As Recommended by House Committee on

HB 2300 would amend law regarding mandated
reporters of child abuse or neglect to include duly ordained
ministers of religion as mandated reporters. Under continuing
law in the Revised Kansas Code for Care of Children, when a
person listed as a mandated reporter has reason to suspect
that a child has been harmed as a result of physical, mental,
or emotional abuse or neglect or sexual abuse, the person is
required to promptly report the matter. A violation of these
reporting requirements is classified as a class B
Under continuing law in the Kansas Rules of Evidence,
the term “duly ordained minister of religion” is defined to
mean a person who has been ordained, in accordance with
the ceremonial ritual or discipline of a church, religious sect,
or organization established on the basis of a community of
faith and belief, doctrines, and practices of a religious
character, to preach and to teach the doctrines of such
church, sect, or organization and to administer its rites and
ceremonies in public worship, and who as his or her regular
and customary vocation preaches and teaches the principles
of religion and administers the ordinances of public worship
as embodied in the creed or principles of such church, sect,
or organization.

*Supplemental notes are prepared by the Legislative Research
Department and do not express legislative intent. The supplemental
note and fiscal note for this bill may be accessed on the Internet at
Penitential Communication Exception
A duly ordained minister of religion who suspects abuse
or neglect based on a penitential communication would not
be required to violate the penitential communication privilege
provided in the Kansas Rules of Evidence by disclosing such
[Note: Under the Kansas Rules of Evidence in
continuing law, the term “penitential communication” is
defined to mean any communication between a penitent and
a regular or duly ordained minister of religion which the
penitent intends to be kept secret and confidential, and which
pertains to advice or assistance in determining or discharging
the penitent’s moral obligations, or to obtaining God’s mercy
or forgiveness for past culpable conduct.
Furthermore, pursuant to the Kansas Rules of Evidence,
a person, whether or not a party, has a privilege to refuse to
disclose, and to prevent a witness from disclosing a
communication if he or she claims the privilege and the judge
finds that:
● The communication was a penitential
● The witness is the penitent or the minister; and
● The claimant is the penitent, or the minister making
the claim on behalf of an absent penitent.]
The bill was introduced by the House Committee on
Federal and State Affairs at the request of Representative

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House Committee on Judiciary
In the House Committee hearing, proponent testimony
was provided by Senator Holscher, a representative of Family
Guidance Center, and four private citizens. The proponents
stated the bill is needed to ensure reports are being made of
suspected abuse or neglect.
Written-only proponent testimony was provided by
Representative Haskins and representatives of Grace United
Methodist Church, Kansas Catholic Conference, Mainstream
Coalition, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Manhattan, and
the Wichita United Church of Christ.
Written-only opponent testimony was provided by a
representative of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of
America, Central States Synod.
Written-only neutral testimony was provided by
representatives of the Kansas Coalition Against Sexual and
Domestic Violence, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and
St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Fiscal Information
According to the fiscal note prepared by the Division of
the Budget on the bill, the Department for Children and
Families (DCF) indicates enactment of the bill would increase
the volume of reports to the Kansas Protection Report Center,
resulting in an increase of $74,569 in expenditures from the
State General Fund to fund 1.00 FTE Protection Specialist
position. DCF stated it assumes the bill may increase the
workload of its child investigative staff. However, it is
anticipated that many of these calls would duplicate other
calls or may need investigation by law enforcement. DCF
stated it believes an increase in assigned investigations may
not be significant and could be absorbed within existing
resources. Additionally, if reporting clergy is intended as a

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separate group within the reporting system, system updates
would be necessary and result in unknown costs.
The Office of Judicial Administration indicates enactment
of the bill could result in an increased number of cases filed in
district courts because it would expand the list of mandatory
reporters. This would increase the time spent by district court
personnel in processing, researching, and hearing cases.
Additionally, the new crime under the bill could also result in
more supervision of offenders by Court Services Officers.
Finally, the bill could result in the collection of docket fees,
supervision fees, and fines assessed in these cases.
However, it is not possible to estimate the number of
additional cases, or how complex and time-consuming they
would be. Therefore, a fiscal effect cannot be determined.
Any fiscal effect associated with enactment of the bill is
not reflected in The FY 2024 Governor’s Budget Report.
Reporting; child abuse; neglect; ministers; clergy; penitential communication;

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Statutes affected:
As introduced: 38-2223