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

Kansas Senate Chamber (March 22, 2023) – The committee again debated House Bill 2263. The legislation authorizes pharmacy technicians to administer certain vaccines. Sen. Mark Steffan (R-Hutchinson) made a motion to add the contents of Senate Bill 233, which creates a civil cause of action against a physician who performs childhood gender reassignment service and requires revocation of a physician's license who performs childhood gender reassignment service, and the motion was adopted. The committee moved House Bill 2263 as amended favorably for passage.

House Bill 2264 enacts the No Patient Left Alone Act to allow in-person visitation to certain patients at hospitals, adult care homes and hospice facilities. The legislation saw an amendment made by Sen. Mark Steffan (R-Hutchinson) that would strike language related to the following provisions of the bill: allowing patient care facilities to enact infection control protocols, immunity protections from civil liability, and language related to ensuring federal compliance is met under the statutory changes. The amendment would also add language in state statute from the federal OBRA Nursing Home Reform Act. The amendment failed on a vote of 3-4. A substitute motion was made by Sen. Chase Blasi (R-Wichita) to retain all language as amended by the House but add the federal language, the amendment failed on a tie vote broken by the chair. The committee then saw a proposed amendment by Sen. Molly Baumgarder (R-Louisburg), which was the Steffan amendment but added back in the liability protections. The amendment passed on a tie vote and the chair broke the tie by voting aye. The bill was recommended as amended by the committee.

House Bill 2340 requires the Kansas Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board to process applications within a certain time, decreases the years of practice required for reciprocity licensure of certain behavioral sciences professions, extends the license period for temporary licenses, establishes new license categories and decreases continuing education requirements related to diagnosis and treatment. The committee moved the bill as amended favorably for passage.

House Bill 2288 enacts the Counseling Compact to provide for interstate practice privileges for professional counselors. The bill was recommended favorably for passage.

House Bill 2338 designates Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Week and requires the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to study and report on topics related to sickle cell disease. The committee saw an amendment made by Sen. Renee Erickson (R-Wichita) to strike the portion of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to study and report. The amendment was adopted, and the bill passed as amended.

The committee then turned their attention to hearings on the following:

Senate Bill 314 prohibits the secretary of health and environment from requiring COVID-19 vaccination for children attending a childcare facility or school.

Proponents: Written-only provided by Dr. Christine White

Opponents: Heather Braum, Kansas Action for Children, Amanda Applegate, Immunize Kansas Coalition