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In a one-day historic Special Session yesterday brought by legislative petition, the Kansas legislature passed House Bill 2001. The Special Session was called following legislative hearings where over a hundred people testified to a special committee on the negative affects the COVID-19 mandate would have on their employment status. The bill was championed by both House and Senate leadership and was the sole purpose for the Special Session. The Senate passed the bill 24-11 and the House passed it by a vote of 77-34. Your association joined others in the business community...

The Kansas Department of Transportation is committed to keeping the highways cleared whenever inclement weather impacts the state. In line with workforce shortages across the nation, KDOT does not have enough equipment operators – the agency’s primary snowplow operators – in a number of areas across Kansas. These shortages create the potential for highways to not be cleared of snow and ice as quickly as in the past. The agency has dealt with reduced staffing in the past, but the shortages are greater this year. KDOT is about 30% short of snowplow operators...

On Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021, President Joe Biden released details of the administration's long-rumored COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The mandate includes two newly-released policies and updates the previously announced federal contractor/employee rule: Vaccine requirement for employers with 100 or more employees Vaccine requirement for health care workers New timeline for federal contractors/employees of vaccination by Jan. 4, 2022. OSHA) is announcing the details of a requirement for employers with 100 or more employees to ensure each of their workers is fully vaccinated or tests for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis. The...

The Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) is seeking volunteers to participate in a road usage charge (RUC) study. The study will focus on identifying how a RUC system that reflects unique Midwestern needs could help fund transportation investments. The study is being supported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and coordinated with the Minnesota DOT to expand the pilot’s reach. This study is a only a test-run – not implementation. What is RUC? A road usage charge, or RUC, is a policy whereby drivers pay to use the road based on miles driven....

At the request of Renew Kansas Biofuels Association Governor Laura Kelly signed and sent a letter supporting year-round E15 sales to United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan. The letter, drafted by Renew Kansas, requests EPA open dialogue with the state of Kansas and Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment on a recent Washington, D.C., Circuit Court decision overturning EPA's 2019 regulation allowing year-round sales of E15 in conventional gasoline markets. "We look forward to speaking with you (Administrator Regan) soon about our options for protecting the substantial investments our...

Kansas Dept. of Agriculture (KDA) is hosting a virtual federal infrastructure funding Zoom meeting on Oct. 15, 2021. See more information from KDA below. The Heartland’s economy – and our nation’s economy – relies on agriculture, transportation and technology industries working well together. With the focus on federal infrastructure funding, now is the time for our region to identify partnership opportunities and regional strategies that generate game-changing results for generations to come. The HomeField Advantage series is an opportunity to learn from each other and plan how to leverage our regional strengths. Maximizing investments...

Passage of the Eisenhower Legacy Transportation plan requires Kansas Dept. of Transportation (KDOT) to hold local consult meetings every two years to gather input on projects. This year, KDOT's Local Consult looks different. Out of an abundance of caution and to comply with current state guidance related to COVID-19, the Local Consult meetings will be held virtually, with two online options to participate: A virtual live Zoom meeting will take place for each region plus the Wichita and Kansas City metro areas. Visit https://www.ksdotike.org/projects/local-consult-process for the schedule and to register. This...

Renew Kansas Biofuels Association's immediate past chairman Lyle Schlyer of Calgren Renewable Fuels signed onto a letter to United States Senator Dianne Feinstein asking her to withdraw a bill she introduced last month that would eliminate the Renewable Fuel Standard's (RFS) conventional ethanol mandate. Feinstein introduced the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act, that if enacted into law would harm our California business operations, while increasing costs for consumers and harming our environment. "While we are proud of the success of ethanol in reducing carbon emissions in California and the rest of the...

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of the Army announced plans for upcoming community engagements to inform their efforts to revise the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) to better ensure clean and safe water for all. EPA and Army are committed to developing a reasonable, effective, and durable definition of WOTUS that protects public health, the environment, and downstream communities while supporting economic opportunity, agriculture, and other industries. “We are committed to crafting an enduring definition of WOTUS by listening to all sides so that...

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers have asked a federal judge to remand the Waters of United States (WOTUS) rule without vacating it, essentially leaving the current rule in place while the agencies work on a replacement. “This action reflects the agencies’ intent to initiate a new rulemaking process that restores the protections in place prior to the 2015 WOTUS implementation, and anticipates developing a new rule that defines WOTUS and is informed by a robust engagement process…,” the announcement stated. Prior to the 2015 rule's implementation, those...

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