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Minutes for HB2462 - Committee on Agriculture

Short Title

Updating provisions related to the Kansas department of agriculture division of conservation.

Minutes Content for Mon, Feb 3, 2020

 

Vice-Chair Smith asked if there were any bill introductions.  None were heard.

 

The Committee received the following Annual Reports to the Legislature from the Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA):

  • KDA Division of Water Resources 2020 Multi-Year Flex Accounts Report   (Attachment 1)
  • KDA Upper Arkansas River CREP Performance Report FY2019 Annual Report  (Attachment 2)
  • KDA Marketing, Advocacy and Outreach Update  (Attachment 3)

 

Vice-Chair Smith opened the hearing on HB2462 at 3:32pm.         

Kyle Hamilton, Assistant Revisor, Office of The Revisor of Statutes, provided an overview of HB2462 and the statutes that it affects. (Attachment 4)    There is a Fiscal Note for HB2462.

PROPONENTS

Kenneth Titus, Chief Legal Counsel, Kansas Department of Agriculture, appeared before the Committee as a proponent of HB2462.  (Attachment 5)     HB2462 provides a general cleaning up and updating of all statutes that are administrated by KDA’s Division of Conservation. In 2011 the State Conservation Commission was consolidated into KDA pursuant to K.S.A. 74-5,126. As is common with executive reorganization orders, K.S.A. 74-5,127 established the Secretary of Agriculture as the successor of all powers previously held by the State Conservation Commission and all references to State Conservation Commission were to be deemed to apply to the newly formed Division of Conservation within KDA and under the direction of the Secretary of Agriculture. Finally, K.S.A. 74-5,128 declares that the State Conservation Commission was to be continued in existence within the Division of Conservation with respect to those powers, duties, and functions that were transferred.  

Along with the many references that were clarified, the mission of the Division of Conservation and the local conservation districts was also clarified. As the type of projects necessary to protect the health of the state's natural resources has evolved, we wanted to clarify that it was proper for conservation districts to focus on water quality projects, control of invasive plant species, and soil and grassland health. 

Finally, the Division of Conservation also administers the Surface-Mining Land Conservation and Reclamation Act. This Act provides for the restoration of surface mining sites once production at a site is completed. Over the course of time, its statutes have also become outdated. Therefore, we have proposed updates that will make it easier to commence the bond forfeiture procedure when needed, clarified the enforcement and appeal process to be consistent with KDA programs, and removed the reference to enforcement by the Attorney General as the Division of Conservation is served by KDA's legal staff.

Mr Titus stood for questions from the Committee.

There were no Opponents or Neutrals for HB2462.

Vice-Chair Smith closed the hearing on HB2462 at 3:43pm.