Fred in the News

Kansas House passes bill extending governor’s orders on staff for hospitals, ...
18 Jan 2022 at 2:52pm

TOPEKA — The Kansas House approved legislation Tuesday that would relax qualifications for workers at hospitals and long-term care facilities until May 15. “While certainly not a fix-all, we believe this bill will go a long way toward helping the proponents staff their facilities and provide necessary services to Kansans,” said Rep. Fred Patton, R-Topeka. Patton said the Legislature could reassess before the House law expires on May 15 whether an extension is necessary.

Kansas governor signs COVID hospital staffing emergency bill, deploys Nationa...
21 Jan 2022 at 3:23pm

Gov. Laura Kelly signed a bill Friday codifying emergency COVID-19 measures she established two weeks ago in a disaster declaration. Hospitals and nursing homes will now have temporary regulatory relief designed to alleviate staffing challenges. The measures expire in January 2023. The bill's regulatory relief "would go a long way toward helping the proponents staff their facilities and provide necessary services for Kansans," said Rep. Fred Patton, R-Topeka.

Kansas lawmakers fast-track COVID emergency bill, press new KDHE secretary on...
19 Jan 2022 at 3:20pm

Kansas lawmakers pressed the new state health secretary on COVID-19 conspiracy theories as legislators fast-track a bundle of emergency provisions designed to help hospitals and nursing homes weather dire staffing shortages. Rep. Fred Patton, R-Topeka, said the bill gives health care providers and adult care homes "flexibility to meet staffing demands without the need for a state of disaster emergency." He noted the backing of various health care organizations, who indicated the bill is a "much-needed safety net."

Kansas license suspension reforms stumble in Legislature
29 May 2021 at 3:39pm

Kansas Supreme Court staff stepped in this spring to oppose legislation meant to address issues surrounding drivers license suspensions for unpaid traffic fines, an issue pushed by activists for racial justice and the poor nationwide. House Judiciary Committee Chair Fred Patton, a Topeka Republican, said his committee heard testimony last year on a bill to end suspensions for failure to pay traffic tickets, but he didn’t put it to a committee vote. Patton is concerned that ending debt-based license suspensions would mean no punishment for those who violate traffic laws.

Kansas governor vetoes GOP COVID relief plan for businesses
21 May 2021 at 3:34pm

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on Friday vetoed a Republican proposal to set aside hundreds of millions of Kansas' federal coronavirus relief dollars to compensate small businesses that faced restrictions earlier in the pandemic. Kelly said in her veto message that the measure was “well intentioned” but violated a federal coronavirus relief law enacted in March.  “Certainly, we all want to get money into businesses' hands that were closed and harmed,” said Kansas House Judiciary Chair Fred Patton, a Topeka Republican. “On the other side, we want to protect the state. We don't want to have hu...

NIL compensation bill for NCAA athletes uncertain after transgender athlete b...
14 May 2021 at 3:28pm

A bill coveted by the University of Kansas, Kansas State and other universities allowing student-athletes to receive limited compensation is facing significant uncertainty in Topeka, prompting concern that recruiting efforts will be negatively affected.  "(Universities) are concerned about recruiting and they're concerned about athletes coming to Kansas if other states are willing to compensate them for name, image and likeness," said Rep. Fred Patton, R-Topeka, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. "That's why the House thought it was important to get that legislation passed."

Vaccine passports, other virus issues split Kansas lawmakers
7 May 2021 at 3:12pm

Both Democrats and some Republicans worried that a proposed ban on vaccine passports being circulated by GOP conservatives was too broad, applying to private businesses as well as state and local government agencies. House Judiciary Chair Fred Patton, of Topeka, argued that the budget provisions on vaccine passports and contact tracing address lawmakers' concerns. "I think we're finished with the vaccine passports and contact tracing," Patton said.

Kansas House Committee passes revised marijuana bill, could see House vote th...
4 May 2021 at 3:07pm

The Kansas House Federal and State Affairs Committee Tuesday morning passed out a revised Kansas Medical Marijuana Regulation Act. It now goes to the House for a vote, which could happen this week. Marijuana legislation has never made it to the full House before, but not all lawmakers seem opposed to the idea. “I’m not open at this point to full-scale marijuana anywhere and everywhere, but if we can figure out how people need it for medical needs, then I’m open to hearing what those issues are and how we can help with that,” Rep. Fred Patton (R) said.