February 25, 2022
Turn around is the halfway point for session. It’s the day when a bill dies if it was not ‘blessed’, which means that it had not been in an exempt committee or that it did not pass the originating chamber (either the House or the Senate). The three exempt committees in the Senate are: Taxation, Federal and State Affairs, and Ways and Means. There were 18 bills in the House that died and 0 in the Senate so far.
There are many bills that never make it out of committee. To give you an idea, this year at turnaround, the Senate still has 382 bills in committee and the House has 510. The Senate has passed 55 bills and the House has passed 47 – the Senate bills need to pass the House, and the House bills need to pass the Senate before going to the Governor. The Governor can sign them into law, let them go into law without her signature, or veto them. If the Governor vetoes a bill – the legislature can override a veto with a 2/3 majority vote.
Turnaround week is very intense. Monday evening, senators received a list of 23 bills that were to be debated on Tuesday. Tuesday evening, we received a list of 11 bills to be debated Wednesday. There were too many bills to cover in this update, but you can find all the bills at www.kslegislature.org.
Property Rights have been protected since the founding of our country. We shouldn’t have to pass legislation for those protections, but we do. Senate Bill (SB) 395 would require a warrant, court order, subpoena, or permission by the landowner for Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) to put any recording device on your property. Currently the KDWP has the authority to enter your property without your knowledge, set up cameras and monitor those cameras, this is just wrong. No other law enforcement officials have this right. The bill was watered down in the Judiciary Committee. Working with other legislators, I helped reverse the watered down version on the floor. The bill passed the Senate 30 to 9. I voted Yes to protect your property rights.
A person burglarized a church and a judge ruled that the person was invited so they couldn’t be charged with burglary. Let’s get this straight, a person steals from a locked sanctuary and a judge rules the person had a right to burglarize the church because “the person had been invited” into the unlocked area of the church. It is so ridiculous that a judge would rule that way. What else makes little sense is that SB 366 was introduced to make clear it is a crime to burglarize a locked building. Current statute says a “building, manufactured home, mobile home, tent or other structure which is not a dwelling” cannot be burglarized, but the Senate thinks adding “locked building” will help. It should be that no one can burglarize or steal another person’s property. If this bill becomes law, will it be interpreted by another judge that a person can burglarize an unlocked building? The bill passed 39 to 1. I was a No vote to protect property, whether the building is locked or unlocked.
Rules and Regulations written by the Administration have the rule of law. SB 34 would require that all Rules and Regulations be reviewed every five years and establish an alternative revocation procedure. This bill is long overdue. I voted Yes. The bill passed 32 to 7.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.