Provides for confidential communications for members participating in peer support programs
Encouraging Kansas National Guard members to participate in peer counseling sessions, Governor Laura Kelly signed House Bill 2365 in an official signing ceremony today, exempting any notes or records of National Guard members’ counseling sessions from the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA).
“Mental health matters – for civilians and guard members alike. It’s important that we do all we can to decrease the stigma around mental health and encourage guardsmen and women to seek the necessary help,” Kelly said. “This is an issue of great importance to me personally and I’m proud to sign this legislation into law.”
Kelly was joined by Major General Lee E. Tafanelli, mental health representatives from the Kansas National Guard, and legislators at the signing ceremony.
“We must work together to expand access to affordable healthcare and mental healthcare for our men and women in uniform,” Kelly said.
House Bill 2365 amends the law concerning the peer support counseling session communication privilege within the Code of Civil Procedure. By adding references to National Guard members throughout the section, their records would be inadmissible and not subject to disclosure or discovery in judicial or other proceedings. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.
Governor Kelly also ceremonially signed House Bill 2123 at the event. This legislation was officially signed on April 2, 2019 and amended the Kansas National Guard Education Assistance Act.
The governor signed four additional bills yesterday, bringing the total number of bills signed in the 2019 Legislative Session to 42, with one being vetoed. By law, the Kansas governor has 10 calendar days to sign bills into law, veto bills or allow bills to become law without her signature.
House Bill 2070
Designates a portion of United States highway 75 as the John Armstrong Memorial Highway and a bridge on United States highway 77 as the SGT Kevin A. Gilbertson Memorial Bridge. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.
House Bill 2084
Amends the Kansas 911 Act, including making changes to the membership of the 911 Coordinating Council. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.
House Bill 2085
Clarifies that if a rural water district has available capacity, the board of the district must adhere to the benefit unit reinstatement requirements in continuing law. Also, the bill increases the maximum repayment period from 20 years to 40 years for loans provided by the Secretary of Health and Environment to municipalities for the payment of all or part of a project associated with a public water supply system. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.
House Bill 2144
Amends the law related to community college student fees and enacts the Community College Taxpayer Transparency Act. The bill includes findings and conclusions generally noting the structure and financing of community colleges; the duty of transparency owed by community colleges to property taxpayers and students of community colleges; and reaffirming the students and taxpayers of community colleges as the priority in financial decisions, reporting processes, and transparency measures of community colleges. The bill takes effect on and after July 1, 2020.