Week 13 of the 2021 Session
Week 13 was a flurry of activity as legislators wrapped up work on dozens of bills, including several health-related bills, before adjourning the main session on Friday, April 9. Legislators will return from First Adjournment on May 3 for the Veto Session, when they will address various aspects of the budget, including school funding, based upon updated consensus revenue estimates that will be developed during the interim. Both chambers passed the major budget bill on a vote of 21-14 in the Senate and 73-50 in the House, but flagged various issues and budget items for the final Omnibus budget bill. Read our latest edition of Health at the Capitol for details.
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 Tuesday, April 6, Gov. Kelly signed House (H.) Substitute (Sub.) for Senate Bill (SB) 63, which requires school districts to provide a full-time, in-person attendance option for all students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12 beginning no later than March 31, 2021, for the 2020-2021 school year. In her bill signing announcement the Governor stated that “every school in Kansas is already offering an in-person attendance option for students” and that “all teachers and staff who wanted a vaccine have now received at least their first dose.”
On Friday, April 9, the Governor signed House Bill (HB) 2126, which provides immunity from civil liability for COVID-19 claims for certain covered facilities, including adult care homes, community mental health centers, crisis intervention centers, community service providers and community developmental disability organizations.
On Monday, April 12, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) reported 304,719 COVID-19 cases (up 1,492 from April 5) with 4,930 deaths (up 3 from April 5).
Action was taken on the following health related bills during Week 13:
H. Sub. for SB 158 would create the Kansas Medical Marijuana Regulation Act (Act) and Kansas Medical Marijuana Regulation Program; provide funds for the Act; define terms related to the bill; establish rules and requirements for the issuance of various types of licenses under the Act; create a 15-member Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee in KDHE; establish requirements and fees for patients seeking to use medical marijuana and for caregivers seeking to assist patients in the use or administration of medical marijuana; authorize the State Board of Healing Arts to oversee physicians seeking to recommend treatment with medical marijuana; and amend laws concerning crimes, child welfare, employment, housing practices, and discipline of certain medical professionals. While the bill had been passed by the House Federal and State Affairs Committee on March 31, it was withdrawn from the House Calendar and re-referred back to the Committee on April 6.
SB 170, as amended, would enact the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT), and provide for the interjurisdictional authorization of psychologists across state boundaries to practice telepsychology and to provide temporary in-person, face-to-face psychology services. The bill would also enact the Physical Therapy Licensure Compact (PT Compact) and amend the Physical Therapy Practice Act (Act). The PT Compact would provide interstate practice authority for physical therapists (PTs) in compact states and provide for the creation of a Physical Therapy Compact Commission, with each member state represented by one delegate, and would outline the voting and meeting requirements. After the amended bill was passed by the House on March 18, the Senate nonconcurred with the House amendments, and a conference committee was appointed. The House then adopted the Conference Committee Report (CCR) (final version of bill as described above) on April 9.
SB 199, as amended, would amend existing insurance law to update the term “short-term limited duration” and specify a policy period of less than 12 months (currently 6 or 12 months) and a policy that offers renewal or extension periods up to a maximum policy period of 36 months total in duration (currently not more than one renewal period). The bill, which was passed by the Senate on March 31, was received and introduced by the House on April 6 and referred to the Insurance and Pensions Committee.
Sub. for SB 238 would amend and update the Pharmacy Act of the State of Kansas (Pharmacy Act) with regard to the powers, duties, and functions of the State Board of Pharmacy (Board) and would also amend the Emergency Medical Services Act (EMS Act) to clarify the oversight provided by medical directors with regard to emergency medical services and to provide an alternate procedure for appointment of a medical director. The bill would amend the Pharmacy Act by creating law to address the confidentiality of investigations, inspections and audits; allow for the cost of additional compliance inspections and audits required as a condition of probation or other disciplinary action to be charged to a licensee or registrant; define the practice of telepharmacy; require the Board to adopt rules and regulations for the oversight and administration of telepharmacy; and address the registration of manufacturers and virtual manufacturers. The bill would also amend the Act to provide that all civil fines assessed for violations of the Act that are collected must be credited to the State Board of Pharmacy Fee Fund (Fee Fund), instead of a portion being credited to the State General Fund. After the amended bill was passed by the House on March 25, the Senate nonconcurred with the House amendments, and a conference committee was appointed. The House adopted the CCR (as described above) on April 9.
H. Sub. for Sub. for SB 273 would amend statutes related to the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement to direct that for 2022, and each year after, remittances made by non-participating manufacturers are to be credited to the Kansas Endowment for Youth (KEY) Fund by the State Treasurer rather than deposited into escrow upon certification by the Attorney General. Established in 1991, expenditures from the KEY Fund may be used for the payment of the operating expenses of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet, and all moneys credited to the KEY Fund must be invested to provide an ongoing source of funds for the Children’s Initiatives Fund. Although the House passed its substitute bill on March 30, the Senate nonconcurred with the House Amendments and a conference committee was appointed on April 6.
SB 304 would remove the expiration date (sunset provision) of May 1, 2021, contained in the COVID-19 Contact Tracing Privacy Act (Act). The Act, enacted in 2020, established rules related to contact tracing conducted by the state or any municipality, officer or official thereof. The bill, which was passed by the Senate on March 31, was received and introduced by the House on April 6 and referred to the Judiciary Committee.
HB 2114 would establish the Kansas Senior Care Task Force; outline the topics to be studied by the Task Force; provide for the appointment and compensation of Task Force members; establish the frequency and location of meetings; require a preliminary and a final report to the Legislature; and require the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) to provide the Task Force with data and information that is not prohibited or restricted from disclosure by state and federal law. The provisions of this new law would sunset on June 30, 2023. After the Senate passed an amended version of the bill on March 31, a conference committee was appointed. Both the House and Senate adopted the CCR (as described above) on April 9, and the bill is on its way to the Governor.
Senate Sub. for HB 2208 would enact the Rural Emergency Hospital Act (Act) and create a category of licensure to enable certain Kansas hospitals to receive federal health care reimbursement as rural emergency hospitals; establish certification for certified community behavioral health clinics (CCBHCs); authorize licensed out-of-state physicians with telemedicine waivers to practice telemedicine in Kansas; and modify licensure, temporary permit, and regulatory requirements of the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (BSRB) and its licensees. After the Senate passed the substitute bill on March 31, a conference committee was appointed. The CCR (as described above) was adopted by the House and Senate on April 9, and the bill is on its way to the Governor.
HB 2448 would amend current law that restricts persons maintaining, residing, working or volunteering at a childcare facility based on prohibited criminal offenses. The bill is intended to address the unintended consequences of preventing youth with prohibited offenses from obtaining a permanent home with a foster or adoptive family who want to maintain their foster care license by providing an exemption process specifically for adjudicated youth formerly in care and allow the youth to achieve permanency (i.e., adoption or guardianship) with the foster family. The bill would allow the Secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families to license a family foster home, if the Secretary determines there is no safety concern, when a person who has been adjudicated as a juvenile offender for certain otherwise disqualifying acts under continuing law:
- Was a child in the custody of the Secretary and placed with such family foster home by the Secretary;
- Is 18 years of age or older; and
- Maintains residence at such family foster home or has been legally adopted by any person who resides at such family foster home.
The bill, which passed the House on March 30, was received and introduced in the Senate and referred to the Public Health and Welfare Committee on April 7.
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.