Gov. Laura Kelly on Monday signed nine bills, including one increasing the penalties for child abuse by allowing for more specific sentencing based on the severity of abuse.
“We owe it to our children to hold abusers accountable and any crime against our most vulnerable should be met with adequate punishment,” Kelly said in statement.
“This bill provides the needed updates for prosecutors to ensure victims of child abuse are granted the same justice as victims of other serious crimes.”
The governor has now signed 73 bills this year.
The governor on Monday also signed:
A bill creating the Kansas Cotton Boll Weevil Program, which requires the program to levy an assessment per cotton bale at an amount not to exceed $2 so it can monitor and mitigate the risk of boll weevils. It passed 32-7 in the Senate and 102-15 in the House.
A bill that removes the requirement that all district court judges in Douglas County serve on the board of trustees of the law library. It also authorizes courts to order defendants to participate in specialty court programs and allows expungement of certain convictions when defendants complete the requirements of those programs. The bill passed 36-4 in the Senate and unanimously in the House.
A bill prohibiting state wildlife and parks department officers from carrying out surveillance on private property unless authorized by a warrant, court order or under certain emergency situations. The bill does not apply to wildlife officers when they’re trying locate and retrieve a missing person. The bill also extends, from 96 hours to 240 hours, the time period within which a search warrant must be executed after it is issued. It also expands the jurisdiction and powers of law enforcement officers to include situations when an activity is observed leading the officer to reasonably suspect a person is committing, has committed or is about to commit a crime and reasonably believe that a person is in imminent danger of death or bodily injury without immediate action. The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and 110-3 in the House.