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2015 Legislative Testimony
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Government Policies & Procedures   

SB 10: Filling Vacancies on Governing Bodies
SB 10 would require the governing body of any city with a vacancy on the governing body to fill that vacancy within 30 days. If the vacancy is not filled within the 30 day limit then the governing body must hold a special election to fill the vacancy. The League opposes this bill.


SB 42: Public Funds for Lobbying
This bill requires all lobbyists who receive public funds from governmental entities to file a report with the secretary of state’s office listing the amount of funds they received. The League submitted written neutral testimony on this bill.

 

SB 98: Open Records/Open Meetings Fees Bill
This bill would mandate the fees cities could charge for open records requests and regulate the minutes kept at every meeting. The League is testifying in opposition to this bill.

 

SB 171: Moving Spring Elections to the Fall of Even Years and Making Partisan
SB 171 would move city elections to November of even-years, make those races partisan, and repeal the enabling statutes for the commission-manager form of government.


Sub. for SB 171: Moving City Elections to the Fall of Odd Years
This bill would move city elections to the fall of odd years, limit when cities could hold bond and special question elections, and require elections for certain governing body vacancies. The League opposes this bill.

 

SB 206: KOMA/KORA Enforcement
This bill would provide the attorney general with more authority to investigate and penalize public agencies violating KOMA and KORA. The League provided neutral testimony.

 

SB 298: County Option Retailer’s Act
Under this bill, individual counties could vote to determine if alcohol should be allowed to be sold in grocery and convenience stores. The League provided neutral testimony.

 

HB 2003: Concerning Island Annexation
The original version of HB 2003 was amended in the House Local Government Committee and was amended again on the House floor. The League was involved in negotiations that resulted in a bill that the League no longer opposes. The League provided neutral testimony to the Senate Local Government Committee on amended HB 2003.

 

HB 2138: Change in Appearance Bonds for Municipal Courts
HB 2138 would require a municipal court judge to set a cash appearance bond at the same dollar amount as a surety appearance bond. Currently courts can set a cash bond at a lower amount than a surety bond which allows a defendant to deposit cash with the court to assure their appearance. If the defendant does not have enough cash to meet the cash bond amount they are then able to purchase a surety bond from a third party that would be less out of pocket than the cash bond amount. The League opposes this bill and will testify in opposition.

 

HB 2162: Retail Liquor and Separation Distances in Commercial Districts
HB 2162 would allow local governing bodies to provide an exemption from the current 200 foot separation that must exist between retail liquor stores and a church or hospital. Under the bill, a local governing body could pass a regular ordinance that would allow alcohol related businesses to be located within 200 feet of a church or school if they are located within a commercial district. The League supports the bill and will testify in support.

 

HB 2196: Establish Means to Handle de minimis Abandoned Personal Property
The bill would provide that a city or county that held uncashed checks in amounts of $20 or less could cancel the check and transfer the funds to its general fund after a period of 12 months. The League supported HB 2196.

 

HB 2200: Alcohol in Grocery Stores
This bill would allow grocery stores to sell alcohol. The League provided neutral testimony.

 

HB 2237: Online Publication 
This bill would allow cities to designate an internet website as its official publication source. The League supports this bill.

 

HB 2254: Roofer Registration Exemptions
This bill would establish an exemption for general contractors from the Roofers Registration Act. The bill is intended to clarify that general contractors do not have to register under the act if the provisions regarding general contractors contained in the bill were complied with.

 

HB 2286: Transportation Network Company Regulations
This bill would establish statewide regulations for transportation network companies like Uber and Lyft. The League submitted neutral testimony, but expressed opposition to section 19, which preempts local regulations.

 

HB 2331: Retail Liquor and Separation Distances in Commercial Districts
Section 4 of HB 2331 would allow local governing bodies to provide an exemption from the current 200 foot separation that must exist between retail liquor stores and a church or hospital. Under the bill, a local governing body could pass a regular ordinance that would allow alcohol related businesses to be located within 200 feet of a church or school if they are located within a commercial district. The League supports this section of the bill and remains neutral on the balance of the bill.

