KDP Weekly Rundown #4

Friday, April 12, 2019

Welcome to the KDP Weekly Rundown – the Kansas Democratic Party’s update of the biggest things going on in the Kansas Legislature. What are we focused on this week? School finance and Medicaid expansion!


  • What’s happening?

After lots of back and forth in the legislature, Governor Laura Kelly signed SB 16 into law last Saturday. At the signing ceremony, Governor Kelly remarked that “No one can predict what the court will rule. But one thing is for certain: this legislation represents a significant bipartisan effort to address the last remaining component of last summer’s court ruling. It is a meaningful, reasonable plan that maintains the stability of the rest of the state’s budget.” This law was modeled after the Governor’s school funding proposal and maintains the $90 million increase for schools.The Supreme Court will revisit the Gannon case on April 15 to determine if the state’s funding plan is adequate.


  • What’s happening?

The legislature may be in recess but efforts to pass Medicaid expansion are still underway. Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensely submitted a motion to force a vote in the Senate on expansion. His motion would pull the bill from the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee and bring it directly to the floor for consideration. Although Senate leadership controls the debate calendar, the Senate can pull a bill out of committee and onto the floor. This motion requires 24 votes. Medicaid Expansion would provide affordable healthcare for approximately 150,000 more Kansans, support local hospitals and grow our economy.

  • What can I do to help?

Contact your state senator! It really is the most effective way to help advance legislation on topics you’re passionate about. Rep. Rui Xu shared best practices for contacting your state legislators in a February column for the Shawnee Mission Post. His top tips: personalize every email, CC committee chairs and other influential legislators on the topic you are concerned with, and testify in Topeka if possible. You can look up your state senator here.


  • What’s happening?

Gov. Kelly has been on the move over the last few weeks, hosting several Kansan to Kansan town halls around the state. She held events in Overland Park, Salina, and Wichita. This is part of her Kansan to Kansan Town Hall initiative to remain accessible to Kansans around the state. Topics have included Medicaid expansion, education funding, and the Republican tax overhaul.