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Kansas Legislature Reaches First Adjournment

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Kansas legislature has ended the regular legislative session and has left for their spring break. The plan is to return Wednesday, May 8 for the Veto Session, which is a week later than usual. Sen. Anthony Hensley questioned the extended break when he stated that he "thinks that was intentionally set up that way so that they could participate in their leadership roles in the ALEC organization, which to my way of thinking is inappropriate that we would schedule the Kansas legislature, legislative business around when ALEC meets.” See


Nevertheless, Monday, May 13 will be the 80th day. Normally the session runs for 90 days, but this year there has been a move to shorten the session to save money. However, keeping to this 80-day session will be difficult since both chambers are still haggling over the budget and tax policy, neither of which are anywhere near completion. See


Both chambers will also need to deal with the Consensus Revenue Estimates set to become public on Friday, April 19. If these estimates for FY 2014 are in the red, legislators will need to increase funding, most likely in the form of sales tax extension. If the Kansas House lacks the votes to keep the sales tax cutting spending is the only answer left to them. And cutting would probably start with higher education since the Kansas Senate’s budget only calls for a 2 percent cut while the Kansas House chops 4 percent.


Keeping the sales tax at its current level is a major budget policy for the governor, but last week the Kansas House voted down a tax bill that contained the sales tax piece. See It was mostly political posturing but the vote was instructive because it showed a less than willing appetite for more taxes.


Besides working on the budget, the Kansas legislature spent the past week debating, amending, and then passing a number of conference committee reports. These reports contain a number of likeminded issues that are bundled together and passed as one piece of legislation. This process is the epitome of legislative sausage making. Some of the more discussed conference committee reports contained a series of abortion prohibitions, gambling, gun right protections, KDOT and Turnpike merger, and prevailing wage issues.


See Sweeping abortion bill sent to governor,; and Kansas abortion legislation life begins and fertilization,


See gaming bill,; Senate gambling compromise dies,; and Measure to lure casino to SE Kansas fails,


See Concealed Carry Bill – Conference Committee Report HB 2052, See also and


In addition, KDOT/Turnpike Merger – Conference Committee Report on HB 2234, See Modified merger of KTA-KDOT approved,; and House, Senate send bill to Brownback that would make KDOT secretary in charge of operating turnpike,


Here are some of the issues that are on their way to the governor’s desk:

  • HB 2253, major prolife bill passes legislature. The main prolife legislation of the 2013 Kansas legislature was approved Friday, April 5 by the House affirming that life begins at conception and prohibiting the use of tax money for abortion.
  • SB 61, legislature takes aim at human trafficking. This bill creates the crime of "commercial sexual exploitation of a child.
  • SB 16, Kansas gets its own RICO law. There is a federal anti-racketeering act known by the acronym RICO. Now, Kansas has its own version aimed at street gangs and drug distributors.
  • HB 2234, closer tie between KDOT, Turnpike backed. Gov. Sam Brownback proposed the merger of these two entities as a way to save money. On Friday, April 5 the legislature passed a bill tying the two agencies closer together, giving the governor a partial win.
  • HB 2252, law eliminates time limit on rape cases. Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill into law Monday, April 1 that abolishes the statute of limitations on the prosecution of rape cases.
  • SB 124, restraint of trade act. The bill would create a new section that would declare the purpose of the new section and the amendments to existing sections is to clarify and reduce uncertainty or ambiguity in the application of the KRTA and applicable evidentiary standards to certain business contracts, agreements, and arrangements that are not intended to unreasonably restrain trade or commerce and do not contravene public welfare.

The KBA has tracked the following bills:

  • SB 81, requiring the restriction of certain officials' information from publicly accessible records. This bill was amended on the House floor and recommended for passage. This bill passed the Kansas Senate 40-0 (KBA supports this bill).
  • HB 2014, revoking an ex-spouses inheritance rights upon divorce, and HB 2015, marital property. Both bills have been recommended favorable for passage by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Passage is probable (KBA supports both bills).
  • HB 2166, medical assistance recovery act, was passed as amended by the Kansas House. The KBA Title Standard Committee provided the amending language that Rep. Blaine Finch used to clarify the lien priority status. The Kansas House approved this bill 112-11 (KBA was neutral on this bill but for the floor amendment).
  • HB 2205, adoption hearings, time and waiver of notice, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was placed on the Senate Consent Calendar as an uncontroversial bill. Passage appears imminent (The KBA supported this bill).
  • HB 2398, relating to the Kansas revised limited liability company act, was given a hearing on Monday, March 18 but the House Judiciary Committee will hold this bill over to 2014 (The KBA introduced this bill).

For more information and to find other bills please review the updated Bill Tracking Chart at

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