HB 2108--Am. by S
As Amended by Senate Committee
As Amended by House Committee
Session of 1997
HOUSE BILL No. 2108
By Representatives Thimesch, Alldritt, Ballard, Ballou, Beggs, Bur-
roughs, Compton, Correll, Crow, Dahl, Dean, Donovan, Farmer,
Feuerborn, Flaharty, Flora, Flower, Freeborn, Garner, Gilbert,
Glas- scock, Haley, Helgerson, Henderson, Henry, Howell,
Humerickhouse, Johnston, Kirk, Klein, Krehbiel, Kuether, Larkin, J.
Long, P. Long, Mays, McClure, McCreary, McKechnie, McKinney,
Mollenkamp, Morrison, Myers, Nichols, O'Connor, Pauls, E. Peterson,
J. Peterson, Phelps, Powell, Powers, Pugh, Reardon,
Ruff, Sawyer, Shallenburger, Sharp, Shore, Showalter, Sloan,
Spangler, Toelkes, Tomlinson, Topli- kar, Vickrey, Weiland,
Welshimer and Wilk
21 AN ACT concerning the Kansas commission on veterans affairs; relating
22 to Persian Gulf War syndrome; establishing an advisory board; pre-
23 scribing powers, duties, functions and guidelines for the commission
24 and advisory board; providing for confidentiality of certain information
25 and exceptions thereto; establishing the Persian Gulf War veterans
26 health initiative fund
; providing for certain contributions.
28 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
29 Section 1. This act shall be known as the Persian Gulf War veterans
30 health initiative act.
31 Sec. 2. As used in sections 1 through 11, and amendments thereto,
32 unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
33 (a) ``Birth defect'' means any physical or mental abnormality or con-
34 dition, including any susceptibility to any illness or condition other than
35 normal childhood illnesses or conditions.
36 (b) ``Board'' means the Persian Gulf War veterans health initiative
37 board established by section 3, and amendments thereto.
38 (c) ``Commission'' means the Kansas commission on veterans affairs.
39 (d) ``Director'' means the executive director of the Kansas commis-
40 sion on veterans affairs.
41 (e) ``Gulf War syndrome'' means the wide range of physical and men-
42 tal conditions, problems and illnesses that are connected with service in
43 the armed forces of the United States during and in the area of operations
HB 2108--Am. by S
1 of the Persian Gulf War.
2 (f) ``Veteran'' means a person who is a resident of Kansas who was a
3 member of the armed forces of the United States of America and who
4 served in such armed forces in the area of operations of the Persian Gulf
5 War during the Persian Gulf War or thereafter regardless of whether such
6 person is still actively serving in the armed forces or reserve.
7 Sec. 3. (a) There is hereby established with the commission an ad-
8 visory board known to be the Persian Gulf War veterans health initiative
9 board. The board shall be advisory to the commission in the implemen-
10 tation and administration of this act.
(1) The board shall consist of nine members appointed by the
12 commission. as follows:
13 (2) (1) At least three members shall be veterans. The director shall
14 notify the state level unit of the Disabled American Veterans, the Veterans
15 of Foreign Wars of the United States and the American Legion and re-
16 quest a list of three nominations of veterans from each such veterans'
17 organization. The commission governor shall appoint one veteran as a
18 member from each list.
19 (3) (2) One member shall be qualified from each of the medical spe-
20 cializations of epidemiology, toxicology and genetics. One member shall
21 be qualified in one of the behavioral sciences in the speciality area of
22 family dynamics. The director shall notify one or more professional so-
23 cieties or associations which represent the medical or behavioral science
24 specialty area required and request a list of three nominations from that
25 specialty area. The commission shall appoint one member of the board
26 from each list.
27 (4) (3) Two legislators, one from each house, shall be appointed to
28 the board with the speaker of the house of representatives and president
29 of the senate each appointing a member. One legislator shall be a mem-
30 ber of the democratic party and one legislator shall be a member
31 of the republican party.
32 (c) Within 90 days of the effective date of this act, the governor, the
33 commission, the speaker of the house of representatives and the president
34 of the senate shall appoint the initial members of the board. Of the initial
35 appointments to the board by the governor, one shall be for a term
36 of one year, one shall be for a term of two years and one shall be
37 for a term ending three years after the date of the initial appoint-
38 ment. Of the initial appointments to the board by the commission, three
39 two shall be for a term of one year, two one shall be for a term of two
40 years and two one shall be for a term ending three years after the date
41 of the initial appointment. After the initial appointments, terms office of
42 the members appointed by the governor or the commission shall be for
43 three years but no person shall be appointed for more than two successive
HB 2108--Am. by S
1 three-year terms. The term of office of each member appointed by the
2 speaker of the house of representatives or the president of the senate
3 shall end on the first day of the regular session of the legislature which
4 commences in the first odd-numbered year occurring after the year such
5 member was appointed.
