Kansas legislators returned to work yesterday with a very light agenda for the week. Not much is scheduled in the way of hearings, the Senate Judiciary Committee being the sole exception. The Senate Judiciary will open with a very frank discussion/hearing on the Kansas Death Penalty. This hearing is set for 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 16 in the Old Supreme Court Room. There is also a push to make other felony crimes Hard 50 eligible. The Senate Judiciary will also take this issue on this week. See http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2013_14/chamber/documents/daily_calendar_senate_20140109133147.pdf.
The House Judiciary Committee is set for a very quiet start as they only meet once this week to introduce committee members and staff. I suspect this will be the only light week, as a number of bills come over from the Senate they will need to be discussed. See http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2013_14/chamber/documents/daily_calendar_house_20140110115457.pdf.
This slow start will quickly reverse course after the governor’s State of the State address on Wednesday, January 15. However, the gorilla in the room remains the school finance case. The ruling should be coming down any day now with some believing it should have been made public last week. Until then, not much can be accomplished. So we wait.
As far as committee meetings are concerned the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet at 10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday in room 346-S. Sen. Jeff King (R-Independence) continues as Senate Judiciary chair with Sen. Greg Smith (R-Overland Park) as vice chair. The House Judiciary Committee will meet at 3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday in room 112-N. This committee is again chaired by Rep. Lance Kinzer (R-Olathe) with Rep. Rob Bruchman (R-Overland Park) as vice chair. For other committee meeting times and locations, please visit www.kslegislature.org/li.
Chief Justice Lawton Nuss will give the State of the Judiciary address at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22. This address is historic since it will be the first in the state’s history given from the Kansas Supreme Courtroom.
The public can access a live webcast of the address by following the Watch Supreme Court Live! link in the right-hand column of the Kansas Judicial Branch website at www.kscourts.org. The address will be recorded for viewing afterward by anyone unable to attend in person or watch it live online.