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Veto Session Continues

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The Kansas Legislature has surpassed its self-imposed 80-day session with no resolution to the remaining issues. The largest trouble spot keeping everyone in the statehouse is the budget. Most of the low hanging fruit has been dealt with but the main issue remains higher education and a possible cap on state employee pay. Both chambers are pushing to retain as much as possible of their budget plan, which should force each side to compromise a little. Right now the House is looking to make deeper cuts into higher education to save enough cash and make retention of the sales tax moot. The Senate, on the other hand, wants to keep spending at a higher rate and use that additional expense as a reason to extend the sales tax. This game has been going on for the entirety of the Veto Session as discussed in the following articles:

Unfortunately this is not the only issue of concern to most KBA members. The elephant in the room remains merit selection of appellate court judges and justices. Last week the KBA voted unanimously to reject the most recent proposal from legislative leadership. This proposal would have allowed the governor to appoint five of the nine members to the Supreme Court nominating commission. This latest effort was simply a bridge too far for the KBA Board of Governors, and they rejected the proposals and issued the following press release:


This was met with a swift reaction by Rep. Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe), who introduced, at the rail of the statehouse, three new proposals aimed squarely at Kansas appellate courts. These proposals include, HB 2415, which lowers the retirement age of appellate judges from 75 to 65; a proposal to move to a strict federal model of appointing judges with consent of the senate and lifetime appointments for all new judges; and a proposal to limit the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court by creating a separate criminal appellate court.


Each of these proposals was introduced less than 24 hours after the KBA voted to reject the most recent proposal. These bills will not be heard this session as time and energy is focused on budget, but we can expect a lengthy discussion in 2014. For more news on this issue, please see:

Finally, the Kansas Legislative Research Department has released two 2013 legislative summaries. These are great resources to find new laws by specific category and they can be found at


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

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