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Legislative Session, Week Three Many new bills were introduced and heard by committees in the third week of the Kansas legislative session. The House and Senate also continued hearings on the status of the Kansas unemployment insurance fund, attempting to find answers on the amount of fraud against the fund and how the program might buoyed. On Friday evening, Governor Laura Kelly appointed Amber Schultz as the new Secretary of Labor. Schultz, pending confirmation from the Senate, steps into the position with the need to update the Kansas Department of Labor’s 40-year-old...

Kansas Dept. of Labor has reported 1099-G forms have been mailed to all claimants who received unemployment benefits in 2020. If you received a 1099-G form for a claim that you did not receive payment for due to identity theft, you can fill out a request on the KDOL Self-Service Portal under “1099 Protest/Dispute”, making sure to check the box for “I want to dispute my 1099” and upload an Unsworn Declaration to declare you did not receive the benefits that were stated on your 1099-G form issued from the Kansas Department of Labor. You can...

Legislative Session, Week Two Security issues with the capitol building caused a slow-down of activity for a couple of days during a week which also saw a flood of new bills introduced on dozens of issues. Many of these bills were being given new life following the shortened session last year. Of note this week, was the quick passage, by both the Senate and the House, of a bill extending the current emergency declaration under the Kansas Emergency Management Act (KEMA). That bill will be advanced to the Governor for review....

Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment has launched a website dedicated strictly to COVID-19 vaccination information. The website includes statistics, safety, availability, providers and much more. A frequently asked questions section also contains answers to many different inquiries. Anyone wishing to gather more information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine in Kansas, visit https://www.kansasvaccine.gov/....

2021 Legislative Session Commences The Kansas legislature gaveled in on Monday, January 11, 2021, and your association’s government affairs staff was at the capitol monitoring and weighing in on bills affecting our industry. It was a busy week in Topeka which saw the swearing in of new members following the 2020 elections, a virtual State of the State address by Governor Laura Kelly, and the introduction of many new bills. Heading into the session, several controversial issues have been gearing up for prime time. The Senate started off quickly out of the gate, passing...

Governor Laura Kelly has announced the five-phase distribution order of COVID-19 vaccines for population groups in Kansas. In early December, Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA) organized a coalition of 14 agriculture-related organizations and led efforts of sending a letter to Kelly and Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam emphasizing prioritizing distribution of COVID-19 vaccines among front-line agricultural employees behind the obvious top-tier recipients. ”These COVID-19 vaccination phase groups were created using guidance from national and state public health experts and with input from the Kansas Coronavirus Vaccine Advisory Council, or COVAC, which represents...

A public hearing will be conducted at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, to consider the adoption of a proposed regulation to govern commercial industrial hemp production in Kansas. Due to public health concerns posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the hearing proceedings will be held via a video conferencing system to provide the opportunity for virtual participation online. Although in-person participation is also an option, attendance will be limited to allow for social distancing and to comply with local health requirements. The Kansas Department of Agriculture is proposing amendments to...

The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a final rule clarifying the standard for employee versus independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Sharpening the test to determine who is an independent contractor under the FLSA makes it easier to identify employees covered by the Act, while recognizing and respecting the entrepreneurial spirit of workers who choose to pursue the freedoms associated with being an independent contractor. The Final Rule includes the following clarifications: Reaffirms an “economic reality” test to determine whether an individual is in business for him or herself (independent contractor)...

Our sincere thanks go out to all who donated, bid and won items during our first-ever virtual scholarship auction. Thanks to all of those efforts, Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA) surpassed its fundraising goal of $15,000 during the two-week online event. We also extend a special thank you to ProValue Insurance for its generous $3,000 financial contribution to the KARA scholarship fund in 2020. All of the proceeds from the auction go toward awarding scholarships to graduating high school students or students already in college or votechnical schools pursuing post secondary education in an...

Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association (KARA), Kansas Grain and Feed Association (KGFA) and the Kansas Cooperative Council (KCC) are modifying their annual Legislative Action Day to a one-hour, online event held from 11:00 a.m. - Noon via Zoom on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. "We, along with legislative leadership, have determined it would be in the best interest of our membership and those who work inside the Kansas Statehouse to make a one-time modification to the format of our 2021 Legislative Action Day and make it an online event," KARA President and CEO...

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