Public Safety

SB 18 | HB 2137: Mandatory Use of Body Cameras by Law Enforcement
SB 18 would require all officers “assigned to patrol duties” to be equipped with a body worn camera and record video while on duty. This bill contains video retention requirements that the League believes will be onerous and expensive to comply with. The League does not oppose the use of body worn cameras but does oppose the mandate created by this bill. The League will be testifying in opposition to this bill because it is an unfunded mandate and interferes in local control issues.

 

SB 40 | HB 2123: Massage Therapy Licensure Bill
This bill grants the state the ability to license massage therapists. The League opposes section 12 of this bill, because it preempts cities from regulating massage therapists. 

 

SB 45: Allow the carrying of a Concealed Firearm Without a License (Senate | House)
SB 45 would allow individuals who are “not prohibited from possessing a firearm under either federal or state law” to carry a concealed firearm. Under current law only certain individuals who have been licensed by the Attorney General can carry a concealed firearm legally. The League has taken a neutral position on this bill but will testify with our concerns about the enforcement of SB 45 if it becomes law. The primary concern is the ability of a law enforcement officer to be able to verify that an individual has not committed an act that would prohibit gun possession. There are some individuals who cannot legally possess a firearm that a police officer would not be able to determine with a simple records check.

 

SB 66: Prohibiting Conceal Carry in a Portion of a Public Building
Under current law a municipality that wishes to prohibit the conceal carry of handguns into only a portion of a public building the entire building must meet the requirements of prohibition. As an example, if a city wants to provide security outside of a municipal court room the only way to do so is by securing the entire building at every entrance. SB 66 would allow a city to provide security for a single floor or area of a building to prohibit the conceal carry of a handgun without prohibiting conceal carry in the rest of the building. The League supports SB 66 as an expansion of local control and will resolve some concerns our members have.

 

SB 128: KORA Exception for Municipal Judges and City Attorneys
This bill would exempt online public agency records that identify the home address or home ownership of any municipal judge or city attorney from the Kansas open records act. The League provided written testimony in support of this bill.

 

SB 153: Exempting Public Library Buildings from Portions of Conceal Carry Prohibitions
SB 153 would exempt public library buildings from the adequate security requirements of K.S.A. 2014 Supp. 75-7c20. If passed, a public library building would be able to prohibit conceal carry license holders from carrying into the building by using proper signage as required by the Attorney General’s office. The library would not have to provide adequate security measures or meet the exemption requirements of other public buildings. The League provided testimony in support of SB 153.

 

HB 2007: Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Region for Incidents
HB 2007 creates a mutual aid region for critical incidents for the Kansas City, Kansas metro area to allow law enforcement agencies in the metro area to work with their counterparts in the Kansas City, Missouri metro area. The League provided written testimony in support of HB 2007.

Finance & Taxation

SB 63: Municipal Land Banks Holding Property With Special Taxes Due
Bill would allow the governing body of any municipality that levied special assessments on property acquired by a land bank to enter into an agreement with the land bank to defer or reamortize all or a part of the special assessments beyond payoff date of the taxes. This action would not impact bondholder rights. The League testified supported SB 63.

 

SB 84: Abandoned Property
SB 84 amends statutes regarding abandoned property to allow cities to take action to take possession and rehabilitate residential properties. The League testified in support of SB 84.

 

SB 187: Extend Rural Opportunity Act Program
SB 187 would reauthorize the Rural Opportunity Zone program and extend its sunset from July 2016 to July 2022. The League testified in support of SB 187.

 

SB 244: Publication Requirements for Budgets and Budget Vote Notices (House | Senate)
Bill would require that the notice of budget vote be published within 30 days of the date of adoption of the budget. Bill would also require that the notice be published in a weekly or daily newspaper in the county where the taxing entity is located. If the taxing entity is located in two or more counties, the notice is to be published in weekly or daily newspaper with general circulation in the municipality and, also, post the notice for not less than 10 days on the official web site of each county in which the taxing entity is located. Similar changes are made to the notice of budget hearing. The league testified in support of SB 244.

