S.B. 410 amends the Campaign Finance Act and state governmental ethics laws dealing with subpoena powers of the Kansas Commission on Governmental Standards and Conduct by removing the 30-day notification provision required to be given to persons who have allegedly violated either law. Under current law, the Commission can utilize its subpoena powers only after the 30-day notification period to the person.
The bill requires the Commission to provide written findings of facts and conclusions of law, as a result of its investigations, to any person subpoenaed by the Commission in regard to an alleged violation of the Act or the ethics laws by that person.
The bill requires Commissioners to be physically present for a vote to issue a subpoena.
The bill authorizes the Commission to bring action to recover civil penalties levied by the Commission against persons who violated the Campaign Finance Act and the state governmental ethics laws. Under current law, that authority is delegated to the Attorney General or county or district attorney.
The bill also designates K.S.A. 46-215 through 46-293 and K.S.A. 1997 Supp. 46-237a as the State Governmental Ethics Act.
The bill, as introduced, was recommended by the Kansas Commission on Governmental Standards and Conduct in its 1997 annual report. A Commission representative testified that the current 30-day response period restricts the Commission's ability to adequately investigate suspected violations of laws under its jurisdiction. A registered independent lobbyist testified in opposition to the bill, as introduced, stating that it may violate the right of free speech as provided under the U.S. Constitution.
The House Committee on Governmental Organization and Elections amended the bill to delete a Senate Committee amendment which prohibits a person who is compelled to testify or produce evidence in response to a subpoena action from being prosecuted or subjected to criminal penalty or forfeiture as a result of testimony or evidence given after claiming the privilege against self incrimination.
The House Committee of the Whole amended the bill by requiring the Commission to provide written testimony of its investigation to any person who was subpoenaed for an alleged violation. Also, the House Committee of the Whole amended the bill authorizing the Commission to collect its own civil penalties.
1. *Supplemental notes are prepared by the Legislative Research Department and do not express legislative intent. The supplemental note and fiscal note for this bill may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.ink.org/public/legislative/fulltext-bill.html.