head of an entity that employs certain persons to petition a court to apply for a court-ordered infectious disease test of another person 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. (Conference Committee appointed on March 28.)
HB 2021, as amended, would amend law regarding the provision of services to children in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems by requiring the Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC), the Department for Children and Families (DCF), and the Judicial Branch to collaborate when providing services. The bill also would amend law concerning the use of funds from the Evidence-Based Programs Account of the State General Fund. (Passed by the Senate on March 29.)
HB 2024 would amend 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. (Passed by the House on March 29.)
Senate Substitute (S. Sub.) for HB 2070 would enact the Child Advocate Act on and after July 1, 2023, which would establish the Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) as an independent state agency. (Passed by the Senate on March 29.)
HB 2094 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. (Conference Committee appointed on March 28.)
HB 2114 would rename the Joint Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice Oversight, amend the Committee’s charge to direct it to monitor the implementation of juvenile justice reform and the work of the Juvenile Justice Oversight Committee, and remove or update references to the Juvenile Justice Authority, which no longer exists. (Passed by the Senate on March 29.)
HB 2127 would permit a criminal prosecution for childhood sexual abuse to be commenced at any time, extend the time to file a civil action for recovery of damages resulting from childhood sexual abuse, and provide exceptions in the Kansas Tort Claims Act for claims arising from such abuse. (Passed by the Senate on March 29.)
HB 2140 would amend law pertaining to eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The bill would require DCF to assign work registrants ages 50 through 59 without dependents who are not exempt under U.S.C. §2015(d)(2) to an employment and training program as a condition of participation in SNAP. Under current law, only adults ages 18 through 49 without disabilities or dependents and individuals who are not employed at least 30 hours per week are required to participate in an employment and training program to receive SNAP benefits. (Passed by the House on March 29.)
HB 2179 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 non-cooperation. The bill would require the Secretary of DCF, or the Secretary’s designee, to review the child support compliance of parents applying for or receiving a childcare subsidy, after 12 months of continuous eligibility and following such 12 months of continuous eligibility when the Secretary renews or redetermines a parent’s eligibility for the subsidy. (Passed by the House on March 29.)
HB 2194 would enact the Representative Gail Finney Memorial Foster Care Bill of Rights within the Revised Kansas Code for Care of Children and would enumerate the rights of children in need of care in the child welfare system and the rights of foster parents. (Passed the House on March 29.)
HB 2240 would amend 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 for 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. (Passed by the Senate on March 28.)
HB 2263 would amend a provision in the Pharmacy Act of the State of Kansas to add pharmacy technicians, at least 18 years of age and under the direct supervision and control of a pharmacist, to the list of those authorized to administer vaccinations after successfully completing a course of study and training in vaccination storage, protocols, injection technique, emergency procedures, recordkeeping, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Pharmacy technicians would be added to pharmacists, pharmacy students, and pharmacy interns as authorized to administer the influence vaccine to persons six years of age or older; and vaccines, other than the influenza vaccine, to persons 12 years of age or older pursuant to a vaccination protocol. The bill also would allow an individual who had what the bill defines as a “childhood gender reassignment service” performed 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. (Bill was amended by the Senate to add the contents of SB 233, pertaining to a cause of action related to gender reassignment service, and passed on March 28. Bill was ruled materially changed and referred to the House Health and Human Services Committee.)
HB 2264 would establish the No Patient Left Alone Act. The Act would establish who may visit a patient in a patient care facility and would require patient care facilities to provide for in-person visitation and provide parameters for patient care facilities as to what restrictions may be asked of visitors when visiting a patient. The bill would require patient care facilities to establish visitation policies and procedures by September 1, 2023. The bill also would establish a Patient’s Bill of Rights to protect and promote the rights of each patient in a patient care facility. (Passed by the Senate on March 29.)
HB 2269 would amend 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. (Passed by the Senate on March 28.)
HB 2288 would establish the Counseling Compact to facilitate interstate practice of licensed professional counselors. The bill also would amend law to add a licensure fee relating to the privilege to practice under the Compact. The Compact would state the practice of professional counseling occurs in the state where the client is located at the time of the counseling services, and it would preserve the regulatory authority of states to protect public health and safety through the current system of licensure. (Passed by the Senate on March 28.)
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. (Passed by the Senate on March 29.)
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. (Passed by the Senate on March 29.)
HB 2322 would amend 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 would make similar updates in the definition of “individuals with disabilities” used in law relating to transition planning services for individuals with disabilities. (Amended by the Senate on March 27, passed on March 28 and Conference Committee requested on March 29.)
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. (Passed by the Senate on March 29.)
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. (Conference Committee appointed on March 28.)
HB 2375 would create a new type of temporary license for certain applicants who have graduated from a social work program, including an online social work program, that is in candidacy from a national accrediting body recognized by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (BSRB). (Passed by the Senate on March 28 and Conference Committee requested on March 29.)
