Kansas Legislative Insights Newsletter | January 13, 2023
2023 Session Opens
The 2023 session opened with the Governor’s Inaugural Ball on Sunday evening. Monday was devoted to swearing-in ceremonies for Governor Laura Kelly, other statewide officers, the state board of education members, Supreme Court justices, and Court of Appeals judges on the south steps of the Capitol. Gov. Kelly’s address urged unity and civility.
The House and Senate convened at 2:00 p.m. House members were sworn in for their two-year terms. The Senate swore in Sen. Ron Ryckman, Sr., who stood for election after he was appointed to serve the remainder of Sen. Bud Estes’ term. Sen. Chase Blasi, R-Wichita, who was recently appointed to replace Sen. Gene Suellentrop, was also sworn in.
On Tuesday, Gov. Kelly initially tested positive for COVID-19. Her State of the State address has been postponed until Jan. 24 at 6:30 p.m. Gov. Kelly released her budget recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year as planned on Thursday morning.
House and Senate Committees held organizational meetings reviewing committee procedures, briefings on issues that may be considered, and listening to requests for bill introductions. State agencies also requested introductions. Insurance Commissioner Vicki Schmidt introduced a package of six bills on Tuesday with technical changes addressing group-funded workers compensation pools, prepaid plans, clarifying language concerning agents or brokers failing to pay premiums to company, and adding language to the enforcement statute to include other professions. On Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee and Senate Ways and Means Committee met jointly to receive updates on the Consensus Revenue Estimates, Human Services caseloads, and a review of the Governor’s budget recommendations.
State of the Judiciary
On Wednesday, Chief Justice Marla Luckert delivered the State of the Judiciary address to a Joint Session of the Legislature. She highlighted the successes and budget challenges facing the judiciary. She thanked the Legislature for their efforts last session in stabilizing the judicial budget and adding additional judges. She highlighted the Behavioral Health Summit supported by legislative leaders and the Governor. There are now specialty courts, including five Veteran’s Treatment Courts. She also noted the shortage of attorneys in rural areas.
In the House, there were 11 prefiled bills. HB 2001 defines the grounds for impeachment of justices of the Supreme Court. In the Senate, there were 13 prefiled bills. Sen. Mark Steffen’s name was on seven of the bills. The most interesting bill proposes to lower income taxes for Kansans in rural equity decline – counties defined as those with a population of 15,000 or fewer.
Sen. Tom Hawk, D-Manhattan, filed several bills, including one raising legislative pay on his last day in office before his resignation was effective. SB 10 would raise legislative pay from $88 a day to $320 effective 2025. It will generate some interesting discussions.
Next week will be another short week, with the Legislature not meeting next Monday in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday.
2023 Legislative Calendar
The House and Senate have released the legislative calendar for the upcoming session.
- Jan. 9 – Both houses convene.
- Jan. 16 – Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, no session.
- Jan. 30 – Last day for individual legislators to request bill drafts.
- Feb. 6 – Last day for non-exempt committees to request bill drafts.
- Feb. 8 – Last day for introduction of bills by individual members.
- Feb. 10 – Last day for non-exempt committees to introduce bills.
- Feb. 21 – Last day for morning and afternoon committees to meet.
- Feb. 22, 23 – On the floor all day.
- Feb. 24 – Turnaround Day: Last day for consideration of bills by non-exempt committees in the house of origin.
- Feb. 25-28 – No session.
- March 24 – Last day for bills to be considered by non-exempt committees.
- March 29 – Last day for non-exempt bills to be considered in either chamber.
- March 30-April 2 – No session but conference committees may meet.
- April 3-5 – Conference committees meet.
- April 6 – Drop Dead Day for non-exempt bills, first adjournment.
- April 7 – Spring break begins!
- April 24-25 – Proforma days.
- April 26 – Veto session opens.
- April 29 – 90th Day, supposed last day of session.
COURTS, LAWS, AND REGULATIONS
- HB 2016 – Would clarify how property held under a transfer-on-death deed is distributed when one beneficiary predeceases the grantor.
- HB 2017 – Would enact the Uniform Family Law Arbitration Act.
- HB 2018 – Would permit a will or a copy of a will filed within six months after the death of the testator to be admitted to probate at any time.
SB 30 – Would increase the Kansas standard deduction by a cost-of-living adjustment.
Kansas Legislative Insights is a publication developed by the Governmental Affairs & Public Policy Law practice group of Foulston Siefkin LLP. It is designed to inform business executives, human resources and governmental relations professionals, and general counsel about current developments occurring in current Kansas legislation. Published regularly during the Kansas legislative session, it focuses on issues involving Healthcare, Insurance, public finance, Taxation, financial institutions, business & economic development, Energy, Real Estate & Construction, environmental, Agribusiness, employment, and workers compensation. Bill summaries are by necessity brief, however, for additional information on any issue before the Kansas Legislature, contact Foulston Siefkin’s Governmental Affairs & Public Policy Law practice group leader, James P. Rankin at 785.233.3600 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about the authors below:
James (Jim) P. Rankin
As a partner at Foulston Siefkin, Jim’s practice focuses on employee benefits law relating to public, private, governmental, and tax-exempt organizations. A large part of his work involves Insurance Regulatory and compliance issues in many industries, including Healthcare. Jim has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® and the Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers® list. He is the firm's representative with State Law Resources, Inc., a national network of independent law firms selected for their expertise in administrative, regulatory, and governmental relations at the state and federal level.
Gary L. Robbins
Gary, a governmental affairs consultant to Foulston Siefkin’s Governmental Affairs & Public Policy practice group, provides legislative monitoring and lobbying services for Foulston’s governmental relations clients. He holds a bachelor of science degree in history and political science from Southwestern College and a master’s degree in labor economics from Wichita State University. Throughout his extensive career, Gary has served as CLE Director to the Kansas Bar Association and as Executive Director of the Kansas Optometric Association.
Eric L. Sexton, PhD
Eric, a governmental affairs consultant to Foulston Siefkin’s Governmental Affairs & Public Policy practice group, has nearly 30 years’ experience providing strategic direction and governmental relations services. As Wichita State University’s governmental relations leader for 18 years, Eric developed lasting relationships at the local, state, and federal Government level around Kansas. Eric holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Kansas and a masters in public administration from Wichita State University, complementing his undergraduate business degree from Wichita State.
C. Edward Watson, II
As a partner at Foulston Siefkin, Eddie represents clients in matters before state regulatory commissions, courts, and local governmental bodies. He has built and maintained relationships with key individuals – including lobbyists, elected and appointed officials, and staff members – that prove valuable in advancing clients’ interests and issues. Drawing on his experience as a regional governmental affairs attorney for AT&T in Chicago, he helps clients navigate the maze of federal policies and agencies, advises on how processes work in Washington, and provides introductions to those who can help them accomplish their goals.
This update has been prepared by Foulston Siefkin LLP for informational purposes only. It is not a legal opinion; it does not provide legal advice for any purpose; and it neither creates nor constitutes evidence of an attorney-client relationship.