Monday, November 15, 2010

The 2011 Kansas State Conference Legislative Agenda

The 2011 Kansas State Conference Legislative Agenda:

CINC Code – We support changes to the Child in Need of Care (CINC) code that would extend 'Interested Party' status to family and kin. Currently Interested Party status is extended to the Foster parents and is available to the Grandparents only if specifically requested in writing.

Kinship Care – We support changes to the definition of kin that would allow the parents to designate persons to be regarded as kin and to expand family notifications in child welfare and child in need of care cases to family members and kin as designated by the parents.

Racial Profiling – We support revising the definition of Racial Profiling to include pretext stops as an act of racial profiling and to prohibit the use of race in determining which citizens would be subjected to routine investigatory activities except in cases where race is a part of a description of a person the Police Department is seeking to question or apprehend.

Kansas Open Records Act – The Kansas Open Records Act currently has more than 40 exemptions. These exemptions make little distinction between personal and personnel information. We support revisions to the Kansas Open Records Act to eliminate excessive exemptions and to properly distinguish between Personal information and personnel information

Wrongful Termination – We support legislation that would require employers to provide written notification to terminated employees of the reason for their termination

Public Defenders – We support legislation that would cap the number of felony cases that could be handled by a single public defender at 150 as recommended by the American Bar Association. When case loads are in excess of 150, additional funding should be provided for the hiring of additional public defenders

Ballot Initiatives – We are opposed to any proposed constitutional amendment that would allow ballot initiatives

Juvenile Justice/Child Welfare – Currently, juveniles in the child welfare system can not take advantage of services that are available within the Juvenile Justice system and vice versa. A child in the child welfare system would have to be placed in the Juvenile Justice system in order to qualify for those services, and similarly, a child in the Juvenile Justice system would have to be placed in the child welfare system in order to qualify for those services. We support legislation that would make youth services portable and would eliminate the barriers to providing services across populations.

Officer Discretion – KSA 38-2330 the revised Kansas Juvenile Justice code mandates that any time a Juvenile is taken into custody by a Law Enforcement Officer, they must be taken without unnecessary delay to an intake facility. The effect of this statute is that it eliminates the discretion of Officers to release youth to their parents in the event of minor offenses or issues that the Officer does not see as rising to the level of requiring an intake into the Juvenile Justice system. We support changes in the Kansas Juvenile Justice Code to restore the discretion of Officers to determine whether or not youth should be arrested and taken into the system

Standards for Mandatory Reporters – We support policies and/or legislation that would develop and institute uniform standards for mandatory reporters in Child Welfare/CINC cases

Voter ID – We oppose any bills or amendments that would require registered voters to produce or purchase Government Issued Photo ID to vote

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