AuthorBy Whitney B. Damron, KBA Lobbyist

Kansas Bar Journals

Volume 72.

72 J. Kan. Bar Assn. 7, 16-33 (2003).


Kansas Bar Journal72 J. Kan. Bar Assn. 7, 16-33 (2003)WHAT LAWYERS SHOULD KNOW FROM THE 2003 KANSAS LEGISLATIVE SESSION?By Whitney B. Damron, KBA LobbyistI. INTRODUCTION

The beginning of a new gubernatorial administration highlighted a 2003 legislative session that was able to wrap up its business in 85 days. Many thought that partisan bickering between a Democratic governor and a Republican legislature would lead to another record-long session. However, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and the legislative leadership proved them wrong.

With the state budget situation in dire straights, money (or lack of it) was the defining issue this year. Schools, social services, transportation advocates, the judiciary, and others cried out for more funding. But the governor and legislative leaders refused to turn to a tax increase for help. Instead, a human sexuality class at KU, expanded gambling, and Sunday liquor sales grabbed newspaper headlines. These issues may return next year, but we are assured that the demands for scarce state dollars will increase in 2004.

Many of the issues that concern lawyers don't ever make it into the newspapers or on television. That is why the Kansas Bar Association strives to inform Kansas lawyers about the many legislative issues that impact your practices. Hopefully you find this summary of legislation enacted by the 2003 Legislature to be informative.


    Senate Bill 70[1] repeals the requirement for the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) to pass through $40 of child support collected each month to custodial parents who receive public assistance. This requirement has been suspended by proviso in appropriation bills since FY 2000.

    Senate Bill 71[2] removes the sunset provision on the authorizing statute for the Kansas Payment Center (KPC). The KPC is the centralized unit for the collection and disbursement of child support payments and spousal maintenance. The 2001 Legislature approved legislation to create the KPC and set an expiration date of July 1, 2003, on the authorization language. The bill also abolishes the Central Payment Center Oversight Commission.


    House Bill 2035[3] amends the Child in Need of Care Code dealing with the appointment of a guardian ad litem to represent a child's best interests and provides that when the child's position is not consistent with the determination of the guardian ad litem as to the child's best interest, the guardian ad litem shall inform the court of the disagreement. The guardian ad litem or the child may request the court to appoint a second attorney to serve for the child, and the court, on good cause shown, may appoint such second attorney. The attorney for the child shall allow the child and the guardian ad litem to communicate with one another but may require communications to occur in the attorney's presence.

    House Bill 2016[4] amends the Juvenile Justice Code to accomplish the following:

    (1) provide the commissioner of the Juvenile Justice Authority (JJA) the authority to adopt rules and regulations establishing standards of training and provisions for certifying juvenile corrections officers, which include,

    (A) a course of instruction of not less than 160 hours,

    (B) allowance for certification from another state, and

    (C) a provision that a juvenile corrections officer will receive not less than 40 hours of in-service training annually.

    (2) allow a juvenile corrections officer the powers of a law enforcement officer

    (both in-state and out-of-state) for the purpose of regaining or maintaining

    custody, security, and control of any person in the custody of the Commissioner.

    (3) add a definition of juvenile corrections officer to mean a certified employee

    of the JJA working at a juvenile correctional facility assigned by the commissioner with responsibility for maintaining custody, security, and control of juveniles in the custody of the commissioner at a juvenile correctional facility.

    (4) add a definition of investigator to mean an employee of the JJA responsible for investigations concerning employees and juveniles in custody of the commissioner at juvenile correctional facilities.

    House Bill 2015[5] allows a modification of a sentence of a juvenile offender committed to a juvenile correctional facility upon a motion by the commissioner of the JJA, based on the medical condition of the juvenile. Other provisions require community mental health centers, community service providers, and state hospitals to disclose treatment records of juveniles to the JJA when requested.

    House Bill 2125[6] provides for a pilot project to be established in one rural and one urban judicial district in which Children in Need of Care (CINC) proceedings are implemented and in which the court may not exclude the guardian ad litem, interested parties and their attorneys, officers of the court, the witness testifying, the child's foster parents, and up to two designated people. The two designated people must have participated in an approved parent advocate program which must include, but is not limited to the following:

    (1) information about the confidentiality of the proceedings;

    (2) information on the child and parents' right to counsel;

    (3) the definitions and jurisdiction under the CINC Code;

    (4) the types and purposes of the hearings;

    (5) options for informal supervision and dispositions;

    (6) placement options;

    (7) the parent's obligation to financially support the child while the child is in the state's custody;

    (8) obligations of the Secretary of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS);

    (9) obligations of entities that contract with SRS for family preservation, foster care, and adoption;

    (10) the termination of parental rights;

    (11) the procedures for appeals; and

    (12) the basic rules regarding court procedure.


    Senate Bill 261[7] transfers administration of the Adult Care Home Licensure Act from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to the Department on Aging and makes technical amendments to statutes to reflect that transfer. Health occupational credentialing and the inspection of health facilities not related to the Nursing Facilities Program in the Department on Aging would remain with KDHE.

    In addition, the bill expands a prohibition regarding future employment of state officers and employees. Previous law prohibited state officers or employees from accepting employment with persons or businesses with which the officers or employees have participated in the making of a contract until two years after the contract is completed. The prohibition is waived for officers or employees in state agencies that are closed or abolished. The provisions of the bill also waives prohibition to include any state officers or employees who are laid off or scheduled to be laid off on or after July 1, 2003.

    Senate Bill 14[8] adds the crime of theft to the list of crimes that are to be included in criminal history information obtained to screen prospective employees of adult care homes and home health agencies. The bill simply requires disclosure of theft convictions. It does not prohibit the hiring of persons who have been convicted of theft crimes as it does for individuals committing other crimes listed in the law. The bill clarifies that a juvenile adjudication for theft can be disclosed and that the prohibition of a person from operating an adult care home if the person has been found in need of a guardian or conservator will not apply to the person when as a minor he or she was found in need of a guardian or conservator for reasons other than impairment.

    House Bill 2254[9] creates a new law to designate that both the Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services (SRS) and law enforcement officers have the duty to receive and investigate reports of adult abuse, neglect, exploitation, or fiduciary abuse to determine whether the reports are valid and whether action is required to protect the adult from further abuse or neglect. If disputes develop between agencies, the county or district attorney takes charge of the investigation.

    If the Department and law enforcement officers determine that no action is

    necessary to protect the adult but that a criminal prosecution should be

    considered, the report of the case must be made to the appropriate law

    enforcement agency. Additionally, if the report indicates that there is adult abuse, neglect, exploitation, or fiduciary abuse and action is required to protect the adult, SRS and the appropriate law enforcement agency may conduct joint investigations with a free exchange of information between the agencies. Upon completion of the investigation, a full report must be made to SRS. Investigations involving a facility under the jurisdiction of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) must be reported to the Secretary upon conclusion of the investigation or sooner if a report does not compromise the investigation.

    Statutes governing the reporting of adult abuse and neglect in adult care homes, medical care facilities, and state psychiatric hospitals or state institutions for the mentally retarded are amended to:

    (1) Include law enforcement agencies as investigators of abuse and neglect;

    (2)Identify new persons who must report suspected adult abuse, which include:

    (A) Legal representatives designated in a durable power of attorney, power of attorney, or...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT