22 February 2022 | Tax and Budget Family Supports Health Early Learning

Where we stand on helping kids and families in the 2022 session

Kansas Action for Children

February 22, 2022

This week is Turnaround, the deadline by which lawmakers must consider bills voted out by committees for full consideration by the originating chamber (House or Senate). If bills are not brought up on the chamber’s floor for debate and a vote, they will need leadership’s approval to continue in the legislative process. This deadline kills many bills each session. The next three days (Feb. 22-24) include all-day floor action as each chamber considers a long list of bills.

Unfortunately, lawmakers have not invested nearly enough of their time on bills that will directly help Kansas kids and their families. We are sad to see small issues being prioritized over bipartisan bills that will help struggling Kansans. Here’s where we stand going into this three-day marathon of bill actions. 

FOOD SECURITY — HB 2525 & HB 2215 

STATUS: Both were voted out of committee favorably; House leadership has scheduled HB 2525 to receive a vote today (Tuesday).  

The first of these bills, HB 2525, would allow parents to access crucial food assistance when choosing not to pursue child support for the safety and well-being of their children. The second bill, HB 2215, would allow Kansans with drug-related felony convictions to access the food assistance that is vital to reintegration into their families and communities. 

Click here to send a quick email to your representative sharing your support for the bill and encouraging them to vote YES on HB 2525. 

Lawmakers should VOTE YES on both bills. 

PROHIBITING KANCARE CHANGES 

STATUS: House Health rushed out HB 2463, and it now awaits House debate and a vote. 

This dangerous KanCare bill was voted out of the House Health Committee on Monday evening. It would prohibit any substantive or material changes to the state’s Medicaid program, KanCare, until 2025. This bill ties the hands of program administrators on making time-sensitive and necessary changes in the coming years.  

Lawmakers should VOTE NO.  

CHILDHOOD IMMUNIZATIONS 

STATUS: SB 212 (from the 2021 session) was voted out of committee and it now awaits Senate debate and a vote. 

A barrage of bills attacking childhood immunization requirements have been introduced this session. The good news is that most of these bills are still in committee and have missed the deadline for committees to vote out the bill to the full chamber. Any further action would require leadership’s approval.  

The bad news is that SB 212, which would take away the authority from KDHE for the required vaccination list, could be voted on by the full Senate this week. And particular lawmakers who have been working hard to overturn immunization requirements are likely to amend bills that will receive floor debate and votes by adding dangerous provisions. 

Lawmakers should VOTE NO on SB 212 and other dangerous provisions when they come to the Senate or House floor. 

HB 2662 — THE FRANKENSTEIN EDUCATION BILL 

STATUS: HB 2662 was voted out of House K-12 Budget Committee; the Chair intends to couple several bad education policy bills with education funding later in session. 

House Sub. for HB 2662 was passed out of committee last week, along with other bad education bills. The chair stated her intent to combine these bills with education funding later in session. We’ll be monitoring closely when this issue begins to resurface. 

Click here to join our partner organization, Kansas Interfaith Action, in telling lawmakers to vote NO on HB 2662. 

Lawmakers should VOTE NO. 

ENDING THE STATE FOOD SALES TAX 

STATUS: SB 339 was voted out of Senate Tax; all others are still in committee. KAC opposes the current version of SB 339. 

Even though most committees are racing to complete their work before the Turnaround deadline, the tax committees are under no such rush as they are “exempt” and may continue to meet and consider bills after this week. There are four bills that would completely eliminate the state sales tax on food, and a few that would gradually decrease the amount over the next few years. A clearer picture will likely emerge in the next few weeks. 

Lawmakers should VOTE NO on SB 339 in its current form and ADVANCE a more fiscally responsible food sales tax bill. 

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