On Wednesday, May 1, 2019 the Kansas Legislature returns for the wrap-up session, also known as Veto Session. Traditionally, the veto session is used to override any vetoes the governor may have signed after First Adjournment. These days, though, the Veto session is the time during which the state budget is finalized.
This year, the Kansas Legislature has only one thing that it MUST accomplish: passing a budget. However, several ancillary items will also be considered during this time period. First, there will likely be an attempt to work out a tax bill that reduces income taxes. Earlier in the session, the legislature passed SB 22, a large tax cut vetoed by Gov. Kelly. So far, there have been no attempts to override the Governor’s veto, but that could change.
There also could be a push to have the Kansas Senate debate and vote on Medicaid expansion. The House has already approved this measure, but Senate leadership is blocking the bill. Senate President Susan Wagle (R-Wichita) has offered an interim study on expansion which would kill the idea for 2019. Gov. Kelly has put on a full court press to get the proposal to the floor this session, but time is not on her side. Prior to First Adjournment, Sen. Hensley (D-Topeka) made a motion to pull HB 2066 out of committee. That would give proponents of expansion an opportunity to debate the bill. To pull the bill out of committee, they need 24 votes. However, to schedule floor debate, they need 27 votes—which is much more difficult.
Both chambers will likely try to pass a constitutional amendment to ban abortions. Last Friday, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that the state Constitution protects a women’s right to make her own decisions regarding a pregnancy. The 6-1 majority decision (Justice Stegall dissenting) can be found here - http://kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/opinions/SupCt/2019/20190426/114153.pdf
Prior to the ruling, conservative Republicans had introduced legislation that would have banned abortion in Kansas. That constitutional amendment (HCR 5004) was co-sponsored by 21 Kansas Representatives. See; https://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article225209525.html The Hodes & Nauser v. Schmidt case will only intensify the push for a vote on the issue. The Veto Session will provide ample opportunity for that. A successful constitutional amendment requires two-thirds of both chambers. That means 84 representatives and 27 senators need to approve the proposal. The House party split is 84-41; the Senate party split is 28-11-1
KSAG Derek Schmidt issued a press release on the topic. See; https://ag.ks.gov/media-center/news-releases/2019/04/26/ag-derek-schmidt-statement-on-today's-kansas-supreme-court-decision-in-hodes-nauser-v.-schmidt
The National Review also opined on the topic. See; https://www.nationalreview.com/bench-memos/bloody-kansas/?fbclid=IwAR2NwXoEqOFmOerq9-FipJo-kS5SQekX2EV2PrQaCjy1s1SGW5HHBcxaU9k
The KS Supreme Court will hear two cases—school finance and the Court of Appeals appointment process—on May 9th. The Gov. signed a school finance plan which adds $90 +/- million to hopefully end the school finance lawsuit. The Court will also hear arguments about the Kansas Court of Appeals selection process and who gets to choose the 14th Court of Appeals judge on May 9th. See; https://www.cjonline.com/news/20190412/gop-senate-president-seeks-lawsuit-to-settle-court-nomination-conflict
With all this work pending and two large cases in front of the Kansas Supreme Court, it is unlikely that the veto session will be brief. The 90th session day is set for May 17th, but there is a chance legislators will blow past that date if things get interesting.
Finally, the Kansas Legislative Research Department has released two of its three legislative summaries. These break down all the bills signed into law. These summaries also indicate when these new laws will go into effect.
You can find the first two summaries here:
The third and final summary will be released after the Veto Session concludes.