Sebelius Signs Two Bills Helping Military Families

Governor Kathleen Sebelius has signed two bills Wednesday addressing the needs of members of the military and their families.

“When a member of the military is deployed, it greatly impacts their family,” said Sebelius. “This extended time away from families forces us to make adjustments in the way parents who are divorced or separated balance their children’s time with the other parent. It’s a complicated situation that hopefully can be simplified some with this legislation. At the same time it’s imperative that the deployed parent knows his or her rights are protected.”

According to SB 32, when a divorced or separated parent receives military deployment, mobilization, temporary duty orders, or unaccompanied tour, they are required to establish permanent parenting plans. These plans must include provisions for custody and parenting time while deployed, mobilized, on temporary duty, or unaccompanied tour.

The legislation also allows for expedited hearings for good cause shown, when military duties have a material effect on the parent’s ability to appear in person at a regularly scheduled hearing. Any order modifying previously ordered custodial or parenting time rights shall indicate that the deployment is the basis for the modification and that the order is temporary in nature. The court may delegate the deploying soldier’s parenting time to another family member with close ties to the child/children.

This bill goes into effect after its publication in the Kansas Register.

HB 2923 allows a full-time military service member who has been or will be deployed outside of the United States to defer all or part of the real property tax owed for his/her home in Kansas for up to two years while serving on active duty. In addition, the bill provides free annual hunting and fishing licenses to disabled veterans and makes military persons currently on active duty eligible for distinctive license plates. It also increases the one-time activation payment of $1,000 to $1,500 for State of Kansas employees who are called to full-time military duty.

The bill specifies that funds raised from the Kansas Lottery will contribute to Kansas National Guard scholarships, the Kansas Veterans Home, Kansas Soldiers Home, Veterans Cemetery System, and to the Museum of the Kansas National Guard. This bill funds a new position in the Kansas Commission on Veterans’ Affairs.

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

Sebelius also signed four other bills into law today, bringing the total number of bills signed in the 2008 Legislative Session to 157 with three having been vetoed.

Regarding the Kansas Healing Arts Act

HB 2620 gives the Board of Healing Arts authority to place a licensee on probationary status and would authorize the Board to take appropriate disciplinary action or enter into a non-disciplinary resolution on the basis of a single action showing professional incompetency or unprofessional conduct as those terms are defined in the Healing Arts Act. It also allows the Board to adopt a list of graduated sanctions for violations.

It strengthens the application process for those attempting to obtain a medical license or reinstate their license. Applicants will be fingerprinted and also submit to a state and national criminal history check. The same applies for those applying to practice as nurses or mental health technicians. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the statute book.

Regulating organ procurement

HB 2700 authorizes certain individuals, primarily family members, to take a deceased person’s body to a federally certified organ procurement organization serving Kansas in addition to the currently listed facilities. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the statute book.

Establishing the Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons License Act

HB 2746 requires the Kansas Real Estate Commission to consider time lapse and good reputation when considering a prior revocation, conduct, or plea of guilty, nolo contendere, or a conviction of a misdemeanor which could reflect on the applicant’s honesty, trustworthiness, integrity or competence to transact the business of real estate. The bill also would increase the civil fine for violation of prohibited acts and set guidelines for advertising by a licensee. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the statute book.

Requiring radon notification during sale of residential property

HB 2772 requires each contract for sale of residential real property to contain language notifying the buyer that the property may contain radon gas, the cancer risks of exposure to radon, and the KDHE recommendations to test for such gas. This bill goes into effect after its publication in the statute book.

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