Bill restricting local governments from passing rental inspection, nutrition labeling laws sent to Brownback

The Senate chamber of the Kansas Statehouse is pictured July 23, 2014 in Topeka.

The Kansas Senate gave final passage Sunday to a bill that pre-empts local governments from enacting certain laws or regulations affecting real estate, rental property, retail food sales and private-sector working conditions.

The House approved the bill Saturday night, 76-45. The Senate’s 32-6 vote Sunday sends the bill to Gov. Sam Brownback.

The bill would prohibit cities or counties from:

• Enacting or enforcing rental licensing programs that provide for periodic interior inspections of rental dwellings without the occupant’s consent.

• Enacting laws or regulations regarding nutritional content or labeling of food sold at retail.

• Regulating the sale or resale price of real estate.

• Enacting laws or regulations governing the schedules or work hours of private-sector employees.

Sens. Marci Francisco of Lawrence and Tom Holland of Baldwin City, both Democrats, spoke against the bill, noting that three of the four provisions — all but the rental inspections provision — were never considered before in the Senate. Francisco tried unsuccessfully to refer the bill back to a conference committee for further amendment.

But Sen. Julia Lynn, R-Olathe, who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, argued that all four provisions were important to protect personal rights.