Legislative Issues – 2017

 

The 2017 Kansas Legislature will convene on Monday, January 9, 2017. The Kansas Legislative session generally runs for 90 days until approximately mid-April. The 2017 Legislative Session is the first-session of the biennial legislature.

Elections for all House and Senate members occurred in November 2016. The election resulted in a dramatic shift for the Legislature. Since 2012, the Kansas Legislature has been dominated by “conservative” Republicans, with “moderate” Republicans and Democrats being a distinct minority. The 2016 election created a more balanced legislature — with approximately 1/3 of the seats held by each of the three “factions” (Brownback Republicans, Moderate Republicans, Democrats). Before the session began, uncertainty abounds about what will happen and how the Governor will interact with the Legislature. With a new administration in Washington, DC, legislative leaders expressed ‘concern’ that the governor’s failure to provide any insight into his 2017 legislative agenda “may [show] a desire to leave the governorship and the state.” (See Topeka Capital Journal, “Senate President Wagle: Lawmakers believe Brownback looking for ’ticket to D.C.’”)

Bills introduced into the 2017 Legislative Session are eligible for consideration by both the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions.

For the 2017 Session of the Kansas Legislature, individual requests for bill introductions had to be submitted before February 2, 2017; with committee introductions before February 9, 2017. All bills had to pass its house-of-origin on or before February 27, 2017 (with some exceptions) or they died for the session. The Legislature took its mid-term break on February 27 and resumed Tuesday, March 7 for the second-half of the session. Over that break, the Kansas Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in the Kansas school funding case, Gannon v. Kansas, which unsurprisingly found that the state had long unconstitutionally underfunded the state’s schools. That unanimous decision mandated the Legislature adequately fund the state schools before a June 30, 2017 deadline. Because of significant budget and school funding problems created over the last 4 years, many expect the 2017 legislative session to stretch far longer than its regular 90-day session — perhaps over 105 days.

Bill other than funding bills must pass the opposite house from origin on or before March 30, 2017 (second-house turn-around). All Bills must be considered for final action (other than bills from “exempt” committees) on or before April 7, 2017 (the “drop dead” date), when the Kansas House and Senate take “first adjournment.” The Legislature returns for its “Veto Session” on about May 1, 2017. The Legislature is anticipated to return again in late-May 2017 for adjournment sine die, although because of the huge tax and budget issues — as well as school funding issues — facing the Legislature in the last days of March, 2017, it was expected the Legislature may last into the summer.

For the first time ever, the Senate Judiciary Committee will not be led by a lawyer – because there are no law-trained Senators in the majority party. On December 14, 2016, Senate President Wagle announced her choices for committee chairs. (See Topeka Capital-Journal, “Moderate senators tapped to lead budget, health committees.) In addition to not having a lawyer in the body to lead the important Judiciary Committee, the lack of a lawyer member also caused a problem because an “obscure” statute requires a lawyer member from the Senate serve on a committee that determines claims against the State of Kansas. (See ABA Journal, “Not one Kansas state senator is a lawyer, making compliance with obscure state statute impossible,” also Wall Street Journal)

Senators chosen to lead committees are:

Agriculture & Natural Resources – Sen. Dan Kerschen, R-Garden Plain
Assessment and Taxation – Sen. Caryn Tyson, R-Parker
Commerce – Sen. Julia Lynn, R-Olathe
Education – Sen. Molly Baumgardner, R-Louisburg
Ethics, Elections and Local Government – Sen. Elaine Bowers, R-Concordia
Federal and State Affairs – Sen. Jacob LaTurner, R-Pittsburg
Financial Institutions and Insurance – Sen. Jeff Longbine, R-Emporia
Judiciary – Sen. Rick Wilborn, R-McPherson
Public Health and Welfare – Sen. Vicki Schmidt, R-Topeka
Transportation – Sen. Mike Petersen, R-Wichita
Utilities – Sen. Rob Olson, R-Olathe
Ways and Means – Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick

House members chosen to lead committees are:

Agriculture  – Chairman: Kyle Hoffman, Vice Chairman: Kent Thompson
Agriculture and Natural Resources Budget – Chairman: Don Schroeder, Vice Chairman: Larry Hibbard
Appropriations – Chairman: Troy Waymaster, Vice Chairman: Erin Davis
Commerce, Labor and Economic Development – Chairman: Les Mason, Vice Chairman: Ken Corbet
Corrections and Juvenile Justice – Chairman: Russ Jennings, Vice Chairman: John WhitmerChildren and Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications – Chairman: Joe Seiwart, Vice Chairman: Randy Garber
Education – Chairman: Clay Aurand, Vice Chairman: Diana Dierks
Elections  – Chairman: Keith Esau, Vice Chairman: Blake Carpenter
Federal and State Affairs – Chairman: John Barker, Vice Chairman: Ron Highland
Financial Institutions and Pensions – Chairman: Jim Kelly, Vice Chairman: Randy Powell
General Government Budget – Chairman: Bill Sutton, Vice Chairman: Chuck Weber
Government, Technology and Security – Chairman: Pete DeGraaf, Vice Chairman: Greg Lewis
Health and Human Services – Chairman: Dan Hawkins, Vice Chairman: Susan Concannon
Higher Education Budget – Chairman: Kevin Jones, Vice Chairman: Susie Swanson
Insurance – Chairman: Jene Vickrey, Vice Chairman: Willie Dove
Judiciary – Chairman: Blaine Finch, Vice Chairman: Fred Patton
K-12 Education Budget – Chairman: Larry Campbell, Vice Chairman: Steve Huebert
Local Government – Chairman: Kristey Williams, Vice Chairman: Jack Thimesch
Seniors – Chairman: Steve Alford, Vice Chairman: Linda Gallagher
Social Services Budget – Chairman: Brenda Landwehr, Vice Chairman: Stephanie Sawyer Clayton
Transportation – Chairman: Richard Proehl, Vice Chairman: Shannon Francis
Taxation – Chairman: Steven Johnson, Vice Chairman: Tom Phillips
Transportation and Public Safety Budget – Chairman: J.R. Claeys, Vice Chairman: Michael Houser
Veterans and Military – Chairman: Les Osterman, Vice Chairman: Lonnie Clark
Water and Environment – Chairman: Tom Sloan, Vice Chairman: Ken Rahjes

The following family law and related bills and concurrent resolutions were pending in the 2017 Kansas Legislature:

Senate:

H Sub SB13: Code of Civil Procedure; Updates (PASSED SENATE 39-0)(See HB2197)(See SB120Alcohol and beer; sales and regulation (SUBSTITUTE PASSED HOUSE 80-45)(SENATE CONCURRED 27-11)

Introduced by the Senate Judiciary Committee on the third-day of the 2017 Session, this bill –recommended by the Kansas Judicial Council – updates the Kansas Code of Civil Procedure adopting the 2016 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (but not others made in 2014 and 2015). One major change included in the 2016 Federal amendments would provide that the “3-day rule” no longer applies to electronic service. Another change would introduce the contempt of discovery “proportionality” — that is, a party could object to discovery relevant, but not material to the particular matters at issue in the case. Proportionality is an attempt to provide a narrowing of discovery parameters so that it is not as easy to request relevant but marginally material information from another party.

A hearing on the bill was held by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 10:30 AM in Room 346-S.

At the Committee hearing, a representative of the Kansas Judicial Council explained the amendments in the bill mirror changes made to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in 2015 and 2016 allowing for uniformity of practice in state and federal courts in Kansas and reliance on interpretation and analysis of the federal rules in construing the corresponding Kansas provisions. Additionally, the representative explained the federal rule comparable to KSA 2016 Supp. 60-268 was deleted as most of these forms are obsolete, and while the Judicial Council will maintain the forms on their website, the statute was found to no longer be necessary.

The Committee recommended the bill pass in a report issued January 26, 2017. On February 7, 2017, the bill was considered by the Senate Committee of the Whole, and recommended that it be passed. On February 8, 2017, the bill passed the Senate   Yea: 39 Nay: 0. It was then introduced into the House on February 9, 2017, where it was referred to the House Judiciary Committee for hearings.

In the House, the bill was scheduled for hearing by the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 07, 2017, at 3:30PM in Room 112-N. While working other bills, the House Judiciary Committee consolidated this bill into HB2197 for consideration by the full House (making SB13 an empty shell, later filled in House committee with language to update  Kansas laws on beer and alcohol sales).

On April 4, 2017, the House Judiciary Committee recommended that the empty shell of SB13 be filled with language regarding alcohol and beer sales. The Committee of the Whole approved the substituted bill for approval by the full House. On April 6, 2017, the full House approved the substitute bill Yea: 80 Nay: 45. When the substitute bill passed over to the Senate, the Senate concurred in the amendments to SB13 (now H Sub SB13) Yea: 27 Nay: 11.

