2019 Legislative Update 13

The legislature hit the ground running when we returned for the veto session on Wednesday, May 1st. It was a short veto session. We worked late into the night on Saturday, May 4th with the House adjourning around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 5th and Senate adjourning around 2:45 a.m. The House Majority Leader moved to suspend Rule 101, known as the midnight rule. The rule was created for safety reasons as the result of a legislator passing away on the drive home after working through the night several years ago. With the rule in place, the legislature may not begin to address any legislation after midnight however, that rule is often suspended. Continue reading

2019 Legislative Update 12

This week the legislature held conference committees to work out differences in bill versions between the House and Senate. A conference committee is comprised of three members from each chamber, typically the chairperson, vice chairperson, and ranking minority member of the standing committee, or other committee, that originally considered the bill in that chamber. Continue reading

2019 Legislative Update 11

A historically slow session came to a head this week when the house worked over 50 bills in two days. The house worked late into the evening both Monday and Tuesday nights - just 30 minutes shy of the midnight rule on Monday. The pace will continue to be very busy leading up to first adjournment on April 5th as the Legislature attempts to come to a consensus on remaining issues. Continue reading

2019 Legislative Update 10

A very exciting week as the House passed Medicaid Expansion (see report below) which now heads to the Senate. Representative Kathy Wolfe Moore (from Wyandotte County) did an excellent job carrying the measure on the House Floor. Expanding Medicaid will provide about 150,000 working Kansans, that fall in the coverage gap, with access to much-needed healthcare option. It will also return our already paid federal dollars to Kansas, provide support to hospitals and clinics as well as stimulate our economy. Continue reading

2019 Legislative Update 9

There was a lot of activity and events at the Capitol this past week including Theatre in Our Schools Advocacy Day, WEALTH Day, Mental Health Advocacy Day, Kansas Ag Day, Nonprofit Day on the Hill and the State Refugee Update. Continue reading

2019 Legislative Update 8

It was a pleasure to visit with students from Schlagel High School who were at the Capitol for “Kick Butts Day” to talk with lawmakers about smart tobacco policies and to advocate for tobacco prevention. They were very well informed and talked about education and access being key to prevention. Appreciate Rebecca Garza from Healthy Communities Wyandotte bringing this group of young people by to visit with me. Continue reading

2019 Legislative Update 7

This past week has been especially busy with turnaround deadline on Thursday, February 28th. We are officially halfway through session. Turnaround is when all bills in non-exempt committees must be passed through their respective committee, and the House. Only “blessed” bills, outside of the exempt committees may continue to be worked. The Speaker of the House decides which bills will be blessed. After turnaround, we will work the bills that are sent to the House from the Senate. Turnaround rules do not apply to exempt committees, which are: Federal and State Affairs, Taxation, and Appropriations. Continue reading

2019 Legislative Update 6

Last week was the final week for committees to meet as we head toward the “turnaround deadline” where we push bills from the House to the Senate and vice versa. We will spend most of this week on the “floor” voting on bills that have advanced through the committee process. Continue reading

2019 Legislative Update 5

It was a very busy week! We are quickly approaching bill deadlines and Turnaround Day, February 28th, after which the House takes up Senate Bills that have passed and the Senate takes up House Bills that have passed. Former Representative Kenny Wilk and Reagan Cussimanio provided information about the University of Kansas Health Systems at the Wyandotte/Leavenworth County Delegation Tuesday Lunch & Learn. It was good to have an opportunity to hear about the hospital’s new presence in downtown KCK, as well as support for an organ donor bill and Medicaid expansion. Continue reading

2019 Legislative Update 4

It was great to see so many visitors this week that braved the weather to attend various activities, meetings, and events in Topeka and at the Capitol! The Tuesday Lunch and Learn for the Wyandotte County and Leavenworth County Delegation included a very informative presentation from Goodwill. We appreciated the opportunity to learn more about Goodwill, the partnerships they are building and the work they are doing for the betterment of our communities particularly in the area of workforce development. Continue reading