April 29, 2005
Hurry-up-and-wait is the name of the game during veto session. We came in at 10:00 am, talked a little bit, broke at 11:00 am until 2:00 pm. Broke at 2:30 until 3:15 pm, and that’s where it stands now. What’s the holdup? Apparently the Senate and House are seeing eye-to-kneecap on the budget. The Senate is high (their budget costs more) and the House negotiators aren’t buying it. So we’re in a stalemate right now. We’ll be here tomorrow for sure at this point, and probably late into the night tonight.
Budget news – There was agreement on adding another Magistrate Judge in Johnson County, so that’s a happy note for our burdened court system!
SB 304 – Allowing bonds to be issued for a NASCAR museum. This is a great deal for the Kansas City area – many businesses are looking to follow where this museum is placed. We are up against a couple of other states – this helps us compete, so keep your fingers crossed!
Final Action 94-30. I voted YES.
SB 298 – Sunday sales! This bill finally makes the Liquor Control Act uniform across the state. The one downfall for us is that communities that already have Sunday Sales will have to have a vote on it, even though we already have it.
Final Action 80-44. I voted YES.
HB 2503 – Veto override attempt on clinic regulations. Veto sustained: 82-42 – needed 84 to override.
First, let me give you the results of my survey question on this bill, and read to the end of this section:
Question: "We may consider new legislation on abortion during this year's legislative session. Whom would you choose to develop sanitary regulations for abortion clinics?
State Elected Officials, Federal Elected Officials, Doctors/Nurses/Medical Professionals, or the General Public"
Answers from the 17th district:
State Elected Officials - 15%
Federal Elected Officials - 7%
Doctors/Nurses/Medical Professionals - 73%
General Public - 5%
Considering that no physicians, nurses, or hospitals were consulted, and the KS Medical Society, the Kansas State Nurses Association, and the Kansas Hospital Association refused to testify on the bill, I cannot justify voting against my district, so I supported the veto. Furthermore, I heard from many more constituents that asked me to sustain the veto, than from those who wanted the override.
- We’ve tried and tried to work with supporters to write health regulations for outpatient surgical clinics that actually protect the health of Kansans (you know, through the people that regulate health care like the Board of Healing Arts and Department of Health). Supporters would hear nothing of it – apparently legislators are better at understanding sanitary conditions than health professionals.
- In the interim I intend to work with some of my fellow pro-life colleagues who see the health side of this issue, and develop legitimate regulations by working with doctors, nurses, and health specialists.
I respect the ardor of those who liked this legislation, and I appreciate the democratic process that encourages us to “agree to disagree”. However, many (not all) in our state simply read what they receive from interest groups and patently believe it without learning for themselves. In that case, I will never be “pure enough”, regardless of my intentions and I don’t expect to get their support for this health policy project. However, I believe this is an important issue that deserves legitimate policy, not just rhetoric. Between the survey statistics, quantity of constituent contacts, and my rants, I hope I have shed some light on my reasoning.
That was about all of the big action for yesterday. I’ll let you know if anything interesting happens the rest of the day, but I wouldn’t count on anything until tomorrow.
Please do not hesitate to reply to this newsletter if you have questions, concerns, or comments about these issues or others of importance to you. I am grateful to have the opportunity to serve you!
17th District, KS House
Serving Lenexa and Shawnee