We wish we could answer with absolute certainty what might happen when the Kansas Legislature returns on Wednesday, June 3, for a special legislative session. We can’t!
Some people wonder whether the Republicans will seek to overturn Governor Laura Kelly’s veto of HB 2054, the bills stripping her of any ability to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. But the truth is that since a special session is considered a “new session” and not a continuation of the prior regular session that ended with the passage of that bill, a veto override vote is not allowed. Legislation passed in one session does not carry over to the next. Of course that doesn’t mean someone won’t try but we don’t believe it can happen.
HB 2054 was a big bill with lots of provisions and it might be that the Governor supported some provisions and might like to see those come back in a new bill. It’s possible, we suppose, that angry Republican leaders might just try to pass the very same bill again.
We would think that some will want to vote to authorize Governor Kelly’s latest declaration so that protection of Kansans during a pandemic might continue. So we’ll look for some effort to do that.
And it is important to understand that while a special session might be called for a specific purpose, once convened there are no limits to what lawmakers are allowed to bring up. We might very well see some folks try to promote new tax policies or to seek Medicaid expansion during this pandemic. The sky really is the limit.
We also know that campaign fundraising is suspended during the session and those seeking re-election or election to another office can’t be out campaigning if they are stuck in Topeka. We are left then wondering if this will be a simple one-day session or a multi-day affair.
With all of this in mind, we want to urge everyone to watch for a legislative alert from KNEA. We might need you to contact your legislator and to do it quickly during this abbreviated session. And remember, when you see “TAKE ACTION NOW”, this is your opportunity to exercise the strength of our collective voice.
- Watch for text alerts to TAKE ACTION, and most importantly, do it.
- Watch for notifications and alerts from the KNEA mobile app, download here.
- KNEA’s Facebook and Twitter channels.