Legislative Updates-Kansas State Association of Fire Chiefs

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KANSAS STATE ASSOCIATION  of  FIRE CHIEFS
The mission of the Kansas State Association of Fire Chiefs is to provide the chief fire officers and managers of emergency services in Kansas with a forum to discuss issues and dispense information applicable to life safety and property conservation, and to provide education, services and representation to enhance the professionalism and capabilities of the fire service.
 
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05/04/07 Update KSFA
    HB 2077
    HB 2101
    HB 2115
    HB 2119
    HB 2133
    HB 2151
    HB 2152
    HB 2270
    HB 2486
    HB 2573
    SB 232
    SB 362
Bill Tracking Report

KSFFA
IAFC
Kansas State Fire Marshal
Homeland Security USFA
US Bureau of Land Management Fire & Aviation
NOAA

Association Lobbyist
Pat Lehman
PO Box 3510
Lawrence, KS 66046
785.832.9400
785.832.9494 Fax
785.766.3743 Cell
plehman@sunflower.com

Contact KSAFC
Chief Bill Walker
KSAFC Secretary/Treasurer
113 North 5th Street
Burlington, KS 66839
620.364.2305
620.364.6475 Cell
620.364.3108 Fax
ksafc@mchsi.com


Special Committee on Judiciary met to hold a hearing on the proposed changes to the Kansas Administrative Procedure Act, KAPA, August 28th.
SB 351 originally mirrored a bill (SB 197) sought by the office of the State Bank Commissioner to correct what appeared to be an error in K.S.A. 75-37,121(h)(5), which referred to the “state banking board” but not the “office of the state bank commissioner” in the list of agencies exempted from the requirement to use presiding officers from the Office of Administrative Hearings. Instead of changing the exemption to cover all OSBC proceedings, the bill was amended to remove the exemption in its entirety and require nearly all sate agencies to use the OSBC whenever the presiding officer is not the agency head. The final version of SB 351 did not prohibit agency heads from serving as presiding officers but that issue was reserved for further study by this committee.

This would affect the Firefighter Relief Program handled by the State of Kansas Insurance Department. Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger testified that this would have an affect on her department because at the present time the assistant Insurance Commissioner handles hearings. There were eighteen other agencies listed in opposition to the change and the group chose three to testify rather than all eighteen. No one testified in support of the changes.

Full History on bill 351  |  SB 351
S 0351

Bill by Federal and State Affairs
Office of administrative hearings. Effective date: 5/24/2007.
02/14/2007 S Introduced -SJ 147
02/15/2007 S Referred to Judiciary -SJ 153
03/12/2007 S CR: Be passed as am. by Judiciary -SJ 268
03/13/2007 S Motion to advance to 1st order of business -SJ 278; COW: CR be adptd; be passed as am. -SJ 279
03/14/2007 S Engrossed -SJ 313; FA: Passed as am.; Yeas 40 Nays 0 -SJ 289
03/15/2007 H Received and introduced -HJ 421
03/16/2007 H Referred to Judiciary -HJ 441
03/23/2007 H CR: Be passed as am. by Judiciary -HJ 603
03/27/2007 H COW: Be passed over and retain a place on calendar -HJ 642; COW: CR be adptd; be further am.; be passed as am. -HJ 651
03/28/2007 H FA: Passed as am.; Yeas 119 Nays 5 -HJ 667
03/28/2007 S Nonconcurred; CC requested; apptd Vratil, Bruce, Goodwin -SJ 620
04/02/2007 H Acceded; apptd O'Neal, Kinzer, Pauls -HJ 686
04/27/2007 H Not subject to limitations of joint rule 4(k) -HJ 1184; Adptd CCR; Yeas 115 Nays 10 -HJ 1185
04/27/2007 S Not subject to limitations of joint rule 4(k) -SJ 1091; Adptd CCR on senate bill; Yeas 39 Nays 0 -SJ 1121
04/30/2007 S Reengrossed -SJ 1157
05/04/2007 S Enrolled and presented to gov. -SJ 1186
05/11/2007 Approved by gov. -SJ 1186



Final Legislative Update KSFA 05/04/07

Hello,

The legislature adjourned the wrap-up session by 2:00 pm Wednesday, May 2, 2007. Sine Die the official adjournment of the 2007 legislative session will be at 10:00 am, Tuesday, 5/22/2007 in both chambers. I have not heard of any issues pertaining to KFSA that could be considered during the summer interims session but there very likely could be some. The Legislation Coordinating Council will meet mid to late June to determine study issues.

