This week is the last week for the Legislature to meet before the first adjournment, which will be on April 6.

The Senate sessions this week will begin at 10 a.m. every day in an effort to hear and vote on any remaining bills. Continuing this week are conference committees, where committees in both houses meet with their counterparts to resolve any differences between the versions of bills passed by both houses. The Legislature will reconvene on April 26 and begin the veto session, where they will have the chance to override any vetoes made by the governor.

Floor Action:

— Increased Penalties for Fake Police Calls (HB 2581): House Bill 2581 increases the criminal penalties for giving a false alarm in certain circumstances. The practice which is known as “swatting,” is when a person makes a call to the police with a false story of an ongoing crime in attempt to draw police officers to a particular address. Any false call for emergency help would be at least a misdemeanor, becoming a felony if the person uses a fake identity or electronically masks their identity. HB 2581 would make fake calls that result in death a felony comparable to second-degree murder. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

— Special Olympics, Choose Life, Wichita License Plate (HB 2599): House Bill 2599 provides for the distinctive plates for Special Olympics, Choose Life, the Wichita city flag.

The bill also authorizes special license plates for veterans of the Korean War, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. This bill passed the Senate 36-2.

— Qualifications for the Office of Sheriff (HB 2523): House Bill 2523 amends the statute setting forth the qualifications required of sheriffs. Specifically, the bill would narrow language disqualifying a person from holding the office of sheriff if the person has been convicted of a violation of any federal or state laws or city ordinances relating to gambling, liquor, or narcotics. The bill would disqualify only for a misdemeanor related to gambling, liquor, or narcotics within five years immediately proceeding election or appointment. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

— Amending the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (HB 2472): House Bill 2472 amends the uniform anatomical gift act to give driver’s license applicants’ authorization to be listed as an organ, eye, and tissue donor in the Kansas donor registry. HB 2472 would require the word “Donor” be placed on the front of the driver’s license or identification card of an individual who provides authorization on an application for a driver’s license or an identification card to be listed in the Registry. The gift would become effective upon the death of the donor. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

— Nuclear Energy Development and Radiation Control Act (S Sub HB 2600): Senate Substitute for House Bill 2600 provides for the assessment of fees by the Department of Health and Environment for noncontiguous sites where radioactive material is stored or used. The bill also directs the Secretary of Health and Environment to study and investigate maternal deaths in Kansas. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

— Workers Compensation Death Benefits (S Sub HB 2184): Senate Substitute for House Bill 2184 amends worker’s compensation death benefits. The act allows for an initial payment to be shared between the surviving spouse and the dependent children. This bill passed the Senate 35-5.

— Kansas Adoption and Relinquishment Act (HB 2481): House Bill 2481 provides several revisions to the Kansas Adoption and Relinquishment Act. Senator Molly Baumgardner (RLouisburg) placed an amendment on the bill which protects faith-based adoption agencies. This bill passed the Senate 28-12.

— Kansas Pet Animal Act (HB 2477): House Bill would create several changes to the Kansas Pet Animal Act pertaining to licensure of those providing temporary care of dogs or cats, maximum license fees, notice of inspections, requested inspections, no-contact inspections, failed inspections, and license renewal dates. This bill passed the Senate 34-6.

— Income Tax Refund for Certain Native American Veterans (Sub HB 2147): Substitute House Bill 2147 would create a process by which certain Native American military veterans would be able to apply for a refund of state personal income taxes improperly withheld from such veteran’s federal military income in the amount of income taxes paid plus interest. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

— Rescuing Vulnerable Person or Animal from a Vehicle (HB 2516): House Bill 2516 provides immunity from civil liability for damage to a motor vehicle for a person who enters the vehicle, by force or otherwise, to remove a vulnerable person or domestic animal if they are in imminent danger. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

Want to learn more or keep up with the Legislature’s actions?

Check out the website www.kslegislature.org to keep up to date on bills, calendars, or journals, as well as stream the live audio for committee meetings. Follow the legislature’s YouTube channel, KS Legislature, to stream House and Senate sessions live, or watch the recordings afterward