Finch: Some quiet, but good bills pass out of committee

State Rep. Blaine Finch sponsored three students from Osage County and Douglas County to work as pages for the Kansas House of Representatives on March 19. Visiting the Governor’s office are from left, Henry Parks, Baldwin City, Mackenzie Hoss, Overbrook, Grace Bradley, Melvern, and Rep. Finch.

By State Rep. Blaine Finch, 59th District, Franklin and Osage Counties

Greetings from a very spring like Kansas Statehouse. As this week draws to a close (March 20, 2015) we are wrapping up the second round of our committee work for this session. This time we saw House committees primarily working on Senate bills and vice versa.

Next week we will begin working on the House floor on many of those bills that have made it out of committee. In addition we are likely to take up the House proposed budget which is substitute for HB 2370. House members received the summary and explainer for the bill this morning and will have the weekend to digest the nearly inch thick stack of papers.

Many times there are a few bills that steal the headlines but there are many good pieces of legislation that quietly make their way through the process. Here a few of those quiet but good bills that passed out of my committees this and last week:

SB 109 cuts through red tape making it easier for out of state utilities and contractors to provide assistance to Kansas residents in the event of natural disasters. This bill passed the House and now heads to the Governor’s desk.

SB 206 clarifies and enhances the process for the Attorney General to enforce the Kansas Open Records and Open Meetings Acts, ensuring more open and transparent government for all of us. This bill passed out of committee and now heads to the House floor.

SB 214 continues the work of the past several years on human trafficking by adding a civil right of action for a victim of trafficking to sue the trafficker. This bill passed out of committee and now heads to the House floor.

SB 131 adopts confidentiality protections for peer counseling for emergency responders and law enforcement. This encourages the use of counseling for those who protect and serve us when they are exposed to particularly traumatic situations. This bill passed out of committee and now heads to the House floor.

This week I was fortunate to have three pages here in the capitol: Miss Grace Bradley from Melvern, Miss Mackenzie Hoss from Overbrook, and Mr. Henry Parks from Baldwin City. These three young people were great helpers for me and the other members of the House.

I thank you for the opportunity to serve you in Topeka and welcome your emails and calls on any issue that is important to you. You can reach me at [email protected] or 785-296-7655.

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