Below is a list of bills that were of interest to the Fire Service that were passed, defeated or not acted on during this year’s 2007 Legislative Session. The bill tracker is listed below.

HB 2101. Income tax credit for certain services by volunteer firefighters or volunteer EMS providers. Hearing was held February 1. HB 2101 would establish a refundable income tax credit for volunteer firefighters and volunteer emergency medical service providers. The credit amount would be $100 for a volunteer with qualified service of between two and six years; $200 for a volunteer with qualified service between six and eleven years; and $300 for a volunteer with qualified service of at least 11 years. The total amount of all credits would be limited to $1.0 million per year, and the new credit would apply beginning with tax year 2007. Because the bill limits the total amount of the credit to $1.0 million, the maximum fiscal effect in any one year would be a $1.0 million reduction in State General Fund revenues. Hearing held February 1, 2007 no action by the committee.

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HB 2115. would amend the premium tax collection method for workers compensation group-funded pools. Under the bill, the labor group-funded pools would be permitted to collect in the same manner as municipal group-funded pools, rather than the current calculation based on estimated premiums. The premium tax is to be based upon the annual Kansas gross premium collected by the pool (at the currently established rate of 1 percent per annum) as applied to the collective premium relating to all Kansas members of the pool from the previous fiscal year. The tax is to be paid no later than 90 days after the end of each fiscal year. Approved by Governor on March 28th

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HB 2119. Emergency medical services license plates. Amended into SB 8 by a CC passed and signed by the Governor April 18th.

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Sub for HB 2133. by Committee on Appropriations--Informal resolution of disputes of deficiencies cited by fire inspectors. Sub. for HB 2133 would establish a two-tiered informal dispute resolution process for deficiencies cited in a medical care facility, adult care home, assisted living facility, or special hospital by an officer of the State Fire Marshal during an inspection for compliance with federal law pursuant to oversight by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. The facility could make a request for an informal dispute resolution within ten calendar days after receipt of the statement of deficiencies. One request for informal dispute resolution may be made per inspection. The facility may challenge the decision of the first-tier informal dispute resolution and request completion of the second-tier. The second-tier informal dispute resolution would be conducted by a three-person panel appointed by the State Fire Marshal. The panel would consist of one employee of the State Fire Marshal’s Office and two members outside the State Fire Marshal’s Office. The second-tier would take place within 30 days of the request, and the facility would be notified of the results within ten days of the disposition being rendered. The decision of the panel shall be advisory to the State Fire Marshal. The State Fire Marshal would be authorized to charge a fee not to exceed $250 to a facility requesting a second-tier informal dispute resolution review panel. The original HB 2133 included this same process for local fire departments but we were able to get that removed when HB 2133 language was put into Sub for HB 2133 Amended into SB 11 by the CC. The CC report passed the House Wednesday, April 25 120-0. Approved by the Senate April 25, 38-0. Sent to the Governor.

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HB 2152, as amended, would expand the membership of the Commission on Emergency Planning and Response (CEPR) to include the agency head of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, the Kansas Department of Agriculture, and the Kansas Animal Health Department. The CEPR members appointed by the Governor also would be expanded from seven members to 18 members for a total membership of 25. The additional appointed members would include one representative from each of the following groups: counties; cities; agriculture, crop or livestock; transportation, trucking or rail; energy; law enforcement; fire fighters; county emergency managers; emergency medical services; public works; hospitals; public health; tribes of Kansas; Approved by the Governor March 14.

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HB 2270, as amended, would designate the Kansas Firefighters Museum located in Wichita, Kansas, as the official state Kansas Firefighters Museum. Background-Representative Judith Loganbill from Wichita introduced the bill. During testimony during the hearing it was noted that the museum is a nonprofit, tax exempt, educational museum whose purpose is to preserve the history and heritage of Kansas firefighting, exhibit firefighting artifacts, teach and promote fire safety. The bill originally contained language that would allow for the firefighter memorial at the site is designated as the State Firefighter Memorial. After I explained that the firefighter memorial on the statehouse grounds was designated as the official firefighter memorial, the bill was amended to remove the language for the memorial. Approved by the Governor March 28.

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HB 2486- Current law authorizes fire fighters to blockade a highway while fighting a fire. HB 2486 would allow fire fighters to blockade a highway in the discharge of any of their official duties. The bill had a hearing before the House Appropriations sub-committee on Transportation and Public Safety Budget on March 7. No further action by the committee.

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HB 2573 would allow the voters to decide whether a city or county is to be brought under the provisions of the Public Employer-Employee Relations Act (PEERA). The bill would:
  • Require that a resolution brought under PEERA be placed on a ballot if a verified petition, signed by 5 percent of the qualified and registered voters of the city or county, is filed with the city or county clerk.
  • Require such election be held in the manner prescribed by general bond law.
  • Require a city or county to be bound by the provisions of PEERA as of the effective date of a resolution, if the resolution was approved by the voters. The resolution would remain in effect unless it is rescinded by the voters in a subsequent, similar ballot process. A resolution to rescind would not take effect until the termination of the next complete budget year following the original PEERA resolution vote.
Passed the committee and remains on General Order of the House.

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SB 232, as amended, would allow a taxing subdivision to create a trust fund to hold or invest assets of post employment benefits funds. Additionally, the bill would allow the taxing subdivision to participate in a multi-employer trust fund. The bill would expand the definition of “other post employment benefits” to include post employment healthcare, life insurance and other benefits. Approved by the Governor April 4th.

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RETIREMENT ISSUES

HB 2151- Increased maximum retirement benefit for KP&F members and increased employee contributions until the maximum retirement benefit is attained. Under current law, members receiving benefits under (KP&F) receive benefits equal to 2.5 percent of the final average salary for each year of service, up to 80.0 percent of the final average salary. When the member has reached the maximum benefit level, the member’s contribution rate drops from 7.0 percent to 2.0 percent of compensation. HB 2151 would increase the maximum benefit level to 100.0 percent of the final average salary and provide for a 7.0 percent member contribution rate until the new maximum benefit level is reached, then it would decline to 2.0 percent. This change would become effective for the first payroll period beginning after July 1, 2007. The bill had a hearing March 8th but was not acted on by the sub-committee.

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HB 2077- as amended, includes provisions that would: (HB 2076) Increase the annual earnings limitation from $10,000 to $20,000 beginning in calendar year 2007 for Tier II members of the Kansas Police and Fireman’s (KP&F) Retirement System who are disabled and receiving disability payments. (HB 2077) Authorize the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) to implement provisions of the federal Pension Protection Act of 2006 for federal tax-free distributions from pension payments for retired public safety officers to pay health and long-term care insurance premiums. (HB 2078) Add two KPERS technical amendments. First, the bill would provide that members retain the funds from improper withdrawals and forfeit service credit related to the withdrawal. Members would have the option of reinvesting withdrawn funds by purchasing the withdrawn service. Second, the bill would permit members retiring with credit from two different plans to access any funds left in one plan during the month immediately following retirement from the other plan. Passed as amended by House Appropriations on March 21 and remains on the General Orders of the House.

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SB 362 would modify the retirement plan for current and future members of the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) and provide certain benefit enhancements for current and retired KPERS members. For future KPERS members, the new retirement plan would include employees first hired on or after July 1, 2009. For current members, the group would include those first employed before July 1, 2009.

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Conference Committee Action Proposed New Plan for Future Employees Hired on or after July 1, 2009
The new plan would provide for the following:
  • First-day membership;
  • Five-year vesting;
  • 1.75 percent defined benefit multiplier;
  • Final average salary based on five highest years;
  • Compensation cap of 7.5 percent on pay increases in five highest years for determining benefits;
  • Normal retirement at age 65 with five years of service or age 60 with 30 years of service;
  • Early retirement eligible at age 55 with 10 years of service with actuarially reduced benefits;
  • Automatic, annual 2.0 percent cost-of-living adjustment at age 65;
  • Employee contribution rate of 6.0 percent;
  • Employer contribution rate at actuarial level, but not less than employee rate;
  • Future cost increases to be shared equally by employers and employees;
  • Partial lump sum option of 10.0, 20.0 or 30.0 percent at retirement; and
  • Joint survivor factors actuarially determined by the KPERS Board of Trustees.
Modifications to Current Plan for Employees Hired prior to July 1, 2009
The amendments to the current plan would provide for the following:
  • First-day membership for KPERS members; and
  • Five-year vesting for employees hired before July 1, 2009.

One-Time Dividend Payment for Retired and Disabled Members
For retired and disabled KPERS, KP&F and Judicial members, the bill also would provide a one-time dividend payment of $300 on October 1, 2007, to each member of the following groups: Approved by the Governor, April 20.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Thank you.
Pat


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Bill Tracking Report 2007 Legislative Session-Kansas Fire Service Alliance
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KSAFC | Chief Bill Walker, Secretary/Treasurer | 113 North 5th Street, Burlington, KS 66839 | 620.364.2305 | 620.364.3108 Fax | E-mail
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