Legislative Update

Throughout the history of Kansas politics, political theater has always played a role, but the Statehouse debate has not always drawn a wide audience - at least not in recent times. This past weekend changed all that. An engaged audience of Kansans, including MainStream members and hundreds of teachers in Topeka, and a nationwide social media presence, all watched, listened and followed as the weekend's deplorable events unfolded.

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Legislative Update

The end of the session is near and this past week’s political maneuvering created hurried, co-opted legislation. Nearly all committee work wrapped up, leaving the least transparent legislative process to remain. It is our intent to shine a light on the bills being worked and the procedural process used in these final days. We hope you remain engaged in these advocacy efforts and participate in the process of shaping the outcomes.

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Bundling will force legislators to choose bad bills

"Bundling" is the practice of tying unpopular bills to "must pass" measures like budgetary bills, forcing legislators to vote for both if they want either to pass. The GOP promised to stop the practice, but in Kansas, the message seems to have been missed. KS legislative committee chairs are holding hostage key state services in exchange for destructive, ideological policy changes to education and the courts.

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Legislative Update

Week nine in the Kansas legislature wraps up, setting up a very busy week ten.  Five days remain for non-exempt committees such as education to work bills. Expect the expected – political ploys! Stay tuned as these committees push extreme legislation.

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Gannon Explained

On Friday, March 7, the Supreme Court of Kansas returned a ruling on Luke Gannon v. State of Kansas, the school finance ruling we've been waiting on all session. At stake was the funding of public schools in Kansas. The decision handed down was variously described as "nuanced," and "complicated," and if you've read all 110 pages, you probably agree. To make matters worse, parties from both sides crowed about this being a great decision for, variously, education, students, and the State.

So, what really happened? What does the decision really say?

Well, you know, it's nuanced. And complicated.

Here are the basics.

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ACTION ALERT! Education under assault

ACTION ALERT: Two Bills/One Phone Call to Senate Ways and Means Committee.

  • Call Dee Heideman, Committee Assistant at
  • 785-296-3775 and ask that your voice be shared with the committee chair:
  • Oppose SB305 and
  • Support SB277
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Legislative Update

Week seven in the Kansas legislature marks the end of – turnaround week – round one of a process that essentially determines which bills will be considered for the remainder of the session. Among the bills that did not survive this 2014 session are the: anti-fluoridated water HB2372, surrogacy ban SB302, ban on city provision of broadband SB304, and ban on the incompatibility divorce clause HB2604. 

Your calls, emails and activity on social media HAVE made a difference – if not eliminating problematic bills, at least softening or slowing some down.

Unfortunately, some productive bills and amendments did not make it out of committee, but we applaud those legislative efforts, such as the bills Requiring Court of Appeals Applicant Information Made Public (SB252) and the Kansas Protection against Voter Suppression (SB253/HB2428). 

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Legislative Update

Week five in the Kansas legislature closes the door for individual representatives to introduce bills in all but about a dozen committees. This lessens the opportunity for an individual’s extreme personal agenda but allows for the continued flow of irresponsible legislation through select committees. This Legislative Update begins with a brief overview of current happenings.

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Legislative Update

A significant portion of the bills through this third week of the 2014 Kansas legislative session can be characterized as extreme or fiscally irresponsible.  This Legislative Update starts with the Religious Freedom Marriage bill, coming up for a committee vote this Tues, Feb 4.  Click on the Act Now button to send an email and weigh in on the issue.

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Legislative Update

This week marked the opening of the 2014 Kansas legislative session, Governor Brownback’s State of the State Address [read here] and House Minority Leader Paul Davis’s official response to the address [watch here]
 
In this Update
  • insights on State of the State 
  • short-list of issues we will be watching this session 
  • legislative committee activity
Look to the Mainstream Coalition for Legislative Updates every two weeks, regularFacebook and Twitter posts, timely action alerts, political forum and events notifications, as well as delivery of testimony in Topeka during critical committee hearings. Together, we can amplify the voice of reason and reroute the roadmap for all Kansans.
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