Policy & Research


2019 Kansas Legislative Recap (August 2019)

Lawmakers enact important changes to state health policy

By Linda J. Sheppard, J.D., Hina B. Shah, M.P.H., Sydney McClendon, Peter F. H. Barstad | August 20, 2019

2019 Kansas Legislative Recap (August 2019)


During the 2019 legislative session more than 80 health-related bills were introduced, including more than a dozen child-welfare bills, but few progressed beyond the committee of origin. 

Even so, many important changes to health policy were enacted. This legislative recap examines some of the key health-related bills that were considered. It also includes a table describing many other health-related bills — and showing how far they moved through the legislative process.

Key points from the brief include:

  • During the 2019 session, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the school funding bill passed by the Legislature in early April brought the state into constitutional compliance for adequate funding and legislators considered more than 80 health-related bills.  
  • Gov. Kelly introduced Medicaid expansion bills in the House and Senate on January 29 but neither received a hearing. The House passed an expansion bill later in the session but an attempt to place the bill on the Senate calendar for a vote failed. 
  • HB 2209, which passed into law without the governor’s signature, allows the Kansas Farm Bureau to sell healthcare benefit coverage to its members that does not comply with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, including the requirement to cover individuals with pre-existing health conditions.
  • HB 2103 revised the Kansas Code for Care of Children to enable the state to meet the requirements of the federal Family First Prevention Services Act and access additional funds for certain child welfare system prevention services and programs beginning in October. 

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.