Just when we all thought legislative session was over, it has reared its head again. Well technically it’s a new session known as a special session. But I’ve jumped to the end of the story.
On May 21st, the legislature returned for a one-day session to conclude the legislative year. Both chambers went into session at 8 am. We knew that it would be a long day, but because the House is required by their own rules to be done by midnight, we all thought we would be done by then. It turns out we were wrong.
The House wound up suspending their midnight rule and extended their session until 8 AM the next morning. The legislature passed their COVID Relief Bill at 7:54 AM. That’s right, we were in the Capitol for 24 straight hours.
During this all-day session, the legislature worked to pass a bill to place limits on the Governor’s emergency powers and protect the medical and business communities from liability based on actions they have taken to contain the spread of COVID-19. There was also an attempt by Sen. Dinah Sykes to hijack a cable bill and insert Medicaid expansion.
As we have been talking about, without the Value Them Both Amendment, any vote for Medicaid expansion is a vote to allow taxpayer funded abortion. Thankfully, many of our senators stood strong and voted against allowing this bill to be amended. Click here to see how your Senator voted. Ultimately, the amendment failed and showed just how weak the desire for Medicaid expansion is in the Senate.
Then this week, Governor Kelly vetoed the legislature’s relief bill and called the legislature back into a special session next week. She then issued a new emergency declaration, despite many questioning her legal authority to do so. Either way, this new declaration will expire on June 10th.
There is still a lot of discussion about how a special session will play out, and we will update you as we know more.
One thing of note is that every bill that had been working its way through the legislature the last two years is now officially dead. A special session will require every bill to start from scratch – meaning all legislation will have to be reintroduced and go through the committee process.
This means that Medicaid expansion could be brought up again. Please take time today to remind your legislators to vote against taxpayer funded abortion.
As I have said many times over the last several weeks, continue to be in prayer for all those charged with leading during this time. These are important days and will have great consequences for the future of our economy, our legislature, our families, and our state as a whole. Pray that they will lead with wisdom and discernment.
Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy
The situation across our state is changing rapidly and one person told me long term planning feels like next week. We all have questions about what our futures hold whether that be because our jobs or our businesses are at risk, you are learning to homeschool your kids, or your concerned about the health of loved ones. I want you to know that the Family Policy Alliance of Kansas® team is here for you, walking through this season of uncertainty with you.
One place uncertainty is showing up is in the legislature – mainly if and when they come back. The legislature concluded its essential business late last week. The legislature is constitutionally bound to pass a budget before adjourning at the conclusion of session. After several days of discussion and negotiation, both chambers passed the budget easily, something that rarely happens. Conservative’s major concern was that the budget could be used as a way to expand Medicaid without going through the legislature and bypassing important protections in the Value Them Both amendment.
The major concern focused on a line item in the budget for Expansion. Even some expansion advocates stated repeatedly that the budget was not an appropriate place to expand Medicaid because of a 2014 statute. We reminded legislators that a vote for Expansion would create a funding stream for taxpayer-funded abortions in our state. As a way to further ensure that Governor Kelly doesn’t try to exploit this provision, the final budget stipulated that the funds allocated in the budget should be used for COVID-19 relief if the legislature does not expand Medicaid this year.
The real question is whether the legislature can or will come back now that they have passed a budget. When the legislature adjourned, they adjourned until April 27th. But even in this it is unknown whether they can come back, given the spread of the COVID-19.
Many are wondering what this means for the Value Them Both amendment. The answer is that we simply don’t know. Of course, we would welcome the opportunity to pass the amendment in order to ensure that the lifesaving limits are placed on the abortion industry, however, under current circumstances there are too many unknowns. We want to be wise, protecting legislator’s health, protecting voters, and ensuring the final passage of Value Them Both on the ballot.
As you sit at home in the coming weeks, I ask that you take some time to pray for all our local, state, and national decision makers. They are dealing with a complex, unknown, and ever evolving situation. We need to pray that God gives them wisdom and that they focus on the main thing – and don’t get sucked into the trap of using this moment to advance their political ambitions.
During this time, I’m thankful for the One who holds all the uncertainty and all the unknowns and yet He is walking with us in today.
My prayers are with you all,
Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy
What other right do you get to claim that then requires the rest of society to give you something?
Most of our rights are premised on the fact that they only require others to refrain from something. But according to many courts around the country and to abortion activist, their “right” to abortion demands something of you.
They DEMAND you pay for it!
We’re seeing this in state after state across the country and a huge push for it from every Democratic candidate for President – not only should states protect abortion to the utmost degree, but everyone else should have to pay for it. Thankfully, Kansans have historically rejected the idea that taxpayers should be required pay for any abortion.
But that’s exactly what will eventually happen in our state if we don’t reverse the Kansas Supreme Court’s ruling from last Spring in Hodes & Nauser. This effect is only amplified by any sort of expansion of Medicaid.
The media and our opponents want to count us out of this fight.
But it ain’t over until it’s over. That is certainly true in Kansas.
Thankfully this means that the Value Them Both amendment still has time. They want you to believe that it’s over and that we are artificially holding up Medicaid expansion. There is a clear connection between the two and we are winning the argument. It has been verified in multiple states across the nation where courts have protected the “right” to abortion that Medicaid expansion eventually leads to an alarming increase in the number of taxpayer-funded abortions.
Medicaid expansion advocates have admitted that expansion could lead to increases here in Kansas—they know they cannot count us out.
We always knew passing Value Them Both would be a challenge.
We are nowhere near done and we are not going anywhere!
We need you to partner with us now, more than ever, to continue to encourage your legislators to do the right thing and pass the Amendment.
No one in Kansas wants to be known as the person who allowed taxpayer funded abortion in our state and we need to let legislators know that a vote against Value Them Both is a vote for that. We know that without the amendment, a vote for Medicaid expansion is a vote for taxpayer funded abortion.
Even if we insisted on pro-life language in a Medicaid bill (or any other legislation for that matter), it would all be meaningless because we would still be exposed to the whim of any future court using the Hodes & Nauser ruling to then mandate taxpayer-funding of abortion. One way or another – that is their goal and it must be stopped!
Value Them Both must pass.
Please contact your legislators today and urge them to protect all Kansas from having to be complicit in the abortion industry.
Standing for life,