The big issues you should know about
The big issues you should know about

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Highlights from the Kansas House 

We have concluded our committee work in the House, and have been working to pass a lot of important policy through the House Chamber before we move on this week to bills coming out of conference committees. While the House Democrats focus on partisan antics, my fellow Republicans have been doing the heavy lifting to deliver broad and sustainable tax relief and a fiscally responsible budget to the people we serve here in Kansas. As always, I have been looking out for the taxpayers of the 39th District in Shawnee and Lake Quivira, working to protect freedoms, reduce the burden of taxes and unnecessary regulations, and prioritize student-centered education and parental rights. 

A Special Guest 

It's always an honor to work in the Kansas Capitol, but a recent visit from my granddaughter, Rose Espinoza, was surely a highlight. Rose has impressed me with her interest in government and history. I'm working for the good of her generation, so they can enjoy the traditions of freedom, self-reliance and virtue that have been the hallmarks of our American society.

Real tax relief is coming your way

With ever-rising inflation due to out-of-control spending at our federal level, Kansas residents are experiencing a squeeze in their household budgets and a drop in their personal savings. With that in mind, Kansas House Republicans produced a tax package that reflects our commitment to wide-ranging and sustainable tax relief in H Sub SB 169 that was passed this week on the House floor with strong bi-partisan support. 
Our plan provides tax relief to Kansans of all income levels while simplifying our tax code with a single-rate of 5.25%. In addition to creating a single tax rate for individual income, the bill accelerates the elimination of the state sales tax on food, removes the tax cliff that retirees face on their Social Security income, adds more money to the "Rainy-Day Fund", and reduces the tax burden on small businesses. This bill also reduces the property tax for EVERY Kansas homeowner. The House tax package addresses these major issues faced by Kansans, while ensuring we’re committing to a plan that’s sustainable and fiscally responsible.

Women's Bill of Rights establishes definition of biological sex

Last Wednesday, The Women’s Bill of Rights, SB 180, successfully passed the Kansas House. The right to privacy, safety, and equal opportunity in a single-sex space is a basic protection that each female in Kansas deserves. The Women’s Bill of rights establishes a definition of biological sex so existing laws can continue to protect Kansas women as they historically have.

Biological differences between the sexes leave females more physically vulnerable than males to specific forms of violence, including sexual violence. This legislation is essential in protecting the right to privacy, dignity, and safety for females in restrooms, domestic violence shelters, rape crisis centers, prisons, locker rooms, and other areas where biology, safety, and/or privacy are involved. Read a full analysis here.

Building a culture of life

Republicans believe in a culture of life. That means recognizing that human life deserves protection at all stages and that Kansas should do everything in its power to encourage life. This week, the Senate passed several bills that further the cause of life:

Two bills that have passed the House have now been passed by the Senate: HB 2024 would amend the Newborn Infant Protection Act to provide an alternate means to legally surrender an infant. The bill would authorize a parent or other person having lawful custody of an infant who is not more than 60 days old and who has not suffered great bodily harm as determined by certain medical professionals to surrender physical custody to a newborn safety device, defined by the bill, installed at a police station, sheriff’s office, law enforcement center, fire station, city or county health department, hospital, ambulatory surgical center, or recuperation center. The bill would make the relinquishing parent that follows the above procedure immune from civil or criminal liability for surrendering an infant meeting the criteria stated above.
HB 2313 would enact the Born-alive Infants Protection Act, to provide legal protections for infants who are born alive regardless of the intent of the delivery. The bill would require, in the event an abortion or attempted abortion results in a child being born alive, any health care provider present at the time the child is born alive to exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence, to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care provider would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age; and ensure that the child who is born alive is immediately transported to a hospital. I voted Yes -- this seems like it shouldn't even be necessary to protect human life, but 34 Democrats voted against it. The bill passed the Senate and will go to the Governor - this is one to watch.