6 (d) Each member of the board shall serve until a successor is ap-
7 pointed and qualified. Whenever a vacancy occurs in the membership of
8 the board for any reason other than the expiration of a member's term
9 of office, the governor, the commission, speaker of the house of repre-
10 sentatives or president of the senate shall appoint a successor of like
11 qualifications to fill the unexpired term in accordance with this section.
12 In the case of any vacancy occurring in the position of a board member
13 who was appointed from a list of nominations submitted by a veterans'
14 organization, the
director governor shall notify that veterans' organiza-
15 tion of the vacant position and request a list of three nominations of
16 veterans from which the commission governor shall appoint a successor
17 to the board. In the case of any vacancy occurring in the position of a
18 board member who is qualified in one of the speciality areas listed in
19 subsection (b)(3) after the initial appointments, the director shall notify
20 one or more professional societies or associations which represent the
21 medical or behavioral science speciality required for the vacant position
22 and request a list of three nominations from that speciality area from
23 which the commission shall appoint a successor to the board.
24 (e) Annually, the board shall elect a chairperson, vice-chairperson and
25 secretary from among its members and shall meet at least four times each
26 year at the call of the chairperson.
27 (f) The members of the board attending meetings of the board or
28 attending a subcommittee meeting thereof authorized by the board shall
29 receive no compensation for their services but shall be paid subsistence
30 allowances, mileage and other expenses as provided in subsections (b),
31 (c) and (d) of K.S.A. 75-3223, and amendments thereto.
32 Sec. 4. (a) The commission shall develop comprehensive surveys, or
33 adopt one or more existing surveys, to be conducted to determine and
34 study the physical and mental conditions, problems and illnesses, includ-
35 ing birth defects, as well as the employment, social, emotional and family
36 problems experienced by veterans, their spouses and family members
37 since the veteran's return to Kansas and by any other persons residing in
38 Kansas who are suffering from Gulf War syndrome.
39 (b) The commission shall develop or adopt the surveys within the first
40 four months after the effective date of this act. The commission shall
41 administer the surveys and review the completed surveys with the board.
42 The commission shall compile the results of the surveys and develop
43 recommendations for the legislature based thereon. The director shall
HB 2108--Am. by S
1 report the results to appropriate federal agencies and shall request ad-
2 ditional assistance for veterans commensurate with the director's duties
3 under K.S.A. 73-1209, and amendments thereto.
4 (c) The aggregate amount expended for the development and ad-
5 ministration of surveys and studies set out under this section and for board
6 expenses, including the position established by section 5, and amend-
7 ments thereto, shall not exceed $100,000 per fiscal year.
8 (d) The commission shall request the different media, including ra-
9 dio, television and newspaper, to make public service announcements
10 publicizing information on the Persian Gulf War surveys and inform Kan-
11 sans of the health problems identified and where help is available. The
12 public service announcements should be published no less than four times
13 a year.
14 Sec. 5. There is hereby established with the commission a full-time
15 position dedicated to seeking and applying for grants and other moneys
16 to fund activities under this act, to assist in the preparation and admin-
17 istration of surveys under this act, to promote programs and activities
18 designed to assist persons affected by Gulf War syndrome to receive the
19 help they need and to perform such other duties as the chairperson of
20 the Commission may prescribe. Within 90 days of the effective date of
21 this act, the commission shall appoint a qualified individual to this posi-
23 Sec. 6. (a) The commission shall request that the department of
24 health and environment contact families of any children born after
25 August 1, 1991, who are on any state birth defect list maintained by the
of health and environment, to determine whether either of
27 the two biological parents served in the Persian Gulf War. If either parent
28 did serve, to inform the families of the availability of the survey and
29 the registry if either parent served in the Persian Gulf War. If the
30 family voluntarily participates in the survey, the veteran's child's
31 name shall be listed in the state Persian Gulf War registry.
32 (b) The commission shall request that all health programs of the state
33 ask all determine the appropriate health programs and the confi-
34 dential mechanisms that shall be utilized to ask participants in such
35 programs whether they are Persian Gulf War veterans, and if so, have
36 the veterans complete a offer the veterans voluntary participation in
37 the survey under section 4, and amendments thereto.
