May 1, 2019
Kansas Farm Bureau Health Coverage: While the legislature was on break, the Governor signed several bills into law. However, The final version House Bill (HB) 2209 became law without the Governor taking action. When the Governor does not sign or veto legislation within 10 days of receiving it, the legislation becomes law. Interestingly, HB 2209 would amend the Insurance Code by adding Kansas Farm Bureau to the list of entities allowed to provide healthcare benefit coverage. I voted Yes to provide health coverage options for people who cannot afford other health plans or health insurance. The bill passed the Senate and House with veto-proof majority. Therefore, it wasn’t a surprise the Governor didn’t veto the bill.
Pro-life: It was disappointing the Governor did veto Senate Bill (SB) 67. The legislation would require notifications regarding the abortion pill RU-486. It is not always effective at ending pregnancy and it may be possible to reverse the abortion by not taking the second pill. The legislation passed the Senate with 26 Yes votes and the House with 86 Yes votes. I voted Yes. The Governor vetoed the bill. The Senate picked up a vote to 27 for the veto override. However, the House lost votes and the override failed by one vote.
The Kansas Supreme Court overstepped AGAIN! In 2015 SB 95 created the Kansas Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act. The Legislature passed with 31 Yes and 9 No votes. I voted Yes. The House passed it with 98 Yes and 26 No votes. A supermajority of Legislators voted to stop this horrific practice to cause the death of an unborn child, “knowingly” dismembering the “child one piece at a time…” K.S.A. 65-6742(b)(1). It was signed into law by the Governor. However, the majority of our activist KS Supreme Court ruled it to be unconstitutional April 26, 2019. The ruling reads at times like a fractured piece of fiction. The Court disregarded the Legislature, the Governor, Kansas history, and our Constitution and again enacted its own agenda. This is not the first time the KS Supreme Court has overstepped. An egregious example would be the U.S. Supreme Court overturning three of the Kansas Supreme Court rulings on the death penalty, most notably, the Carr brothers’ death sentence.
The ruling is a slippery slope. The dissent in the Court’s opinion states it best, “Today we issue the most significant and far-reaching decision this court has ever made… Today’s decision is a textbook case of unexplainable results. To be sure, the majority [of the KS Supreme Court] attempts a rational explanation. To no avail. The majority misunderstands and misuses history; bolsters its rejection of Kansas law with factually unsupported allegations of prejudice…” Can you believe that when our Constitution, reads “equal and inalienable natural rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, it’s used to support an argument to cut up our unborn babies? The Court opinion can be found at http://www.kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/opinions/SupCt/2019/20190426/114153.pdf.
Going forward there are actions that can be taken. The most talked about, at this point, is a Constitutional amendment. The amendment must pass the Legislature by super-majority and then Kansas voters would decide. I will fight for you to have an opportunity to send a clear message to the Kansas Supreme Court.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.