Streamlining state government by increasing protections and decreasing costs
TOPEKA - Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed Senate Bill 23 on June 1, bringing the Kansas Securities Commissioner and related regulatory responsibilities under the Kansas Insurance Commissioner, and giving prosecuting authority for securities fraud to the Kansas Attorney General. This law, outlined in the Governor’s 2017 State of the State address, leverages existing institutions to increase consumer protection, decrease costs, and eliminate duplication.
“As Governor, I have worked to make state government more efficient, so we can better steward taxpayer dollars and improve core services for all Kansans,” said Governor Brownback. “When I appointed Commissioner Ney in 2013, I asked him to start looking for ways to reduce redundant efforts between the Insurance and Securities agencies. Through the work of Commissioner Ney, Attorney General Schmidt and Commissioner Selzer, this bill eliminates repeated efforts, while providing robust consumer protection.”
Current Securities Commissioner Josh Ney hailed the new law as good governance that better serves the people of Kansas.
"Governor Brownback’s proposal to combine the insurance and securities agencies is a commonsense, conservative solution to providing better consumer protection services for less money,” said Commissioner Ney. “This is a smart way to shrink the size and scope of state government while maintaining the independent watchdog role of the securities commissioner going forward."
As part of the Kansas Insurance Department, the Securities Commissioner will now be appointed by the Kansas Insurance Commissioner, subject to confirmation by the Kansas Senate.
“This bill provides the State of Kansas with additional opportunities to better protect the public, to reduce costs, and to be more productive in so many areas,” said Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer, CPA. “We look forward to serving Kansans in this streamlined capacity.”
The Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner, and Securities Commissioner will coordinate to investigate and prevent crimes relating to insurance. SB 23 consolidates prosecutorial authority under the Attorney General.
"This reorganization will strengthen the ability of the Attorney General's office to prosecute securities fraud, insurance fraud, elder abuse and financial crimes overall," said Attorney General Derek Schmidt. "From a criminal enforcement standpoint, it is a smart initiative."
Commissioner Ney will serve in his current capacity until the new law takes effect on July 1.
“Thank you to Commissioner Ney for his dedication to serving with excellence the people of Kansas,” said Governor Brownback.