Policy Options for Local Governments in Kansas: Increasing Access to Healthy Food (2015)
Local governments play a pivotal role in ensuring that community members have access to healthy food through local policies. For example, local governments can change zoning and taxing laws to make it easier to create new grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and community gardens. This resource describes the different types of policies that local governments can use to increase access to healthy food within their communities.
Policy Options for Local Governments in Kansas: Increasing Walking and Bicycling (2015)
Local governments play a pivotal role in ensuring that communities have a viable transportation and recreation system that supports walking and bicycling through local policy initiatives. Under Kansas law, local governments have the authority to implement a variety of policy levers to increase opportunities for bicycling and walking and to improve health within their communities. This resource describes different types of policies that local governments can use to increase bicycling and walking within their communities.
Farm to Child Care strategies support good nutrition and active play in child care settings. The Public Health Law Center has developed a series of resources designed to help child care providers and other early childhood educators understand how Farm to Child Care strategies complement existing licensing, quality ratings, and best practices standards, and can be integrated into child care programs to support healthy child development.
Nutrition, Active Play & Screen Time Child Care Laws in Kansas
Child care providers are in a unique position to address the childhood obesity epidemic and tobacco-related health hazards. The Public Health Law Center has developed a series of resources designed to inform and support Kansas efforts to cultivate child care settings that promote healthy eating, positive exercise habits, and reduced screen time environments. This fact sheet outlines existing child care laws in Kansas dealing with these subjects.
Using Kansas Roads & Sidewalks for Active Transportation
Bicyclists and pedestrians use roads and sidewalks for active transportation. Understanding how Kansas laws and traffic regulations impact bicyclists and pedestrians on roads and sidewalks is critical to ensure the safety of these users.
These resources can be used by local governments, planning commissions and departments; walking and bicycling advocates; neighborhood groups; and others seeking to create a transportation system that responds to the needs of communities across Kansas.
Bicyclists and pedestrians use trails and shared-use paths for both recreation and active transportation in Kansas. Understanding how Kansas laws impact bicyclists and pedestrians on trails and paths can support the use of these facilities and promote healthy, active lifestyles.
Differences Between Active Transportation and Recreation Facilities in Kansas
Bicyclists and pedestrians use many different facilities for transportation and recreation in Kansas. Understanding the difference between recreation and transportation can help bicyclists and pedestrians access available resources to promote walking and bicycling.
A Kansas-based non-profit, Healthy Kids Challenge, developed nutrition standards for communities in Kansas. These recommended guidelines are closely aligned to standards developed by the National Alliance for Nutrition & Activity (NANA).
Pedestrian and Bicyclist Rights and Responsibilities (2013)
Minnesota law specifies how different types of traffic should behave when traveling throughout the state. The ability of pedestrians and bicyclists to safely and effectively travel depends on all forms of traffic understanding and following these laws. This fact sheet identifies essential rights and responsibilities of different types of traffic that support safe pedestrian and bicycle travel.
High speed roads and wide crossings can cause walking or biking to school more dangerous and less enjoyable for students, making students are far less likely to be allowed to walk or bike to school. Establishing safe school-zone speed limits is one way to make walking and biking routes safer, providing students with opportunities for increased physical activity. This fact sheet discusses how school-zone speed limits are established so that local authorities can develop strategies to enforce these speed limits, making roads safer for children to walk or bike to school.
Liability for Volunteers in the Walking School Bus Program (2013)
A walking school bus program aims to get children to be more physically active and socially engaged by supporting walking to and from school in groups accompanied by adults. Adult volunteers are often responsible for organizing the program and walking the children to and from school. This fact sheet discusses how Minnesota law may protect volunteers from liability claims for accidents that occur while volunteering.
Minnesota Complete Streets Variance Process (2013)
Minnesota’s Complete Streets law allows a local government, including a county, city, town, or regional park authority, to request a variance from state aid design standards when using state funding for a local Complete Streets project. The law requires the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) to evaluate all Complete Streets variance requests using specific Complete Streets guidance publications. This fact sheet provides information about Complete Streets and a basic flow chart of its state aid variance process.
Liability Protection for Minnesota Landowners (2013)
Minnesota law gives liability protection to landowners who allow the public to enter their land for recreational purposes without charging a fee. This fact sheet discusses how Minnesota’s Recreational Use Statute provides landowners with broad liability protection so the public can access and make recreational use of natural resources on private property.