SB50: Uniform Laws; changing membership (PASSED SENATE 40-0) Consumer Protection; Unauthorized Practice of Law (AMENDED PASSED HOUSE 124-1)(CONFERENCE COMMITTEE)(SENATE CONCURRED 38-0)(GOVERNOR SIGNED April 18, 2017)(EFFECTIVE KANSAS REGISTER)

This bill was introduced to change the Senate member statutorily appointed to sit on the Uniform Laws Commission and the state committee on claims against the state. It would delete the statutory provision appointing the Chair of the Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee to two important posts: the Uniform Laws Commission and the legislative committee that reviews and recommends claims against the state for payment. Both positions require that the member be a lawyer. But for the first time since statehood, there are no lawyer members in the Kansas Senate, so the Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee chair is now not a lawyer (or law-trained). The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for hearings. The bill was set for hearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, January 31, 2017, 10:30 AM Room 346-S.

On February 20, 2017, the Judiciary Committee approved an amended bill for passage by the Senate. The bill would clarify the Commission members would be the chairpersons of the House and Senate Committees on Judiciary, if such chairpersons are members of the Kansas Bar. But if the Senate Committee on Judiciary chairperson is not a member of the Kansas Bar and there is not another member of the Senate Committee on Judiciary who is a member of the Kansas Bar, then the bill would allow the chairperson to appoint, with the advice of the Senate President, a former member of the Legislature who is a member of the Kansas Bar to serve on the Commission in lieu of the chairperson for the chairperson’s current legislative term.

The bill was placed on General Orders for February 21, 2017. Rep Peterson offered a technical amendment from the floor that easily passed the Senate Committee of the Whole. On Final Action, on February 22, 2017, the bill passed, as amended, unanimously.

In the House, the bill was scheduled for hearing by the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, March 07, 2017, at 3:30PM in Room 112-N. On March 24, 2017, the House Judiciary Committee adopted an amendment changing the procedure for appointment to the ULC to allow the Kansas Revisor of Statutes (or assistant revisor) to be designated to serve as the Kansas designee to the ULC when there is not an attorney legislator and standardizing the procedure for such designation for both the House and Senate. The Committee also added modified language from HB2397 (making “unauthorized practice of law” an unconscionable act or practice under the Kansas Consumer Protection Act).

The bill was debated by the House Committee of the Whole on March 28, 2017. The House Committee of the Whole adopted an amendment clarifying the definition of “person” in the section related to the unauthorized practice of law. The bill proceeded to Final Action on March 29, 2017, which passed the bill Yea: 124 Nay: 1.

The Senate non concurred with the House amendments appointing Senators Wilborn, Lynn, and Haley as conferees that same day. The House acceded to the Senate nonconcurrance on March 30, 2017, appointing Reps Finch, Patton, and Carmichael as conferees.

On April 7, 2017, Senator Wilborn moved for the Conference Committee that the Senate concur in House amendments to SB50. The Senate approved the House amended version of the bill Yea: 38 Nay: 0.

The bill was signed by the Governor April 18, 2017 to become law when published in the Kansas Register.

SB101: Protection from Abuse; Protection from Sexual Assault (PASSED SENATE 40-0)(PASSED HOUSE 116-9)(CONFERENCE COMMITTEE)(HOUSE PASSED CCR 122-0)

This bill would add language to the protection from abuse and protection from stalking acts allowing a person asserting non-consensual sexual contact to obtain a protection order against a defendant. The bill was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee for hearings. It’s unclear why the language needs to be added to the statute. Recently, the Kansas Court of Appeals decided an appeal that explicitly found that sexual assault is included in the existing language and intent of the statute as it exists. See Kerry G. v. Stacy C, – Kan.App.2d –  (2016).

The Senate Judiciary Committee set a hearing on the bill for Thursday, February 09, 2017, 10:30 AM in Room 346-S Thursday, February 16, 2017, at 10:30 AM in Room 346-S. Ronald W. Nelson testified on the bill in a neutral capacity pointing out that the legislation was unnecessary and perhaps detrimental since the Kansas courts have found that unwanted sexual contact is already covered by the existing act.

The Senate Committee adopted an amendment proposed by the KCASDV to reorganize subsections in the PFSSAA definitions section and clarify that a can could issue a protection from stalking or sexual assault order granting any one or more of the orders currently allowed by law, including orders restraining a defendant from harassing, abusing, or sexually assaulting a victim.

