Kansas Legislative “Veto Session” Begins

The Kansas Legislature began its “veto session” on Wednesday, April 25, 2012. Although it’s the “veto session,” there are many things that the Legislature is considering other than those bills vetoed by Governor Brownback. In fact, there are only a few bills that Governor Brownback vetoed — none of which are Family Law related. Among those issues are redistricting (Kansas is now the last state still considering redistricting after the 2010 Census), the budget, changes to the Kansas tax structure, “KanCare” review and implementation and a few other “hot-button” issues.

The following Family Law related bills are still alive in the Kansas Legislature. All the family law related bills are currently, in one way or another, in Conference Committee:

#SB262, a bill that originally directed that grandparents would receive preference in placements when a child “is removed from a parent,” is now in Conference. The Senate Judiciary amended the bill to delete grandparent “preference” language, inserting mandatory grandparent “consideration” by the courts when making placements after a child was removed from a parent’s custody. House Committee made further amendments and restored the “grandparent preference.” After the House passed the amended bill 124-0, the Senate non-concurred. Discussions in Conference have focused on whether to include a “preference” or a “consideration” for grandparents when a child is removed from both parents’ care. The bill may be viewed at: http://t.co/hrLMjhu5 [PDF]

#SB304, Enacting Batterer Intervention Program Certification, is also in Conference and appears to be the vehicle that will be used to pass various family law bills — including #HB2741 (the Family Law Code Clean-up bill). The House made substantial revisions to the bill, incorporating the provisions of #HB2740, changing qualifications for Domestic Relations Case Managers effective July 1, 2012 and prohibiting any DCM without those qualifications from issuing any recommendations on or after September 1, 2012. #HB2740 did not have a hearing in the House, but was incorporated into #SB304 on House Judiciary Committee consideration. The Senate non-concurred in the House amendments. There are many disagreements about what this bill should and shouldn’t do regarding Domestic Relations Case Managers. Status can be viewed at:
http://kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/measures/sb304/  The Topeka Capital-Journal ran an article on some of the issues this past weekend. And that article can be viewed at: http://cjonline.com/news/2012-04-22/child-custody-case-managers-scrutinized

For the original House bill on Case managers, see: #HB2740 relating to change in domestic relations case management http://kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/measures/hb2740/

#HB2613, mandating the courts extend protection from stalking and abuse orders for a period of between 2-years to life in some situations is also in Conference Committee because of differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. The bill would require courts to extend protection from abuse and protection from stalking orders for at least two years and allow extension up to the lifetime of a defendant if, after the defendant has been personally served with a copy of the motion to extend the order and has had an opportunity to present evidence at a hearing on the motion and cross-examine witnesses, it is determined by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant has either previously violated a valid protection order or been convicted of a person felony or conspiracy, criminal solicitation, or attempt of a person felony, committed against the plaintiff or any member of the plaintiff’s household.  http://kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/measures/hb2613/

#HB2741, the Family Law Code Clean-up bill, passed the House with additional technical amendments. http://t.co/57sJl7R3 [action] http://t.co/E6WJ3dJl [bill] and is being considered with other family law related bills (see above).  http://kslegislature.org/li/b2011_12/measures/hb2741/