Newsletters

The Bright & Carpenter Consulting newsletter takes you into the Statehouse and gives you an update on legislative and executive branch issues. Click on each newsletter heading to view.

image of Kansas Statehouse for the legislative updates

Kansas Legislative Report: February 19-23, 2024

The Kansas Legislature adjourned for Turnaround break late Thursday afternoon and will return to Topeka on Wednesday, February 28. Committees met on Monday and Tuesday, leaving the next two days for debating and passing legislation on the floor. Any non-exempt bills that did not pass their house of origin or get “blessed” by leadership this week are dead for the year.

Kansas Legislative Report: February 12-16, 2024

This was the last full week for non-exempt committees to complete their work for the first half of the legislative session. Nevertheless, the Statehouse was quieter than usual on Monday following the Chiefs Super Bowl win, and several lawmakers were out for the parade on Wednesday.

Kansas Legislative Report: February 5-9, 2024

With only two weeks left before Turnaround – when bills must pass their original chamber to stay alive for the year – the pace picked up significantly this week in the Kansas Legislature. Revisors worked furiously to meet today’s deadline when all non-exempt bills must be introduced.

Kansas Legislative Report: January 29 – February 2, 2024

It was week four of the legislative session, and 112 more bills were introduced. This is typically when committees go into overdrive to meet approaching legislative deadlines. Over 65 hearings are scheduled for next week.

Kansas Legislative Report: January 22-26, 2024

The pace picked up significantly this week in the Kansas Legislature. Lawmakers near the first legislative deadline next Monday, when all member-sponsored bill drafts must be requested by the revisors office. We saw 93 new bills introduced this week and 60 hearings scheduled for next week.

Kansas Legislative Report: January 15-19, 2024

The Legislature began their second week of work on Tuesday after the Martin Luther King holiday. Bitter cold temperatures and more snow, however, kept some legislators at home another day, making this another short week. While a few committee meetings were cancelled on Tuesday, it was mostly business as usual as lawmakers were eager to fast track a tax bill to the Governor’s desk by the end of the week.

Kansas Legislative Report: January 8-12, 2024

The 2024 Kansas Legislative Session kicked off on Monday with rare first day floor action to pass resolutions showing support for Israel but was quickly halted by a winter storm that hit Topeka Monday night. What is typical procedure for the first week, committees were busy receiving reports from agency heads and settling into the rhythm of legislative session while one event held a bill hearing. Sixty bill were introduced, and several hearings are already scheduled for next week.

Kansas Legislative Report: 2024 Legislative Session Kickoff Report

Lawmakers return to Topeka for the start of the 2024 Kanas Legislative Session. This is the second year of Kansas’ biennium session, so much of last year’s legislation remains alive and ready for action.

Kansas Legislative Report: 2023 Interim Committee Report

The Legislative Coordinating Council (LCC) approved more than 70 days of Legislative Interim Committees to take place this summer and fall. Legislative Interim Committees are made up of joint House and Senate Committees who study topics and make recommendations to the Legislature when they return in 2024.

Kansas Legislative Report: Veto Session

The 2023 Legislature adjourned Sine Die late Friday night after passing the omnibus and education budgets and attempting to override many of the Governor’s Veto’s. Sine Die adjournment means the 2023 Legislative Session is officially concluded and legislators will not be able to return to override any additional vetoes on bills that may occur. Traditionally, Sine Die comes 3 weeks after the veto session ends, but this year Leadership made the decision to combine the two and officially end the 2023 Legislative session on the 89th day.

Kansas Legislative Report: April 7, 2023

The Kansas Legislature left for a two-week spring break, officially adjourning the regular part of the 2023 Legislative Session. Lawmakers had a busy week of conference committees and floor debate, but left several larger items for the Veto Session, including education funding and tax policy.

Kansas Legislative Report: March 31, 2023

Wednesday was the last day for all non-exempt bills to be considered in either chamber, so the House and Senate spent Monday through Wednesday debating and passing nearly 130 bills. This week’s work clears the path for conference committees to meet next week.

Kansas Legislative Report: March 24, 2023

Today is the last day for non-exempt committees to meet for the 2023 Kansas Legislative Session. It was a frenzy of a week as committee chairs churned through bills and worked quickly to wrap up their business for the year.

Kansas Legislative Report: March 17, 2023

As important deadlines loom, committees were busy hearing and working bills this week – many with three to four hearings a day. They have one more week to complete their work before March 24 when all non-exempt committees are done meeting for the year. Lawmakers will then debate bills the week of March 27th and return the following week for conference committee work with a First Adjournment (end of regular session) date of April 6.

Kansas Legislative Report: March 10, 2023

Overall, the 2023 Kansas Legislative Session has been relatively quiet and non-controversial so far. Major tax cuts and budget spending are still on the table, as these are typically the last pieces of business to close out the year.

Kansas Legislative Report: March 3, 2023

Lawmakers returned from their five-day recess on Wednesday to officially start the second half of the 2023 Legislative Session. It’s typically after Turnaround that the tempo speeds up significantly to meet bill deadlines for the year. It should be fast and furious from here on out.

Kansas Legislative Report: February 24, 2023

The Kansas Legislature adjourned for Turnaround break and will return to Topeka next week. When lawmakers return, they only have five weeks to finish all business for the year. First adjournment is scheduled for April 6, followed by a three-week spring break before Veto Session begins on April 26.