Liability Concerns in Minnesota: Recreational Maps (2013)
Minnesota municipalities may want to provide maps to members of the public for biking, walking, or other recreational uses. These municipalities, however, may be concerned about the liability issues surrounding the use of such maps. This fact sheet discusses ways Minnesota law protects municipalities from liability for claims that arise from inaccuracies in a map which are based on certain decisions and kinds of information.
Bike share programs provide the public with the opportunity to rent bicycles for transportation and exercise without the expense and responsibility of owning a bike. However, bike share programs can create liability and safety issues. This fact sheet provides an overview of the liability issues that can arise and how a bike share program owner or operator can minimize risk of liability.
Active Transportation in Minnesota: Resources Dedicated to Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Non-Motorized Transportation
The Public Health Law Center developed a series of resources dedicated to pedestrian, bicycle, and non-motorized transportation to raise public awareness of laws and programs that support these healthy forms of transportation.
This tip sheet is an introductory roadmap for navigating food and beverage operations such as concession stands and snack bars, and highlights ways to maximize efficiencies as well as incorporate healthier options.
This checklist identifies ways to improve existing Minnesota school board policies, rules and regulations relating to recreational use of school property, as well as to update facilities use forms, contracts and agreements to incorporate new liability protections and best practices.
Workshop: Parks and Recreation Policy and Legal Tools for a Healthier Future, March 2012
On March 1, 2012, the Public Health Law Center joined the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association, its Step Up to Health Committee, and the American Heart Association to conduct a day-long training for Minnesota park and recreation departments. The workshop focused on policy and legal tools related to the parks and recreation profession. Obesity rates are on the rise, in part because of the public’s lack of access to clean water, healthy food, and safe and accessible places to be physical active.
Access to Healthy Food: Challenges and Opportunities
This document provides public health advocates, policymakers, and community organizers with an overview of key policy and legal strategies being pursued to reduce or prevent obesity by increasing access to healthy food.
Healthy Vending and the Randolph Sheppard Act (2015)
Federal, state, and local governments can increase access to healthy foods and beverages by requiring all vending service providers to sell healthier options in vending machines on public property. Legally blind vendors can be particularly influential in what is sold in vending facilities located on government property because of the Randolph Sheppard Act. This fact sheet discusses the Randolph Sheppard Act and what the law means for healthy vending efforts.
Increasing physical activity is important to promote individual and public health. Whether or not someone is physically active is closely tied to one’s access to a safe, affordable, and convenient place to be physically active. School recreational facilities can provide valuable space for community recreational activity. However, schools and communities must navigate a number of policy and legal considerations when schools open their property for community recreational use. This report provides a comprehensive overview of the key legal and policy issues impacting community recreational use of school property along with a review of the current policy initiatives being pursued at the state and local levels to promote community recreational use of school property.
Concerns about liability can keep schools from implementing policies that might be beneficial to students or community members. This fact sheet provides an overview of liability and how Minnesota schools can use the law to protect themselves when implementing healthy eating and physical activity policies.
This fact sheet provides an overview of how school zone speed limits are established, and information on how communities can develop strategies to enforce these speed limits, making roads safer for children who choose to walk or bike.
This fact sheet provides an overview of the menu labeling law, which was part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This law requires that large chain restaurants and similar retail food establishments, and certain owners and operators of vending machines, post calorie information on their menus or machines, and make other nutrition information available on request. The law also restricts what menu labeling laws state and local governments may adopt.
Taxing Sugar Drinks - A Policy Options Brief (2011)
This policy brief reviews the scientific evidence linking consumption of sugar drinks to obesity. It then evaluates the use of pricing policies as a tool to reduce consumption of these beverages and improve weight, while discussing potential drawbacks and likely industry opposition to these policies. Finally, this analysis summarizes some of the most recent national and state initiatives and considers future developments in the implementation of pricing policies to reduce the consumption of sugar drinks and improve weight in the United States.
These checklists are useful tools in the policy drafting and review process. The first checklist contains the steps in policy planning and drafting. The second checklist contains the elements that should be included in a policy. The final checklist contains questions for review of the policy to ensure that it is effective and comprehensive. Not every item will be relevant to every policy, but all should be considered.
A fifty-page survey of options for increasing physical activity in schools, including considerations involved in improving physical education courses, integration of physical activity throughout the curriculum and in after-school programs, expanding outdoor learning, health screening, BMI monitoring, and using Safe Routes to Schools Programs.