Kansas House Democrats attempted to move the ball on a couple of major issues on Friday and were smacked down by the Republican majority.
The first was school funding. House Minority Leader Democrat Jim Ward of Wichita moved to have that debate occur as the first item on the day’s agenda. The motion was voted down 77-39. The only Republican to vote for the motion was Overland Park Republican Stephanie Clayton.
Ward followed that up with an amendment to the Consumer Protection Act that would have prompted a debate on concealed carry on college campuses.
“The impact of this amendment will protect 250,000 consumers who use our Regents, community colleges, junior colleges, technical colleges and many thousands who use public hospitals, public mental institutions, Osawatomie State, Larned State, nursing facilities and mental hospitals or centers in our communities like COMCARE. It is the ultimate consumer protection.”
The Rules Committee ruled that the amendment did not have two points of contact with the underlying bill and therefore it was not germane. Ward challenged that ruling.
“This is day 95 of our session,” said Ward. “This is the 18th day of the veto session. I stood here two months ago and tried to bring a gun safety bill above the
line, and a lot of you told me, I couldn’t vote for that, but we were promised an opportunity to debate this issue later. How long are you going to wait? What are
you going to tell your constituents when you still haven’t had that debate? While I understand, well, if we would have had notice, if you would have let us know it
was going on, now this will shock you, but had I given you notice, the Speaker or the Majority Leader, who may not agree with this policy might have prevented us having General Orders on a bill that would be, possibly, germane.”
The ruling that eliminated the amendment was upheld 72-42.
The Legislative Coordinating Council originally budgeted 100 days for the session. The longest session in state history was in 2015. It lasted 114 days.