Ceremonial Bill Signing of Senate Bill 44-- a civil false claims act
drafted by Robert Collins and fought for along side Rep. Sydney Carlin since February 2005. The bill was finally signed
into law in April 2009. Pictured from left to right are Loren Snell (Medicaid Fraud Unit Chief, Kansas Attorney General's
Office), Rep. Sydney Carlin, Kansas Attorney General Steve Six, Kansas House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jan Pauls,
Governor Mark Parkinson, Robert Collins, Kansas Judicial Council Director Randy Hearrell, Kansas Judicial Council Attorney
Nancy Strousse, and House Judiciary Committee Member Raj Goyle.
Robert Collins began his governmental affairs work as a legislative intern during his first semester of law school
working for Kansas legislators. He later worked as a law clerk for the Kansas County and District Attorneys Association
and the Kansas State Troopers Association and did legislative and governmental affairs work for each of their organizations.
While employed by Kearney & Associates Robert engaged in lobbying work for several non-profits from the Fraternal Order
of Police to Kansas Action for Children to the March of Dimes, the Humane Society, and others. Robert also worked on
behalf of certain for-profit corporations such as 1-800 Contacts and Alltel. Later Robert founded Kansas Taxpayers Against
Fraud and the K-TAF Policy Research Group to advocate strictly on behalf of non-profit and public interest entities and sound
policies on behalf of the State of Kansas. Among the successful legislative initiatives Robert has been involved with
are 2006 House Bill 2893, which applied Medicaid billing rules to all Kansas jails and prisons thereby saving the state more
than $27 million in prescription drug costs; 2007 Senate Bill 11, which created the Medicaid Office of Inspector General and,
via audits, has identified millions of dollars in waste, fraud and abuse in the home healthcare system in Kansas to be recovered
on behalf of taxpayers and Medicaid recipients; and 2009 Senate Bill 44, which created a civil false claims act and added
civil fines and triple damages where any contractor is found to have defrauded the state or any of its political subdivisions.
This bill also became the first false claims act in the country to create its own funding mechanism for enforcement from payments
made by defendants rather than from taxpayers. Robert shared this provision and legislative idea with advocates of similar
legislation in Minnesota and assisted them in their drafting and lobbying efforts. And it was that provisions that leveraged
enactment of Minnesota's own false claims act in a tight budgetary environment roughly one month after enactment of the Kansas
*Collins Law Office commits roughtly 20%
of its practice to governmental affairs work and collaboration with the K-TAF Policy Research Group to pursue sound policy
solutions for state and federal implementation.
**Collins Law Office and the K-TAF Policy Research
Group continue working with State and Congressional Representatives to better fund investigative and prosecutorial efforts
involving any form of contractor fraud against public health, safety or the public fisc, and to fund these enforcement positions
via civil fines paid by defendants who plead or are found guilty rather than by taxpayers.
Law Office and the K-TAF Policy research group are also now working together to prepare anti-predatory lending legislation
in the coming Kansas legislative session, as well as new disclosure rules for landlords who lease out homes or apartments
once contaminated by methamphetamine toxins, in order to more adequately inform prospective tenants regarding the safety risks
of their potential living environments, just as prospective homebuyers are guaranteed the right to know under current law.