Legislature easily overrides Governor’s veto of Uber

The excitement today was the drama (or lack of drama) over what was expected to be a dramatic moment.

The Legislature had passed SB 117, a bill that established regulation of ride-sharing services such as Uber that have become popular. Uber has been operating in Kansas City and Wichita. Uber had threatened to pull out of Kansas entirely if the Governor did not veto the bill. Brownback did and Uber expanded their services to Lawrence and Manhattan.

Legislators were not happy about the veto. Governor Brownback’s campaign manager was then hired as a lobbyist for Uber. Today, first in the Senate and later in the House, the veto was easily overridden. While in the Senate there was an effort to postpone the vote until later, the House didn’t even debate this issue. The override vote in both chambers was very strong – well beyond the necessary supermajority.

The action might result in Uber coming to the table to negotiate a regulatory system more to their liking. On the other hand, they might just follow through on their threat to leave.

Senator Lynn leads effort to end due process for state employees

The Senate took up House Bill 2391, a bill that ends due process protections for new state employees and essentially phases them out for current state employees. Senator Julia Lynn (R-Olathe) carried the bill on the Senate floor, arguing in support of ending due process which she called, “slow and bureaucratic, painful and expensive, and time-consuming.”

Amendments have been offered to protect employees but all have been rejected. Senator Faust-Goudeau (D-Wichita) offered an amendment calling for a gender pay equity study in state service. The debate on her amendment included an unusual question by Senator Fitzgerald (R-Leavenworth) as to how many sexes or genders there are. Senator Lynn challenged the amendment as non-germane (unrelated to the underlying topic of the bill) but the Rules Committee determined that it was and so debate continued.

The debate is ongoing as we post this edition of Under the Dome. We will report on the outcome tomorrow.

Working after retirement bill expected to be up today

Senate Sub for HB 2095 is on the Senate debate calendar today – the last in a long list of bills. It is possible that they won’t get to this today. If they do, it might be late. We will report on this bill tomorrow. If it passes, it must still be considered in the House.