Kansas State legislative update for Feb. 3 highlights key dates, bills

(Graphic by Marshall Sunner | Collegian Media Group)

On Friday, Feb. 4, Sue Peterson, chief government relations officer and assistant to the president of Kansas State, led a legislative update session through Zoom, presenting bills from the House and Senate and any potential impact passage of those bills might have on Kansas State.

Peterson began the session with an update to the legislative session calendar. House budget testimony begins this week with Pittsburg State. The Higher Education Budget Committee began its hearings on Feb. 7 and continues next week when President Richard Linton addresses the committee on Monday.

Peterson also highlighted the confirmation hearings for three new Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) members. The Senate Education Committee will have a confirmation hearing for each of the new KBOR members — Carl Ice, Cynthia Lane and Winton A. Winter Jr. — who the Senate Confirmations Committee recommended for confirmation. The hearings are on Feb. 7-9, with a final action hearing on Feb. 10 to either recommend or deny each regent back to the Senate for final confirmation.

Another important date is Feb. 21, when the State Extension Advisory Council meets. Ernie Minton, dean of the College of Agriculture and director of K-State Research and Extension, will present.

Peterson reviewed House and Senate bills affecting Higher Education. She highlighted each bill and its potential impact.

HB 2598 was a newly introduced bill initially brought to the KBOR by the University of Kansas. According to the bill list for the week of Feb. 7, the bill would allow all regent universities to sell property given to the institutions as “…an endowment, bequest or gift….” Peterson said passage of the bill would allow universities to sell without legislative approval.

Peterson highlighted HB 2601, a bill allowing the board of regents to sell properties in Kansas and Nebraska on K-State’s behalf. The relevant bills are available for viewing online.

Legislative review sessions are held at noon every Friday through Zoom. Anyone with a KSU eID and password can attend the sessions. Access is available through the Zoom link on the Governmental Relations website.

Additional information, including a list of legislative hearings for the current week and access to the Kansas Legislature committee meetings, is also available.