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Judicial Budget, Death Penalty and More

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, January 26, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The second week of the legislative session saw as much activity as the first, even though it was a day shorter. A host of new bills were introduced by the Kansas House, mostly by the House Federal and State Affairs Committee. These bills range from concealed carry to session days to immigration law, all of which look to be election year fodder. However, the Kansas House did take significant steps when they passed HB 2449, repealing the non-severability clause from the 2015 judicial branch budget. The vote was taken last week and HB 2449 was approved 119-0. HB 2449 now heads to the Kansas Senate where they have an identical bill (SB 320). How they proceed and what type of debate takes shape remains to be seen, but the hope is for a quick and unencumbered resolution. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear an update on the Solomon case on Thursday, January 28, but as of today no hearing is set for HB 2449.

There were also a few rulings released this week that will have an impact on the legislature. The big news was the ruling by the United States Supreme Court to overturn the Kansas Supreme Court on the death penalty case. That case, Kansas v. Carr, created quite a bit of discussion under the dome. Many legislators praised the ruling as long overdue justice, and criticized the Kansas court for being anti-public safety. Several legislators thought this was further evidence of the need to change the merit selection system. On a related note—HCR 5013 which would alter the Supreme Court nominating commission –has not been rescheduled. Read the Wichita Eagle report.

The other cases included the Kansas Supreme Court voiding a Wichita ordinance lessening the penalties for marijuana, and the Kansas Court of Appeals keeping an abortion law on hold.

Next week, the KBA will be monitoring several bills including SB 96 dealing with disclosure of unanticipated medical outcomes, and HB 2466, prohibiting sanctuary resolutions by Kansas municipalities. The immigration issue is a hot topic, and the House Fed/State committee will hear at least two other immigration bills this session.

The KBA will also be monitoring the following bills:

Bill Description

HB 2472

Clarifying jurisdiction of Board of Tax Appeals

HB 2487

Legislative subsistence allowance; repealing provisions increasing the allowance to match the federal employee per diem expenses and setting the allowance at $129 per day.

HB 2501

Clarifying the definition of crime committed with an electronic device.

HB 2502

Amending court procedures in motion to attack sentence regarding time limitations and findings of manifest injustice.

HB 2504

School District Realignment

HB 2506

False statements against candidates for state office

HB 2513

Limiting the days of session

SB 331

Kansas firearms industry nondiscrimination act

SB 334

Requiring notice to the AG before any Kansas Court determines a law is invalid or unconstitutional


The KBA will be introducing two proposals this week. The first is the transfer on death deed amendments, and the other the Kansas General Corporate Code update. Both bills will be introduced into House Judiciary Committee.

For more information please see www.ksbar.org or follow the KBA on Twitter @KansasBarLeg.

Tags:  2016 Session  Kansas v. Carr  marijuana 

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