The 2023 Kansas legislative session adjourned on April 28th. KAAP Public Policy Committee and KAAP members were actively involved throughout the session. KAAP provided testimony for 13 bills, including six oral testimony on issues related to supporting public health, maintaining and supporting evidence-based immunization requirements, increasing age limit to purchase tobacco, regulating prevention and management of concussions at schools, updating income eligibility requirements for child health insurance program, opposing criminalizing gender affirming care and limitations on sports involvement by transgender students, opposing scope of practice creep, and creating requirements and limitations on use of prior authorization.
The Good: (Bills favored by KAAP that passed)
We are excited to share that the CARE Provider Network, HB 2034 (CCR 2024) passed the legislature with nearly unanimous vote (only 1 nay), was approved by the Governor, and ceremonial signing completed May 17th. Many thanks to pediatricians Dr. Jennifer Hansen, Dr. Emily Killough, and Dr. Kerri Weeks as well as to our KAAP staff and lobbyists who helped this cross the finish line.
More good news, the state budget includes $6.6 million for physician’s Medicaid rate increase.
Tobacco 21 legislation HB 2269 passed both chambers and was approved by the Governor. However, this did not include flavored products.
At the federal level, the FDA continues to review premarket applications for e-cigarettes after its failure to do so for years helped drive a youth nicotine epidemic. Significantly, the FDA issued its first marketing denial orders for menthol e-cigarettes underscoring the risk that menthol plays in youth tobacco initiation and sustained use, while highlighting the lack of evidence that flavors aid in adult smoking cessation.
Opioid Crisis—Sub SB 174: Governor Kelly signed this into law and this decriminalizes fentanyl testing strips. Huge step forward in saving Kansas lives that are impacted by the opioid crisis.
HB 2021 expands uses of the Evidence Based Practice fund to serve more justice-involved youth and their families. Governor Kelly signed it into law.
To conclude the 2023 Session, the Governor on Thursday, May 18th, signed the education budget bill, Sub for SB 113, which fully funds K-12 education. Notably, and because it is an appropriations bill, the Governor exercised her line-item veto authority to veto a provision regarding student enrollment count that would have negatively impacted rural school districts.
The Bad: (Bills opposed by KAAP that passed, were vetoed, and veto sustained)
Dangerous anti-public health and vaccination legislation CCR 2285 included SB 314 prohibiting KDHE from requiring certain vaccinations for children attending childcare or school, (later limited to COVID-19,) and SB 6 with provisions to curtail public health response by Secretary of KDHE and local health officers; repealing the authority of secretary to quarantine individuals and impose associated penalties. The committee amended the agreement to add back language that would allow KDHE to investigate the causes of contagious/infectious disease. CCR 2285 narrowly passed both chambers, was vetoed by the Governor, and is dead for this year.
SB 26 prohibiting gender affirming care passed through the legislature. This bill would have criminalized performing gender reassignment surgery or prescription of hormone replacement therapy on certain persons and providing grounds for unprofessional conduct for healing arts licensees. It was vetoed by the Governor, and override failed in the Senate 26-14. Regardless of how each of us may feel about GAC as individuals, bills like this are a dangerous intrusion on the physician-patient relationship and it is critical that physicians maintain their ability to provide care that is evidence-based for our patients.
Attempts to insert politics into medical practice are distressing, and threaten the health of our patients.
HB 2344 would have relaxed regulations on childcare centers and homes through more lenient capacities, staff to child ratios, staffing requirements, and professional development training. While passed out of legislature, this was vetoed by the Governor, and override failed in the House 81-42.
HB 2304 Eddie Eagle bill standardizing firearm safety programs in school districts was passed out of both chambers, but vetoed by the Governor, and veto was sustained. This legislation would have used the NRA sponsored “Eddie Eagle” GunSafe® program promoted as an “accident prevention program that for over 30 years has helped keep kids safe.” Across the country, State Gun Violence Prevention Efforts States continue to move forward gun violence prevention efforts. In January, Illinois became the 9th state to enact an assault weapons ban during the state’s lame duck session. Assault weapons bans, extreme risk protection orders, universal background checks, child access prevention, and safe storage bills are gaining momentum as legislators aim to address the leading cause of death in children ages 1-24. A new state legislative approach gaining traction this year would provide state funding for gun lock boxes or trigger locks to be distributed in pediatricians’ offices and emergency departments along with gun safety counseling.
The Ugly: (Bills opposed by KAAP that passed, were vetoed, and overridden)
Two problematic bills include language on biological gender. SB 180 “Establishing the women’s bill of rights” to provide a meaning of biological sex for purposes of statutory construction was passed. Governor’s veto was overridden by legislature. Similarly, HB 2238 “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” passed which requires that female student athletic teams only include members who are biologically female. This was vetoed and veto overridden.
To date, 23 states have introduced 96 measures to ban gender affirming healthcare. The AAP and AAP chapters remain engaged on this issue through advocacy during the legislative process and legal challenges via amicus briefs.
KAAP opposed HB 2094 which places barriers to SNAP benefits including cooperation with child support and work requirements. This legislation was passed by both chambers, vetoed by the Governor, and veto override was passed in both chambers.
Thank you to KAAP Public Policy Committee members and KAAP staff for all your hard work during the 2023 legislative session! Kansas kids thank you!
Little Government Relations
Dr. Lauren Arney
Dr. Jennifer Hansen
Dr. Emily Killough
Dr. Kerri Weeks
Dr. Molly Krager
Dr. Jenna Miller
Dr. Nisha Shah
Dr. George Phillips
Dr. Timothy “Ryan” Smith
Dr. Amy Voelker
Dr. Amy Williams
Dr. Dennis Cooley
Dr. Jon Jantz
Dr. Gretchen Homan
Dr. Judy Vansickle
Dr. Kelly Kreisler
Dr. Paul Teran
Dr. Pam Shaw
Dr. Kristie Clark