Weekly Rundown #33

Friday, Nov. 1, 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? A second Medicaid expansion council meeting, progress on medical marijuana legalization, an anti-abortion amendment, and more!

GOVERNOR’S MEDICAID EXPANSION COUNCIL MEETS AGAIN

  • What’s happening?

Gov. Laura Kelly’s Medicaid expansion council convened on Tuesday for a second meeting on how to best implement the policy in Kansas. Members of the council were given a national overview of Medicaid expansion recipients, heard from potential recipients in Kansas, and were briefed on other states’ experiences with implementing federal waivers, requirements, and incentives for each of their states’ expanded Medicaid coverage.

HOUSE PANEL RECOMMENDS MEDICAL MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION TO FULL BODY

The House Special Committee on State and Federal Affairs on Wednesday recommended the Legislature look at how Ohio legalized medical marijuana as a guide for possibly legalizing the drug in Kansas. Lawmakers further recommended the full body consider allowing residents from states where medical marijuana is legal to use the product in Kansas with permission from each individual’s home state. Ohio’s implementation prohibits patients from growing the product themselves and only allows for edibles and topicals (no smoking).

Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau: “This thing is going to go-go-go eventually, and we all need to kind of be at the table and make it a good piece of legislation to help people.”

Gov. Laura Kelly has said she supports legalizing medical marijuana.

HOUSE PANEL RECOMMENDS ABORTION BAN AMENDMENT

  • What’s happening?

The House Special Committee on State and Federal Affairs on Wednesday held a hearing on a constitutional amendment which, upon a successful statewide vote, would implement a de facto total ban on abortion, criminalize miscarriages, and outlaw certain types of birth control. The renewed push comes after the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in April that the state constitution guarantees the right to an abortion as a protection of personal autonomy. Kansas conservatives have vowed to overturn the ruling.

The language of the bill being debated was absent from the hearing, but the committee nevertheless joined a prior committee recommendation for the full House to take up the issue in the 2020 legislative session.

Rep. Stephanie Clayton: “You can’t always come crying to the Legislature asking them to change the constitution. You vote out your justices. Those systems are already in place.”

KELLY ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT TO KANSAS DENTAL BOARD

  • What’s happening?

Gov. Kelly on Thursday appointed Dr. Maya Nunley of Wichita to the Kansas Dental Board. The board, which adopts rules, issues licenses, and conducts hearings to revoke or suspend dental licenses, currently has 10 members. Nunley is general dentist at Health Core Clinic.

Gov. Kelly: “Dr. Nunley is a highly qualified dentist, and I believe her years of experience and service with communities make her the perfect candidate for the job. We are fortunate to have her expertise on the board.”

KELLY ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT TO THE STATE CENSUS COMMITTEE

  • What’s happening?

Gov. Kelly on Thursday appointed Courtney Fitzgerald of Shawnee to the Kansas Complete Count Committee. The committee will coordinate administrative efforts to promote the 2020 Census and encourage a high rate of participation.

Fitzgerald is currently the communications director and legislative liaison for the Office of Information Technology Services.

Gov. Kelly: “It is so important that we achieve an accurate Census count in 2020. I’m certain that Courtney’s experience in public relations and information technology will help state government play a vital role in the success of the count statewide.”

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