KDWPT / KDWPT Info / Legislative Update Report / Updated May 5, 2014



Updated May 5, 2014

Legislative Update

2014 Bills

SB50 (KDWPT initiative) -- This bill would require anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1989 to complete an approved boater education course before operating a vessel without supervision. Current law exempts anyone 21 or older from education requirements.This bill was referred to the Senate Natural Resources Committee. 

SB94 --This bill deals with certain crimes and punishments and amends the definition of a firearm to exempt antique firearms including matchlock, flintlock and percussion cap muzzleloaders, making it consistent with the federal definition of firearms. This bill was referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

SB223 -- This bill would authorize use of a crossbow by all hunters during big game archery season. Referred to the Committee on Natural Resources. (Regulations now allow use of crossbows by all hunters during big game archery seasons.)

SB272 -- This bill would eliminate the limit of the number of acres allowed to be enrolled in controlled shooting areas per county, which is currently 3 percent. This bill had a hearing on Jan. 23, 2014, and was amended by the committee to retain the cap but increase it to 5 percent. This bill passed the Senate 39-0 on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources and had a hearing on March 12, 2014. This bill passed the House 123-0 and was signed by the Governor on April 4, 2014.

SB276 --This bill would enact the State Sovereignty Over Non-migratory Wildlife Act and was introduced in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's announcement that adding the lesser prairie chicken to the Threatened and Endangered Species List was warranted.This bill had a hearing on Jan. 23, and on Jan. 31 the committee recommended it favorably for passage. The bill passed the Senate 30-10 on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources and had a hearing on March 12, 2014. The bill was amended significantly and is on House General Orders. Provisions of this bill are now contained in HB2051.

SB281 -- This bill would remove the redbelly snake and smooth earth snake from the state Threatened and Endangered Species List established under the Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act. This bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. This bill had a hearing on Jan. 30.

SB323 -- This bill would terminate conservation easements, created on or after July 1, 2014, upon the death of the grantor or upon a specified term of years, prohibiting perpetual conservation easements. The bill had a hearing on Feb. 14, 2014 and is on Senate General Orders, below the line. On April 4, 2014, this bill failed on Senate Emergency Final Action, 23-16.

SB357 -- This bill would allow a hunter who has not completed an approved hunter education course to purchase three separate deferrals (apprentice licenses), each valid for the license year during which it is  purchased, before hunter education is required. Currently, a hunter may purchase a one-time deferral of hunter education completion. The department supports this bill. This bill had a hearing on February 20, 2014. This bill passed 40-0 on Senate Final Action. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources and had a hearing on March 17, 2014. This bill was amended to allow two separate deferrals, rather than the proposed three, and passed favorably out of committee. This bill passed the House 97-26 and was placed in conference committee. The conference committee agreed on two separate deferrals and placed provisions of SB366 and SB370 in this bill. They also included modified provisions of HB2538, which allows the department to provide unlawfully taken wildlife parts to a landowner subject to conditions being met; or allows the department to destroy the items, in addition to current law. Conference committee report passed both houses and the bill is awaiting the Governor's signature.

SB366 -- This bill would authorize the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to purchase a parcel of land containing 397 acres in Cherokee County. This bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. This bill passed on Senate Final Action, 28-12 and was introduced to the House and referred to the Committee on Appropriations. Provisions of this bill are now contained in SB357.

SB 370 --  This bill would authorize the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to purchase a parcel of land containing 484 acres in Pottawatomie County. This bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Ways and Means. This bill passed on Senate Final Action, 27-13 and was introduced to the House and referred to the Committee on Appropriations. Provisions of this bill are now contained in SB357.

SB447 -- This is is wide-ranging bill relating to the regulation of guns and knives. However, one amendment would allow forfeited firearms to be used the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for education purposes. It was referred to the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs and had a hearing on March 24, 2014. This bill passed on Senate General Orders. Provisions of this bill are now contained in HB2578.

Senate Resolution 1711 -- This resolution opposes the black-footed ferret programmatic harbor agreement and environmental assessment drafted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which involves black-footed ferrets that were reintroduced into Logan County in 2007. This resolution was referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. This resolution passed the Senate as amended 31-9.

HB2051 - This bill now contains the House version of SB276 with minor modifications. The conference committee report passed both houses and awaits the governor's signature.

HB2076 -- This bill would exempt any honorably discharged veteran who resides in Kansas and has a service connected disability equal to or greater than 30 percent from all hunting and fishing license/permit requirements and fees. The department opposes this bill.

Senate Sub. For HB2118 -- This bill proposed repealing the Kansas Nongame and Endangered Species Act. It was referred to Committee on Natural Sources and committee report recommended bill be passed. It was placed on Senate General Orders but was stricken from the calendar.

HB2362 -- This bill would amend provisions of the nongame and endangered species conservation act, specifically redefining critical habitat as it relates to a threatened and endangered species, as well as significantly changing how species are designated threatened or endangered in Kansas. The department opposes the bill, which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

HB2422 --  This bill cleans up the definition of watercraft for the purpose of taxation, which initially passed in 2013. This bill passed as amended 118-0 and was referred to the Senate Committee on Assessment and Taxation. The bill passed the Senate 40-0 and was signed by the Governor on April 4. 

HB2473 -- This is a large bill dealing with weapons, but there are provisions in it related to seized firearms and disposition to Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. It was referred to the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs. This bill had a hearing on February 4, 2014. This bill is on House General Orders. The provisions of this bill are now contained in HB2578.

HB2538 -- This bill would amend K.S.A. 32-703, which says that ownership of wildlife in the state, not held in private ownership, are hereby declared to be in the state. The amendment would give landowners first right of first refusal to all antlers of deer illegally hunted on such landowner's land. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.This bill came out of committee amended to include all wildlife illegally hunted on such landowner's land. It passed the House 106-17 and has been referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. This bill had a hearing on Thursday, March 13, 2014. Subject matter of this bill is now contained in the conference committee report in SB357.

