2021 KSLeg Bill 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. And check the Legislature's official Senate and House Actions Report, updated regularly (but not as of Jan 19, 2021).

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.

The Governor's 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. Some bills thought dead can be brought up as amendments to other bills, though they must pass a test of germaneness (meaning they must be related to the subject of the original bill). Bills can also be hollowed out and have their previous content replaced by the content of another bill, in a move called a "gut and go." In this way, bills thought dead can come back at the expense of whatever bill was gutted to act as the host. Finally, the Kansas Legislature runs on a biennial schedule, meaning it resets every two years (at the same time as Representatives are elected to the House). Bills that are heard in the first year, but not acted upon, retain that status in the next year, and can be brought up again. 2021 is the first half of a biennial session.

Deadlines and schedule for 2021: The session begins Jan 11, Turnaround is Mar 5, Drop Dead day (First Adjournment) is Apr 9, and the Veto Session is anticipated to start May 3. Please note, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to run roughshod over this nice plan. Anticipated 2021 Session Deadlines (Source: KS Legislature)

Here are previous sessions: 20202019201820172016

2021 Kansas Legislative Session

January 11, 2021 - Sine die later this summer
Last updated January 19, 2021

Please see Mainstream's 2021 Public Policy Platform

We are using the LegiScan service to track bills of interest, and you can see our tracking below. These are not all the bills in this session that are relevant, of interest, or germane to Mainstream's issues. But these are some of the most important bills we are tracking right now. Please contact us if you would like to know how we are proceeding on a particular issue.