December 4, 2022

Governor Laura Kelly Signs Bill Increasing Penalties for Child Abuse Offenders

Law and order concept. Handcuffs, gavel on book on a wooden background, top view

TOPEKA – Today, Governor Laura Kelly announced she signed House Bill 2508, a bipartisan bill that further defines child abuse expands allowable charges prosecutors can file for the crime. In addition, HB 2508 allows for more specific sentencing based on the severity of abuse, putting the crime of child abuse in line with other severe crimes.

“We owe it to our children to hold abusers accountable and any crime against our most vulnerable should be met with adequate punishment,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This bill provides the needed updates for prosecutors to ensure victims of child abuse are granted the same justice as victims of other serious crimes.”

“House Bill 2508 includes a number of provisions that were brought to the House Judiciary Committee by law enforcement, prosecutors, and other stakeholders who are working to improve our criminal justice system,” Representative Fred Patton said. “The bill makes several key improvements to our justice system, including increasing penalties for those who cause harm to our most vulnerable Kansans, our children.  I am pleased that the Senate agreed with these changes and that the Governor is signing the bill so the provisions can become law.”

More information about HB 2508 can be found here.

Governor Kelly also signed the below bills.

HB 2559
Creates the Kansas Cotton Boll Weevil Program and requires the program to levy an assessment upon Kansas-produced cotton and monitor and mitigate the risk of boll weevils.

HB 2595
Makes certain antique vehicle titling procedures applicable to vehicles having a model year 60 years old or older.

HB 2703
Changes law relating to employment, including employment security law provisions, regarding the employment security fund status and employer contribution rates and the definition of employment to conform with federal law. It also revises the Department of Labor’s My Reemployment Plan Program and enacts the Kansas Targeted Employment Act to facilitate the employment of persons with developmental disabilities through a tax credit incentive for employers.

S sub for HB 2361
Removes the requirement that all district court judges in Douglas County serve on the board of trustees of the law library. It authorizes the Kansas Supreme Court to adopt rules establishing specialty court programs and creates the Specialty Court Funding Advisory Committee and the Specialty Court Resources Fund. It authorizes courts to order defendants to participate in specialty court programs and allows expungement of certain convictions when defendants complete the requirements of such programs.

SB 150
Defines and prohibits certain deceptive lawsuit advertising practices and restricts the use or disclosure of protected health information to solicit individuals for legal services.

SB 2
Allows consumption of beer, wine or other alcoholic liquor on the Kansas state fairgrounds; increases the number of temporary permits an applicant may receive from four to 12 permits per year; limits what cities, counties or townships may charge for a temporary permit to not more than $25 per day; credits a portion of moneys collected from the liquor drink tax and the liquor enforcement tax to the state fair capital improvements fund; requires that licensed farm wineries be issued a cereal malt beverage retailer license if the statutory requirements for such retailer license are satisfied; authorizes retail liquor stores to sell and deliver alcoholic liquor and cereal malt beverages to a caterer, public venue, club or drinking establishment located in any adjacent county any county with a corner located within two miles measured along the adjacent county boundary; Increases the percentage of alcohol by volume allowed to not more than 16% for domestic table wine and the domestic fortified wine threshold to more than 16% alcohol by volume.

HB 2299
Requires the retention of fingerprints by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation for participation in the federal rap back program. The bill imposes restrictions on surveillance by certain employees of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks on private property and expands the jurisdiction and powers of law enforcement officers to include situations when an activity is observed leading the officer to reasonably suspect a person is committing, has committed or is about to commit a crime and reasonably believe that a person is in imminent danger of death or bodily injury without immediate action. It also allows a search warrant to be executed within 240 hours from the time of issuance. It directs the Kansas Department for Children and Families to share certain information with investigating law enforcement agencies. 

SB 200
Expands the pharmacist’s scope of practice to include initiation of therapy for influenza, strep throat, or urinary tract infection pursuant to a statewide protocol adopted by the collaborative Drug Therapy Management Advisory Committee.