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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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State of the Judiciary Address

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Updated: Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Chief Justice Nuss took center stage this week as he addressed a joint session in the House chambers for the State of the Judiciary speech for the first time in five years. Nuss focused on the judicial branch’s many programs and efficiencies but the main point of the address was to advise the legislature of the need for salary adjustments for judges and staff.

The Kansas Senate passed a rescission bill late last night that avoid any late year cuts. There were at least three attempts to pass across the board cuts of 2.0 percent, 1.0 percent and 0.5 percent. None garnered more than 10 votes. In the end, the Kansas Senate passed a bill 27-13 that transferred $280 million from long term investments and delayed again payments to KPERS. The bill will head to conference committee with the House for further negotiations. It is expected that the State will end the year with a positive balance of $50 million.

The KBA will provide testimony on three bills next Monday in Senate Judiciary. They include HB 2125, Benefit Corporations, HB 2126 ADR/Mediation in trust instruments, and HB 2041 extending the judicial branch surcharge fee.

Each bill has already passed the House on near perfect votes, 123-1; 124-0 and 122-0 respectively.

The Senate Judicial Committee has been very active this past week, hearing 17 bills. That pace will continue as they have a full agenda through Wednesday. Thus, hearings will be truncated to accommodate the large number of conferees.

Bill Matthews will represent the KBA on HB 2125, Benefit Corporations, and I have the pleasure of explaining our trust bill and the surcharge extension bill.

House Judiciary has a full set of hearings this week as well. On Monday, they heard a newly introduced bill creating an unconscionable act or practice under the Kansas consumer protection act for people who engage in the unauthorized practice of law. The KBA will monitor is proposal and share testimony from the hearing when available.

The State of the Judiciary Address

The speech can be read here:

Articles on rescission bill:

Tags:  HB 2125  HB 2126  HB 2397  State of the Judiciary 

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Legislators return to Topeka

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Kansas legislators returned to work yesterday with a very light agenda for the week. Not much is scheduled except for a small number of new bills being introduced. It is important to remember that there will be no bill "carry-over” from last session. We are in a new cycle so bills will need to be reintroduced and work their way through the process.


Hallway talk centers on budget issues, possible tax increase on alcohol and tobacco, a possible raid of the tobacco settlement money to pay down the deficit, and a renewed effort to change merit selection. At this point these ideas are mere conjecture as we should know more when Gov. Brownback releases his two-year state budget.


The governor will make his proposals during the State of the State address this Thursday. We have seen the governor focus on morality issues and family unity concerns while addressing possible budget fixes. We could probably expect more of the same during the speech. However, the gorilla in the room remains the school finance formula and how that affects the state budget.

Quick Take

As far as committee meetings are concerned, the Senate Judiciary Committee will meet in Room 346-S at 10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. Sen. Jeff King (R-Independence) continues as Senate Judiciary chair with Sen. Greg Smith (R-Overland Park) as vice chair. The House Judiciary Committee will meet in Room 112-N at 3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Leadership for this committee has changed with a new chairman, Rep. John Barker (R-Abilene), a new vice chair, Rep. Charles Macheers (R-Shawnee), and Rep. John Carmichael will sit as ranking minority leader. For other committee meeting times and locations, please access

Chief Justice Lawton Nuss will give the State of the Judiciary address on Wednesday, January 21 at 2:30 p.m. The public can access a live webcast of the State of the Judiciary address by following the Watch Supreme Court Live! link in the right-hand column of the Kansas Judicial Branch website at The address will be recorded for viewing afterward by anyone unable to attend in person or watch it live online.


For more information and bills new to the legislature please check The KBA will be updating its bill tracking chart weekly with more information as the session moves along.

Tags:  Brownback  budget  Lawton Nuss  legislators  legislature  State of the Judiciary  State of the State 

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2014 Session Approaches

Posted By Joseph N. Molina III, Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Quick Take:

The KBA congratulates Caleb Stegall, former chief legal counsel for Gov. Brownback, for being officially sworn-in to the Kansas Court of Appeals last Friday. Stegall becomes the 14th Court of Appeal’s judge currently on the bench. For years the 14th seat remained vacant due to budget constraints. The swearing in was held at the Kansas Judicial Center and attended by a very influential crowd. The governor, secretary of state, and others were in attendance. For more information please see

The 2014 Kansas Legislature is set to open on Monday, January 13. The official opening will start at 2 p.m. with the swearing in of House and Senate members. The big news will come Wednesday, January 15 when Gov. Brownback addresses the Legislature with his fourth State of the State address. The governor will most likely discuss the Kansas budget process, education spending, job growth, merit selection process, and KanCare.

After the governor lays out his vision for 2014 session, legislators will begin introducing proposals and holding hearings. To keep up with the fast-paced Capitol news follow me on twitter (@KansasBarLeg). For the latest bill proposals, legislative updates, and deadlines go to our webpage online at

With the 2014 session a week away it is important to recognize Erin Davis, the newest Kansas lawyer/legislator. Davis replaces Rep. Bob Montgomery who retired early this year. Davis is a 2013 KU Law graduate and is currently employed by a trial consulting firm in Olathe. Davis will be sworn in next week as the representative for the 15th House District.

Chief Justice Lawton Nuss will give the State of the Judiciary address on Wednesday, January 22 at 2:30pm. This address is historic since it will be the first in the state’s history given from the Kansas Supreme Courtroom.

Kansas law requires the chief provide a written report to the judiciary committees and executive branches. This address will focus on the Judicial Branch budget, a possible nonjudicial personnel furlough and court closings. You can read the entire press release online at


The public can access a live webcast of the State of the Judiciary address by following the Watch Supreme Court Live! link in the right-hand column of the Kansas Judicial Branch website at The address will be recorded for viewing afterward by anyone unable to attend in person or watch it live online.



For attorneys interested in privacy rights:

Tags:  2014 Session  Erin Davis  Rep. Bob Montgomery  State of the Judiciary 

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