Kansas Association
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Chairman indicates Big Box Bill is Out of Time for Now

01 Apr 2014 5:08 PM | Anonymous
The House Commerce Committee Chair, Rep. Marvin Kleeb, has indicated that the committee is unlikely to be able to find time to meet again this session to finish its debate on HB 2556.  This means the Big Box Bill is out of time.

We will continue to watch the Legislature closely and report if there is any effort to resurrect the bill.  Legislative Committees were supposed to wrap up their work on bills last week.  This week, the Legislature is focused on the development and passage of House and Senate K-12 bills in response to the education funding inequity decision by the Kansas Supreme Court on March 7.  Conference committees are also meeting throughout each day to resolve differences between House and Senate bills and have them approved by each chamber once again.  The conference committee on HB 2223 meets Wednesday - see article.

"Drop Dead Day" is April 4 - the deadline for bills to be passed in the regular session.  The Legislature will adjourn for their spring break - when the Governor reviews and signs bills - and will return for the veto session on April 30.  The 2014 Legislative Session is scheduled to wrap up May 15.   

The work on the education bill has made it difficult for the Commerce Committee to find time to meet.  The Chair and Vice Chair of Commerce are now leading the House Appropriations Committee effort.  Yesterday, Rep. Marc Rhoades quit as Chair of the House Appropriations Committee over disagreement with the Speaker re: education funding proposal.  Appropriations is considered the most powerful committee in the House of Representatives.

As a result, Rep. Gene Suellentrop moved into the Chair position and Rep. Marvin Kleeb was appointed vice-chair.  The Appropriations Committee met most of the morning and part of the afternoon hearing public testimony on the new House proposal to resolve the K-12 education funding inequity cited by the Kansas Supreme Court in their decision March 7.

Meanwhile, Chairman Kleeb is also knee-deep in conference committees with the Senate on – among other things – a judiciary bill to increase the maximum cap on non-economic damages for medical malpractice suits.

The Chairman has said that he is under a great deal of pressure to work the Big Box Liquor bill this session.  It is unclear if that pressure stems from the proponents’ lobbying corps, legislators or public grassroots communication.

We have spent hours tracking down one rumor after another, but can find no evidence that there are enough “yes” votes on the Commerce Committee to pass HB 2556, even in its substitute form.

We will continue to monitor the committee and halltalk in case there is a last minute effort to move forward.


Kansas Association of Beverage Retailers       P.O. Box 3842, Topeka, KS  66604      Email KABR  

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