Capitol Comments Articles
Legislature Finalizes Work, Adjourns Sine Die

Kansas Statehouse (May 1, 2023) –The legislature finalized their work just after 10:30 p.m. on Friday. Some of the final items taken up by the House and Senate before adjournment included:

House Bill 2285, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment; relating to drug overdoses; requires the KDHE secretary to study overdose deaths; provides for the confidentiality of acquired and compiled records; restricts the powers of the KDHE secretary and local health officers to control the introduction and spread of infectious or contagious diseases; evokes the authority of the secretary to order individuals to isolate or quarantine and imposes penalties for violations thereof; prohibits the KDHE secretary from requiring a COVID-19 vaccination in order to attend a childcare facility or school. The bill passed the Senate on a vote of 22-18 and the House on a vote of 63-56.

House Bill 2021, Children and minors; requires the secretary of the Kansas Department of Corrections to provide assessments and certain services for juveniles in detention; changes the criteria used to refer and admit juveniles to juvenile crisis intervention centers; defines behavioral health crisis; requires agencies to collaborate when providing services to juvenile offenders and children in need of care. The bill passed the House on a vote of 119-1 and the Senate on a vote of 22-16.

House Resolution 6026, Approves an amendment to the gaming compact with the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation concerning sports wagering. The resolution passed the House on a vote of 93-27. A matching resolution passed in the Senate on a vote of 27-8.

Senate Bill 113, Education; makes and concerns appropriations for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2023, June 30, 2024, and June 30, 2025, for the Kansas Department of Education; requires school districts to submit a notice of intent to dispose of a school district building to the legislature; establishes a state option to acquire such school district buildings; authorizes certain students to participate in activities that are regulated by the Kansas State High School Activities Association; authorizes certain nonpublic school students who enroll part-time in a school district to participate in nonpublic school activities; authorizes any student with a parent or guardian employed by a school district to enroll in and attend such school district without entering the school district's open-seat lottery process; requires school districts to give priority to nonresident military students under the school district's open seat lottery process; requires consideration of homelessness when determining enrollment status of a student under school district open-enrollment procedures; authorizes members of school district boards of education to receive compensation from the school district for work and duties performed; provides for additional student eligibility and increases the tax credit for contributions made pursuant to the tax credit for low income students scholarship program; establishes the Special Education and Related Services Funding Task Force; extends the high-density at-risk student weighting sunset date; authorizes the use of current-year or preceding year student enrollment to determine state foundation aid under the Kansas School Equity and Enhancement Act; continues a district's low enrollment weighting factor if the district accepts students from another school district under certain circumstances; continues the 20-mill, statewide levy for schools; increases the number of school districts qualifing to finance a cost-of-living weighting and increases the maximum amount of such weighting. The legislation passed the House on a vote of 83-37 and the Senate on a vote of 23-16.

Senate Bill 25, the omnibus budget adjustment bill, contains fiscal year 2023 supplemental funding, and FY 2024 and FY 2025 expenditure adjustments for certain state agencies. An overview of the governor's amended budget recommendations for FY 2023 through FY 2024 and the Omnibus Conference Committee's adjustments. The bill passed the House on a vote of 92-29 and the Senate on a vote of 29-10.

In an unanticipated move, the legislature adjourned Sine Die, meaning they won't return until Jan. 8, 2024. Typically, they hold a one-day Sine Die session a couple of weeks following the adjournment in case there are potential vetoes to override. The legislature adjourned this session without completing tax policy reform, a matter both parties had worked toward. However, an agreement to override a veto couldn't be reached after the tax policies were bundled together in a package that included a flat tax rate.

The Kansas Hospital Association looks forward to working with our policymakers during the off-season as we prepare for the 2024 session. If you have an interest in coordinating a visit with state or federal policymakers at your hospital, please feel free to reach out any time to Tara Mays or Audrey Dunkel at (785) 233-7436.