emergency administration limitations, pressured faculty re-openings, and a Republican energy seize

Hey, I’m Davis Hammet with a loud light. Here’s what happened in the 7th week of the Kansas legislature.

Restriction of business continuity management (SB273)
A Senate bill radically amending state emergency management laws was introduced on Tuesday and passed by committee on Thursday. The bill would restrict any ability of the government to respond to a public health crisis. A special legislative committee of 8 Republicans and 2 Democrats will be created that would have to approve a governor’s executive orders before they could come into effect and could force the governor to testify at any time. Additionally, it would take away the power of local health officials to allow anyone upset by a health ordinance to take a city or school to the district court, and it has a number of review mechanisms that can result in emergency ordinances for a few days take time before they take effect. Senator Steffen (R), who helped a salesman use essential oils to treat COVID-19 last year, proposed a change to define “acceptable science,” which the committee added to the bill. It left the committee for party political reasons and is now being passed to the Senate.

Food Aid (HB2371)
Since 2015, Kansas has required single parents to help find child support against their ex-partner before they can access food aid. A house bill was passed by the committee that would remove this requirement.

Constitutional Amendment (HCR5014 / SCR1609)
Attorney General Derek Schmidt (R) joined the leaders of the Republican super-major in proposing a constitutional amendment that would give a simple majority of lawmakers the power to reverse any rule or regulation imposed by the executive. Supporters call it a control mechanism and opponents call it a power grab. The legislature can already repeal any rule, regulation or anything else by passing a law.

Medical Marijuana (HB2184)
The House held a hearing on a medical marijuana bill in which a child had a seizure when his mother asked lawmakers to give her child access to the drug. The main opposition to the bill came from law enforcement agencies. Because marijuana bills are on federal and state affairs committees, they are exempt from normal statutory deadlines, so they may have weeks on the committee to work on.

Ban on Vaccine Requirements (SB213)
Senator Steffen (R) has argued that responding to deadly infectious diseases is an individual choice, not a societal effort, claiming that vaccines kill people. He introduced a bill to ban employers, including hospitals and nursing homes, from vaccinating staff. The bill had a hearing on Thursday at which it was endorsed by alternative medicine companies but was rejected by professional health organizations and people with immune disorders. Committee chairman Sen. Olson (R) prevented several opponents from giving testimony citing the time.

Forcing Schools Open (SB235)
A Senate bill passed by the committee that would force all Kansas public schools to offer students a full-time personal option in less than a month.

Trump supports Moran
US Senator Jerry Moran (R) voted for Pres. Trump (R) for inciting a violent uprising against the United States on January 6th. Donald Trump (R) has now supported Jerry Moran in his re-election campaign in 2022.

Come up
Next week is Turnaround Week, when Senators and House Representatives will be there every day to debate and vote on bills. Most bills have to go through at least one chamber by next Friday to stay alive year round.

Thank you for liking, sharing, and donating to make this possible. Stay tuned, stay engaged, and see you next time, thank you Kansas!

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