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Gov. Kelly signs bill to help Kansans with high utility bills



TOPEKA, Kan. – Governor Kelly has signed a bill to provide low-cost loans to families and businesses that experienced high utility bills after the extreme cold snap in February.

Governor Laura Kelly says she has signed Senate Bill 86 to establish the Kansas Extraordinary Utility Costs Loan Deposit Program which will provide low-cost loans to Kansans that have experienced an increase in utility bills due to the extreme cold snap in February.

“Since extremely cold temperatures hit our state in February, my administration has worked with local and national partners to find solutions to provide relief to Kansas families and businesses experiencing surging utility costs,” Governor Kelly said. “This legislation is a critical step in our continued response – and I thank the Legislature and State Treasurer Lynn Rogers for their collaborative effort to get this bill to my desk.”

According to Gov. Kelly, the loan programs will be administered by the Kansas State Treasurer.

“I want to thank Governor Kelly for signing this bipartisan legislation into law today. This is critical and necessary for Kansas communities and businesses to fully recover from the extraordinary weather event in February as well as the pandemic we continue to endure,” State Treasurer Lynn Rogers said. “My staff and I are ready to move forward with rolling out the low-cost loan programs the first week of May.”

Gov. Kelly said she also signed House Bill 2208 and House Bill 2401.

According to Gov. Kelly, H.B. 2208 enacts the Rural Emergency Hospital Act to create a category of licensure to allow certain hospitals to get federal health care reimbursement as rural emergency hospitals. She said it establishes certification for certified community behavioral health clinics and authorizes licensed out-of-state physicians with telemedicine waivers to practice telemedicine in Kansas. She said the bill also modifies licensure, temporary permit and regulatory requirements on the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board and its licensees.

Gov. Kelly said H.B. 2401 authorizes the Secretary of Corrections to enter into agreements for public-private partnerships for projects to renew or renovate buildings at correctional facilities.