Things are in high gear right now as the Kansas Legislature tries to complete its Veto Session work. Each chamber has agreed to its own version of a budget, and conference committee members are now negotiating those differences. There are quite a few, but the big ones include KPERs repayment amounts. The House wants to pay back all $192 million while the Senate proposes only paying back $82 million.
The other big fight is whether Kris Kobach will be able to use state general funds dollars to pay any contempt fines incurred. The House added language prohibiting this type of payment, the Senate wants it out. Kobach has issued a letter saying the amendment is illegal, and his office may sue to have it removed.
This Veto Session has also produced language to “fix” the $80 million K12 distribution issue. The House Sub for SB 61 fix stems from the school finance bill passed prior to legislators going on break. That bill, Sub for SB 423, had a complex issue that overlooked how some funds would be distributed. To be clear no new money was added. The legislature just redirected how some funds would be distributed. House Sub for SB 61 heads to the governor’s desk now.
See also; https://kasb.org/0430/
It is also important to note that the House budget proposal contains new money for raises for both judicial staff and nonjudicial personnel. The House added $7.9 million dollars for raises. 2.5% of which will go to judges. Rep. Brad Ralph (R-Dodge City) was instrumental in the budget process regarding these raises. This issue is sure to come up in conference. The Senate originally offered to include $200K to renovate court offices but no money for raises.
The bulk of the week will involve conference committee work followed by conference committee report votes. Members of the Judiciary Conference Committee have made significant strides since their return. They have discussed more than 30 bills and agreed to more than half of them. Remaining are the complex DUI bill, the adoption bill and wrongful conviction, to name but a few.
Some bills have already been passed into law. To view those, please visit: