Governor Kelly Signs Bill Investing in Kansas Short-Line Railroads

Governor Kelly Signs Bill Investing in Kansas Short-Line Railroads
Photo by Megan Burns / Unsplash

Governor Kelly signed House Bill 2335, a bill that increases investment by $5 million per year to improve maintenance of short-line railroad track.

“By rehabilitating more short-line railroads across the state, we are making it easier and more efficient for local businesses to move food and fuel to market,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “These investments build on one of Kansas’ greatest strengthens – being a central part of supply chains throughout the country.”

The Rail Service Improvement Fund Program provides funding for improvement and upgrades to rail infrastructure across Kansas. The bill would increase annual funding to the program from $5 million to $10 million and expand program eligibility to include qualifying track maintenance projects for short-line railroads.

“HB 2535 provides a continued commitment of resources to assist the vital short-line railroads and shippers in making necessary rail improvements that get Kansas goods to market,” Acting Secretary of Transportation Calvin Reed said. “The state’s ongoing investment in short-line rail infrastructure will enhance market competitiveness and better position Kansas communities to attract new industry and provide opportunities for businesses to expand.”

In addition to House Bill 2335, Governor Kelly also signed the following bills:

House Bill 2131: Clarifies the mission of the judicial council, which is to study the administration of justice in Kansas and make recommendations for improvements based on those findings. It also redirects certain Judicial Council funds to the State General Fund.

House Bill 2172: Enacts the Uniform Trust Decanting Act, which provides additional legal guidance regarding trust decanting, which allows an authorized fiduciary to, under certain conditions and limitations, change or modify the terms of an existing trust by transferring all the assets to a second trust document.

House Bill 2173: Provides consistency and clarity to businesses across Kansas regarding federally-approved refrigerants they can use and prevents local authorities from enacting additional restrictions or regulations outside of the federally-approved scope.

House Bill 2090: Allows the Kansas Insurance Commissioner to lower or eliminate certain fees.

House Bill 2093: Establishes the Group-funded Pools Refund Fund and discontinues payments to certain group-funded insurance pools. The bill changes the premium tax due date for group-funded pools and group-funded workers compensation pools. Additionally, the bill adds fire districts to the definition of “municipality” for the purpose of the payment of COBRA premiums under certain circumstances.

House Bill 2147: Provides a process for an abandoned vehicle to be purchased with a clean title and creates criminal penalties for the sale of counterfeit or nonfunctional airbags.

Governor Kelly also vetoed Senate Bill 209, House Bill 2264, and Senate Substitute for House Bill 2344.

The following veto message is from Governor Kelly regarding her veto of Senate Substitute for House Bill 2344:

“As I said in my State of the State address, my North Star as Governor is to make Kansas the best place to raise a family. Key to that is ensuring parents have access to safe, affordable, quality childcare.

“This bill would reverse the progress we’ve made toward that goal, loosening safety requirements for childcare centers and preventing the state from being responsive to individual communities’ needs.

“While I agree it’s time to review our childcare policies, we must do it together – and in a way that improves, not harms, our state’s ability to help families and keep kids safe.

“Therefore, under Article 2, Section 14(a) of the Constitution, I hereby veto House Bill 2344.”

The following veto message is from Governor Kelly regarding her veto of Senate Bill 209:

“As the daughter of a career Army officer, I cannot support measures that would disenfranchise members of our armed services – who fight for our freedoms, including the right to vote – from casting their own ballot.

“This bill eliminates the three-day grace period for mail-in ballots often used by those in the military serving across the country or overseas.

“It would also likely result in too many rural Kansans not having their votes counted in important elections. That is unacceptable. We should be doing everything we can to make it easier – not harder – for Kansans to make their voices heard at the ballot box.

“Therefore, under Article 2, Section 14(a) of the Constitution, I hereby veto Senate Bill 209.” 

The following veto message is from Governor Kelly regarding her veto of House Bill 2264:

“In August, Kansans made clear that they believe personal healthcare decisions should be made between a woman and her doctor, not politicians in Topeka. This bill would interfere with that relationship and, given the uncertain science behind it, could be harmful to Kansans’ health.

“Therefore, under Article 2, Section 14(a) of the Constitution, I hereby veto House Bill 2264.”

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