Focus is protecting children, vulnerable adults, taxpayers
TOPEKA – (January 22, 2013) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today released twelve recommended changes in law for consideration by the 2013 Legislature.
“The Legislature’s strong commitment to public safety has been critical to keeping Kansans safe,” Schmidt said. “I’m grateful for this opportunity to offer suggestions to make more progress.”
Schmidt’s recommendations focus on protecting children, vulnerable adults and taxpayers.
- Human trafficking: Enact anti-human trafficking law to toughen penalties and support victims. This legislation, which will be introduced in the Senate today, was announced last week by AG Schmidt and Governor Sam Brownback.
- Criminal gangs: Strengthen Kansas laws used to combat criminal street gangs, including enactment of a state-level anti-racketeering law. Senate Bill 16 is pending in the Senate.
- Child Victims Unit: Complete Child Victims Unit at the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. This specialized unit, which investigates sex crimes and other crimes committed against children, was authorized by the Legislature last year.
Protecting Vulnerable Adults
- Power of attorney reform: Strengthen the crime of mistreatment of a dependant adult to make it more difficult for persons with powers of attorney to improperly take money for their own use. This measure was recommended by the Attorney General’s Senior Consumer Advisory Council. Senate Bill 19 is pending in the Senate.
- Care home residents: Strengthen the crime of unlawful sexual relations to clarify that it applies to relations between employees of a care facility and residents of the facility. This measure also was recommended by the Attorney General’s Senior Consumer Advisory Council. Senate Bill 17 is pending in the Senate.
- Anti-fraud Rewards: Authorize rewards for tips that uncover fraud against the public treasury. This measure is pending in the Senate.
- Frivolous lawsuits: Discourage frivolous lawsuits through better screening of in forma pauperis cases. Senate Bill 20 is pending in the Senate.
- Streamline lawsuits against the State: Discourage wasteful stalling of litigation by overhauling the procedure for temporary restraining orders. Senate Bill 18 is pending in the Senate.
- Forfeiture process: Strengthen the ability of the Attorney General to bring asset forfeiture proceedings. House Bill 2028 is pending in the House.
- KBI crime laboratory: Support the Governor’s recommendation to construct a much-needed criminal forensic laboratory in partnership with Washburn University. This laboratory will serve local law enforcement agencies throughout the State of Kansas.
- GPS tracking: Clarify search warrant requirements and procedure for use of GPS tracking devices by law enforcement. This measure responds to the U.S. Supreme Court decision U.S. v. Jones. House Bill 2034 is pending in the House.
- Drug distribution causing death: Make criminal the act of distributing illegal drugs that result in the death of the user. This measure is pending in the House.