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. And check the Legislature's official Senate and House Actions Report, updated regularly.

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.

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. 2020 is the second half of a biennial session.

Deadlines and schedule for 2020: The session begins Jan 13, Turnaround is Feb 27, Drop Dead day (First Adjournment) is Apr 3, and the Veto Session is anticipated to start April 27. Anticipated 2020 Session Deadlines (Source: KS Legislature)

Here are previous sessions: 2019201820172016


2020 Kansas Legislative Session

January 13, 2019 - Sine die later this summer
Last updated January 15, 2020


Budget, Taxes, and Financing the business of the State
Public Education & Finance
Health Care
Other Bills of Note


Budget, Taxes, and Financing the business of the State

Governor Kelly will propose a budget bill this year, and will send it to the Legislature. They will propose their own, and ultimately, whatever emerges will likely be among the last bills voted on in 2020. Until then, we wait.

  • HB2430 - Pre-filed by Rep. Rhiley (*M 0%), this bill would repeal the property tax lid enacted previously by the Legislature. Many cities and counties have found this law to be impractical, and it has not provided the benefits conservatives had hoped for. There seems to be support for repealing the property tax lid.

Public Education & Finance

Hopefully the issue of public education finance is firmly behind us, with the KS Supreme Court having agreed to the law(s) passed by the Legislature in 2019. We will remain vigilant, as will the Court. Other issues in education may still come up, however.


Health Care

KanCare expansion came within three votes of overriding Gov. Brownback's veto in 2017, but got no traction in 2018 (with the same lawmakers in the Legislature...). In 2019, Medicaid Expansion again passed the House, but although there were votes available to pass it, Legislative Leadership denied the bill la vote, and despite several attempts to circumvent those blocks, ultimately it did not receive a vote in the Senate. Medicaid Expansion is again a high priority for Gov. Kelly this year, and Sen. Denning (*M 19%) also had a bill in the works. Then, before the 2020 Session got started, Gov. Kelly and Se, Denning held a joint announcement that they had crafted a Medicaid expansion bill together, and would be moving it forward. This bill is SB252 (see below).

  • SB252 - This is the compromise bill between Gov. Kelly and Sen. Denning, and is where most of the action on Medicaid expansion is likely to happen, at least for the moment. The bill has not yet been referred to any committee.

  • SB246 - Pre-filed for 2020, this is a Medicaid Expansion bill proposed by Sen. Hensley (*M 100%), likely as a starting point for discussion in the Senate in 2020? No longer likely, given the announcement of Gov. Kelly's compromise with Sen. Denning on SB252.

  • HB2066 - This was a 2019 bill updating nursing practices, but on 3/20/19, an attempt was successfully made on the House floor to gut it and insert the content of HB2102, to expand Medicaid. It passed the Kansas House 69-54, and then languished in the Senate, but a last minute maneuver to pull it out of committee for a vote was made on the last day of the regular session. It failed, but this bill remains alive in there Senate for 2020.

Other Bills of Note

There are a number of other bills covering issues Kansans care about. Here are some of them. We will expand this section as the session continues.

Guns

  • SB245 & HB2425 - Pre-filed by Sen. Hilderbrand (*M 10%) this is an "Anti-Red Flag" law aimed at preventing laws that would prohibit individuals with domestic abuse convictions from possessing firearms. A similar bill has been pre-filed on the House side, HB2425 by Rep. Houser (*M 5%).

  • HB2326 - This bill began as a "reciprocity" bill, allowing 18 year-olds with concealed carry permits from other states to carry legally in Kansas. It was amended, as was expected, to allow Kansas 18 year-olds to carry a concealed handgun, as well. The bill passed the House 83-41, but did not receive a vote in the Senate in 2019. It may come back in 2020.

Pre-filed bills

As do many state legislatures around the country, Kansas allows bills to be pre-filed before the start of the legislative session. Work done in the Fall of a year often leads to bills being prepared ahead of time. Now the the session is in full swing, we leave these links here for the curious: All pre-filed bills in the Kansas SenateAll pre-filed bills in the Kansas House of Representatives

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