Legislative Update Report

KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE, PARKS AND TOURISM

This report will be update regularly with bills in the 2014 Kansas Legislature that potentially affect the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. If the KDWPT has provided testimony on the bill, the bill summary includes the department's position as of the date of this report. KDWPT's 2014 legislative agenda can be seen here .

SB = Senate Bills

HB = House Bills

The latest information update for each bill is shown in bold.

The full text of a bill may be obtained online at the Kansas Legislature's   website .

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Updated May 18, 2015

Legislative Update

2015 Bills

SB46 -- This bill would require domesticated deer that enter a premises alive or leave a premises alive or dead for any purpose, other than for direct movement to a licensed or registered slaughter facility in Kansas, have official identification, as prescribed by rules and regulations of the animal health commissioner. The bill passed the Senate 40-0 and passed the House 119-0. It is awaiting the Governor's signature.

SB50 -- This bill would amend K.S.A. 79-1439, which deals with property tax valuation classification of bed and breakfast properties. The proposed amendment would allow outbuildings or adjacent properties to be included as long as the total number of bedrooms does not exceed five. This bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Assessment and Taxation.

SB97 -- This bill would amend K.S.A. 32-1301 which regulates contact with dangerous animals. The amendment would allow clouded leopards and certain dangerous animals weighing 25 pounds or less full physical contact with members of the public and incidental contact with the public for animals weighing 40 pounds or less. This bill passed the Senate 23-17 and has been referred to the  House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

SB112 -- This bill amends K.S.A 32-1049, relating to violations of wildlife, parks and tourism laws to clarify that county attorneys can file charges without a written citation. The bill passed the Senate 40-0, and provisions of this bill have been amended into SB113. The bill now contains provisions unrelated to Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.

SB113 -- This bill amends K.S.A. 32-1001, relating to  KDWPT licenses, permits, stamps, specifying that only physical licenses, permits or stamps shall be surrendered under judges' orders of forfeiture or suspension. This amendment is proposed to prepare for the advent of electronic licensing.   The bill passed the Senate 39-1. Provisions of SB112 were amended into this bill and it passed the house 121-0. It is now in conference committee awaiting action.

SB120 -- This bill would amend K.S.A. 32-833, relating to land purchases by KDWPT, to exempt lands purchased with Natural Resource Damage Restoration Funds from required legislative approval. The bill passed the Senate 32-7. This bill was amended to restrict the number of acres KDWPT could purchase without legislative approval from 320 to 160 and to limit the NRD lands accepted to 640 acres.  The bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources and had a hearing on March 12, 205 and it is now on House General Orders awaiting action.

SB132 -- This bill would amend K.S.A. 32-1301 to add nonhuman primates and wolves, excluding hybrids, to the list of "dangerous regulated animals." The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources.

SB134 -- This bill would amend statutes concerning noxious weeds and would allow the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, with recommendations from the state advisory committee, to declare any species of weed a noxious weed. It would also allow county commissions, with approval of the Secretary, to designate noxious weeds to be controlled within the county. This bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture and had a hearing on Feb. 10, 2015.

SB169 -- This is the Senate companion bill to HB2116, which would designate the channel catfish as the official fish of the state of Kansas. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources.

SB190 -- This bill would amend K.S.A. 32-1139 to allow a person to operate a sailboat of a length 20 feet or less without completing a boater education course if that person is enrolled in an instructor-led class. This bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Transportation and had a hearing on February 18, 2015. It was amended, striking a provision that would have allowed completion of a sailing class to be accepted as boater education certification. The bill passed the Senate 40-0. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Transportation and had a hearing on March 17, 2015. This bill is on House General Orders awaiting action. The provisions of this bill were amended into SB274.

SB268 -- This bill would amend K.S.A. 32-1012, preventing the nongame and endangered species conservation act from prohibiting stream maintenance and obstruction clearing. The bill came through an exempt committee and was referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. This bill had a hearing on March 19, 2015.

SB269 -- This bill would amend K.S.A. 32-960, the nongame and endangered species conservation act, to specifically remove the eastern spotted skunk from the state's threatened species list. The bill came through an exempt committee and was referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. This bill had a hearing on March 12, 2015.

SB274 -- This bill deals with the use of seat belts and establishing a seat belt safety fund. However, provisions of SB190 were amended into it. The provisions would exempt boaters born on or after Jan. 1, 1989 and under 21 years of age from Boater Education requirements, allowing them to operate a sailboat that does not have a motor and has an overall length of 16 feet, 7 inches or less while enrolled in an instructor-led class. The bill passed on Senate Final Action 33-2 on April 2, 2015, and it was received and introduced to the House.  

HB2029 -- This is the companion bill of SB46 regarding identification of domesticated deer. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources and had a hearing on Jan. 27.  The bill passed the House 114-0 and was referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture. It had a hearing on March 12, 2015.

HB2116 -- This bill would designate the channel catfish as the official fish of the state of Kansas. The department supports this bill. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

HB2117 -- This will would require anyone born on or after January 1, 1995 to complete an approved boater safety education course before operating a motorboat or sailboat on Kansas waters. The current law only requires boater safety education of boaters younger than 21. The department supports this bill. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources and had a hearing on February 17, 2015.

HB2168 -- This is the House companion bill for SB50, which would allow outbuildings or adjacent properties to be classified as a bed and breakfast for tax valuation purposes. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Taxation and had a hearing on Feb. 12, 2015 and is on House General Orders.

HB2177 -- This bill was originally submitted to allow water right owners in a designated area to establish water conservation areas. However, its contents are now all wildlife and parks-related, including provisions from KDWPT-sponsored or -supported bills SB112, SB113 and SB190. Also added to the bill are provisions of HB2341 (detailed below), which the department opposes. Because the provisions of HB2341 run so contrary to the principles of modern wildlife management and the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, the department opposes this entire bill.

HB2341 -- This bill would amend K.S.A. 2014 concerning wildlife; relating to seizure of wildlife; disposal, and would require the department to return seized antlers, antler sheds and horns of illegally taken wildlife to landowners or tenants on whose property the antlers, antler sheds or horns were taken. The provisions of the amendment would be applied retroactively as they relate to antlers seized by the department after Jan. 1, 2005. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources and had a hearing on February 23, 2015. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee and placed on House General Orders where it awaits action.

House Concurrent Resolution No. 5008 -- This resolution would amend the state constitution to guarantee Kansas residents the right to hunt, fish and trap wildlife. If approved by two-thirds of the Senate and House, the proposed amendment would be voted on in a November general election.