On February 22, 2017, the Senate Committee of the Whole considered – and recommended passage of – the committee-amended bill. The Senate unanimously approved the bill 40–0, sending the bill on to the House for consideration.

In the House, the bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee, which set a hearing on the bill for Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 03:30 PM in Room 112-N. Ronald W. Nelson presented neutral written testimony on the bill, pointing out that sexual assault is included in the existing language and intent of the statute as it exists under  Kerry G. v. Stacy C, – Kan.App.2d –  (2016). The Committee worked the bill on March 23, 2017. The House Committee created a substitute bill containing SB101 adjusting the definition of “sexual assault,” and added provisions from HB2033 (crime victims compensation),  and modified provisions from HB2176 (sexual assault examination notification) adding “family or household member” to the exemption created by the bill when there is information regarding a related criminal investigation and by removing an exemption that would have been added by the original bill where the physician, licensed physician assistant, or registered professional nurse believes it is in the best interests of the minor to not provide notification. The substitute bill was recommended for passage by the full House.

On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, the bill was considered by the House Committee of the Whole. Rep. Carmichael (D-Wichita) offered an to give physicians extra time to make an investigation in case of sexual assault of a minor. The amendment passed 74-47 on division vote. As amended, H Sub SB101 passed the House Committee of the Whole on voice vote. The bill was considered on final action by the full House on March 29, 2017, which passed the bill as amended Yea: 116 Nay: 9

The Senate non-concurred with the House amendments appointing Senators Wilborn, Lynn, and Haley as conferees that same day. The House acceded to the Senate nonconcurrance on March 30, 2017, appointing Reps Finch, Patton, and Carmichael as conferees.

On April 7, 2017, the Conference Committee presented its report to the House that the Senate acceded to all House amendments to the bill, with agreements to amend the bill as printed with House Committee of the Whole amendments adding the following provision to KSA 65-6009 regarding the testing of persons arrested and convicted of certain crimes that, “Testing for infectious disease shall occur not later than 48 hours after the alleged offender appears before a magistrate under K.S.A. 22-2901, and amendments thereto. The results of any test obtained under this section shall be inadmissible in any criminal or civil proceeding. The court shall also order the arrested person to submit to follow-up tests for infectious diseases as may be medically appropriate.”

The House adopted the Conference Committee Report Yea: 122 Nay: 0.

SB114: CINC; clarifying rules for admission of drug and substance testing results (PASSED SENATE 39-0)(See SB124)

This bill would require the admission of any drug and substance testing report in a CINC proceeding merely if the report “is prepared and attested by the person conducting the test or an authorized employee of the facility that conducted the test.” There would be no opportunity to challenge the test; no opportunity to cross-examine the proponent of the test; and no opportunity to question the validity of the test. It would simply be admitted, by statutory mandate. The bill was introduced on January 31 and assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee for hearing. The Judiciary Committee scheduled the bill for hearing on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 10:30 am in Room 346-S. The Judiciary Committee recommended the bill pass February 14, 2017.

On that same day, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill out of committee without amendment for consideration by the Senate. On February 23, 2017, the Senate Committee of the Whole recommended the full Senate pass the bill as amended by committee. The full Senate passed the bill 39-0-1 that same day.

The bill was introduced into the House and referred to the House Judiciary Committee the same day the bill passed the Senate. In the House, the bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee, which set a hearing on the bill for Wednesday, March 14, 2017, 03:30 PM in Room 112-N. When the Committee worked the bill, it’s modified provisions were incorporated into SB124.

H Sub SB120: Kansas uniform securities act; updating references (PASSED SENATE 39-0) Code of Civil Procedure; 2016 updates (SUBSTITUTE PASSED HOUSE 122-0)

This bill was originally introduced on February 1, 2017, and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 2, 2016. As introduced, the bill would update references within the Kansas Securities Act for to section 18(b)(4)(E) of the Federal Securities Act of 1933 to section 18(b)(4)(F). Hearings were held on February 13, 2017 by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary in Room 346-S at 10:30 am. The Committee issued its report that same day recommending the bill be passed and placed on Consent Calendar. On February 23, 2017, the Senate passed the bill  Yea: 39 Nay: 0. The bill was introduced into the House that same day and referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the bill on Thursday, March 09, 2017, 03:30 PM Room 112-N. On March 29, 2017, turn-around day, the bill was withdrawn from the Committee on Judiciary and referred to the Committee on Appropriations. On April 3, 2017, the bill was withdrawn from the House Appropriations Committee and re-referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

The House Judiciary Committee added the securities act language in SB120 to SB23 making SB120 a ‘shell.’ The House Judiciary Committee inserted the contents of original SB13, updating the Kansas Code of Civil Procedure, into the SB120 shell (the contents of SB13 were previously inserted into HB2197 because the House did not pass HB2197 while it was on the House Calendar.

