Kansas Governor Inauguration

Gov. Laura Kelly delivers her inaugural address on the Statehouse steps in Topeka, Kan., Monday, Jan. 14, 2019. 

TOPKEA, KS (KCTV) -- Governor Laura Kelly signed a bill into law Wednesday that’s goal is to get more National Guard service member to participate in peer counseling sessions.

Signed in an official ceremony, House Bill 2365 exempts any notes or records of National Guard members’ counseling sessions from the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA).

“Mental health matters – for civilians and guard members alike. It’s important that we do all we can to decrease the stigma around mental health and encourage guardsmen and women to seek the necessary help,” Kelly said. “This is an issue of great importance to me personally and I’m proud to sign this legislation into law.”

Kelly was joined by Major General Lee E. Tafanelli, mental health representatives from the Kansas National Guard, and legislators at the signing ceremony.

House Bill 2365 amends the law concerning the peer support counseling session communication privilege within the Code of Civil Procedure. By adding references to National Guard members throughout the section, their records would be inadmissible and not subject to disclosure or discovery in judicial or other proceedings. This legislation will become effective upon its publication in the Kansas Statute Book.

Governor Kelly also ceremonially signed House Bill 2123 at the event. This legislation was officially signed on April 2, 2019 and amended the Kansas National Guard Education Assistance Act.

The governor signed four additional bills yesterday, bringing the total number of bills signed in the 2019 Legislative Session to 42, with one being vetoed.

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