Gov.’s signature freshly inked on Gail Finney Memorial Foster Care Bill of Rights

FILE - Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly pauses while answering questions from reporters during an event...
FILE - Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly pauses while answering questions from reporters during an event at a women's shelter, Jan. 23, 2023, in Topeka, Kan. The Democratic governor has vetoed a Republican transgender bathroom bill and a GOP plan for ending gender-affirming care for trans youth.(AP Photo/John Hanna)
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 12:17 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s signature is freshly inked on the Gail Finney Memorial Foster Care Bill of Rights and which will now soon become law.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly announced on Monday, April 24, that she has signed House Bill 2024 to establish the Gail Finney Memorial Foster Care Bill of Rights which outlines the rights of foster youth, foster parents and family caregivers.

“I am pleased to sign this bill into law not only to empower our youth and families in our foster care system but to honor the legacy of one of our state’s great leaders, Representative Gail Finney. She was a warrior for our children – particularly those from underrepresented and minority communities -- and worked tirelessly to improve foster care in our state,” said Gov. Kelly.

Kelly noted that HB 2024 also strengthens and sustains the Child Abuse Referral Evaluation network, a program that already exists to ensure every case of child maltreatment is thoroughly investigated. The bill also allows for the use of infant safety devices in authorized facilities.

“I was not previously acquainted with Gail Finney the legislator. I was a friend of Gail Finney the person. Now that I’ve had an opportunity to walk the halls of the statehouse and hear from those who are now my colleagues, who had the pleasure of knowing Gail as a legislator, I realize there was absolutely no distinguishing between the two,” said Representative Ford Carr. “What a fitting tribute it is to my friend for this body to name the ‘Gail Finney Foster Care Bill of Rights’ in her honor and my privilege to carry the torch of her legacy so that I might continue to be the voice for those without the ability to speak as loudly for themselves.”

Along with HB 2024, Kelly said she also signed three other bipartisan bills. She said House Bill 2346 creates the “Back the Blue” and city of Topeka license plates and allows distinctive license plates to be personalized. HB 2298 designates part of I-435 as the Officer Donald Burton Gamblin Jr. memorial highway and part of U.S. 69 as the Robert Lessen memorial highway.

Lastly, Kelly said HB 2059 amends several provisions of the Kansas Liquor Control Act, the Kansas Cereal Malt Beverage Act and the Club and Drinking Establishment Act. The bill also permits restaurants to allow dogs in outside areas on their premises and in microbreweries as long as specific conditions are met.