Capitol Comments Articles
Health Conference Committee Meets to Pass 988 and Assemble New COVID Related Response Bill

KansasCapitol (April 28, 2022) – Today, the conference committee made of House and Senate Health Committee members, met to discuss Senate Bill 34 and all bills in conference. The committee reviewed Senate Bill 19, the enacting legislation for the 988 crisis intervention hotline. The agreed-to legislation included the following adjustments to the previous language:

  • Funding payment for crisis stabilization services,
  • Adding monies can't be used for services outside the state and
  • Changed the number of oversight council members, sunset provisions of July 1, 2026.

The committee also discussed House Bill 2540. The report includes changes in schedules I, II, IV and V of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, amends the definition of controlled substances in the Kansas criminal code; excludes certain drug products from the definition of marijuana and excludes fentanyl testing strips from the definition of drug paraphernalia. House conferees agreed to remove the fentanyl strips language. The agreed-to conference committee report will now go through the Senate and House chambers.

The committee decided to add language to the shell of Senate Bill 34. The new legislation limits governmental entities or public officials, including local public health officers, from requiring any individual to wear a face mask as a response to a contagious or infectious disease including as a part of the Kansas Emergency Management Act, it limits the ability of any governmental entity to require a vaccine passport, for these provisions medical care facilities as defined in K.S.A. 65-425 are carved out.

The legislation also says sheriffs cannot be ordered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to assist in the execution or enforcement of orders related to isolation or quarantine and specifies the Kansas Department of Health and Environment cannot require any inoculation that has not received full approval from the federal food and drug administration.

The House expressed concerns but agreed to sign the conference committee report. The legislation will now go through the House and Senate.