Kansas Mental
Health Coalition

988 Crisis Hotline Legislation on Hold

The Kansas Legislature left Topeka for First Adjournment without passing the 988 Crisis Hotline Legislation. House Substitute for SB 19 - the LIVES Act - is now in the hands of a six member conference committee on health care legislation.  It must be passed by the end of the Veto Session that begins April 25 in order to become law.

The House of Representatives passed the bill March 21 on a vote of 114-8.  Unfortunately, regular committees in the Senate were no longer meeting, as the Legislature entered full time floor debates to move as much legislation as possible prior to the Drop Dead Day April 1.  The House had worked on the bill for nearly two years, while only senators on Ways and Means, Kancare Oversight and Mental Health Modernization and Reform had received reports on the legislation.  It is not unusual for one chamber to insert legislation into a bill from the other chamber in order to expedite the process, but 988 is significant legislation and advocates feared the Senate might balk.  The stalemate lasted more than a week.

Finally, on Friday, April 1, the conference committee on House Sub for SB 19 met and came to a tentative agreement regarding amendments to the bill.  The conferees agreed to add language to clarify crisis and short-term services to be covered for uninsured Kansans, restrict services to out-of-state persons, and reduce the number of people on the 988 Advisory Council.  The Supplemental Note provides details of the legislation and action by the House Health and Human Services Committee and the House Energy, Utilities and Environment Committee.  The Supplemental Note does not include amendments proposed by the conference committee.  Read More.

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