Quote of the Week:

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”

― James Madison

HARD FACTS:

⦁ According to the State General Fund Profile for FY 2016-2022, Kansas will have a $300.7 million deficit. This does not include additional funding to K-12 education and continues to transfer sales tax from the State Highway Fund. (⦁ Kansas Legislative⦁ ⦁ Research Department) http://www.kslegresearch.org/KLRD-web/SGF-Receipts.html.

⦁ Four of the five metropolitan areas reported positive job growth since December 2017 with Kansas City reporting the largest gain of 800 jobs (⦁ Kansas Depar⦁ t⦁ ment of Labor) https://klic.dol.ks.gov/gsipub/index.asp?docid=472.

FLOOR ACTION:

MOTORCYCLE APPROVED SAFTEY TRAINING CURRICULUM (SUB HB 2194): Substitute for House Bill 2194 would exempt applicants for Class M (motorcycle) driver’s licenses who have completed curriculum recognized by the Kansas Department of Education and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation from completing further written and driving testing by the Division of Vehicles. The bill would require an applicant who completes a motorcycle safety curriculum to provide a copy of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation completion form to the Division of Vehicles prior to receiving a Class M license. The bill would also clarify the driving examination required for licensure shall be administered by the Division of Vehicles, the U.S. Department of Defense, or as part of a recognized curriculum. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.

ALCOHOLIC CANDY (HB 2476): House Bill 2476 defines “alcoholic candy” as any candy or other confectionery product with an alcohol content greater than 1.0 percent alcohol by volume. Alcoholic candy would be subject to regulation by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division of the Kansas Department of Revenue, and retailers would be required to have a liquor license to sell such products. The bill also would increase an exemption for the alcohol allowed in confectionery products under current law regarding adulterated foods from less than 0.5 percent to not more than 1.0 percent.

The bill would also allow licensed microbrewers in the State to produce beer containing up to 15.0 percent alcohol by weight. Current law prohibits microbrewers from producing beer with more than 10.0 percent alcohol by weight. A microbrewery licensee would be allowed to sell beer manufactured by the licensee in refillable and sealable containers to consumers for off-premises consumption if containers do not contain less than 32 fluid ounces or more than 64 fluid ounces of beer. Licensees would be required to affix labels to all containers sold, which would include the licensee’s name and the name and type of beer in such container. This bill passed the Senate 38-2. (I voted against this bill. This bill will contradict federal law that only allows up to 0.5 percent of alcohol in confectionery products. Without making the necessary changes to protect the vendors in our state, this could leave them vulnerable to prosecution by the federal government.)

EMERGENCY OR CATASTROPHE (HB 2469): House Bill 2469 prohibits local units of government from imposing restrictions or enforcing local licensing or registration ordinances on insurance claims’ handling operations during any catastrophic event threatening life or property. The bill would require insurers to notify the city or county prior to establishing a claims handling operation. Under the bill, a political subdivision would not be prohibited from exercising its police power when necessary to preserve public health and welfare, including, but not limited to, enforcing its building, zoning, and fire safety codes. This bill passed the Senate 40-0.