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Health at the Capitol - Special Interim Committees (August 2020)

By Hina B. Shah, M.P.H., Linda J. Sheppard, J.D. | August 13, 2020

Health at the Capitol - Special Interim Committees (August 2020)

Special Interim Committees (August 2020)

While the legislature is in recess, a number of interim committees will begin meeting this month, including four “special” health policy and #COVID-19 related committees announced by the Legislative Coordinating Council in June. While some standing interim committees meet each year, such as the Legislative Post Audit Committee and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and Regulations, special committees are typically created to study and discuss topics that provide insight into the issues likely to be addressed when legislators return in January for the regular session. Each special committee described below is approved to meet six days during 2020.

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2020 Special Committee on Economic Recovery

The Committee will meet August 12-13 and has been directed to review the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the state’s finances and economic sectors and to review state policies and make recommendations to the Legislature concerning the state’s economic recovery from the pandemic. Topics to be discussed include: taxation, regulatory affairs, business financing, and programs at the Kansas Department of Labor and Kansas Department of Commerce.

The Committee will be led by Sen. Julia Lynn, Chair, and Rep. Sean Tarwater, Vice-Chair, and members include Sen. Anthony Hensley, Sen. Richard Hilderbrand, Sen. Gene Suellentrop, Sen. Caryn Tyson, Rep. Tom Burroughs, Rep. Stephanie Clayton, Rep. Jim Gartner, Rep. Marty Long, Rep. Les Mason, Rep. Richard Proehl and Rep. Kristey Williams. 

2020 Special Committee on Kansas Emergency Management Act

The Committee will meet on August 24-26 and has been directed to review the Kansas Emergency Management Act (KEMA); the state’s COVID-19 response, as described in 2020 Special Session House Bill 2016; and oversight and emergency management approaches utilized in other states; and to make recommendations to the Legislature regarding improvements or changes that should be considered.

The Committee will be led by Rep. Fred Patton, Chair, and Sen. Eric Rucker, Vice-Chair, and members include Sen. Marci Francisco, Sen. Dennis Pyle, Sen. Mike Thompson, Sen. Rick Wilborn, Rep. Mike Amyx, Rep. John Barker, Rep. Stephen Owens, Rep. Bradley Ralph, Rep. Eric L. Smith, Rep. Ponka-We Victors and Rep. Valdenia Winn.

2020 Special Committee on Foster Care Oversight

The Committee will meet on August 25-26 and has been directed to receive input from families, social workers and other stakeholders on the progress and shortfalls in the state’s child welfare system, including quality of care for children in foster care; access to health and mental health services; trends in contributing factors’ program outcomes from the Family First Prevention Services Act; and barriers to sharing information across stakeholders; and to make recommendations to the Legislature on additional improvements and oversight needed to improve the state’s child welfare system.

The Committee will be led by Rep. Susan Concannon, Chair, and Sen. Molly Baumgardner, Vice-Chair, and members include Sen. Ed Berger, Sen. Bud Estes, Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, Sen. Richard Hilderbrand, Rep. Suzi Carlson, Rep. Gail Finney, Rep. Nick Hoheisel, Rep. Susan Humphries, Rep. Jarrod Ousley, Rep. John Resman and Rep. Susan Ruiz. 

2020 Special Committee on Kansas Mental Health Modernization and Reform

The Committee will meet on August 27-28 and has been directed to analyze the behavioral health system in Kansas to ensure that both inpatient and outpatient services are accessible in communities; review the capacity of the current behavioral health workforce; study the availability and capacity of crisis centers and substance abuse facilities; assess the recent changes to state policies on the treatment of individuals with behavioral health needs; and make recommendations on steps needed to make Kansas a nationwide leader on behavioral health delivery, specifically focusing on how Kansas should modernize its behavioral health delivery system. The Committee will be soliciting input from the following individuals and organizations:

  • A Judicial Branch Court Services Officer recommended by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Kansas;
  • A representative recommended by the Commissioner of Education;
  • A Kansas Department of Health and Environment cabinet official recommended by the Governor;
  • One Sheriff and one Chief of Police recommended by the Attorney General;
  • A representative of the Children’s Alliance of Kansas;
  • A Kansas Association of Addiction Professionals drug and alcohol addiction treatment provider;
  • A representative of the Association of Community and Mental Health Centers of Kansas with clinical or medical expertise;
  • A representative of the Kansas Hospital Association with clinical or medical expertise;
  • A person with lived experience with mental illness or who has provided assistance to an individual living with a mental illness recommended by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
  • The parent of a child with a mental illness recommended by the President of the Senate;
  • A former or current superintendent of a Kansas state mental health hospital;
  • A current executive director of a community mental health center recommended by the Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas;
  • A representative of a health insurance company recommended by the Commissioner of Insurance;
  • A representative of the Kansas County and District Attorneys Association;
  • A representative of the Kansas Health Information Network;
  • The Medicaid Director for the State of Kansas; and
  • The Chairperson of the Governor’s Behavioral Health Services Planning Council.

The Committee will be led by Rep. Brenda Landwehr, Chair, and Sen. Carolyn McGinn, Vice-Chair and members include Sen. Larry Alley, Sen. Dan Kerschen, Sen. Pat Pettey, Sen. Mary Jo Taylor, Rep. Tory Amberger, Rep. Barbara Ballard, Rep Elizabeth Bishop, Rep. Will Carpenter, Rep. Megan Lynn, Rep. Adam Smith and Rep. Rui Xu.

KHI will be monitoring the meetings of the Special Interim Committees and providing a summary of their actions in a future special edition of our Health at the Capitol series.

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.