On April 7, 2017, the House Committee of the Whole approved the Committee report. The House then moved to emergency final action, approving the substitute bill, Yea: 122 Nay:0.

 

SB124: Child custody factors; domestic abuse (PASSED SENATE 40-0)(AMENDED PASSED HOUSE 125-0)(CONFERENCE COMMITTEE)(SENATE CONCURRED 38-0)

This bill was originally introduced into the 2014 Legislature. After committee debate, it was referred to the Kansas Judicial Council for review. This is the resulting bill. It would amend the factors that courts use to determine legal custody, residency, and parenting time to correct  the ‘spousal abuse’ factor to direct that court’s consider ‘domestic abuse,’ instead since the factors are used not only in divorce cases, but also where the parents were never married. The bill was introduced on January 26, 2017, and assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Senate Judiciary Committee set a hearing on the bill for Thursday, February 09, 2017, 10:30 AM in Room 346-S Thursday, February 16, 2017, at 10:30 AM in Room 346-S.

On February 20, 2017, the Senate Judiciary Committee issued its report recommending that the bill pass the Senate, as introduced. On February 22, 2017, the Senate Committee of the Whole considered – and recommended passage of – the committee-approved bill. ON February 23, 2017, the Senate passed the bill 40-0.

The bill was introduced into the House on that same day, and was referred to the House Judiciary Committee for hearings. In the House, the bill was assigned to the Judiciary Committee, which set a hearing on the bill for Wednesday, March 14, 2017, 03:30 PM in Room 112-N. On March 23, 2017, the House Judiciary Committee worked the bill. The Committee adopted an amendment to the bill adding a pattern or history of “threat” of physically or emotionally abusive behavior to the evidence to be considered under the factor. The House Committee also added language modified from SB114, regarding admissibility of test reports under the CINC Code.

On March 28, 2017, the House Committee of the Whole adopted the Committee report and by voice vote recommended that the full House pass the bill on Final Action. The House considered the bill on Final Action March 29, 2017, which passed the bill Yea: 125 Nay: 0.

The Senate non concurred with the House amendments appointing Senators Wilborn, Lynn, and Haley as conferees that same day. The House acceded to the Senate nonconcurrance on March 30, 2017, appointing Reps Finch, Patton, and Carmichael as conferees.

On April 7, 2017, Senator Wilborn moved for the Conference Committee that the Senate concur in House amendments to SB124. The Senate concurred in the House amendments to the bill Yea: 38 Nay: 0.

SB126: Child care facilities; authorized workers (PASSED SENATE 38-2) Foster Care; Creating Foster Care Oversight Task Force

SB126, introduced into the Senate Committee on Public Health and Welfare on February 1, 2017, would amend the laws restricting the persons maintaining, residing, working, or volunteering in a child care facility by expanding the list of existing prohibitions to comply with new federal requirements for background checks found in the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014, also referred to as the CCDF Reauthorization [Child Care and Development Fund]. The Senate Committee scheduled the bill for a hearing on Thursday, February 09, 2017, Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 09:30 AM Room in 118-N. The Senate Committee amended the bill to add a conviction for arson to the list of prohibitions for persons maintaining, residing, working, or volunteering in a child care facility, and passed the bill out for Senate consideration on February 16, 2017. On February 21, 2017, the Senate Committee of the Whole approved the Committee recommendation, but then reconsidered that action in a later vote. On reconsideration, the Senate Committee of the Whole adopted a technical amendment to the bill offered by Senator Taylor, recommending that the bill as amended by the Committee of the Whole be adopted. On February 22, 2017, the Senate passed the bill as amended  Yea: 38 Nay: 2. The bill was introduced into the House on the same day.

