Last Session, the Government, Technology, and Security Committee was created to evaluate Cybersecurity making sure a system is in place to protect citizens and state government from dangerous attacks and breaches on personal and critical data. Kansas has not been immune from cyberattacks and release of personal information. This Committee advanced two measures to the House for debate.
Last Thursday, the House debated these two bills. The first one, House Bill 2332, amends stipulations of required meetings for the Information Technology Executive Council (ITEC). This was necessary to increase the effectiveness and attendance of the ITEC meetings.
House Bill 2359 creates the Kansas Cybersecurity Act. This bill creates the Kansas Information Security Office (KISO). The bill also spells out the Information Technology and Cybersecurity duties of Executive Branch agency heads.
The bill also creates the Cybersecurity State Fund, which is financed with an annual basic rate per employee for all government and nongovernment entities connecting to state network services.
Both bills passed on Monday, March 5 each with a 115-0 vote.
On Friday, March 1, the Kansas Legislative Research Department released the revenue numbers for monthly receipts in Fiscal Year 2018. With the February revenues included, the total State General Fund receipts are up $275 million from the November estimate. Individual income tax receipts are $269 million above the estimate. The Kansas Legislative Research Department cautions that, as with the previous two months, a large portion of the growth in individual income tax receipts above the forecast appears to have been driven by the recently enacted change in federal tax law. However, these numbers are enlightening, especially since we will be addressing the issue on K-12 Education finance, and other budgetary matters, later this month when we begin work on the budget bill.
More Bills In the House
On Wednesday, the House debate two bills regarding K-12 education. The first bill, House Bill 2757, reinstates due process rights for teachers in statute as it is currently for community and technical college employees. I voted “no” on this bill as I contend that the local school boards should be allowed to negotiate due process as has been the case since 2014. The bill did pass out of the House, 73-48, however the future of the bill is uncertain in the Senate.
House Bill 2758 would require that school districts adopt anti-bullying policies and procedures that would cover incidents of bullying, harassment, and/or cyber-bullying. I voted “yes” on House Bill 2758 and it passed with a vote of 120-1.
On Friday, the House debated Senate Bill 405 which would amend the current law regarding the number of animals permitted in a confined animal feeding facility. The bill also establishes the animal unit measurement calculation for chicken facilities that use a dry manure waste system and, if they do have this type of waste system, then they would need to obtain a federal permit if there are 125,000 or more broilers or 82,000 or more laying hens. This bill derived from the concerns and discussions of Tyson building a poultry facility in the state of Kansas. The bill advances on to final action on Monday, March 12.
This week in the Appropriations Committee, we were busy in continuing the budget reports from the respective budget committees. Monday, we started the week with continuing discussion on the budget for the Kansas Department of Transportation. We then delved into the budgets for the Kansas Highway Patrol, Correctional Institutions, and Sentencing Commission.
We continued budget discussions on Tuesday, with the budgets of the state hospitals, namely Osawatomie and Larned State Hospitals, as there has been much needed attention regarding these two state institutions. Then on Wednesday and Thursday, we concluded the week’s discussion by deliberating the budgets of the Kansas Lottery, Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission, Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Corporate Commission, and the Department of Commerce.
We also had two bill hearings this week. The first bill was on monetary transfers, which is Senate Bill 276. The second bill, House Bill 2582, is in regards to claims against the state of Kansas.
As always, if you have any concerns, feel free to contact me (785) 296-7672, visit www.troywaymaster.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you happen to visit the statehouse, please let my office know.
It is a distinct honor to serve as your representative for the 109th Kansas House District and the state of Kansas. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts, concerns, and questions. I always appreciate hearing from the residents of the 109th House District and others from the state of Kansas, as well.
Troy L. Waymaster (R-Bunker Hill) is a representative for the 109th Kansas House district.