HB2578 -- This is a wide-ranging bill relating to the regulation of guns and knives. However, one amendment would allow forfeited firearms to be used the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism for education purposes. This bill was signed by the Governor on April 22, 2014.

HB2595 -- This bill would name two state fossils; the tylosaurus and the pteranodon. The tylosaurus, a giant mosasaur, which inhabited the great inland sea that covered portions of Kansas during the cretaceous period of the mesozoic era would be designated the official marine fossil of the state of Kansas. The Pteranodon, a great winged pterosaur with a wingspread of more than 24 feet, which flew over Kansas during the cretaceous period of the mesozoic era would be designated the official flying fossil of the state of Kansas. This bill had a hearing on February 19, 2014. The House Committee on Vision 2020 recommended the bill be passed as amended. This bill is passed as amended 96-27 on House Final Action. The bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on State and Federal Affairs. This bill had a hearing on Tuesday, March 11, 2014 and committee recommended bill be passed and placed on consent calendar. This bill passed the Senate 40-0 and was signed by the Governor on April 4, 2014.

HB2626 -- This bill would authorize the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to allow persons issued valid hunting licenses and big game permits to use leashed tracking dogs to track and find dead, wounded or injured big game. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. This bill had a hearing on February 18, 2014. The bill was tabled in committee. 

HB2627 -- This bill would remove the requirement of hunter education completion for those who hold concealed carry permits. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. This bill had a hearing on March 17, 2014.

HB2694 -- This bill would make hunting on any private land without landowner written permission criminal hunting, removing current requirements that landowners post or mark land as requiring written permission. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. This bill had a hearing on February 19, 2014.

HB2737 -- This bill amends statutes concerning dangerous regulated animals; pertaining to the sale, slaughter and acquisition of such animals. The current statute defines dangerous animals as lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, mountain lions, bears and all non-native, venomous snakes. This bill would add nonhuman primates and wolves to that list. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

2013 Bills passed and signed by the Governor

SB57 -- The department supports provisions of this bill related to domestic deer. Under statute, anyone possessing domesticated deer must be permitted under the Kansas Department of Agriculture. This bill would amend that statute to allow the Department of Agriculture to request assistance from the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism in implementing and enforcing laws governing domesticated deer. This bill had a hearing for opponents on Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. This bill had a hearing for proponents is on Feb. 13, and was scheduled for Committee Final Action on Feb. 25. This bill passed the Senate 40-0 and was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. It had a hearing March 12. This bill passed the House 87-32. This bill was signed by the governor on April 16, 2013.

SB74 -- This bill would prohibit the Department of Corrections from producing modular homes, including KDWPT cabins. The bill had a hearing on Thursday, Feb. 7. KDWPT requested an exemption to allow DOC to produce the cabins being placed in state parks, state fishing lakes and wildlife areas. This bill was amended to protect the KDWPT cabin program and the department supports the bill as amended. The bill passed the Senate 36-4 and has been referred to the House Committee on Commerce, Labor and Economic Development. This bill passed the House 87-3 and was signed by the governor on April 10, 2013.

SB83 -- This bill deals with income, severance and sales tax issues and was amended to include provisions of HB2244 which reduces the percentage of value that watercraft are assessed at to 11.5 percent in 2014 and 5 percent in 2015 and thereafter. The bill was signed the governor on April 16, 2013.

HB2030 (KDWPT initiative)--This bill would allow the department to issue 10 "Wounded Warrior Deer Permits" to disabled veterans who sustained injuries in combat and have a service-connected disability of not less than 30 percent. This bill had a hearing Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. Room 346-S. This bill passed as amended out of committee and pass the House 115-0. It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. This bill was signed by the governor on April 2, 2013.

HB2052 -- This bill creates the crime of unlawful discharge of a firearm within or into the corporate limits of any city. However, it allows the discharge of a firearm to lawfully take wildlife, including nuisance wildlife, if approved by the KDWPT and the governing body of the city. This bill had a hearing on Feb. 7. This bill passed the House as amended 121-2. It was referred to the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs and had a hearing. The bill was amended to include items from other firearm-related bills but still includes original provisions related to unlawful discharge. The amended version of this bill passed the Senate 35-5 and is in conference committee. This bill was signed by the governor on April 16, 2013.

HB2218 -- This bill now includes provisions from SB49, which was a boating under the influence bill. Current law makes it unlawful to operate a vessel with a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .08 at the time of or within two hours of operating a vessel. Provisions from SB49 would increase the time period from two hours to three hours after operation of a vessel, making it consistent with state DUI laws for motor vehicles. This bill was approved by the Governor May 22, 2013.

HB2244  (KDWPT initiative) -- This bill was introduced as a result of the ballot issue which passed in November 2012 allowing the state constitution to be amended and a change to the way watercraft are taxed in the state. This bill would gradually reduce the percentage of appraised value used to asses property tax on a watercraft to 20 percent in 2014, 10 percent in 2015, then exempting watercraft from taxation for tax year 2016 and thereafter. This bill had a hearing on February 18 and will be referred to a sub-committee for further discussion. This bill was discussed at a sub-committee meeting on March 19. A sub-committee report with possible substitute bill is scheduled to be presented on March 21 at 3:30 p.m., Room 582N. The amended bill would reduce the percentage of value that watercraft are assessed at to 11.5 percent in 2014 and 5 percent in 2015 and thereafter. The amended version passed the House on Emergency Final Action 107-15. It was received and introduced to the Senate on March 27.The provisions of this bill were incorporated into SB83, which was signed by the governor on April 16, 2013.