In the House, the bill was assigned to the House Committee on Children and Seniors, which scheduled a hearing on the bill for Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 09:00 AM in Room 218-N. On March 23, 2017, the House Committee on Children and Seniors substituted the contents of the Senate approved bill (regarding restrictions on persons interacting with child care facilities), and inserting the contents of HB2019, as amended by the House Committee, regarding the Task Force. On March 30, 2016, the last day on which bills could be considered in ‘the opposite house of introduction,’ the bill was withdrawn from the House Calendar and referred to the House Committee on Appropriations. On April 3, 2017, the bill was withdrawn from the House Committee on Appropriations and re-referred to the House Committee on Children and Seniors.

 

House:

HB2019: Foster Care; Creating Foster Care Oversight Task Force (See SB126)

Introduced on the first day of the 2017 Session, this bill would establish a task force to oversee and make recommendations to improve the Kansas foster care system. The bill was assigned to the Committee on Children and Seniors for hearings. The bill was scheduled for hearing February 14, 2017 at 9:00am in Room 218-N. On February 16, 2016, the bill was withdrawn from the House Committee on Children and Families and reassigned to the Appropriations Committee. The next day, the bill was withdrawn from the Appropriations Committee and reassigned to the House Committee on Children and Seniors for further committee action. After turn-around, the bill was set for hearing in the Committee on Children and Seniors on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, 09:00 AM in Room 218-N.

On March 23, 2017, the House Committee on Children and Seniors inserted the contents of HB2019 into SB126 removing the original SB126 language, replacing it with the contents of HB2019 (and ‘gut and go’).

HB2041: Courts; Fees and costs; extending the judicial branch surcharge fund. (PASSED HOUSE 122-0)(PASSED SENATE 40-0)(CONFERENCE COMMITTEE)

Introduced on January 12, 2017, this bill would extend the judicial branch surcharge from 2017 to 2019. The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee for hearings. The Judiciary Committee held hearings on the bill Monday, January 30, 2017, 03:30 PM in Room 112-N, issuing a report on February 3, 2017 that the bill pass as introduced. On February 9, 2017, the House Committee of the Whole recommended passage of the bill as introduced. On February 13, 2o17, the House passed the bill Yea: 122 Nay: 0, sending it on to the Senate.

The bill was introduced into the Senate on the same day the House approved the bill, assigning it to the Senate Judiciary Committee for hearing. The Senate Committee worked the bill on March 23, 2017, modifying the language of the bill as suggested by a conferee to clarify who may be ordered to pay the cost of collection. The Senate Committee also incorporated the provisions of HB2053 (requiring defendants to pay for the costs of collection in domestic and other cases) into the bill. On March 29, 2017, the Senate Committee of the Whole adopted the Committee report, and recommended final passage by the full Senate. The bill was considered for Final Action by the full Senate on March 30, 2017, which passed the bill, as amended by the Senate Committee, Yea: 40 Nay: 0. The House non concurred in the Senate amendments, appointing a judiciary committee conference committee, to which the Senate acceded.

HB2053: Courts; Requiring defendants to pay for the cost of collection in domestic cases. (PASSED HOUSE 122-0)(See HB2041)

Introduced on January 12, 2017, this bill would add “domestic” cases to the types of cases for which costs of collection of court debts may be assessed. However, the statute requires a “defendant” pay those debts, so it’s unclear from the bill as introduced how the statute would apply in domestic cases. The bill was referred to  the Judiciary Committee for hearings, which scheduled the bill for hearing on Tuesday, January 17, 2017 at 3:30 pm in Room 112-N (after the informational briefing on the Kansas Judicial Council by Nancy Strouse).

On January 30, 2017, the House Judiciary Committee amended the bill to correct the reference to to “defendant,” instead referencing ‘persons ordered to pay,” and recommended that it pass. The House Committee of the Whole considered the bill on February 7, 2017, and recommended that the bill pass as amended by committee. The bill passed the House as amended on February 8, 2017, Yea: 122 Nay: 0.

The bill was introduced into the Senate on the same day, and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for hearing on Thursday, March 16, 2017, 10:30 AM Room in 346-S. When the Committee worked the bill, it incorporated the provisions of this bill into HB2041 (regarding court fees and charges).

HB2068: Child support; arrearages, enforcement and collection

This bill, introduced by the Appropriations Committee would provide for various additional penalties for persons with arrearages of more than 15 days on court ordered child support obligations, including suspension of driver’s license, hunting and fishing licenses, and vehicle registrations. In addition, if either $10,000 or more than 6 months child support arrearages exist, a notice must be sent to the licensing body of any licensure held by the person in arrears. The Appropriations Committee scheduled a hearing on the bill for Thursday, February 09, 2017, 09:00 AM in  Room 112-N.

