H.B. 2678, as amended, relates to motor vehicle license plates, to veterans' affairs, and to employees retiring from the Kansas Soldiers' Home and the Kansas Veterans' Home.
Distinctive License Plates for Military Groups. These provisions would allow a surviving spouse or, if there is not surviving spouse, a family member, to keep for family memorabilia purposes a distinctive license plate issued to the following groups: disabled veterans; members of the Kansas National Guard; prisoners of war; recipients of the purple heart medal; recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor; or United States military veterans. However, following transfer of the plate to a surviving spouse or a family member, the plate could not be displayed on a motor vehicle.
License Plates for Merchant Marines Veterans. The bill would include individuals who served in the Merchant Marines into the military groups who are eligible to be issued distinctive license plates for United States military veterans.
Kansas Commission on Veterans' Affairs. The bill would amend current law to allow the Kansas Commission on Veterans' Affairs to hold regular monthly meetings and any other meetings at any place within the state. Currently, such meetings are restricted to Topeka offices or the Kansas Soldiers' Home and the Mother Bickerdyke Annex.
Position Reductions Based on State Employee Retirements. The bill also amends K.S.A. 75-6801, a statute dealing with position reductions based on state employee retirements. The bill provides that a retiree would not include any person who is retiring from a position which provides direct care for patients at the Kansas Soldiers' Home and the Kansas Veterans' Home.
H.B. 2678, as introduced, was requested by a constituent in Representative Welshimer's district. She noted that the bill would allow a surviving spouse or a family member to keep the license plate after the death of the plate owner. Current law prohibits the transfer of various military license plates to any other person.
Representative Minor also appeared before the Committee, urging the adoption of an amendment to allow an owner of an antique vehicle to display a model year license plate on the vehicle.
The Director of Vehicles expressed concern about the proposed amendment relating to the display of a model year license plate on an antique vehicle. The Director noted that such plates are not registered with the Division of Vehicles and major adjustments would have to be made to the Division's Vehicle Information Processing System to keep track of these tags.
The Committee's amendment prohibits a surviving spouse or family member from displaying on a vehicle a military distinctive plate previously issued to a qualified owner. The other amendment would allow antique vehicle owners to display a model year license plate on the front of their vehicles.
The House Committee of the Whole added the amendment which would allow persons who served in the Merchant Marines to be issued a United States military veteran distinctive license plate.
The Department of Revenue reports that the provisions that would allow a surviving spouse or family member to retain a distinctive plate issued to the various military groups and the amendment relating to antique license plates would have no effect on State Highway Fund revenues.
The Department of Revenue reports that, as amended by the House Committee of the Whole, passage of the bill would not affect State Highway Fund revenues because the registration fee specified in the bill for distinctive plates for veterans of the Merchant Marines is the same as those contained in K.S.A. 8-143 under current law.
These distinctive plates are subject to the provisions of K.S.A. 8,1,141 which requires any new distinctive plates authorized after July 1, 1994, to be subject to the personalized license plate fee prescribed by subsection (c) of K.S.A. 8-132. This fee is in the amount of $40.00. Additionally, these plates are subject to the $0.50 reflectorized plate fee which is charged on all newly issued plates. The cost to manufacture veteran plates is $1.56 each. The state would experience a positive cashflow ($40.00 + .50 = $1.56) or $38.94 per veteran plate issued to Merchant Marines veterans.
If 500 plates are eventually issued as a result of this legislation, the State Highway Fund could experience an increase of $19,470 in FY 1999.
The Senate Committee removed the provisions of the bill which would have allowed an antique vehicle owner to display a model year license plate originally issued by the State of Kansas on the front of the vehicle.
The Senate Committee of the Whole added the provisions regarding the meetings of the Kansas Commission on Veterans' Affairs and the provision relating to retirees from the Kansas Soldiers' Home and the Kansas Veterans' Home.
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.