Legislative Issues – 2019

The 2019 Kansas Legislature convened on Monday, January 14, 2019 for the first year of the 2019-2020 Legislature.

The Kansas legislative session generally runs for 90-days until approximately mid-April ( but the 2017 Legislative Session lasted 105-days, tying a record). Elections for all House members and the Governor occurred in November 2018. With that election, Laura Kelly (D) was elected Governor defeating Kris Kobach. The House became more polarized since some Republican moderates were defeated by right-wing Republicans in the primary and others were defeated by Democratic candiates in the General Election (notably in northeast Johnson County).

Bills introduced into the 2019 Legislative Session survive for consideration in the 2018 legislative session.

For the 2019 Session of the Kansas Legislature, individual requests for bill introductions had to be submitted before January 29, 2019; with committee introductions before February 7, 2019. All bills must pass its house-of-origin on or before February 22, 2019 (with some exceptions) or they die for the session. The Legislature takes its mid-term break on February 26 and resumes Tuesday, March 6 for the second-half of the session.

Bills, other than for funding, must pass the opposite house from origin on or before March 29, 2019 (second-house turn-around). All Bills must be considered for final action (other than bills from “exempt” committees) on or before April 6, 2019 (the “drop dead” date), when the Kansas House and Senate take “first adjournment.”

The Legislature returns for its “Veto Session” on April 26, 2019.

The Legislature returns again in late-May 2019 for adjournment sine die.

In December 2018, leading up to the session, three Republican lawmakers, Sen. Barbara Bollier (Mission Hills), Sen. Dinah Sykes (Lenexa), and Rep. Stephanie Clayton (Overland Park), changed their party affiliation from Republican to Democratic stating that the Republican Party’s dramatic turn to the right and party leadership’s insistence that the legislature start over again on education funding, including another attempt to pass a constitutional amendment that would make the legislature the sole arbiter of whether its actions were constitutional.

The following family law and related bills and concurrent resolutions were pending in the 2019 Kansas Legislature:




HB2020: Courts; supreme court nominating commission, attorney licensure:

This bill, prefiled by Rep. Carmichael (D-Wichita), would restore the law to the way it read before 2016 (see 2016 HB128, 3rd CCR) when the legislature passed bills pushed by former Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Among other things, the 2016 law required (1) applicants for admission to practice law to provide the following information required of persons applying to register to vote: (a) name, (b) place of residence, (c) date of birth, (d) sex, and (e) the last four digits of the person’s social security number or the person’s full driver’s license or nondriver’s license identification card number; (2) the names, residential addresses, dates of birth, unique voter identification numbers, and dates of licensure to practice law in Kansas of all persons on such certified rosters would be disclosed upon proper request to the Clerk or to the Secretary of State; (3) changes to the Supreme Court Nominating Commission process for elections; (4) prohibing the nominating commission from having private sessions to discuss private information about judicial applicants.

HB2025: CINC; Including a person who has filed a petition for adoption in the definition of an interested party in the child in need of care code.

This bill, prefiled by Rep. Capps (R-Wichita), would designate as an ‘interested party’ in child in need of care proceedings any person who has filed a petition for adoption of the child in need of care, “except that the court may restrict those rights if the court finds that it would be in the best interests of the child.