Legislative Update By State Senator Caryn Tyson

January 25, 2020


Life  The Kansas legislature had passed a law banning dismemberment abortion with a bi-partisan supermajority vote.  Who could act otherwise on such a horrendous act?  Well, guess who.  Last year the Kansas Supreme Court nullified the law by issuing an extreme ruling stating that our Kansas Constitution allows for late term dismemberment abortions.  I bet you can’t find that in the constitution, but they say it is somehow implied.  Our founding fathers would be shocked.


To correct this situation, in a rare move, the second week of session, the House and Senate held joint committee meetings on Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 1613 and House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 5019 referred to as Value Them Both.  The resolutions would allow Kansans to vote on a constitutional amendment specifying the authority to enact laws on abortion is with the legislature.  The constitutional amendment would reset the law as if the court ruling hadn’t occurred.  It is not a ban on abortion as such, but it would allow the people, through their elected legislature, to regulate abortion.


I was asked to serve on the Senate Judiciary committee for the SCR hearings. The resolutions have passed out of committee and could be debated on the floor of each respective chamber next week.  It was an honor to serve on the committee.  I voted to pass the SCR to the full Senate.


Transparency  You are always welcome to come to the Capitol and watch the legislative process.  You may also follow the process or any bills on the internet at www.kslegislature.org.  Most work is in committee during this time of the session.  It is an important part of the process as people testify for or against bills and legislators have an opportunity to ask conferees questions.


Public Safety Employees and Volunteers  The Senate passed Senate Bill (SB) 45 increasing the penalty of a crime when a victim is a public safety employee or volunteer, such as a fireman or police officer.  It passed on a vote 36 Yes and 1 No.  I voted yes in support of those willing to put themselves in harm’s way for public safety.


It’s an honor and privilege serving as your Senator.


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