Stalking Measure Signed into Law

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has signed a measure to improve the state's stalking laws, giving police and prosecutors more power to protect residents.

The law was among seven measures Sebelius signed Friday that were passed by the 2008 Legislature. In all, 138 measures have become law, with three others vetoed.

The stalking law allows law enforcement to get involved sooner if they believe a resident is being threatened. It clarifies the definition of stalking and imposes stronger penalties.

Legislators passed the measure in response to the death of Jodi Sanderholm of Arkansas City, who was murdered by an alleged
stalker. The case is still proceeding in Cowley County.

“This bill will allow law enforcement officers to get involved sooner in these potentially dangerous situations and is intended to get dangerous criminals off the street before they harm the person they are stalking,” Sebelius said in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with Jodi Sanderholm’s family, friends, and community, as this bill becomes law.”

Other bills signed into law Friday:
Increasing the photo fees for a driver’s license
SB 23 provides more resources to the Department of Revenue to make drivers license photos more secure and to prepare Kansas for compliance with the federal REAL ID Act. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the statute book.

Amending Kansas insurance law
SB 113 requires an insurance company to pay interest or dividends during the six months after the surrender of policy as if the policy hadn’t been surrendered. The bill also amends the Kansas Health Care Prompt Payment Act to create a limited time frame during which an insurer could request reimbursement from an insured individual or a provider for a claim paid in error. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the statute book.

Requiring flame retardant cigarettes
SB 178 requires all cigarettes sold in Kansas to be “flame retardant” and tested for ignition strength prior to sale. Noncompliance penalty fees will be deposited into a fund that will support fire and safety prevention programs. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the statute book.

Enforcing child support payments
SB 273 authorizes the Secretary of SRS to enter into a business agreement with any organization that provides matching information about child support debtors against information about liability insurance claimants. The Secretary would be allowed to disclose information about any individual who owes past due support in a Title IV-D case if the debtor owes at least $25.

Insurance companies that provide liability coverage would be required to disclose information about a claimant, as instructed by the Secretary, if the claimant’s aggregate claim totals $1,000 or more. The insurer is permitted under the bill to disclose information about its claimants who have a claim that totals less than $1,000. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the statute book.

Invalidating certain dealer and franchise agreements
SB 379 amends the law on an indemnification provision in construction contracts, motor carrier transportation contracts, dealer agreements, or franchise agreements. The bill also expands the exceptions that are not affected by this provision. This bill goes into effect on July 1, 2009 and its publication in the statute book.

Amending connection types allowed for KAN-ED
SB 391 allows universal provider interconnection; peering rights; or competitively bid end-user programs as acceptable KAN-ED connections. In addition, this bill prevents the creation of a barrier to interconnecting to KAN-ED through unnecessarily difficult technical standards or provider changes. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the statute book.

KAN-ED is a program created by the Kansas Legislature and administered through the Kansas Board of Regents. The purpose of the program is to expand the collaboration capabilities of member institutions, specifically K-12 schools, higher education, libraries and hospitals. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the statute book.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)