Capitol Comments Articles
Senate Public Health and Welfare Hears and Works Bills

Hearings (Feb. 19, 2024) - Today, the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, chaired by Senator Beverly Gossage (R-Eudora) met. The committee held a hearing on Senate Bill 433, clarifying practice privileges of institutional license holders.

Proponent testimony was received from the following:

  • Deputy Secretary Scott Brunner, Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services 

Opposition testimony was received from the following:

  • Rachelle Colombo, Kansas Medical Society

Next, the committee held a hearing on Senate Bill 488, expanding the scope of the inspector general to audit and investigate all state cash, food or health assistance programs and granting the inspector general the power to subpoena, administer oaths and execute search warrants thereto.

The committee had proponent testimony from the following:

  • Steven Anderson, Medicaid Inspector General
  • Steven Greene, Dugan Consulting

The committee saw opposition testimony from the following:

  • Haley Kottler, Kansas Appleseed Center for Law and Justice
  • Erin Melton, Kansas Action for Children

Finally, the committee heard Senate Bill 489, which directs the department of corrections to establish a correctional center nursery for incarcerated expectant mothers and their child to allow certain expectant mothers to care and bond with their child for up to 36 month while incarcerated

The committee saw proponent testimony from the following:

  • Senator Kristen O’Shea (R-Topeka)
  • Tracy Russell, Nurture KC
  • Monica Pyles, Individual
  • Lucrecia Nold, Kansas Catholic Conference
  • Kirsten Price, Ministry to Incarcerated Families
  • Kelson Bohnet, Kansas Death Penalty Defense Unit
  • Kathy Damron, Community Volunteer
  • Jessica Lenherr, United Way of Kaw Valley
  • Jeanette Grenz, Ministry to Incarcerated Families
  • Gail Cozadd, Kansas Children’s Service League
  • Dr. Dena Hubbard, Kansas Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Dr. April Terry, Fort Hays State University
  • Brittany Jones, Kansas Family Voice
  • Adrienne Olejnik, Kansas Action for Children
  • Teresa Tuchscherer, United Women in Faith
  • Tammy Wallin, Kansas Association for Infant and Early Childhood Mental and Health
  • Gloria Geither, Kansas Department of Corrections
  • Brenda Bandy, Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition
  • Abriona Markham, Topeka Doula Project

There was one neutral testimony: 

  • Sharla Smith, Kansas Birth Equity Network

The committee worked the following bills:

  • Senate Bill 434, exempting the practice of hair removal by sugaring from the definition of cosmetology. The bill was recommended favorably for passage without amendments and will now go before the full Senate.
  • Senate Bill 461, establishing the laser hair removal act to restrict the performance of laser hair removal to certain medical professionals. The committee tabled the bill.
  • Senate Bill 352, enacting the John D. Springer patient’s bill of rights to require hospitals to allow in-person visitation, adopt visitation policies and procedures and creating a civil cause of action for violation of such rights. Two amendments were proposed:
  • Patient definition for children. A parent could exercise revoking of visitation policy. The amendment was not adopted.
  • Page 2, lines 6-28 would be deleted. This would strike the requirement that a medical facility would need policies and procedures. They would not be allowed to adopt any restrictions on the policy. The committee had further amendments and asked that this be held over. 

Additional work on bills before the committee will occur tomorrow, Feb. 20.