Topeka, KS– Governor Laura Kelly has signed Senate Bill 343, a bipartisan bill which updates Kansas statutes pertaining to any persons with hearing loss to instead use the term “hard of hearing.” The legislation also ensures that blindness is not used as a determining factor when denying or restricting legal custody, residency, or parenting time that is in the best interest of the child.

“This legislation provides inclusiveness for all Kansans with varying degrees of hearing loss,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “By updating the language of the affected statutes, we ensure that laws are equally accessible.”

“I’ve been proud to work alongside a constituent to update our language in statues for the Kansas deaf community,” Senator Kristen O’Shea said. “This bill shows Kansas is listening to the needs of our blind and hard of hearing populations.”

More information about SB 343 can be found here.

Governor Kelly also signed the following bills:

SB 215
Transfers the authority for postsecondary driver’s education programs and driver training schools to the Department of Revenue and authorizes the board of education of a school district to contract with transportation network companies to provide certain transportation services.

HB 2377
Creates laws related to operating an aircraft under the influence, including prescribing criminal and administrative penalties, and provides for testing of blood, breath, urine or other bodily substances, and preliminary screening tests of breath or oral fluid. It also authorizes the reinstatement of a driver’s license for certain persons with an ignition interlock device restriction; requires persons with an ignition interlock device restriction to complete the ignition interlock device program before driving privileges are fully reinstated; provides for reduced ignition interlock device program costs for certain persons, and provides that the Highway Patrol has oversight of state certification of ignition interlock manufacturers and their service providers. The bill modifies the criminal penalties for driving a commercial motor vehicle under the influence and driving under the influence; increases the period of disqualification for certain offenses committed by a person with commercial driving privileges; and prohibits prosecuting attorneys from concealing certain traffic violations from the CDLIS driver report.

SB 408
Increases the criminal penalties for multiple thefts of mail.

SB 446
Allows restricted driver’s license holders beginning at age 15 to drive to and from religious activities held by any religious organization and provides for the electronic renewal of a Kansas nondriver’s identification card under certain circumstances.

SB 453
Requires adult care home certified aides who take training courses to demonstrate certain skills to successfully complete such training courses and requires licensed nurses to teach and evaluate such training courses. The bill prohibits certified nurse assistants, not making progress to complete the approved course within a specified time period from providing direct, individual care to residents. It also amends licensing requirements for certain professions licensed by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board (BSRB) and requires the Board to accept master’s degrees from applicants for licensure who graduate from the Masters of Social Work program at Fort Hays State University. The exception expires on July 1, 2023.