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Minutes for SB307 - Committee on Federal and State Affairs

Short Title

Amendments to the Kansas amusement ride act concerning home-owned amusement rides and agritourism activities.

Minutes Content for Tue, Mar 13, 2018

Chairperson Barker opened the hearing on SB307.  Jason Long, Revisor, provided an overview on the bill (Attachment 1).  Questions were asked by Representatives Highland, Horn, Whitmer, Carpenter, Lusk, and Rooker.

Chairperson Barker stated that because there were two bills set for hearing and a number of conferees, he will allow questioning after all of the proponents have testified.

Chairperson Barker recognized Senator Richard Billinger as a proponent of SB307 (Attachment 2).  This bill changes the regulations that negatively affect small locally owned and operated amusement rides.  Inspections on the home-owned rides will be done every 24 months rather than twelve months and the inspector qualification requirements have been lowered.  In addition, the amount of insurance coverage has been lowered and the registration fees will only be required one time instead of annually.

Representative Adam Smith testified as a proponent of SB307 (Attachment 3)SB 70, which was passed last year, was a good bill, but it negatively impacted the hometown carnivals and county fair rides.  SB307 corrects those problems. 

The Chairperson recognized Eric Smith as a proponent on SB307 (Attachment 4)SB307 addresses several of the problems that arose last year when the amusement ride act was enacted.  The League supports the changes set out in the bill and asks that the bill be passed out of committee. 

Celia Goering testified as a proponent to the bill (Attachment 5). She supports the basic tenants of SB307, but states that hayrack rides and barrel trains as used by Christmas tree farms should be excluded.  These devices are used for transportation, not as an amusement ride. They transport people around the farm to pick out a Christmas tree and then back to the sales barn where they can pay for it.   If that exemption is taken away, she is concerned that many small businesses will go out of business.

Melissa Ness testified as a proponent of SB307 (Attachment 6).  They are requesting an amendment to raise the height requirement of water slides to 35 feet and to require a lifeguard be stationed at the slide to ensure patrons are properly adhering to the safety standards in place. 

Ted Nelson testified about aquatic safety and operations that are already in place at the municipal level (Attachment 7).

Chairperson Barker then recognized Nathan Eberline as a proponent of SB307 (Attachment 8).  Following enactment of the amusement ride act last year, local officials across the state were concerned that new regulations would end having amusement rides at county fairs.  The changes in SB307 help ensure the right balance between protections and permissiveness in relation to ride inspections. 

Questions were then asked by Representatives Whitmer, Horn, Humphries, Arnberger, and Smith. 

Chairperson Barker noted that there was written proponent testimony from Daniel Yoza, Assistant City Attorney in Olathe, Kansas (Attachment 9); Natalie Bright, Travel Industry Association of Kansas (Attachment 10); Jennifer Bruning, Kansas State Alliance of YMCAs (Attachment 11); Ellen Pratt, Sheridan County Amusement Company, Inc. (Attachment 12); and Representative Jeff Pittman (Attachment 13).

Chairperson Barker recognized Marlea James as a neutral on SB307 (Attachment 14).  The Department of Labor is proposing a change to SB307 which would keep hayrack rides from being included in the definition of amusement rides under the ASTM 24 standards.  They also recommend some modifications relating to water slides and certifications.  Representative Whitmer had a question about new regulations on hayrack rides, which Brad Burke, Chief Attorney of the Department of Labor, responded to.  New temporary and permanent regulations were made last year.  They do not consider hayrack rides or barrel trains as amusement rides, but that could change with a new administration. 

Chairperson Barker requested that Mr. Burke provide the amusement ride rules and regulations. 

The hearing on SB307 was closed.