Senate Committees continued to review bills which have been sent over from the House, and we had two days of General Orders this week in the Senate. As we work though committee bills on the floor, we will also begin to have Conference Committee reports to vote on as well. A Conference Committee is a small, bipartisan and bicameral committee that works to smooth out the differences between the House’s and Senate’s version of a similar bill. Once the Conference Committee comes to a compromise, the committee’s version of the bill will be sent to both the House and the Senate for a final vote, before advancing the bill to the Governor’s desk.
SENATE FLOOR ACTION
HB 2184 would shift deposit of docket fees previously credited to the Judicial Council Fund to the State General Fund. Currently, the Judicial Council receives 0.99 percent of docket fees. The bill would remove statutory provisions that direct the State Treasurer to credit 0.99 percent of revenues from docket fees to the Judicial Council Fund. HB 2184 passed 35-3. I voted yes.
HB 2238 also known as the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act would create the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act (Act) and require interscholastic, intercollegiate, intramural, or club athletic teams or sports that are sponsored by public educational entities or any school or private postsecondary educational institution whose students or teams compete against a public educational entity to be expressly designated based on biological sex. HB 2238 passed 28-11. I voted yes.
SB 114 would define advance recycling and related terms and provide exemptions to solid waste management system and similar terms. SB 114 passed 28-10. I voted no as this process is already occurring in Kansas under KDHE rules and bonding requirements – this bill would carve out advanced recycling from under the current laws all Kansas recyclers must follow including mechanical recycling (tire recycling).
Full texts of the bills and supplemental notes as well as the Final Action vote on these measures can be found at www.kslegislature.org.
PAGES FOR THE SENATE – March 8 and 9
On March 8th, Lexi Smith from Belleville and Kryslynn Carlson from Scandia; and on March 9th, Bricen Benyshek, Paige McWhorter, Isabelle Plush, David Schmidt, and Qwinter Thrash, from Concordia, were pages for the Kansas Senate. The pages spent their day with us at the Capitol running errands, working in my office, attending committee meetings, and taking an historical tour of the Capitol as well as the dome tour.
FROM THE SECRETARY OF STATE – Scott Schwab
WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH
March is Women’s History Month – an opportunity to recognize women’s contributions to our state and nation. Kansas women were at the frontlines of the suffrage movement and helped to secure voting rights for women in Kansas before the national movement. Elwill M. Shanahan was the first female Kansas Secretary of State from 1966 to 1978. Secretary Shanahan was the first woman to hold a position in the constitutionally elected branch of Kansas government and the second female president of the National Association of Secretaries of State in 1975. Learn more about the women who paved the way for us through the Kansas Historical Society and Kansas State Department of Education.
One of the best ways to celebrate the suffrage movement is to register to vote. The following links are available to ensure you are prepared to participate in the upcoming municipal elections.
I have conducted several legislative townhalls throughout the 36th Kansas Senate District with more scheduled in the upcoming few weeks. On Saturday, March 18th, Representative Lisa Moser and I will be starting the day with a townhall in Belleville at 9:00 AM at Bel Villa. Next, we will be in Washington at 11:00 AM at the Salebarn Cafe. On March 25th, Representative Troy Waymaster and I will have a townhall in Lincoln at 9:00 AM at Violette’s Coffee Shop. Next, I will join Senator Rick Billinger and Representative Ken Rahjes in Phillipsburg at 11:00 AM for a townhall at Huck Boyd Center. Our next stop will be in Palco at 1:30 PM at the McKenna Youth Center. On April 1st, Representative Waymaster and I will be in Russell for a townhall at 9:00 AM at Espresso Etc.
WATCH AND LISTEN TO THE KANSAS LEGISLATURE
Kansas Legislature YouTube – Here you can follow the legislature live as it happens, or access archives of past sessions and committee meetings.
Kansas Legislature Audio – Here you can listen in on session or committees when they are in session, or access prior committee meetings, as well.
Kansas Legislature website – www.kslegislature.org – has extensive information on legislators, committees, bills, and past sessions.
THANK YOU FOR ENGAGING
Thank you for all of your calls, emails, and letters regarding your thoughts and concerns about happenings in Kansas. I always encourage you to stay informed of the issues under consideration by the Kansas Legislature. Committee schedules, bills, and other helpful information can be easily accessed through the legislature’s website at www.kslegislature.org. You are also able to ‘listen in live’ at this website. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts, concerns, and suggestions. An email is the best at this point in the session.
Thank you for the honor of serving you!
Senator Elaine Bowers
Kansas State Capitol Building
300 SW 10th St.
Topeka, KS 66612