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The KBA Advocate is the weekly KBA legislative newsletter that contains up-to-date information on legislation that impacts your practice. It is only published when the legislature is in session and is sent to all KBA members electronically via the KBA Weekly.

 

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2020 Veto Session Agenda

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Monday, May 11, 2020

On May 6th, the Legislative Coordinating Council met to decide the fate of the 2020 legislative session. This panel, chaired by Speaker Ryckman with Senate President Wagle, Majority Leader Denning, Minority Leader Hensley, Rep. Finch, Rep. Hawkins And Rep. Sawyer, decided to return for a single day of Veto Session on May 21st. See; https://www.thekansan.com/news/20200506/kansas-legislature-to-return-for-one-day-to-finalize-work-with-focus-on-covid-19

 

Disagreement with that decision was brought by Senate President Wagle and Majority Leader Denning, both of whom favored a three-day veto session. Their goal was to pass legislation to provide oversight on the $1.2 billion CARES act federal funds, implement changes to the emergency management act and provide liability protection for businesses dealing with COVID-19. See; https://twitter.com/JimDenning4KS/status/1258473610664173568/photo/1 

 

The LCC voted down the three-day proposal, as the majority of the committee felt these issues needed more vetting and did not want to rush legislation that could have unintended consequences. The LCC then decided to return on May 21, Sine Die for a one-day veto session. In response, senate leadership directed four committees to begin meeting as soon as possible: Judiciary, Commerce, Tax, and Financial Institutions and Insurance. The idea is to have proposed legislation vetted and in a position to be voted on May 21st

 

Senate Judiciary Committee will meet for three consecutive days beginning on May 18th.  These meeting will be in-person and held in the Old Supreme Courtroom on the third floor of the Capitol starting at 9:30 a.m.  

  

House Judiciary Committee will meet via Zoom, streamed through YouTube, on May 13th, May 15th and May 18th. Meetings will begin at 3:30 p.m. The House will take a broader look at the COVID-19 issues at play, discuss emergency management authority and deal with the KORA exceptions bill from the regular session.

 

Of interest to the KBA is a COVID-19 liability proposal. The idea has been moving throughout the states and would provide businesses that are now reopening protection from COVID-19 related lawsuits. The KBA has been invited and plans to participate in both committee meetings. 

Tags:  2020 veto session  audio-visual in courtrooms  Author: Joseph N. Molina III  CARES Act  Emergency Management Act  LCC  Liability protection for businesses  remote notary 

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Veto Session?

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The Kansas Legislature was scheduled to return to wrap up the 2020 session yesterday, April 27th. That plan was scuttled last week when the Legislative Coordinating Council postponed the restart due to COVID-19 concerns. See; https://www.cjonline.com/news/20200422/kansas-coronavirus-update-legislative-session-delayed-two-thirds-of-lawmakers-at-risk-of-contracting-virus

The new plan is to revisit the idea of returning before May 3rd which would be a day before Gov. Kelly could lift the statewide “stay at home” order. The complication is that local governments have the power to continue or extend “stay-at-home” orders. While the Kansas Legislature is exempt from this “stay at home” order, the optics would be less than ideal, given that a majority of legislators fall within the “At-Risk” group. See; https://kasb.org/nb0422-3/

Nevertheless, there is a strong push by a group of legislators to start the reopening process. This group, 80 plus strong and all Republican, want a plan from the governor. House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins posted the letter with signers on his Facebook page this past week. Should the “stay-at-home” order be rescinded, it would be difficult for these legislators to avoid returning to Topeka after taking such a hardline stance on reopening the economy. See; https://www.kwch.com/content/news/KS-lawmakers-call-on-governor-to-begin-work-on-plan-for-reopening-economy-569649601.html

If the Veto Session resumes—and that is still an “if” at this point—the legislature could discuss the State revenue shortfalls, Executive Order reform and possibly Medicaid Expansion. However, none of these items are on any agenda currently, and with just eight bills passed so far this session, it is unlikely we will see a flurry of bills headed to the governor during veto.

The Kansas Legislative Research Department has released its 2020 legislative summary of bills passed. This is the shortest initial summary in my 12 years with the KBA. It is only 12 items deep, with four of those items being executive order- or concurrent resolution-related. Of the eight bills signed into law, two dealt directly with COVID-19 actions. The only major bills to pass were the state budget (SB 66) and the transportation plan (House Sub for SB 173). Other bills are primed for passage, but that depends on the actions taken during veto. See; http://www.kslegresearch.org/KLRD-web/Publications/SummaryofLegislation/PreliminarySummaries/2020-preliminary-summary.pdf

Tags:  2020 legislative summary  2020 Veto Session  Author: Joseph N. Molina III  Legislative Coordinating Council  Medicaid Expansion  Stay-at-Home 

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