In one week, the Kansas Legislature will hit its midway point where bills not passed out of their House of Origin can no longer continue through the process. This day, commonly referred to as Turnaround, will see the bulk of bills introduced in 2019 fall by the wayside. There are still procedural maneuvers that optimistic lawmakers can use to survive this deadline. They can introduce their bill into an exempt committee, (House Appropriations, Senate Ways & Means or either chambers’ Federal & State Committees), or they can have their bill “blessed” by leadership. To be “blessed”, the bill must be referred to one of these exempt committees.
The KBA had a productive Week 6. The LLC bill, HB 2105, was passed by the Kansas House 117-0. HB 2105 has already been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Rep. Fred Patton carried the bill on the floor with supporting comments from Rep. John Carmichael. We appreciate their efforts!
HB 2072, dealing with mandatory arbitration provisions in insurance contracts was passed out of House Judiciary Committee on a voice vote. Hb 2072 still needs to pass the full House or it will become a casualty of the deadline.
The KBA also testified in support of the Kansas Judicial Branch Budget. This testimony was submitted in the House General Government Budget Committee and the Senate Ways & Means Subcommittee.
It should also be noted that several bills of interest to the KBA have not yet been given hearing. Those include, HB 2331, mandatory reporting of sexual abuse by clergy. The Chair has asked the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Mark Schreiber (R-Emporia), to work with the Catholic Charities on language that both could support. HB 2196, creating the presumption in favor of shared parenting time for temporary orders. The House Judiciary Committee did not take up this bill. It still could be blessed, but no request has been made yet. HB 2192, which establishes that court of appeals judges would be nominated by the Supreme Court nominating commission. Hearings were cancelled for HB 2115/SB 56, which would require use of software that would verify hours billed by contractors under certain state contracts. However, the sponsors of this bill might try to insert language into an appropriations bill. This was a tactic used in the State of Virginia to create a pilot program using this software.
Finally, we have scheduled our KBA Day @ the Capitol for March 12th. This is a great opportunity for members of the KBA to join me at the Capitol in Topeka for a day, meet certain key legislators in their offices, observe committee and possibly floor action in the House and/or Senate, and get a true front row experience on the legislative process. If you would like to join us this year, please contact me for more details. I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.