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Due to increasing COVID-19 cases, Governor Laura Kelly issued a statewide mask mandate at her press conference this afternoon in Topeka. "Beginning 12:01 a.m., July 3, 2020 every Kansan in a public space must wear a mask," Kelly said. "This doesn't change where you can go or what you can do, but if you are around other people, you must wear a mask." "...

The U.S. Department of Labor will host webinars in June to discuss how the Department is reducing regulatory burdens and making it easier to understand and comply with the law. The webinars will also provide an opportunity for workers, employers, and state and local governments to ask questions. WHAT:  OSHA Compliance Assistance Webinars WHEN: Agriculture Guest Speaker: Wage and Hour Division Administrator Cheryl Stanton Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. EDT Register at Link Compliance Assistance Webinar 1 Manufacturing and Construction Guest Speaker: Occupational Safety and Health Administration Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt Thursday, June...

Gov. Laura Kelly on Friday issued an executive order temporarily easing restrictions on over-the-road truckers involved in efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The executive order issued today will continue to ease the burden on the workers who are critical to our state’s response capabilities,” Kelly said in a news release. That release said Friday’s order lifts certain weight restrictions and permitting requirements the state imposes upon motor carriers to allow needed medical supplies, food shipments and other items to move through Kansas as quickly as possible. The exceptions outlined in Friday’s...

The Kansas Legislature returned this week for two days of Special Session after being called back into session by the Governor. The Special Session was called following the Governor’s veto of a COVID-19 bill that would have restricted her authority under the Kansas Emergency Management Act (KEMA) and provided certain liability protections to businesses concerning COVID-19. The Legislature reconvened on Wednesday and quickly passed House Bill 2016 as an amended version of the previous COVID-19 legislation. House Bill 2016 provides limited liability protections for businesses who manufacture or sell personal protective...

This afternoon, Governor Kelly announced that she is using her constitutional authority to call the Kansas Legislature back in to a Special Session next week, beginning Wednesday, June 3, 2020. The Governor stated that she intends to veto CCR on Sen Sub for HB 2054, outlined below, which would have restricted the Governor’s authority to issue emergency disaster orders under the Kansas Emergency Management Act. She is directing the legislature to return to Topeka and asking that they pass a bill to extend her current emergency orders under the Act. The Governor’s...

On Thursday, May 21st, the Kansas legislature returned for one final day of business in 2020. Through 24 straight hours of debate and deliberation, conference committees met and assembled multiple bill packages. The Legislature was initially scheduled to return for a full veto session in April. That date was postponed, however, in response to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the truncated timeframe with which the legislature had to conduct its final business, Leadership limited action to only those bills which were arguably related to the pandemic. The weighty issue of...

Governor Laura Kelly's Executive Order 20-33, maintaining the 10 percent weight waiver up to 90,000 lbs for trucks hauling essential goods and supplies expires on June 14, 2020. For our members’ clarification of the Executive Order, we requested clarification from the Kansas Highway Patrol if the waiver applies to the following: transport of agricultural crop inputs (seed/pesticide/fertilizer/diesel) from import/manufacturer to the end user/farmer transport of grain from farm to elevator transport of grain from commercial elevator to end user (i.e., feed yards, feed mills, biofuel plants, export market, etc.) transport of...

The Kansas legislature will return for one final day of business on Thursday, May 21st. Multiple committee met this week to consider various bills – all of which will all compete for limited action next Thursday. Large items, such as Medicaid expansion, might still be open for discussion, as will certain tax bills and COVID-related items. The Legislature was initially scheduled to return a few weeks ago in April for a full veto session. That date was postponed, however, in response to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to adjourning in...

The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today published a final rule modernizing hours of service (HOS) rules to improve safety and flexibility for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and the American public. The final rule brings a key reform to the short-haul exemption by extending it to 150 air miles and increasing the maximum on-duty period from 12 to 14 hours. ARA sent comments to FMCSA on Oct. 21, 2019, requesting regulatory reform to HOS rules including an expansion of the short-haul exception and maximum on-duty period. Read...

U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Stephen Censky today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched an online portal to begin accepting applications for Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) grants. USDA plans to make available up to $100 million in competitive grants for activities designed to expand the sale and availability of ethanol and biodiesel fuels. “As the coronavirus response continues, America’s energy independence has proven critical to our economic security now more than ever,” Deputy Secretary Censky said. “Under the leadership of President Trump, we know the positive impacts that affordable,...

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