Legislative action picked up this week following the midway point of the regular session. KLA staff testified on a number of bills and are preparing to do the same on others in the coming week.
Spill remediation - KLA staff testified in the House Agriculture Committee in support of SB 153, a bill proposed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) to redesign its spill remediation program. After KLA opposed the bill during the 2019 legislative session, staff worked with KDHE and other stakeholders to add an agriculture-friendly amendment in the Senate. This amendment ensures animal and crop waste would not be defined as pollutants and normal agricultural activities, such as fertilizing crops, would not be considered release of a pollutant.
Rattlesnake Creek Basin - KLA staff submitted testimony in support of SCR 1614, a concurrent resolution urging legislators to support Kansas farmers and ranchers in the Rattlesnake Creek sub-basin in ongoing efforts to protect their water rights and livelihood through a collaborative solution to the region's water impairment issue. The resolution favorably passed out of the committee following the hearing.
Fake meat - After House leadership referred HB 2437, KLA's bill to require transparent labeling of fake meat, to an exempt committee to keep it alive after the turnaround deadline, the bill was referred back to the House Agriculture Committee. It once again was passed favorably out of the committee March 7 for consideration by the House, which is expected next week. KLA staff urges members to contact their legislators to let them know they support HB 2437 and oppose any amendments that would weaken the fake meat disclaimer language with words like "plant-based." Contact information for individual Kansas legislators can be found on the KLA website. Member outreach is needed as lobbyists for the fake meat industry have continued to try and slow down the process on this bill.