Governor Kelly Signs Bipartisan Bill
Increasing Investment in Aviation Infrastructure

— Governor Laura Kelly today signed House Bill 2498, bipartisan legislation that increases investment in Kansas’ public airports, improving airport accessibility and safety.

“This bill is a critical investment in our state’s aviation infrastructure, ensuring our public use general aviation airports have the resources they need to thrive,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “By boosting funding to the Aviation Fund, we’re enhancing safety and supporting economic development across Kansas.”

House Bill 2498 increases annual funding for the Kansas Airport Improvement Program (KAIP) from $5 million to $15 million. This increased funding will provide funding to public airports across the state to allow them to modernize and address infrastructure needs.

“Key to KDOT’s support of increased funding for the state’s 109 public use airports has been the agency’s ongoing collaboration with the Kansas Association of Airports and our local and federal partners,” said Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Calvin Reed. “These airports generate over $9 billion in annual economic output. The KAIP program helps this important industry remain a vital part of the Kansas economy. That translates into jobs and quality of life for the residents of Kansas.”

These additional resources will support essential initiatives such as pavement improvement, safety enhancements, and automated weather observation systems, which are crucial for air ambulance services in rural areas.

“The additional funding provided by this bill will help maintain the pavement conditions of our state’s general aviation airports,” said Kansas State Senator Mike Petersen, District 28. “These airports are very important to our economy and to providing air ambulance access to trauma centers for many of our rural citizens.”

Increasing funding for airport improvement projects will improve travel experience, create good-paying jobs in our local economies, and increase passenger safety,” said Kansas State Senator Ethan Corson, District 7. “Thanks to this bill, Kansans will be better connected to communities large and small, and our airports will be able to meet the growing demand for air travel.”

In addition to House Bill 2498, Governor Kelly also signed the following bills:

Senate Substitute for House Bill 2124: Allows microbreweries to distribute their beer and hard cider to retailers, public venues, clubs, drinking establishments, and other entities.

House Bill 2481: Recognizes the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe #3415 as the official state steam locomotive and designates the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad as the official state heritage railroad.

The legislation also assigns memorial names to portions of highways, including portions of K-96 as the PFC Henry Lee Fisher Memorial Highway and the 96th Infantry Division Memorial Highway; a portion of US Highway 69 as the Ken W. Brock Memorial Highway; a portion of US Highway 81 as the Merle Miller Memorial Highway; and a portion of US Highway 281 as the First Responders Memorial Highway.

Additionally, it designates bridge No. 160-96-293.72 in Sumner County as the SrA Derek Scott Martin Memorial Bridge.

House Bill 2527: Incentivizes capital investment in Kansas utilities by adjusting discount rates and other financing tools to better align with regional practices while providing safeguards to protect Kansas ratepayers. Investment in Kansas utility infrastructure will create jobs and allow for additional economic development opportunities.

The bill also establishes standards for the retirement of certain electric generating facilities. Additionally, it increases the cap on the amount of power customers with renewable energy systems can sell back to their utility, providing citizens and businesses more opportunities for energy independence.

House Bill 2577: Provides the state treasurer with the power to transfer unclaimed property money to the KPERS board for investment or to pay rightful owners.

House Bill 2588: Establishes standards that county governments must follow when issuing permits and fees to telecommunications providers accessing the public right of way.

House Bill 2607: Updates Kansas pesticide law to align with licensing and certification changes made at the federal level, allowing Kansas to continue to regulate the use of these products rather than the federal government.