Sub. for HB 2390 would require the Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to study overdose deaths and maintain confidentiality of the records used by the Secretary in the study. The bill would restrict the duties and authority of the Secretary and local health officers regarding infectious and contagious diseases. The bill would amend statutes relating to tuberculosis, remove the reporting requirement for teachers and school administrators regarding knowledge or suspicion of an infectious or contagious disease, remove the requirement for enforcement of isolation and quarantine orders by law enforcement officers, provide employment protection for employees who isolate or quarantine, and address orders for school closure during a disaster. (Passed by the House on March 29.)
HB 2438 would remove references in current emergency medical services (EMS) statutes to persons holding the instructor-coordinator designation. The bill would remove the definition of the term “instructor-coordinator” and would remove provisions concerning civil damages related to an instructor-coordinator’s course of instruction. The bill also would amend the definition of “healthcare provider” to replace a reference to first aid courses taught by an instructor-coordinator with first aid courses taught by the Board of Emergency Medical Services (BEMS). (Passed by the House on March 28 and referred to Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee on March 30.)
HB 2439 would require any facility, clinic, or pharmacy where mifepristone is prescribed, dispensed, or administered for the purposes of inducing a medication abortion to post a sign clearly visible to patients and customers with language that outlines mifepristone effects may be reversible and directs patients to the Women’s Right to Know website and other resources for more information. The bill also would require physicians to inform women in writing and in person at least 24 hours before providing the medication (except in the case of medical emergencies), as well as after the initial dose. The bill would have criminal penalties for violations. (Passed by the House on March 29 and referred to the Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee on March 30.)
HB 2443 would establish the Office of the Child Advocate (OCA) as an independent state agency with the Child Advocate serving as head of the agency and would establish the Child Advocate Advisory Board to oversee the OCA. The bill also would amend law in the Revised Kansas Code for Care of Children (CINC Code) and the Revised Kansas Juvenile Justice Code (Juvenile Code) to authorize the OCA to have access to certain records concerning a child in need of care. (Passed by the House on March 27 and referred to Senate Judiciary Committee.)
HB 2452 would eliminate 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. (Passed by the House on March 27 and Referred to Senate Ways and Means on March 29.)
House Substitute (H. Sub.) for SB 42 would make appropriations for fiscal years 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027 and 2028 for various state agencies. (Amended by the House on March 28 and passed on March 29.)
SB 112 would permit a registered nurse anesthetist to practice as an independent advanced registered nurse (CRNA) to the full extent of the scope of the licensee’s education and qualifications except for the performance of surgery for the purpose of implantation of medication reservoirs for drug delivery devices. The bill would permit a CRNA to prescribe, procure, select, order and administer any drug consistent with the licensee’s education and qualifications but would prohibit a CRNA from performing, inducing or prescribing, procuring, or administering drugs for an abortion. (Passed by the Senate on March 29.)
SB 115 would amend law governing the notice required in a hearing on a petition for adoption in the Kansas Adoption and Relinquishment Act. The bill would reorganize and clarify provisions related to notice required for independent and stepparent adoptions, private agency adoptions, and public agency adoptions. (Passed by the House on March 27 and Conference Committee appointed on March 29.)
Sub. for SB 131 would permit the issuance of a sports waiver for certain health professionals on a limited basis during sporting events; establish the No Patient Left Alone Act; and amend a provision in the Pharmacy Act to add pharmacy technicians, who meet age and supervision oversight parameters, to the list of those authorized to administer vaccinations after successfully completing an appropriate course of study and training. (House amended the bill to insert the contents of HB 2263, pertaining to vaccine administration, and the contents of HB 2264, pertaining to the No Patient Left Alone Act, and passed it on March 27. Conference Committee appointed on March 29.)
Sub. for SB 169 would make various changes to income, sales and property tax law, including accelerating the reduction of the state sales and compensating use tax on food and food ingredients to 0.0 percent to July 1, 2023, raising the percentage of sales tax revenue distributed to the State Highway Fund to 18.0 percent on January 1, 2024, and sunsetting the food sales tax credit at the end of tax year 2022. (House amended the bill on March 28 and passed it on March 29.)
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. SB 180 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. (Passed by the House on March 29.)
SB 287 would expand current provisions to permit the issuance of a silver alert for a missing person 18 years of age or older who has dementia, a developmental disability such as autism spectrum disorder, or a cognitive impairment. (Passed by the Senate on March 29.)
SB 297 would revise the definition of abortion and adopt the definition of abortion uniformly for statutes pertaining to insurance coverage for elective abortions, abortion facility licensure, abortion of a pain-capable unborn child, the Kansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act, and general abortion statutes addressing viability, restrictions and prohibitions, and information to be provided. The bill would clarify certain medical procedures and the prescription, dispensing, administration, sale, or use of any method of contraception would not be considered an abortion. (Passed by the Senate on March 29.)
SB 307 would amend the Kansas Fights Addiction Act to include for-profit private entities in the definition of “qualified applicant.” The Act allows qualified applicants to apply for grants from the Kansas Fights Addiction Fund for projects and activities that prevent, reduce, treat, or mitigate the effects of substance use and addiction. The grant applications must be approved by the Kansas Fights Addiction Grant Review Board. (Passed by the Senate on March 29.)
SB 314 would prohibit the Secretary of KDHE from requiring a COVID-19 vaccine for any child cared for in a childcare facility, any student enrolling or enrolled in a school for the first time in Kansas, any child enrolling or enrolled for the first time in a preschool or daycare program operated by a school, and any other such students as may be designated by the Secretary, prior to admission or attendance at school. The bill would define the COVID-19 vaccine as an immunization, vaccination, or injection against disease caused by a variant of the novel coronavirus identified as SARS-CoV-2 or disease caused by a variant of the virus. (Passed by the Senate on March 29.)
SB 315 would create an exemption provision to vaccine requirements for individuals at childcare centers and schools for sincerely held religious beliefs, as defined by the bill, and no further inquiry of the sincerity of the belief would be allowed. The bill also would repeal the meningitis vaccine requirement to live in student housing at colleges and universities in Kansas. (Passed by the Senate on March 29.)
HB 2367 would create the Adult Use Cannabis Regulation Act; provide for the licensure and regulation of cannabis, including the cultivation, manufacturing, transportation, possession and sale of cannabis; provide certain fines and penalties for violations of the act; provide exemptions from crimes involving controlled substances; impose a tax on the sale of cannabis and provide for the disposition of the revenues collected thereon; and create the cannabis business regulation fund. (Referred to House Interstate Cooperation Committee.)
HB 2417 would create the Medical Cannabis Regulation Act; provide for licensure and regulation of the cultivation, processing, distribution, sale, and use of medical cannabis; delegate administrative duties and functions to the Secretary of KDHE, Secretary of Revenue, Board of Healing Arts, Board of Pharmacy, and Director of Alcohol and Cannabis Control; impose fines and penalties for violations of the act; establish the medical cannabis registration fund, the medical cannabis business regulation fund and the retail dispensary consultant registration fee fund; create the crimes of unlawful storage and unlawful transport of medical cannabis; and make exceptions to the crimes of unlawful manufacture and possession of controlled substances. (Referred to House Interstate Cooperation Committee.)
HB 2451 would specify the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration amount for final hemp products and allow certain hemp products to be manufactured, marketed, sold or distributed. (Withdrawn from Federal and State Affairs and referred to House Interstate Cooperation Committee.)
Joint Committee on Child Welfare and System Oversight
(Sen. Beverly Gossage, Chair)
On Friday, March 31, the Joint Committee met to hear presentations from private citizens, DCF Secretary Laura Howard, Kansas Child Advocate Kerrie Lonard, and representatives of foster care and family preservation case management providers.
The private citizens, including foster/adoptive parents, case managers, and teachers, shared their experiences working with traumatized children. They also expressed concerns about an increase in the number of higher-acuity children being placed in foster care, which is causing some individuals to no longer serve as foster parents, and the lack of services needed for the children in their care, as well as lack of support to hold some of these children accountable for their behaviors.
Sec. Howard referred to a successful pilot project in Iowa that has resulted in a 50 percent reduction in children entering foster care. She noted that the project centers on judges asking four questions – what can we do to remove the danger instead of the child; can someone the child or family knows move into the home to remove the danger; can the caregiver and the child go live with a relative or family friend; and could the child move temporarily to live with a relative or family friend? Iowa has since changed its laws to require judges to seek the least restrictive care for a child with a preference for placement with the child’s family. She stated that DCF is also asking these questions of families and prevention providers before a child has a need to enter foster care and also stated that Medicaid is adding services for children’s behavioral interventionists as a Medicaid-covered service for in-home support.
Lonard provided an update on the progress made by the Division of the Child Advocate in the first quarter of 2023. She reported that the Division has started implementing a case management system that will improve their efficiency and organization and that they’ve tried to make connections with every school district in the state and also will be reaching out to the community mental health centers and health departments.
Committee members asked questions regarding the criminal behavior of some foster children, including the severity and frequency of such behavior, and the need for data tracking that behavior in the child welfare system, numbers of licensed case managers and qualifications and training required for case managers, services provided by the family preservation providers, the timeline for the case management Request for Proposals, the intersection of child welfare with healthcare, mental health and juvenile justice, misrepresentation of facts by caseworkers, concerns for the safety of caseworkers, and staff turnover.