KS Legislature Wrap: Born alive, gun safety, education budget

KS Legislature Wrap: Born alive, gun safety, education budget
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 6:50 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas House approved its “born alive” bill regarding attempted abortions.

House Bill 2313 defines “born alive” fetuses as any fetus with a heartbeat, muscle movement or pulsation of the umbilical cord; and requires health care providers present at an attempted abortion to give it care regardless of the circumstance it was delivered.

The bill passed 88-34, which would be enough to override a veto. It now heads to the senate.

Lawmakers also advanced legislation to implement gun safety education programs in K-12 schools.

The Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs approved House Bill 2304. The legislation would direct the State Board of Education to establish curriculum guidelines and calls for the NRA’s Eddie Eagle program to be used in grades K-5.

Middle schools would use the same or Hunter Education from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. High school curriculums would also be based on Hunter Education.

The bill will go before the full Senate for a final vote.

The Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee added a measure prohibiting gender-affirming care into House Bill 2263, legislation enabling qualified pharmacists to administer vaccinations. The measure comes from Senate Bill 233, which would revoke the license of and allow civil lawsuits against physicians who provided care including surgery or administering puberty blockers, testosterone or estrogen.

The Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources passed an amended House Bill 2302. The bill establishes funding for the State Water Plan and related projects. The committee changed the source of that funding from a sales tax to the State General Fund.

The House passed another proposal for the state’s education budget. Along with education appropriations, House Substitution for Senate Bill 113 includes provisions from House Bill 2271. Those provisions would allow private school students to participate in athletics through their local school district and establish an online portal for parents to view a school’s curriculum, transfer numbers, and copies of all state-required exams.

The bill does not include special education funding for 2024, or the school voucher plan that was included in the previous budget proposal. The House Substitute for SB 83 Passed House 64-61, but wasn’t accepted by the Senate.

The House Substitute for SB 113 passed 78-39 with a final vote scheduled Thursday. The Kansas Association of School Boards released a statement opposing several parts of the bill.

The House also advanced House Bill 2436, the Attorney General’s ban on environmental, social and governance investments. The criteria, dubbed ESG’s, are used by companies to consider the environmental and social impact of investments they make. Attorney General Kris Kobach earlier this year joined a coalition against two proxy advisory firms challenging their utilization of ESG’s.

On a lighter note, the House of Representatives welcomed the Kansas State University football team. Coach Chris Klieman and the Wildcats were honored for winning the Big 12 Championship this year.