Contact Committee Chairs to Hold Hearings on Transparency, Voting Rights, and Medicaid Expansion Bills
Kansas lawmakers have recently introduced bills on issues important to the LWVK and all Kansans. These bills are described below and they are now in committees. Generally, the public assumes that bills in committee will be “worked,” that is they will be heard and voted upon by members of the committee. However, the partisan leadership of the Kansas legislature selects all committee chairs AND committee chairs may single-handedly decide to simply not schedule a bill for a hearing or vote. In this non-transparent manner, the leadership blocks legislation that it disfavors.
Requires “audio and video broadcasts of legislative meetings.” Currently, almost all broadcasts are audio only. Since committee votes are taken by show of hands, we the people do not know how our representatives are voting.
Requires that committee minutes be made available for public inspection “within 7 days of a legislative meeting.” Currently, there is no deadline, and observers have often not found minutes before the end of the session.
The above two bills are in the House Committee on Federal & State Affairs. John Barker (R) is the Chair (John.Barker [at] house.ks.gov) Office: (785) 296-7674
HOUSE BILL 2090 Requires the Secretary of State to develop programs offering voter registration at the time of making application for assistance at state agencies for children and families, aging and disability services, and labor, as well as for 17-year and older students at each accredited high school, and for inmates at time of release.
HOUSE BILL 2092 Allows “voter registration on election days.”
The above two bills are in the House Committee on Elections. Bill Sutton (R) is the Committee Chair (Bill.Sutton [at] house.ks.gov) Office: (785) 296-7676
HOUSE BILL 2102 Expanding Medicaid bill (virtually identically to the bipartisan bill passed in 2017 that was vetoed by Brownback). This bill is in the House Appropriations Committee. Troy Waymaster (R) is the Committee Chair. (troy.waymaster [at] house.ks.gov) Office: (785)296-7672 (The same bill was also introduced in the Senate Public Health & Welfare Committee - SB 54. Sen. Sullentrop (R) is Chair, and Sen. Berger (R) is Vice Chair.
PLEASE contact the Committee Chairs and tell them that we the people want to see hearings held on these important bills. More information at LWV-Kansas website.