No, it's not what you hope, though we did have a small bit of success this week (see below). We haven't turned this ship around, not yet. "Turnaround" is the term used for this week in the Kansas Legislature, by the end of which the work of the various committees must be done, and bills must be out of the "chamber of origin." House bills need to be ready for the Senate, and Senate bills ready for the House. This is the halfway point of the session.

There are, of course, a few exceptions to this rule. Several committees are labelled "exempt" from this stricture. These are usually committees having to do with state finances, ostensibly so they can continue to work on the budget until the last moment. Sometimes, however, bills get sent to these committees because they haven't found the backing to succeed just yet.

There are also bills that don't get past the turnaround. These bills have died on ignominious death (but watch out, they may come back next year, as the proverb goes, "Nothing is ever completely dead in the Kansas Legislature!").

We will a have full report in our forthcoming Legislative Update.

The victory

We promised you a victory. To be brief, two competing proposals were introduced concerning teacher bargaining rights regarding employment. One bill was a compromise crafted by stakeholders, teachers, and citizens. The other, was written by one Koch lobbyist. The first bill afforded teachers a say in their hiring, while the other was a "take it or leave it" salary-only negotiation. That second bill exited its committee, while the first never even got a look.

But then...

In a veritable turnaround-is-fair-play moment, that awful bill was changed to look like the first bill! And successfully passed by the Senate with unanimous support, and the House with near-unanimous support. It still has hurdles before becoming law (both version have to be reconciled), but we are cautiously optimistic.

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