Sebelius Signs Bill to Expand Rural Housing

Governor Kathleen Sebelius has signed a bill to help more rural communities meet their housing needs.

“Right now there are more than 35,000 open jobs in Kansas,” Sebelius said. “In order to attract workers to fill these jobs, we need to make sure there is affordable housing for them and their families. It is common sense solutions like this that have kept the Kansas economy strong despite troubling national trends.”

HB 2123 raises the population limits with the Kansas Rural Housing Incentive District Act. This Act encourages housing development in rural cities and counties, where housing shortages exist, by providing grants and loans for public improvements.

Before utilizing this incentive, the governing body of the city or county must conduct a housing needs analysis. The Secretary of the Department of Commerce must certify that the findings and determinations of the housing needs analysis justify the use of this incentive.

This bill goes into effect after its publication in the Kansas Statute Book

Sebelius also signed eleven other bills into law today, bringing the total number of bills signed in the 2008 Legislative Session to 151 with three having been vetoed.

Allowing alternative project delivery building construction procurement

SB 485 permits counties and school districts to use an alternative project delivery program and allows them to award contracts for design and construction based on a best value approach to be used in the selection process. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Establishing timely response for mergers or acquisitions

SB 570 requires the Kansas Corporation Commission to approve or deny mergers or acquisitions between telecommunications companies headquartered in Kansas within 120 days. The bill would require the KCC to make a determination within 180 days for mergers or acquisitions of and by price cap companies when the partner is another price cap company or a company not headquartered in Kansas. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Regulating virtual schools

SB 669 creates the Virtual School Act. This Act and gives general supervision and regulation of all virtual schools to the Kansas Department of Education. Moneys received as Virtual School Aid will be deposited in a Virtual School Fund. This bill also requires school districts to provide adequate training to teachers who teach in virtual schools or virtual programs. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Allowing more time for legislative review

SB 702 gives the Legislature another year to conduct a comprehensive review of the Opens Records Act. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Reconciling Amendments

SB 703 reconciles drafting errors in past legislation. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Regulating adoptions

HB 2186 requires that any person who advertises adoption services be licensed by the State of Kansas. This bill also requires adoption service advertisements to include a professional license number. These requirements do not apply to individuals seeking to adopt a child. This bill also makes violations of the requirements punishable as an unclassified misdemeanor with a fine of up to $1,000 for each violation. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Increasing funding to educational institutions

HB 2343 provides for a state contribution of income earnings equivalent to the amount of interest earned on a qualifying private gift to increase funding for eligible educational institutions by supplementing the endowed professorships’ salaries and providing additional support for assistants, travel, equipment, and other expenses. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Regulating of Amusement Rides

HB 2504 requires amusement rides operated in the State of Kansas to have a valid certificate of inspection. No amusement ride could be operated unless nondestructive testing of the ride by standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials has been documented. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Amending the Commission on Judicial Performance

HB 2642 grants immunity in any civil action to the Kansas Supreme Court, the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Judicial Council, and the staff of these entities for any act, error or omission within the scope of their official duties. This bill also exempts the Commission from the application of the campaign finance law when the Commission is performing its statutory duties. Finally, this bill delays the appointment of the fourteenth Court of Appeals Judge until 2010. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the Kansas Register.

Garnishment of insurance companies

HB 2643 clarifies that a garnishee must serve an answer within ten days after service of an Order of Garnishment. If the service is obtained by serving the Commissioner of Insurance, then the garnishee would have 40 days to answer or otherwise respond. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Property/Casualty Flex-Rating Regulatory Improvement Act

HB 2689 enacts the Property/Casualty Flex-Rating Regulatory Improvement Act which requires rate filings made by an insurer for a statewide rate change of no more than 12 percent would be effective upon filing. Filings submitted under the Act shall be deemed to comply with state law unless the Insurance Commissioner determines the filing is inadequate or unfairly discriminatory. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.


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