House passes dyslexia, broadband studies, telemedicine, higher bus fines

The Kansas House overwhelmingly approved groups to study dyslexia issues and expansion of broadband services in Kansas, and a measure that would increase fines for illegally passing a school bus. 

It also passed a major bill authorizing telemedicine but rejected an amendment that would have included public schools in the definition of providers for special education services. 

HB 2602 creates a task force composed of parents and providers to study identification and services for students with dyslexia and related reading disorders in public schools, and make recommendations to the Governor, Legislature and State Board of Education. KASB opposed the original bill, which prescribed specific requirements for screening and services beyond current special education law, but supports the task force concept to study and develop recommendations. The bill passed 110-7 on final action. 

HB 2040 increases fines for improper passing of a school bus for any subsequent violation within five years to $750 for a second violation and to $1,000 for a third or subsequent violation. The fine in continuing law for improper passing of a school bus is $315. The bill passed 117-0. 

HB 2701 creates the statewide broadband expansion task force. The bill was amended to reduce the number of members from 23 to 17. The Commissioner of Education or designee is an ex-officio member. The bill passed 117-0. 

HB 2674 establishing the Kansas telemedicine act. KASB, the United School Administrators and special education administrators and providers have advocated that school districts should be specifically included in the bill, but the House rejected this change in an amendment proposed by Rep. Monica Murnan, D-Pittsburg. House Health and Human Services Chair Dan Hawkins, R-Wichita, said inclusion of other providers would upset the coalition of providers and insurance companies that developed the bill. It passed on final action by a vote of 117-0. 

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