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Sine Die Means Goodbye

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Updated: Monday, June 26, 2017

The Kansas Legislature formally adjourned Sine Die yesterday bringing the total days in the Capitol to 114, tying the record for the longest session in Kansas history. However, the end did not come without some rumbling of a veto override of the governor’s veto of two provisions consolidating certain aspects of KanCare. The Governor made the line-item veto when signing the state budget on Sunday. The line item veto focused specifically on modifications to the Medicaid services for Kansans with disabilities. The Governor said in a statement that the language was overly broad, and the administration wanted to work with stakeholders before any changes were made.  See; http://kansaspublicradio.org/kpr-news/governor-brownback-signs-kansas-budget-blasts-spending-levels

This veto drew a quick response from Rep. Jim Ward who supports the consolidation on some KanCare systems and believes the legislature has a vital role in overseeing services provided to the most vulnerable Kansans.

These two line-item vetoes bring the veto tally to six for the session, two tax bills, three KanCare-type proposals and one on lottery vending machines. The legislature was only able to override the tax proposal. To override, the Senate needed to have 27 votes and the House needed 84. The prospects were unlikely.

Despite the two line-item vetoes, the Governor did sign off on the state budget, although a bit begrudgingly. The Governor stated that “I am signing the budget, despite my concerns about excessive spending, to avoid a break in core functions of government and to provided state workers with well-deserved pay increases.” Gov. Brownback believes the budget is bloated in areas and failed to make any of the consolidations/cuts championed by the efficiency study. See; http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2017/jun/25/kansas-gov-brownback-signs-156-billion-state-budge/?utm_content=buffer8af49&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

Now that the 2017 Legislative Session has ended for the year, everyone will hold their breath to see if the Kansas Supreme Court upholds the recently passed school finance bill. The court stayed its June 30th deadline and will hear arguments on July 18th @ 9 a.m. See; http://www.kscourts.org/Kansas-Courts/General-Information/2017-News-Releases/062017.pdf

How the court rules will determine if a special session is needed. Some in the Capitol believe that the court will uphold the first-year funding but find the second year inadequate. This would give the legislature the summer off, but would leave a seriously pressing issue to be decided in 2018—an election year.

For more information on the session, please visit www.kslegislature.org or the KBA website at www.ksbar.org.

Thanks for reading!

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