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Teen Tanning Ban, Concealed Carry Change Among Laws Going Into Effect

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Stephen Koranda
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KPR/File photo

A batch of new laws passed by Kansas lawmakers during the last legislative session go into effect tomorrow, July 1.

Gov. Sam Brownback approved nearly 100 laws, including one that makes it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to use a tanning bed, and another that reduces penalties for marijuana possession. House Bill 2462 cuts the maximum prison sentence for a first-time possession conviction in half, making it 6 months. It also reduces a second conviction from a felony to a Class A misdemeanor.

Another House bill increases vehicle registration fees by $3.25 with funds going to the Kansas Highway Patrol and a law enforcement training center in Hutchinson.

Senate Bill 175 allows campus religious groups at public universities to restrict membership to people who hold their same beliefs. Another Senate bill, SB 402, reduces lifetime Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits from 36 to 24 months, and institutes so-called step therapy to lessen Medicaid costs. The new law will require Medicaid providers to start patients on less expensive medications before trying more expensive alternatives if necessary.

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Credit Nadya Faulx, Piktochart
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Among the more controversial laws going into effect Friday is House Bill 2502, which allows public employees--except school employees--to carry concealed firearms on the job without receiving gun safety training. The law extends that right to job duties out in the community, including while driving or riding in a vehicle.

During debate on the bill, Republican Sen. Forrest Knox said this allows workers to protect themselves.

“You should not, if you’re a public entity, a public employer, be able to require your employees to be defenseless,” Knox said.

Some opponents of the change argue employees carrying guns while checking utility meters or doing other business could lead to injuries. The law also says air rifle shooting sports can be held on public school property.

You can see the full list of approved laws here.

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With additional reporting from Stephen Koranda.

Follow Abigail Wilson on Twitter @AbigailKMUW.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.