2018 KS Legislative Tracker

On this page we keep track of legislation in the KS Legislature in Topeka. These are the bills we have noticed and think important to keep in mind. As always, check our more immediate feeds for information that may be more up to date: email, Facebook, or Twitter.

Contact us if you'd like us to consider a particular bill or issue.

How legislation is made in KS: Here's a brief pdf from the Kansas Legislature on how a bill becomes law (or the long version, Kansas Legislative Procedures). Basically, laws are proposed and sent to a committee, where the chair determines if it should come up. It then receives a hearing, any amendments, etc and is voted on. If passed, it goes to the floor of the main chamber. The chamber leadership decides if it comes up, and if it does, it gets debated, amended, and voted upon. If passed, it goes to the other chamber, goes through the same process. If the two chambers disagree but pass the bill, a conference committee is formed to hash out differences. The compromise bill then has to get an up or down vote in each chamber. If passed, the Governor can sign it or veto it. These are the slim basics, but there are a lot of blind alleys and secret doors and hidden staircases the legislators can use in the process.

On the veto. The Governor has a line item veto, such that he (or she) can eliminate all or part of legislation. It takes a 2/3 vote of both chambers in the Legislature to overcome a veto, so 27/40 in the KS Senate, and 84/125 in the KS House.

A note about status: No bill is ever dead in the Kansas legislature. Knowing exactly the status of a bill is an art, and one few have mastered.

Here are previous sessions: 20172016

2018 Kansas Legislative Session

January 8, 2018 - Sine die this summer

Gun Safety
Health Care Expansion
Public Education
Voting Rights

Gun Safety

HB 2145 - Prohibit any person convicted of domestic violence, or under a restraining order, from lawfully possessing a firearm. MainStream supports this bill. It passed the Kansas House unanimously, and will next be heard in the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs.

HB 2042 - Kansas will honor concealed carry permits from other states; was amended in House to require permits to carry concealed on college campuses, and to lower age for concealed carry permit to 18 from 21. That last measure, letting teenagers carry concealed, loaded guns, is unthinkable, and MainStream opposes this legislation. An amendment to repeal campus carry entirely was rejected. This bill was heard in the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs, where both amendments were stripped, returning it to a simple reciprocity bill, and it was passed out of committee. Expect amendments should it see the Senate floor, and if passed, in conference committee, too.

Health Care Expansion

SB 38 - to expand Medicaid in Kansas (called KanCare) received a hearing on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2018 in the Senate Committee on Public Health and Welfare. The bill was passed out of committee and now stands ready for action on the Senate floor. MainStream supports this bill.

Public Education

The entirety of the current legislative session is leading up to the April 30, 2018 deadline given by the Kansas Supreme Court for a constitutional public education finance plan from the Legislature. Plans are slow to materialize.

HB 2179 - Restoring due process to public education teachers in Kansas. This bill is mired in committee, but has received some attention, including a verbal commitment from leadership to have it heard.

Bills have also been proposed to put into law the system of financing transportation for public school students that has been in effect for decades. An audit in the Fall of 2017 discovered a discrepancy between the practice, requested by leadership decades ago and in place since then, and the letter of the law. These bills would fix the discrepancy.


There are a number of transparency related bills and initiatives this year, spurred by articles and voter concern during the Fall of 2017. Very few have seemed to gain any traction in the Kansas Legislature, with leadership either undercutting some measures or simply ignoring others.

HB2562 - Creating the Kansas transparency act, which would require audio and video recording be made available live and on demand of any public meeting at the statehouse, including committee and floor proceedings. The bill passed out of the House Committee on Federal and State Affairs and is ready for action on the House floor.

HB2548 - Providing certain requirements related to inclusion of requesting legislator or other person, state or local agency, organization or entity in committee minutes and on printed committee bills. The bill needs to be heard in the House Committee on Appropriations.

HB2699 - Prohibiting amendments striking all material and inserting new material. The bill needs to be heard in the House Committee on Appropriations.

HB2681 - Requiring the recording of votes taken in standing committees, and committee of the whole when under the order of business of general orders and final action. The bill needs to be heard in the House Committee on Appropriations.

SB350 - Providing certain requirements related to requesting for introduction of bills in legislature by committee or legislator, and inclusion on printed committee bills and in committee minutes of requesting legislator. The bill needs to be heard in the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs.

SB392 - Legislature; minutes; introduction of bills. The bill needs to be heard in the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs.

SB393 - Legislative committees; all votes of each legislator on motions or other action recorded in minutes. The bill needs to be heard in the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs.

Voting Rights

HB 2617 - This bill would remove Kansas from the Crosscheck voter registration system, put limits on the Kansas Secretary of State's administration of that program, and enroll Kansas in the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), an alternative, and better, system. The bill has been moved from the House Committee on Government, Technology and Security, to the House Committee on Elections, where it will likely see no action this session.


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