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Minutes for SB14 - Committee on Judiciary

Short Title

Extending certain provisions of the governmental response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Kansas and providing certain relief related to health, welfare, property and economic security during this public health emergency.

Minutes Content for Tue, Jan 19, 2021

 

Chairperson Patton opened the hearing on SB14  Natalie Scott provided an overview of the bill. (Attachment 10) Ms. Scott Also provided a comparison chart (Attachment 24) between HB2048 and SB14. She answered questions regarding the bill, SB14.

Proponent

Nicole Milo provided proponent testimony (Attachment 11) on behalf of Shawna Deal and Centura Health for SB14. The provisions in the bill passed last year have been a lifeline in terms of their ability to provide skilled regional clinical coverage in Southwest Kansas. Specifically, the temporary waiving of state licenses and insurance requirements for out of state health care workers in good standing to provide care in Kansas during the pandemic. Ms. Milo respectfully requested the consideration of this committee to support SB14 as they are heavily dependent upon assistance from out of state (CO and MO) clinicians. They foresee the need to utilize this order well into at least the Fall of 2021 as they continue to battle through the pandemic while simultaneously assisting the State of Kansas as a critical partner in the roll out of the vaccine to the citizens of Kansas.

Audrey Dunkel (Attachment 12) stated Kansas hospitals continue to serve on the front-lines in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The flexibility implemented in the 2020 bill have allowed hospitals to address staffing shortages, maintain safe access to care for patients, and make necessary adjustments to the provision of care to keep patients safe without fear of legal repercussions. Ms. Dunkel explained the hospitals are grateful for the support provided to the healthcare community last spring and support that can be done to continue this through 2021 with the necessary legislation.

Rachelle Colombo (Attachment 13) testified for the Kansas Medical Society stating provisions in the 2020 bill allowed for ongoing access to care for Kansas patients despite a host of unpredictable factors affecting medical treatment.  They do believe the business liability provisions addressed in SB14 ought to be extended, and they prefer the June 1st deadline.

Tucker Poling (Attachment 14) testifying for the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts. Mr Poling explained specific amendments in his written testimony which will insure that health care providers and the professionals are supported with the appropriate legislation to allow them to safely practice caring for the residents of Kansas.

Written Proponent

Opponent

Nick Reinecker testified in opposition to SB14. (Attachment 25) Mr. Reinecker stated his constitutional rights are not a dispensation of government and are not subject to debate. He discussed a number of examples of where this bill is not covering the full state of potential health risks during the pandemic.

Katy Reinecker (Attachment 26) stated her primary objection to the continuation of the State of Emergency Disaster Declaration is that there is no clearly defined criteria for its expiration.

Coleson Reinecker (Attachment 27) testified in opposition to the State of Emergency proclamation because no one is enforcing it. Mr. Reinecker said that countless times he has gone into restaurants and other businesses without wearing a mask. He is not stopped.  Also, when he goes into a restaurant and sits down, he takes his mask off to eat, thus spreading the germs all over his table. He stated this behavior is just pointless.

Nathan Reinecker (Attachment 28) testifies in opposition to SB14. He gave several examples stated in his written testimony.

Chairperson Patton allowed for questions to the opposition testimony and then closed the hearing.

Chairperson Patton explained the urgency to get SB14 to the House floor, on to the Senate, and to the Governor in the short time frame and to extend the sunsets in this emergency management bill. He said action would most likely occur on the House floor vs in committee. If the membership or others had amendments, his recommendation was to get with Natalie Scott and have them prepared for the action to come in the House of Representatives. He asked if there were any questions regarding the progression of this bill. There were none.

Chairperson Patton adjourned the meeting at 4:37 p.m.