HB2108: Grandparents as Caregivers Act amendments

This will would amend the Grandparents as Caregivers Act to reduce the age at which grandparents would qualify for certain services for grandchildren being taken care of in their home from 50 to 40. The bill was introduced in the House Appropriations Committee on January 19, 2017, and assigned to that Committee for hearing. The Committee scheduled a hearing on the bill for Thursday, February 02, 2017, 09:00 AM Room 218-N, but then rescheduled the hearing for Thursday, February 9, 2017, 09:00 am.

HB2101: Marriage; abolishing common law marriage

This bill would abolish common law marriage in the state of Kansas effective July 1, 2017, protecting any common law marriages entered before the effective date. The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee for hearings. The House Judiciary Committee scheduled the bill for hearing on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 in Room 112-N. Ronald W. Nelson testified against the bill with written and oral testimony.

HB2123: Discrimination; prohibiting gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination

This bill would add gender identity and sexual orientation to the list of human characteristics for which discrimination is prohibited. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee, which scheduled hearings for Tuesday, February 07, 2017, 03:30 PM in Room 112-N.

HB2172: Marriage; removing unconstitutional opposite-sex requirement.

This bill would remove language from the Kansas marriage statutes requiring that persons marrying in the state be of “opposite sex.” The restriction was found to be unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 in Obergefell v. Hodges.

HB2186: Arbitration; enacting the Uniform Arbitration Act of 2000 (HOUSE PASSED 72-53)

This will would update the Kansas arbitration statutes to the provisions of the Uniform Arbitration Act of 2000 – a significant and important update to the statutes. The bill was introduced on January 26, 2017, and assigned to the Judiciary Committee for hearing. The Judiciary Committee set the bill for a hearing on on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at 03:30pm in Room 112-N. The House Committee adopted a technical amendment correcting a statutory reference, recommending that the amended bill be passed by the House.

The amended bill was considered by the House Committee of the Whole on February 21, 2017. Debate on the bill was the first floor fight by some who desired to reinstate teacher and other protections stripped from them by the governor in the past few legislative years. Rep. Stodgsdill (D-Prairie Village) offered a floor amendment adding into the bill teacher due process protections. Although the amendment was challenged for germaneness, the amendment was ruled proper. The amendment was adopted by House COW  Yea: 66 Nay: 59.  On Final Action on February 22, 2017, the House approved the amended bill   Yea: 72 Nay: 53.

The bill was introduced into the Senate on that same day, and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for hearings. On March 21, 2017, the bill was withdrawn from Committee on Judiciary and referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.

S Sub HB2197: Criminal Procedure; jury trial rules (PASSED HOUSE 125-0) Code of Civil Procedure; Updates

This bill was introduced into the House Judiciary Committee on January 27, 2017 to limit the distribution of lists of prospective jurors. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, which held a hearing on the bill Monday, February 06, 2017, 03:30 PM in Room 112-N. On February 13, 2017, the House Judiciary Committee reported the bill favorably for passage. On February 21, 2017, the bill was passed over by the House Committee of the Whole for another day. On February 22, 2017, the House Committee of the Whole recommended that the bill be passed as introduced. The full House passed the bill the next day, February 23, 2017 Yea: 125 Nay: 0. The bill was introduced into the Senate the next day and assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on the bill Wednesday, March 15 and Thursday, March 16, 2017, 10:30 AM in Room 346-S. On March 23, 2017, the Senate Committee on Judiciary added the language of HB2197 to HB2301 and separately recommended that the provisions of  SB13 (updating the Code of Civil Procedure as recommended by the Senate Committee on Judiciary) for the existing language in HB2197 and recommended the substitute bill be passed.

HB2198: Domestic battery and stalking; collection of biological samples

This bill would add domestic battery and stalking to the list of offenses for which the Kansas bureau of investigation may collect biological samples. The bill was introduced on January 30, 2017, and assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. The Judiciary Committee scheduled the bill for hearing on Wednesday, February 7, 2017, at 3:30p in Room 112-N, but the hearing was cancelled.

HB2215: Crimes; removing opposite-sex requirement for unlawful voluntary sexual relations with a child

This bill would remove the requirement for “unlawful sexual relations with a child” that the offender be of the opposite sex as the victim. The bill was introduced on January 31, 2017, and was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee for hearing.

