TOPEKA -- In a 45-second meeting, House members on Wednesday unanimously passed Senate Bill 32, which exempts “certain non-insurance healthcare benefits from the commissioner’s jurisdiction.”

The bill, which was introduced in late January, was sponsored by the Senate’s Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee, headed by Sen. Robert Olson (R-Olathe). The bill was turned over to the House Committee on Insurance on Feb. 21 after passing through the Senate during an Emergency Final Action meeting the previous day with a 28-11 vote.

The bill exempts several groups from being “presumed to be the subject” of insurance commissioner Vicki Schmidt (R-Wichita). These groups include the Kansas association of professional architects, professional dentist association, members of bank trade associations, members of trucker associations, doctors in the Kansas City metropolitan area and members of nonprofit agricultural organizations.

Section three of the bill states that those in the aforementioned exempted groups are to pay taxes at the rate of 1% per year on top of existing tax payments.

Marissa Ventrelli is a University of Kansas junior from Chicago majoring in journalism.    

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