 

SB 247: Change Municipal Audit Requirements (House | Senate)
The bill would raise the dollar amount triggering the requirement for a municipal audit from $275,000 to $500,000 of aggregate annual revenue or outstanding general or revenue bond obligations. It would require that cities in the $275,000 to $500,000 range to have their accounts reviewed on an annual basis by a CPA under an agreed upon set of procedures. The Department of Administration would develop the agreed-upon procedures. The review would be required to be filed with the Secretary of Administration. The League testified in support of SB 247.

 

SB 259: Motor Vehicle Tax Computation
SB 259 would alter the current way that motor vehicle property tax is computed at the county level. The bill proposes to reduce the tax rate from 20% to 12% from 2015 to 2019. The bill would also change the depreciation rate.

 

HB 2076: Establishing a Statewide Sales Tax Holiday
Bill would establish a 4 day state wide sales tax holiday in August of each year and would exempt certain described personal property (generally school oriented) from state and local sales tax. The League testified in opposition to HB 2076.

 

HB 2167: Increasing Interest Rate on Delinquent Real Property Taxes
The bill would increase the interest rate to be charged on delinquent real property taxes. The League testified in support of HB 2167.

 

HB 2197: Municipal Land Banks Holding Property With Special Taxes Due
Bill would allow the governing body of any municipality that levied special assessments on property acquired by a land bank to enter into an agreement with the land bank to defer or reamortize all or a part of the special assessments beyond payoff date of the taxes. This action would not impact bondholder rights. The League testified supported HB 2197.

 

HB 2248: Tax Increment Financing and “Old Properties” 
HB 2248 would expand TIF project eligibility to include “very old buildings” (term is defined in the bill) and adjacent vacant or condemned lots. The League testified in support of HB 2248.

 

HB 2298: Remove Sunset from ROZ Act
This bill would remove the statutory June 30, 2016 sunset on the Rural Opportunity Zone Act and allow the act to continue without further legislative intervention. This bill is similar, but not identical, to SB 187. SB 187 extends the ROZ sunset for 5 years.

 

HB 2400: Repeal of LAVTRF
Bill would repeal the Local Ad Valorem Tax Fund provisions.

 

HB 2435: Repeal of Sales Tax Exemption on State and Local Building Projects
Bill would eliminate the sales tax exemption on the direct and indirect purchase of tangible personal property used in the construction, equipping, reconstruction, remodeling, etc. of public facilities. Bill is broad enough to include road and bridge projects.

Personnel & Public Employees

SB 65: Remove Municipal Employers Ability to Prohibit Employee Conceal Carry
SB 65 would remove the statutory language that allows a municipal employer to use a written personnel policy to prohibit an employee with a conceal carry license to do so while working for the employer. The League is opposing this bill as an interference with local personnel decisions.

 

HB 2246: Amending the Tort Claims Act Concerning Notice to Municipal Employers
HB 2246 was introduced by the League to respond to a recent Supreme Court case that changed how the Tort Claims Act had been interpreted for nearly twenty years. This bill will make it clear that before a suit can be filed against a municipal employee, for action done in the course and scope of employment, the employer must be given notice of the claim. The League will be testifying in support of HB 2246.

 

HB 2253: KPERS Working After Retirement
This bill would change the working after retirement rules for KPERS employees. The League provided neutral testimony.

Infrastructure

SB 64: Amendment to the Small Multipurpose Lakes Program
SB 64 amends the Small Multipurpose Lakes Program by lowering the interest rate that cities must pay the state to access storage in some state lakes. The League supports this legislation.

 

HB 2014: Increasing the Clean Water Drinking Fee
This bill would increase the Clean Drinking Water fee from $0.03 to $0.13, and appears to prohibit water systems that pay sales taxes from avoiding the fee. The League opposes this bill.

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Contacts

© 2016 League of Kansas Municipalities

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