HB2216: Crimes; removing consensual relations from definition of criminal sodomy

This bill would remove consensual acts between persons over the age of 16 from the definition of criminal “sodomy,” a law that has not been enforced for many years and which was found unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003). The bill was introduced on January 31, 2017, and was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee for hearing.

HB2222: Child Abuse; expanding list of mandatory reporters

This bill would expand the list of mandatory child abuse reporters to include “animal control officers.” The bill was introduced on January 31, 2017.

HB2247: Legal Publications; authorizing use of internet websites for legal publication

This bill would authorize the publication of legal notices on approved internet websites. With the increase in use of the internet – and decrease in local newspapers – the bill seeks to expand the availability of legal notices (including service of process by publication). The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee. The bill was scheduled for hearing on Tuesday, February 14, 2017, 01:30 PM in Room 281-N.

HB2293: Protection from Abuse; sexual abuse (See SB101)

This bill would add language to the protection from abuse and protection from stalking acts allowing a person asserting non-consensual sexual contact to obtain a protection order against a defendant. The bill is nearly identical to SB101. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee for hearings. It’s unclear why the language needs to be added to the statute. Recently, the Kansas Court of Appeals decided an appeal that explicitly found that sexual assault is included in the existing language and intent of the statute as it exists. See Kerry G. v. Stacy C, – Kan.App.2d –  (2016).

Although this bill did not have a hearing, provisions of this bill were amended into the similar SB101, by the House Judiciary Committee as part of a mega-crime victims protection bill.

HB2332: Electronic communications and stored information; prohibitions on unauthorized disclosure

This bill was introduced in the House Committee on Government, Technology, and Security on February 9, 2017, to address various information technology concerns with the increased use of online communication and data storage. The bill provisions would (1) prohibit the unauthorized disclosure of any electronic communications by providers or third-parties; (2) protect unlawfully divulged communications from disclosure in discovery, by subpoena, or under other means of legal compulsion; (3) prohibit the communications use in evidence before any court or administrative tribunal; (4) provide additional protections to electronic communications protected by the attorney-client privilege, whether inadvertently disclosed and would prohibit any service agreement from requiring the waiver of that attorney-client privilege. The bill was assigned back to the Committee on Government, Technology, and Security for hearings. On February 20, 2017, the bill was withdrawn from the Committee and assigned to the House Appropriations Committee. On February 22, 2017, the bill was re-referred back to the Committee on Government, Technology, and Security, and set for hearing on Monday, March 06, 2017, 09:00 AM in Room 218-N.

 

HB2352: Evidence; limiting certain misdemeanors use for impeachment

This bill would amend the Kansas Evidence Code to provide that: “Evidence of an adjudication  for a crime, which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a misdemeanor involving dishonesty or false statement, shall not be admissible for impeachment of a witness.” The bill is nonsensical in that a trier of fact would very much want to weigh convictions of dishonesty and the making of a false statement in weighing a witnesses credibility. The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, which scheduled a hearing on the bill for Monday, February 20, 2017, 01:30 PM in Room 152-S.

HB2365: Appropriations; Courts

This bill was introduced on February 13, 2017, and assigned to the House Appropriations Committee. It is the vehicle in the House to appropriate money to the Courts for FYs 2018 and 2019. It was referred to the House Appropriations Committee for hearing.

HB2397: Consumer Protection; unauthorized practice of law (See SB50)

This bill was introduced into the House Committee on State and Federal Affairs on March 16, 2017. It would make the unauthorized practice of law (as defined by the Kansas Supreme Court) a consumer protection violation, subject to the penalties set out in the act for a consumer protection violation. This bill came about because twenty-two Kansas banks received a demand letter from a Pennsylvania law firm stating the bank was violating accommodation laws.

HB2414: Real Estate Appraisers; standards

This bill, introduced into the House Federal and State Affairs Committee on March 24, 2017, would impose certain standards on a licensed real estate appraiser, “when performing an appraisal of real property for a real estate-related financial transaction.” Among other requirements, the appraiser would be governed by, “the 2014-2015 edition of the uniform standards of professional appraisal practice promulgated pursuant to federal law or any later version as adopted by the board in rules and regulations; or the 2016 edition of the standards of valuation practice and valuers’ code of professional ethics promulgated by the appraisal institute.”