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Gov. Kelly Signs Four Bills, Including Tweak to First-Time Homebuyer Savings Program


By Tim Carpenter, Kansas Reflector


TOPEKA, Kan. — Gov. Laura Kelly signed legislation Friday adjusting a 2021 state law allowing for creation of first-time homebuyer savings accounts to make it easier for financial institutions to distribute money to a beneficiary when an account holder passed away.

The Kansas Bankers Association, which represents more than 200 banking institutions, said House Bill 2197 would amend state law so contents of the savings accounts would be “payable at death” rather than “transfer at death” to automatically require distribution of money rather than go through the estate process.

The accounts were authorized by the state in recognition of challenges people had purchasing a home. Under state law, an individual could open an account with a financial institution and designate deposits to be used by a designated first-time homebuyer for construction or to buy a primary residence in Kansas.

“The KBA has historically supported initiatives that have the potential to spur economic activity across Kansas. We believe that incentivizing Kansans to buy his or her first home in our great state will do just that,” said Kelly VanZwoll, of the Kansas Bankers Association.

The savings account measure cleared the Kansas Senate on a vote of 36-1 and moved through the Kansas House by a margin of 121-1.

The governor also signed House Bill 2092 to reapportion districts of the Washburn University board of regents to reflect groupings of city council districts rather than Kansas Senate districts.

She signed Senate Bill 24 to modify state law to align insurance coverage for autism spectrum disorders with industry standards.

Another measure signed by Kelly, House Bill 2262, expanded workforce and training opportunities for embalmers. It changed state educational requirements to allow completion of six-month, rather than 12-month, apprenticeships before an individual could be accepted into mortuary science school.

“I am pleased that the Legislature has reviewed and passed bipartisan legislation that betters the lives of Kansans,” Kelly said.