38 (c) The commission shall establish and maintain a state Persian Gulf
39 War registry containing the names of veterans, their spouses, family mem-
40 bers and other persons in Kansas who have been affected by Gulf War
42 (d) The commission shall inform veterans of any state and federal
43 programs available to meet the veterans' needs.
HB 2108--Am. by S
1 (e) Any person who in good faith provides information to the
2 commission under the provisions of this section shall be immune
3 from civil or criminal liability therefor.
4 Sec. 7. Subject to funds available, the commission shall conduct a
5 fiscal impact study, aimed at identifying the annual budgetary impact of
6 Gulf War syndrome on Kansas in terms of increased costs of education,
7 medical coverage, correction of birth defects and other expenses identi-
8 fied through the results of the surveys conducted under section 4, and
9 amendments thereto.
10 Sec. 8. The information obtained through any survey conducted un-
11 der section 4, and amendments thereto, shall be confidential and shall
12 not be disclosed or made public, upon subpoena or otherwise, beyond
13 the requirements of section 10, and amendments thereto, except such
14 information may be disclosed if:
15 (a) No person can be identified in the information to be disclosed
16 and the disclosure is for statistical purposes;
17 (b) all persons who are identifiable in the information to be disclosed
18 consent in writing to its disclosure;
19 (c) the disclosure is necessary, and only to the extent necessary, to
20 protect the public health;
21 (d) a medical emergency exists and the disclosure is to medical per-
22 sonnel qualified to treat infectious or contagious diseases, except that any
23 information disclosed pursuant to this paragraph shall be disclosed only
24 to the extent necessary to protect the health or life of a named party; or
25 (e) the information to be disclosed is required in a court proceeding
26 involving child abuse and the information is disclosed in camera.
27 Sec. 9. The commission shall adopt rules and regulations to imple-
28 ment and administer the provisions of sections 1 through 11, and amend-
29 ments thereto.
30 Sec. 10. The Kansas commission on veterans affairs shall cooperate
31 and share information with appropriate state and federal agencies as nec-
32 essary for the purposes of this act to aid veterans and other persons in
33 obtaining aid and relief from the effects of Gulf War syndrome. Such
34 cooperation shall include reporting the survey statistics to appropriate
35 federal agencies to bring issues to the notice of appropriate agencies.
36 Sec. 11. There is hereby established in the state treasury the Persian
37 Gulf War veterans health initiative fund which shall be administered by
38 the Kansas commission on veterans affairs. All moneys received from any
39 grants from federal or other nonstate sources, from contributions
40 section 12, and amendments thereto, or from any other source for the
41 purpose of financing the activities of the board or the development or
42 administration of the surveys developed by the board under this act, shall
43 be deposited in the state treasury and credited to the Persian Gulf War
HB 2108--Am. by S
1 veterans health initiative fund. All expenditures from the Persian Gulf
2 War veterans health initiative fund shall be for the purposes of financing
3 the activities of the commission for the implementation and administra-
4 tion, including the activities of the board and the development and ad-
5 ministration of the surveys under this act and shall be made in accordance
6 with appropriation acts upon warrants of the director of accounts and
7 reports issued pursuant to vouchers approved by the Kansas commission
8 on veterans affairs or the commission's designee.
Sec. 12. (a) Each Kansas state individual income tax return form shall
10 contain a designation as follows:
11 ``Persian Gulf War veterans health initiative fund. Check if you wish to donate, in addition
12 to your tax liability, or designate from your refund, the amount of ____________.''
13 (b) The director of taxation of the department of revenue shall de-
14 termine annually the total amount designated for use by the Kansas com-
15 mission on veterans affairs pursuant to subsection (a) and shall report
16 such amount to the state treasurer who shall transfer from the income
17 tax refund fund the entire amount thereof to the Persian Gulf War vet-
18 erans health initiative fund. In the case where donations are made pur-
19 suant to subsection (a), the director shall remit the entire amount thereof
20 to the state treasurer who shall deposit the same in the state treasury.
21 The state treasurer shall credit the amount certified by the director as
22 the cost of collecting the amount of donations remitted and administering
23 the provisions of this section, which cost shall not exceed 1% of the
24 amount of donations remitted, to the state general fund and shall credit
25 the balance of the donations remitted to the Persian Gulf War veterans
26 health initiative fund.
27 Sec. 13 12. On July 1, 1997, the director of accounts and reports
28 shall transfer $100,000 from the state general fund to the Persian Gulf
29 War veterans health initiative fund.
30 Sec. 14 13. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after
31 its publication in the statute book.