Kansas Legislative Report: February 17, 2023

This was the last full week for non-exempt committees to complete their work for the first half of the legislative session. We saw committee debate on transgender sports and abortion heat up this week.

Kansas Legislative Report: February 10, 2023

With less than three weeks left before Turnaround – when bills must pass their original chamber to stay alive for the year – the pace picked up significantly this week in the Kansas Legislature.

Kansas Legislative Report: February 3, 2023

Non-exempt committees have two more full weeks to complete their work before bills go to the floor and Turnaround break starts on February 25. This is typically when committees go into overdrive to meet quickly approaching legislative deadlines.

Kansas Legislative Report: January 27, 2023

The pace picked up significantly this week in the Kansas Legislature. Lawmakers near the first legislative deadline when all member-sponsored bill drafts must be requested by the revisors office. We saw 125 new bills introduced this week and 70 hearings scheduled for next week.

Kansas Legislative Report: January 20, 2023

Committees picked up steam in this second week of work, holding informational hearings on issues that could be headliners this year, including taxes, workforce development, childcare, and water. Over 100 new bills were introduced, and dozens of hearings are scheduled.

Kansas Legislative Report: January 13, 2023

The 2023 Kansas Legislative Session kicked off with the inauguration of Governor Laura Kelly into her second term of office, as well as the swearing in of 32 new House members and two new Senators.

2023 Kansas Legislative Session Preview

With tax revenues drastically exceeding estimates every month this fiscal year and last, expect to see some tension around how that money is spent.

House Leadership Elections

The Kansas House of Representatives convened in Topeka to elect their new leaders for the 2023 Legislative Session.

2022 Election Report

While 29,000 mail-in ballots have not been returned and provisional ballots are still being tallied, Kansans woke up today to more certainty and fewer surprises than many expected.

2022 Election Update

With only one month remaining until the General Election, things are starting to heat up in Kansas politics. Whether you believe the polls or not, whichever way Kansas’ political pendulum swings this November will be close.

2022 Kansas Primary Election

The 2022 Primary Election was highlighted by the Value Them Both abortion amendment, a few highly contested statewide races, and several surprising House district upsets.

2022 Sine Die Wrap-up

The Kansas Legislature returned to Topeka for Veto Session #2 to redraw their congressional redistricting map and vote to override Governor Kelly on two bills she vetoed since last adjournment.

2022 Veto Session Wrap-Up

Lawmakers had four major pieces of business to wrap-up: veto overrides, food sales tax, education, and budget. Medical marijuana was thought to also be a priority for the wrap-up session, but no action was taken, and the bill remains in conference committee.

Legislative Report

Review what’s happening at the Statehouse each week during the Legislative Session.

2022 Legislative Session Preview

Lawmakers return to Topeka with a record ending balance of $4.2 billion in the State General Fund. From expanding state government programs to providing tax cuts to their constituents during an election year, legislators are coming back with their ideas and proposals in hand.

Kansas Special Session

Here’s what you need to know about the 2021 Kansas Special Session.

2021 Legislative Session Preview

“If there was ever a feeling of uncertainty in the air, this is the year. Up until this week, it was unclear if, how and even where lawmakers would conduct their business in the middle of a pandemic.”

Also in this issue: 2020 Elections, Committee Change-up, Lobbying Toolkit, Livestream Upgrades, Legislative Calendar

May 2020 COVID Update

“Governor Kelly during her press conference this afternoon announced that she will VETO House Bill 2054, which the Legislature passed last Thursday during the one-day Veto Session and Sine Die adjournment. The bill included several COVID-recovery provisions, most notably limiting the Governor’s powers during a state emergency.”

Sine Die 2020 Newsletter

“The most pressing issue the Legislature may consider is a proposal to limit the Governor’s powers during a state emergency. The State Finance Council last week denied Governor Kelly’s 30-day extension of her emergency declaration now set to expire May 26. Republican leadership has been critical of her emergency orders and the “Reopen Kansas” plan, which they consider to be too restrictive on business and harmful to the state’s economy.”

Also in this issue: House and Senate Tax Committee, Commerce Committee, Judiciary Committee, FI & I Committee, and Veto Session

January 2020 Newsletter

“With tax revenues exceeding estimates almost every month this fiscal year, expect to see some tension around how that excess money is spent. From expanding state government programs to providing tax cuts to their constituents, legislators are coming back with their ideas and proposals in hand.”

Also in this issue: live streaming from the Statehouse and the Kansas State Library

January 2019 Newsletter

“The Kansas House and Senate leadership have indicated that there will be a focus on issues that did not get passed during the 2018 Session. Passage of a tax bill will be a top priority.”

Also in this issue: 2018 elections and seat party changes, and legislative advocacy 101

January 2018 Newsletter

“Other issues such as transportation funding, prison funding, Medicaid expansion, the disabled waiting list, workforce training and economic development programs need to be addressed during the 2018 Session. However, these issues have once again taken a back seat to the education debate despite the growing need for attention and an increase in funding.”

Also in this issue: Brownback administration changes and 2018 elections

January 2017 Newsletter

“Expectations are that the 2017 Session will be longer than the usual 90-day session, with at least 100 days already approved. In addition, more than one-third of the legislature is new, including several new committee chairs and new members. With so many new legislators facing some of the most complicated issues in years, there is uncertainty how the major issues of the session, such as budget cuts, tax reforms, school finance formula and Medicaid expansion, will be addressed.”

Also in this issue: 2017 legislative session issues, House & Senate Leadership, and Kansas Legislature 101

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