Governor Kelly Signs Good Samaritan Bill


TOPEKA— Governor Laura Kelly today signed House Substitute for Senate Bill 419, bipartisan legislation that provides legal protections for those that seek or provide medical assistance to a person suffering a medical emergency related to drug use.

“It’s critical that all Kansans are empowered to seek or deliver medical assistance during an emergency,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This bill is a lifeline for families and Kansans who are battling substance use disorders. It will save lives and provide the opportunity for recovery.”

Known as the Good Samaritan Law, this legislation will prevent those suffering a drug overdose and bystanders who seek the help of emergency services from being prosecuted for drug possession or use, providing another important tool in the fight to save Kansans from overdoses from fentanyl and controlled substances.

“By extending immunity from prosecution to those seeking or providing aid related to controlled substances, we recognize the inherent value and dignity in every life, even amidst drug-related challenges,” said Kansas State Representative Nick Hoheisel, District 97. “Whether it’s teenagers experimenting with pills or older individuals battling addiction, each life is a precious gift deserving preservation. While advocating for stricter penalties for those involved in drug distribution, immediate action is imperative to keep those already struggling with addiction alive long enough to seek help. This legislation is not just about policy; it’s about saving lives, including those of our friends, family, and loved ones.”

“The signing of Senate Bill 419 represents another common-sense policy that will save lives in Kansas. Friends and relatives will now be able to call for assistance in the event of an overdose without undue fear of arrest and prosecution,” said Kansas State Representative Jason Probst, District 102. “This bill comes on the heels of the decriminalization of fentanyl testing strips – and combined these two policies work to protect vulnerable Kansans by keeping them alive long enough to get the help they need to healthily recover. This bill represents the sort of compassion and acceptance I’ve always known lives in the hearts of so many Kansans.”

In 2023, Governor Kelly signed a law decriminalizing the use of fentanyl test strips to prevent overdose deaths in Kansas while increasing criminal penalties for manufacturing or distributing fentanyl.

In addition to House Substitute for Senate Bill 419, Governor Kelly also signed the following bills:

Senate Bill 414: Toughens the penalties for those involved in the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl and applies a special sentencing rule to the crime of unlawful distribution of fentanyl-related controlled substances. The bill enhances penalties for aggravated endangerment of a child related to fentanyl and related paraphernalia.

Additionally, the bill removes the element of concealment and secrecy from the crime of breach of privacy; amends the law in the Kansas Code of Procedure for Municipal Courts governing fingerprinting for municipal convictions; amends provisions in sentencing law regarding computation of time served; and updates the terms and conditions of post-release supervision for certain offenders.

House Substitute for Senate Bill 318: Amends evidentiary requirements for the intent to distribute a controlled substance to a “permissive inference.”

Senate Bill 27: Reconciles statutes that were amended more than once during the current and prior legislative sessions. This bill allows the creation of an updated version of the affected statutes with all amendments.

House Substitute for Senate Bill 291: Begins the process to consolidate and modernize state information technology (IT) and cybersecurity infrastructures to ensure the state IT systems Kansas citizens rely on for services are safe, secure and effective.

Senate Bill 339: Prohibits the Kansas State Department of Education from distributing State Foundation Aid to a school district that has no students enrolled in and attending a school in the district.