Les Mason: The 2020 Legislative Session begins

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Representative Les Mason

As is typical, the first week of session started slowly. No floor debate, committees were largely reorganizing and reviewing what bills were in play from last year, and a bit of waiting to hear what Governor Kelly’s state-of-the-state address might call for.

KPERS

The governor unveiled another attempt to balance the budget by reamortizing KPERS.  In 2019 she proposed a plan to to do this, which would have freed up $150 million a year, but increased taxpayer debt by $7.4 billion.  The Legislature rejected that bill (HB 2197) on a vote of 36-87.

This year’s proposal is much the same…an increase of debt totaling to $4.4 billion to “save” $130+ million. This idea was originally floated by the Brownback administration a few years back. At that time it never made it out of committee. The KPERS board has already thrown cold water on this second iteration of Governor Kelly’s.

Bottom line: The governor’s KPERS reamortization proposal includes short term “savings” at the expense of accruing debt totaling $4.4 billion.  Our children and their children shouldn’t have to pay tomorrow for our increased spending today.

Value Them Both Amendment—Constitutional Amendment to Protect Both Women and Babies

Several women of the Kansas House and Senate joined Kansans for Life and the Kansas Family Policy Alliance in support of the Value Them Both Amendment, a proposed constitutional amendment in response to the Kansas Supreme Court’s 2019 overreaching ruling on the case of Hodes & Nauser v Schmidt.  The ruling puts at risk broadly supported regulations like bans on brutal late-term abortion and taxpayer funded abortions, parental notification requirements and clinic safety standards.

The Value Them Both amendment will place the power to regulate the abortion industry back in the people’s hands where it belongs. 

Value Them Both has been introduced and will be heard in a committee on which I serve, House Fed and State, Tuesday the 21st.  Once passed by two-thirds majority in each chamber, it will be placed on the ballot in August of 2020.  

Bottom line: The Legislature has passed previous abortion regulation measures which are now in peril because of the Supreme Court’s overreach. This constitutional amendment will protect from what could soon be an unregulated abortion industry.  Kansans should have the right to vote on this issue so they can decide whether they want our state to be a pro-life or not.

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