This week, the Senate canceled all committee meetings scheduled for after Tuesday. Therefore, the Public Health and Welfare Committee did not hold the hearing that had been scheduled for SB 493, the bill in response to the Hilburn ruling. In light of the fast-moving developments this week regarding COVID-19, the Legislature was focused on passing a budget (its sole state constitutional duty each session), which it accomplished on Thursday.
Later on Thursday, the Legislature adjourned for an extended spring break, with plans to return April 27 for the veto session. KMS will continue to work to educate lawmakers on the importance of SB 493 and seek a potential avenue for its consideration during the veto session. However, it is far from certain how the rest of the legislative session may proceed. It is possible that many issues will remain unresolved in 2020, including the impasse over Medicaid expansion and the constitutional amendment on abortion.
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Also this week, the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts (KSBHA) extended temporary licensure provisions for inactive health care providers seeking to help care for COVID-19 patients. The KSBHA is offering a temporary emergency license available for all health care professions regulated by the Board. Those who hold an emergency temporary license are limited to engaging in the practice of their profession for health care services relating to COVID-19 response efforts and/or mitigating any effect of COVID-19. The KSBHA is also waiving licensing fees for such licenses. Please refer to the full release on KSBHA's website for more details.
KMS is monitoring state and federal guidance and other information on COVID-19 and will continue to post periodic, high-level summaries here for easy access:
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