KIA&B November/December 2020 - Page 10



By Dan Murray , KAIA Lobbyist
The Kansas Legislature convenes for its 2021 regular session on Monday , January 11 . The 2021 edition of the legislature will look different than last year , particularly in the wake of the COVID-19 landscape . Exactly how the legislature navigates the business of running this session is not clear and will be tested depending upon the pandemic ’ s status . Also , all 125 House seats and 40 Senate seats were up for reelection this past year . With retirements and incumbent election losses , the legislature saw over 25 % turnover . New legislative leaders , committee chairs , and committee make-up will impact the handling of matters , including those issues affecting your agency .
In addition to many new faces in the statehouse , the Republican grip in the House became more conservative in both chambers . Republicans hold a supermajority in the House and Senate , which provides enough votes to override any veto made by Democrat Governor Laura Kelly . In year three of Governor Kelly ’ s first term , she has become familiar with working with a Republican-controlled legislature . The Governor will need to lean on this experience to achieve some of the administration ’ s policy goals . Otherwise , Kelly will need strong bipartisan support to sustain any veto she makes .
The legislative response to COVID-19 is at the front and center of the 2021 Session . To date , some of Governor Kelly ’ s methods and recommendations dealing with the pandemic have been met with an icy reception by Republicans in the statehouse . With many of the COVIDrelated provisions , such as health care provider and business liability protections , set to expire on January 26 , Kelly ’ s administration will be challenged in securing continued executive authorities unless a compromise with Republican leaders is made . In addition to COVID policy , the legislature will face several challenging pieces of legislation , including legislative redistricting , budget adjustments , tax and legal reform , and resolutions to amend the Kansas Constitution on matters related to abortion and judicial selection .
KID Producer Licensure Bill . In 2020 , the Kansas Insurance Department ( KID ) introduced SB402 , which would have updated producer licensing statutes pertaining to appointment , fees , licensing , renewal dates , continuing education , suspension , revocation , and licensure denial reinstatement . These changes would modernize the licensing process bringing the efficiency of utilizing the NIPR licensing platform . After much discussion and negotiation with KID , the KAIA was neutral on SB402 .
The Department is bringing similar legislation again in 2021 . And after further negotiations , the KAIA Government Affairs Committee voted to support the new legislation . Highlights of the bill are as follows :
• Bill would require both a resident agent and business entity to submit a renewal application to the Insurance Commissioner and pay a biennial renewal application fee of $ 4 . The bill would change the definition of the biennial due date to the last day of the birth month of an agent and the last day of the month of the initial licensure for a business . This is not a change from SB402 . KAIA spent much time negotiating the