Governor Kelly Signs Bill to Get Kansans Back on the Road


TOPEKA— Governor Laura Kelly signed Senate Bill 500 on Friday, cutting red tape for Kansans stuck in a cycle of increasing fines while trying to pay for the reinstatement of their drivers license.

“This bill puts a stop to the cycle of hardship that Kansans face when their drivers license is suspended, and they are subsequently unable to pay off the debt that accumulates,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This piece of legislation brings necessary reform to our court system, so Kansans can obtain a restricted license, allowing them to get to their jobs as they work to pay off their traffic fines.”

Current law requires those who fail to comply with a traffic citation to pay their fees in full within 30 days. If they don’t, their license is suspended.

Senate Bill 500 allows courts to restrict certain individuals’ licenses rather than suspend them so they can continue to be able to drive to school, work, and church as they make payments on the fees they owe. This bill will take effect on January 1, 2025.

“I am proud to have championed this transformative legislation that will remove barriers to help ensure Kansans are able to get to work, school, and home while paying off traffic fines,” said Kansas State Senator Oletha Faust-Goudeau, District 29. “This bill will help those Kansans continue to take care of their responsibilities and contribute to their communities while they work their way through the legal system.” Kansans who have failed to comply with a traffic citation will be able to petition the court to waive or reduce payment of their court costs. Additionally, fines to reinstate an individual’s license are capped at $100 to prevent further debt.

“It was a pleasure to help bring Republican majorities together with our friends across the aisle to promote solutions for Kansans caught in a loop of mistakes and bad decisions,” said Kansas State Senate Vice President Rick Wilborn, District 35. “I’m proud to give eligible drivers a new chance at responsible citizenship.”

“Senate Bill 500, for me, is more than just a great bill for Kansans. It’s more than just the right thing to do. It also serves as a reminder of Gail Finney’s powerful legacy in which my footsteps are entrenched, and that good work continues in her absence,” said Kansas State Representative Ford Carr, District 84. “Thank you again, Gail Finney, for allowing me to be a part of your final chapter and lasting legacy.”

This bill builds on a law Governor Kelly signed in 2021 that modified eligibility requirements for restricted driving privileges.

In addition to Senate Bill 500, Governor Kelly also signed the following bills:

House Substitute for Senate Bill 287: Requires parental consent for certain types of health care provided to minors in schools, establishes the No Patients Left Alone Act, expands eligibility for Rural Emergency Hospital (REH) designation, and allows Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to distribute non-prescription over-the-counter medications.

House Substitute for SB 420: Creates opportunities for juvenile offenders to gain important employment skills by allowing them to leave their juvenile correctional facility for certain workforce and educational programs when approved by the secretary.

Senate Substitute for HB 2047: This bill amends the process for applying for and registering a livestock brand with the State, increasing the fee limitation related to livestock brand application, registration, and renewal. Brand registration is an important tool to help law enforcement investigate and solve livestock theft cases. The bill also modifies the Farm Animal and Field Crop and Research Facilities Protection Act consistent with caselaw.

HB 2176: Creates the Arkansas City Area Public Library District Act and the Udall Area Public Library District Act (Library Acts), which authorizes the board of trustees for these libraries to submit a question to voters about creating a library district and a proposed tax levy. The bill also amends the statute defining “local public libraries.”

HB 2392: Modifies the definition of “veteran” and “disabled veteran” to clarify the discharge status (or characterization of service) a member of the Armed Forces must receive to be eligible for certain benefits in Kansas. The bill would also authorize the issuance of a 1st Infantry Division and an Armed Service Occupation Medal distinctive license plate.

HB 2530: Makes changes to the appointment authority of the Kansas Wildlife and Parks Commission.

HB 2531: Establishes the Kansas Purple Alert Plan, which will require law enforcement agencies to make public notice when a person with an intellectual disability is missing, similar to the existing Amber and Silver Alert programs. Under the Purple Alert Plan, public notice of a missing individual could be promptly broadcast, and a timely search could begin with the cooperation of local law enforcement, news media, and the general public to locate the individual in time to avoid serious harm or death.

HB 2784: Transfers authority for certification of continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs) from the Kansas Insurance Department to the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) and permits the Secretary for Aging and Disability Services to waive rules and regulations related to the licensing of disability services in certain circumstances. The bill also amends law regarding Certified Community Behavioral Health Centers (CCBHCs) certification. Additionally, it prohibits the State Fire Marshal and its representatives from wearing or operating body cameras or other audio or video recording devices during an on-site inspection in certain facilities.