Supporting Local Dairy Farmers and Consumers, Sebelius Vetoes Milk Bill

Press Release

By:  Kathleen Sebelius
Date: April 23, 2009
Location: Unknown


Supporting Local Dairy Farmers and Consumers, Sebelius Vetoes Milk Bill

Governor calls on legislature to resend legislation without labeling provisions

To support Kansas dairy farmers and consumers, Governor Kathleen Sebelius has vetoed legislation concerning the labels on milk products.

"House Bill 2121 contains a number of provisions relating to pesticide and fertilizer laws and fees as well as dairy inspection and dairy-related fees. Without these fees, Kansas could lose important programs that support essential agricultural business operations in our state. I urge the legislature to send me these components in an independent bill so I can affix my signature and the Department of Agriculture can effectively administer these programs," Sebelius said.

"However, the Bill before me also provides for changes in dairy labeling that could make it more difficult to provide consumers with clear information.

"The milk labeling provisions negatively impact a dairy producer's ability to inform consumers that milk is from cows not treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBST).

"Supporters of the bill claim it's necessary to protect consumers from false or misleading information. Yet there has been overwhelming opposition by consumer groups, small dairy producers and retailers to this proposed legislation.

"Furthermore, I am concerned that patchwork labeling requirements that differ from state to state will make it too expensive, in an already troubled economy, to provide consumers with information regarding the dairy products they purchase.

"Therefore, pursuant to Article 2, Section 14 of the Constitution of the State of Kansas, I veto HB 2121."

The Governor signed an additional eight bills today and vetoed an additional two.

Waste Tire Management Program

Senate Sub. for HB 2085 clarifies that both public and private schools, in addition to local units of government, are eligible for grants to be used for the purpose of purchasing products made from recycled tires. This legislation also removes the sunset clause on the grant program. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Vehicles; Liens; Wrecker; Golf Cart; Motor Carrier; KCC

HB 2152 defines and regulates the operation of golf carts and work-site utility vehicles. Additionally this legislation amends the definition of "all-terrain vehicle" and "micro utility truck". This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Regarding Land Banks

HB 2155 allows a governing body to establish a city land bank to manage and maintain any property acquired by the city. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Kansas Home Inspectors Professional Competence and Financial Responsibility Act

House Bill 2260 revises several provisions of the Kansas Home Inspectors Professional Competence and Financial Responsibility Act. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Economic Development through the Kansas Enterprise Zone Act and the Community Investment District Act

HB 2324 amends the population qualification criteria within the Kansas Enterprise Zone Act to provide that the annual figures certified by the Kansas Division of Budget be utilized in lieu of the figures provided by the latest United States Census. Additionally, this legislation creates the Community Investment District Act to promote and support economic development, including tourism and cultural activities. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Concerning investment of state moneys; relating to the state treasurer

HB 2331 establishes a minimum interest rate of 0.50 percent for remediation loan linked deposits, agricultural loan linked deposits and housing loan linked deposits, if the market rate is below 2.0 percent. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Judicial Branch Surcharge; Change of Venue; Prosecutor's Training Fund; Kansas Court of Appeals; Kansas Criminal Code Recodification Commission and Retired Judges

SB 66 amends current law regarding the transmittal of documents when venue is changed in care and treatment cases for mentally ill persons and in care and treatment cases for persons with an alcohol or substance abuse problem; amends current law to allow the Kansas Supreme Court authority to issue a surcharge for costs of non-judicial personnel; increases certain fees credited to the Prosecuting Attorneys' Training Fund; authorizes the Kansas Judicial Council to use its fee fund to pay for the Kansas Criminal Code Recodification for another year; and delays the continued expansion of the Court of Appeals until January 1, 2011. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Relating to city improvements in unincorporated areas

H. Sub for SB 257 provides two additional conditions, each of which would allow a city to make improvements in unincorporated areas within three miles of their corporate limits. A city must adopt regulations governing the subdivision of land, obtain the county's consent to making the improvements, or have a signed petition requesting the improvements that includes 100 percent of the property owners signatures. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Veto Message for House Bill 2172

"Many of the organizations requesting tax exemptions in HB 2172 are worthy organizations with important missions; and individually, their requests do not amount to much of a loss in state revenues. However, when added together, the loss in state revenue grows dramatically from $4.5 million in the first year, to more than $11 million just a few years from now.

"On April 17th we learned that state revenues leave a deficit gap of $328 million, impacting the budgets of critical social service programs. With this in mind, I am concerned that further reducing revenues through tax breaks would negatively impact the budgets of critical services for Kansans.

"While the intent of this legislation is good, given the incredible economic challenges and revenue deficits we are facing, we simply are not able to offer these additional tax breaks right now.

"Therefore, pursuant to Article 2, Section 14 of the Constitution of the State of Kansas, I veto HB 2172."

Veto message for H. Sub for SB 218

"For more than a decade, Kansas laws have banned partial birth abortions and post-viability abortions except in those very limited cases where it is necessary to preserve the life or health of a pregnant woman. The United States Supreme Court has consistently held that while states can limit the availability of post-viability abortions, they must allow them where necessary to protect the health or life of the woman.

"As Governor of Kansas, I have worked hard to reduce abortions by supporting a range of initiatives including adoption incentives, encouraging parental involvement and individual responsibility for young men and women, expanding health services for Kansas children, promoting access to affordable contraceptives, expanded maternal and infant health services and promotional efforts, providing funds for proven successful pregnancy maintenance programs and encouraging age-appropriate sex education.

"These efforts have resulted in reducing the number of abortions by more than 10% in the last six years in Kansas. I am confident that with a more united effort to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies, combined with creating conditions that provide support and assistance for mothers and their babies, we will have even greater success reducing abortions in our state.

"Unfortunately, House Sub for SB 218 will not help to reduce the number of abortions in Kansas, and would likely be declared unconstitutional. Under the bill, a physician intending to comply with the law could later be criminally prosecuted. A physician acting in good faith to save a pregnant woman's life, and using his or her best medical judgment, should not be subject to later criminal prosecution. Similar language was declared unconstitutional by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Womens Medical Professional Corp. v. Voinovich, 130 F.3d 187 (6th Cir. 1997).

"The provisions in this bill that would allow for the criminal prosecution of a physician intending to comply with the law will lead to the intimidation of health care providers and reduce access to comprehensive health care for women, even when it is necessary to preserve their lives and health. While I agree that we should try to reduce the number of abortions, it cannot be at the increased risk to the life or health of women. Therefore, pursuant to Article 2, Section 14 of the Constitution of the State of Kansas, I veto House Substitute for SB 218."