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Nov. 22, 2017
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Minutes for SB128 - Committee on Judiciary

Short Title

Increasing criminal penalties for hate crimes and establishing reporting requirements for law enforcement agencies.

Minutes Content for Wed, Mar 8, 2017

Jason Thompson gave a brief on the bill saying it increases criminal penalties for hate crimes and establishes reporting requirements for law enforcement agencies.  He then went on to explain the new sections of the bill and the amendments of the bill.

After a brief question and answer period Chairman Wilborn moved on to the next order of business.

Proponents:

Senator Haley shared his support (Attachment 4) for SB 128 saying that this bill puts in place a clear hate crime motivated penalty, and that penalty would not be subject to appeal. In his conclusion, Senator Haley reiterated the need for the definition of 'hate crimes' to be added to Kansas Statutes, and the disciplinary requirements when dealing with these crimes.

Alvin Sykes was allowed to offer last-minute testimony (Attachment 5) in support of the bill. He pointed out that most hate crimes are lesser offenses such as assault and vandalism, rather than murder.  He went on to say that because they are lesser crimes, they have lesser penalties and that is the reason that this bill is needed.

Seeing no questions, Chairman Wilborn moved on to the next order of business.

Opponents:

Gary Steed shared his opposition (Attachment 6) to SB 128 saying that he opposes the sentencing portion of the bill and section 3 that would require the Kansas Commission on Peace Officers' Standards and Training to develop and certify a course of training to be made available to all law enforcement officers. He said that the Kansas CPOST does not currently develop, certify, or make training available to law enforcement officers, and that they haven't in the past. Mr. Steed concluded his testimony by stating that the function of CPOST is to maintain records and conduct misconduct investigations and take actions on certifications of law enforcement officers in Kansas.

Clarification on Mr. Steed's opposition to the bill was addressed, wherein Mr. Steed clarified that if the responsibility of CPOST to certify a course of training for law enforcement was removed from the bill, then his stance would be in neutral or proponent status.

Neutral:

Ed Klumpp (Attachment 7) said that he has no opposition to any sections of the bill. However, he said that he does have additional information concerning section 3 of the bill. He explained that they are already collecting data on hate crimes in Kansas. They suggested striking section 3 of the bill.

Thomas Witt expressed his desire to stand on his written testimony submitted. (Attachment 8)

Chairman Wilborn referred to the other written testimony for the neutral conferees, Executive Director, Dr. Micah Kubic (Attachment 9), Keith Edwards (Attachment 10), and Leslie Moore (Attachment 11).  In addition, the Chairman refereed to the impact statement and asked for more comments.  Senator Haley expressed his intent to offer amendments to this bill.  Chairman Wilborn then adjourned at 11:43 AM.