Governor Signs Bill Increasing Access to Voting Sites

To ensure that Kansans in long-term care facilities can participate in our democracy, Governor Kathleen Sebelius signed a bill allowing long-term care facilities to serve as mobile voting sites.

“Our democracy works best when everybody participates,” Sebelius said. “Kansans, who may not have been able to otherwise, will now have the opportunity to have their voices heard, and their vote count.”

SB 562 allows nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and hospital-based long-term care facilities to serve as voting locations for residents who are registered to vote. The bill also revises the current requirements for inactive voters in mail ballot elections, local office primary elections and the display of political yard signs. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the Kansas Register.

Governor Sebelius signed an additional eight bills today, bringing the total number of bills signed during the 2008 Legislative Session to 131, with three having been vetoed.

Concerning school districts and school safety

SB 470 amends current law regarding school safety violations. If a pupil who is 13 years of age or older is found in possession of a weapon or illegal drugs at school, or has engaged in conduct that could result in serious bodily harm, the chief administrator of the school is required to make a report to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Upon receipt of the report, the law enforcement agency will investigate the incident and give written notice to the Division of Vehicles, which will suspend the pupil’s driver’s license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle in Kansas for up to one year. The bill also amends current law to make a conviction of the crime of endangering a child result in a five-year ban from the teaching profession, a conviction of the crime of aggravated endangering a child result in a lifetime ban from teaching profession, and a conviction of the crime of sexual battery when the victim was under 18 or a student of the person committing the crime result in a lifetime ban from the teaching profession. This bill is effective upon its publication in the Kansas Register.

KCC water utility rates

SB 555 requires water utilities under the jurisdiction of the Kansas Corporation Commission, applying for an increase in rates due to capital improvements, rate of return, or cost of service, to provide notice of proposed increases by means of a bill insert or message in customers’ ensuing monthly bill following the rate application. This bill is effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Relating to children in divorce action

SB 545 authorizes the court to order each parent to provide all information and releases necessary so that both parents can communicate with the health insurance provider, no matter which parent provides the insurance coverage. This bill is effective upon its publication in the Kansas Register.

Concerning controlled substances

SB 481 amends current law to add the hallucinogenic drugs salvia divinorum and datura stramonium to the schedule I of the Kansas Controlled Substances Act. The bill would make it illegal to possess, use, or sell these drugs. This bill is effective upon its publication in the Kansas Register.

Amending the uniform commercial code; secured transactions

SB 449 amends the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) to eliminate from statute the forms for financing statements. The bill also would authorize the Kansas Secretary of State to prescribe the forms to be used when filing a financing statement pursuant to the UCC. This bill is effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Dealing with architectural & engineering services for state agencies

HB 2744 consolidates a number of different statutes pertaining to requirements for architectural, engineering and land surveying-design services for state agencies. The consolidation would provide a common set of requirements for the various professions in doing business with state agencies. This bill was recommended by the Joint Committee on State Building Construction after studying related issues during the 2008 Interim. This bill is effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Concerning the regulation of alcoholic beverages

HB 2908 allows a farm winery to sell wine, manufactured by the winery, to holders of temporary permits to sell and serve alcoholic liquor. This permission would be in addition to current law which allows these wineries to sell to licensed wine distributors, retailers, clubs, drinking establishments, and caterers. The bill would allow the temporary permit holders at the State Fair to sell, in its original, unopened container, wine that is being sold by the glass. The bill also eliminates the requirement that not less than 50.0 percent of agricultural products used in the manufacturing of domestic microbrewery beer be grown in Kansas and permits consumption of alcoholic liquor on the premises of any Kansas National Guard Armory as authorized by the rules and regulations of the Adjutant General. In addition, a defendant who has served alcohol to a minor under 21 years of age can use as evidence in his or her defense that the driver’s license or identification card presented by the minor reasonably appeared to contain a photograph of the minor purporting to establish that such minor was 21 years of age. This bill is effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Telecommunication services & One-Call notification center

HB 2637 would amends the price regulations for basic local telecommunications service; local telecommunications carrier of last resort responsibilities; protection of underground water and wastewater utilities; the Kansas One-Call notification center; and the procurement of services by the Citizens’ Utility Ratepayer Board. This bill is effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

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