RUSSELL — This week we debated amendments to the Kansas Amusement Ride Act that was passed during the 2017 legislative session. Senate Bill 307 makes various amendments to this act. Most of the changes reflect the creation of two subcatergories of amusement rides, those being home owned and those registered as agritourism activities. Also under this bill, hayrack rides or barrel trains would not be included, and these types are now exempted. They were not exempted in last year’s legislation.
There were also changes made to waterslides in the state of Kansas. In the bill that passed the senate, waterslides are now defined as being more than 20 feet in height. An exemption was also made for waterslides owned or operated by a municipality. The House changed the language to define a waterslide as one that is a minimum height of 15 feet and must have a lifeguard supervising the slide.
An amendment on the floor was passed exempting rides that are too old to have a manufacturer’s certificate, specifying the two CW Parker carousels that are housed in the state of Kansas. SB 307 passed the House Wednesday, 113-11. I voted in favor of SB 307.
Industrial Hemp Bill Passes the House
On Tuesday afternoon, the Kansas House of Representatives debated the Industrial Hemp bill that had already passed the senate, Senate Bill 263. This bill, as described in previous legislative updates, would create the Alternative Crop Research Act, which allows for the Kansas Department of Agriculture to grow, cultivate, and promote the research of industrial hemp. The bill would allow individuals to participate in the program without violating any state or federal laws. This bill still contains the language that the pilot program would be in Russell County, Kansas, or any other county as deemed by the Secretary of Agriculture. SB 263 was passed out to final action and on Wednesday the bill passed the House, 123-1. I voted “yes.”
Constitutional Amendment Introduced
On Thursday, March 29, the House Taxation Committee met to introduce a House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) to alter the language of the Kansas Constitution regarding K-12 education. A representative from the Kansas Coalition for Fair Funding, which is a group of Kansas agricultural and business leaders, requested the introduction for this constitutional amendment. The short title for HCR 5029 is for a “Constitutional amendment to declare the power to appropriate funding for education is exclusively a legislative power and not subject to judicial review.” HCR 5029 has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and the chairman of that committee has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday, April 3.
House Honors Vietnam War Veterans
On Thursday, March 29, the Kansas House of Representatives recognized the valiance of those who fought in the Vietnam War. In 2017, President Trump signed into law the Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act of 2017, which officially designated March 29 as National Vietnam War Veterans Day. Many legislators approached the well to commemorate the sacrifice they made during the Vietnam War. 2.7 million Americans served during the Vietnam War and, sadly, more than 58,000 never returned home to their families. Through the eleven years of combat, thousands returned home with scars, PTSD, and memories that will never be forgotten. As the son of a Vietnam War Veteran, I proudly say that I will be forever thankful for their service.
This Coming Week
This week the Kansas House and Senate spent all day debating and voting on many different pieces of legislation. In the House we debated over 40 bills and numerous amendments.
Next week, the schedule calls for what is referred to as conference committees. If a bill, that has passed both chambers, has different language, a conference committee is set up for the members of the House and the Senate to discuss those differences. Once an offer is accepted, then both chambers vote on the conference committee report.
One of the lengthy conference committees is between the House Appropriations and the Senate Ways and Means when, we discuss the differences on each chambers budget bill. Since I am the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, I negotiate the terms with my counterpart in the Senate, then try to maintain the House’s position and bring back a conference committee report that will pass.
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.
State Rep. Troy Waymaster serves Kansas’ 109th district, which includes the entire counties of Osborne, Russell and Smith and portions of Barton, Jewell, Lincoln and Rush counties.