Gov. Kelly signs legislation fully funding education

Gov. Laura Kelly signed a bill today that will fully fund education. Several legislators and education advocates attended the signing, including Rep. Valdenia Winn, standing, center. (Photo courtesy of Gov. Laura Kelly’s office)

Gov. Laura Kelly today signed legislation to fully fund education for the third consecutive year.

She was joined at a signing ceremony by education advocates and a bipartisan group of lawmakers.

“When I took office, the state of Kansas had failed to fully fund our public schools for nearly a decade,” Gov. Kelly said. “That’s why today I’m proud to say that, for the third year in a row, I have signed bipartisan legislation fully funding our schools.

“I want to thank the coalition of legislative colleagues, advocates, teachers, and faculty for their advocacy. With their support, we followed through on our commitment to ensure students, teachers, and schools have the resources they need.”

During the signing ceremony, Governor Kelly said that ensuring kids have access to a quality education is good for Kansas students, and for the state’s economy.

“Ensuring kids have access to a quality education not only helps them succeed. It helps our businesses succeed and promotes economic development by providing employers with a highly-educated, skilled workforce,” Gov. Kelly said.

In addition to fully funding education in Kansas, House Bill 2134 requires an annual report card for children in foster care, authorizes limited remote learning, provides the criteria for identification of students eligible to receive at-risk programs and services, requires boards of education to allocate sufficient school district moneys to improve student academic performance, authorizes school districts to pay tuition and fees for concurrent and dual enrollment programs, expands student eligibility under the tax credit for low income students scholarship program, extends the high-density at-risk weighting, and provides ACT college entrance exams and workkey assessments to certain nonpublic school students.

Gov. Kelly also signed House Bill 2313, extending the dedicated statewide mill-levy which funds a portion of the overall K-12 budget.

HB 2313 also provides for reimbursement of property taxes for certain business shutdowns or restrictions, allows Kansas national guard and reservist members who are in good standing to receive a property tax exemption for up to two motor vehicles, authorizes appointment by the governor of a member pro tempore when a vacancy on the state board of tax appeals exists and directs post audit study of the impact of nonprofit and governmental entities competing against for-profit businesses.

Governor signs Adrian’s Law

A bill named after a 7-year-old Kansas City, Kansas, boy who died in 2015 was signed into law today by Gov. Laura Kelly.

House Bill 2158 contains Adrian’s Law, which requires visual observation of an alleged victim of child abuse or neglect as part of an investigation.

Adrian Jones, 7, died in November 2015 in a severe abuse case in Wyandotte County. His body was found in a barn with pigs. His father and stepmother were convicted in 2017 . Years of reported abuse had gone uninvestigated.

Adrian’s grandmother led a reform effort on child abuse laws. Adrian’s Law also was led by Rep. Louis Ruiz, D-31st Dist. Sen. Pat Pettey, D-6th Dist., served on a conference committee for the bill, which is online at

The governor today also signed a bill, HB 2026, that creates a drug abuse treatment program for people on diversion, allowing them to receive services that would help them re-enter society.
Another bill, HB 2079, was signed into law today. It would transfer duties concerning address confidentiality program and the registration of charitable organizations from the secretary of state’s office to the attorney general’s office,

It also includes the Kansas fights addiction program to prevent, reduce and treat substance abuse and addiction, and requires posting of a human trafficking awareness notice in businesses and public places.

Also signed today were House Bills 2224 and 2297. In 2224, the definition of infectious disease is expanded in laws related to crimes in which bodily fluids are transmitted from one person to another. In 2397, conflicting amendments are reconciled in some statutes.