Governor Kelly Signs Bill Renaming Joint Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice Oversight for Former Rep. Russ Jennings

– Today, Governor Laura Kelly signed House Bill 2114, a unanimous bipartisan bill renaming the Joint Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice Oversight in honor of the late Republican Representative J. Russell “Russ” Jennings. Jennings passed away in 2021.

Throughout Jennings’ long career in public service, he demonstrated compassion and determination in helping justice-involved Kansas youth. Prior to his work in the Legislature, Jennings was a deputy sheriff in Kearny County, a magistrate judge, the director of the Southwest Kansas Regional Juvenile Detention Center, and Commissioner of Juvenile Justice for the Juvenile Justice Authority.

“This is a fitting tribute to Russ’ dedication to public service and, in particular, our shared commitment to juvenile justice reform,” Governor Kelly said. “His deep expertise and empathy led to evidence-based programs being implemented to help Kansas kids get their lives back on track.”

Jennings was a strong advocate of juvenile justice reforms that expand alternatives to detention, require diversion programs, and use community-based and graduated responses to juvenile offenses.

“Russ had a passion for the work done by the Joint Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice,” Judy Jennings, wife of the late Rep. Jennings, said. “Our family is proud of the legacy he built as a leader on these issues and honored to know it will continue through the work of a committee that now bears his name.”

Governor Kelly also signed the following bills:

SB 49 – Requires the installation of light systems to the top of new and existing wind turbines that can be seen by pilots but don’t obstruct nighttime views for Kansans living nearby.

SB 144 – Exempts satellite service and video programming services accessed over the internet from the video competition act.

HB 2225 – Limits the ability of certain electric utilities to pass transmission-related costs on to the public.