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Legislature Picks Up Speed

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Last week, legislative committees stabilized and began to focus on the many issues at hand.  The third week is the set-up for the remainder of the session as Republicans use Kansas Day to create momentum for issues they plan to work on during the remainder of the session.

One topic they will not face is the non-severability repeal issue, or HB 2449, as the Senate passed the bill out 39-1. Sen. Molly Baumgartner was the single no-vote as she had concerns about child support guidelines. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk for approval.

Two issues that will generate public discussion this week are immigration and merit selection.  Both of these issues were scheduled to be front-and-center next Wednesday, when HCR 5013, expanding the Supreme Court nominating commission, and HB 2466, prohibiting sanctuary cities, were up for hearing. However, late last week HCR 5013 was pulled from the calendar and replaced with an informational hearing provided by Prof. Stephen Ware who is a staunch supporter of changing merit selection.

However, the push to change merit selection has picked up pace.  Several emails have already begun to surface calling for Kansas justices to not be retained this coming November.  For instance, the Kansas House Republicans put out this email last week. The Governor’s Office put out an email attacking the Kansas Court of Appeals on its abortion ruling.

It also appears that a potential floor vote on HCR 5005, governor–appoint model could take place as early as this week. The KBA opposes HCR 5005, so please look for a "Call-to-Acton” email so you can contact your legislator to voice your opinion on HCR 5005.

The immigration issue, specifically HB 2466, is still set for hearing next week. The KBA Immigration Section will be providing neutral testimony to the committee.

Besides these big items the KBA is reviewing a number of family law proposals,

Bill Description

HB 2556

Grandparents as caregivers act, age requirements, foster care

HB 2562

Parentage, retroactive child support guidelines

... criminal proposals, most significantly amendments to the juvenile justice code,

Bill Description

SB 367

Amending juvenile justice system

... and a few court procedure/notice bills.

Bill Description

SB 327

Allowing hearsay at preliminary hearings

SB 331

Kansas firearms industry nondiscrimination act

SB 337

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

HB 2545

Release of arrest warrant and search warrant information

HB 2553

Increasing municipal court assessments and directing to the commission on peace officers' standards and training.

KBA sections are reviewing these proposals, and will make a recommendation should the proposal warrant KBA involvement.

The KBA did introduce two bills this week. The first is the Transfer on Death deed amendments and the other is the Kansas General Corporate Code update.  Once the Reviser’s Office completes the bill drafts, the KBA will ask for a hearing on both proposals.

Finally, Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton Nuss will deliver the State of the Judiciary speech this Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. The speech can be watched live at

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