House bills last week: 

Last week the Kansas House passed 52 bills and 1 resolution. I voted YES on all of these. You can get details on any of these bills here

SB 25: Decreasing the premium tax rate imposed on surplus lines insurance from 6% to 3%.
Yea: 119 Nay: 4
SB 205: Authorizing certain water rights in a water bank to participate in multi-year flex accounts on a temporary basis.
Yea: 123 Nay: 0

SB 3: Designating Silvisaurus condrayi as the official state land fossil.
Yea: 119 Nay: 4

SB 120: Authorizing the secretary of health and environment to adopt rules and regulations for an annual certification program for the replacement of distribution systems segments and increasing the amortization period on loans from the Kansas water pollution control revolving fund.
Yea: 114 Nay: 9

SB 17: Modifying the requirement to report individuals who solicit memberships on behalf of prepaid service plans from semi-annually to annually and upon application for registration and discontinuing payment of annual registration fees for such plans.
Yea: 117 Nay: 6

SB 85: Enacting the Kansas travel insurance act.
Yea: 103 Nay: 20

SB 44: Enacting the Kansas financial institutions information security act.
Yea: 114 Nay: 9

House Sub for SB 116: House Substitute for SB 116 by Committee on Federal and State Affairs:  Regulating samples of spirits distributors, wine distributors and cereal malt beverage distributors, requiring monthly remittance of gallonage taxes regarding special order shipping of wine, permitting rather than requiring that roads be blocked if adequate signage is used for common consumption areas and allowing businesses to sell cereal malt beverages by the drink on Sunday without requiring that 30% of the gross receipts be from food sales.
Yea: 102 Nay: 21

SB 189: Authorizing state and local law enforcement agencies to receive files and information about an applicant from other agencies that received an application for employment from the applicant or conducted an employment background investigation on the applicant.
Yea: 123 Nay: 0

SB 75: Providing a statutory interest rate for prejudgment interest in all civil tort actions.
Yea: 122 Nay: 1

SB 66: Enacting the interstate teacher mobility compact to recognize equivalent teacher licenses across member states.
Yea: 103 Nay: 20

SB 123: Deeming military veterans and spouses or dependents of such veterans who were stationed in Kansas for at least 11 months as residents for purposes of tuition and fees at postsecondary educational institutions.
Yea: 123 Nay: 0

HB 2438: Eliminating the instructor-coordinator's certificate requirement associated with the teaching of emergency medical services courses.
Yea: 123 Nay: 0

HB 2401: Defining "benefit year" and "temporary unemployment" in the employment security law, requiring electronic filing of reports for employers with 25 or more employees, permitting discretion in the number of appointments and length of terms for the temporary employment security board of review and extending the time required for establishment of a new account due to a business acquisition.
Yea: 119 Nay: 4

SB 114: Creating definitions for "advanced recycling" and related terms and separating advanced recycling from the current solid waste management system.
Yea: 101 Nay: 22

Sub for HB 2414: Substitute for HB 2414 by Committee on Commerce, Labor and Economic Development - Developing postsecondary engineering programs, providing scholarships for engineering students at certain public and private institutions of higher education by establishing a matching grant program to be administered by the secretary of commerce and creating the engineering graduate incentive fund.
Yea: 82 Nay: 40

SB 194: Requiring hospital district board members to be qualified electors of the county where the hospital is located or any adjacent county.
Yea: 50 Nay: 73

SB 119: Updating certain obsolete statutory references in chapter 40 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated.
Yea: 117 Nay: 5

SB 27: Authorizing the commissioner of insurance to set the amount of certain fees.
Yea: 118 Nay: 5

HB 2418: Abolishing the study commission for the consolidation of Kansas City, Kansas, and Wyandotte county, consolidation commission of Topeka, Kansas, and Shawnee county, study commission for the consolidation in Greeley county, state emergency response commission, transportation vision task force, Persian Gulf war veterans health initiative act, Kansas export finance act, community strategic planning assistance act, natural and scientific areas advisory board, public finance transparency board, Kansas film services commission, Kansas bioscience authority, KAN-ED act and department of health and environment advisory committees.
Yea: 123 Nay: 0

SB 228: Requiring the secretary for aging and disability services to reimburse counties for certain costs when a person is in a county jail awaiting examination, evaluation or treatment for competency, modernizing statutes concerning county jails, removing the requirement that every county shall have a jail, modifying procedures used when district courts commit prisoners to jail in another county and when counties contract with city jails to keep prisoners and requiring a medical examination before certain United States prisoners or city prisoners are taken into custody of a county jail.
Yea: 122 Nay: 1

SB 217: Including the conduct of utilizing any electronic tracking system or acquiring tracking information to determine the targeted person’s location, movement or travel patterns in the crime of stalking when done as part of an unlawful course of conduct and authorizing orders to prohibit such conduct under the Kansas family law code, the revised Kansas code for care of children, the protection from abuse act and the protection from stalking, sexual assault or human trafficking act and increasing the time of an initial restraining order and possible extensions issued in a protection from abuse order or a protection from stalking, sexual assault or human trafficking order.
Yea: 12 Nay:  
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