TOPEKA (KSNT) — Kansas lawmakers are on recess after a big legislative session tackling everything from abortion, medical marijuana, and future elections. Now, Governor Laura Kelly has a few weeks to decide if she wants to approve the bills on her desk.
Inside Kansas Politics Political Analyst Bob Beatty joins Rebekah Chung on this episode of Inside Kansas Politics to break down the bills and provide more inside into what they mean for Kansasns.
One of the bills on the Governor’s desk is the ‘Born Alive’ bill. This bill requires emergency care and legal protection for infants born after a failed abortion and creates criminal penalties for doctors who fail to provide immediate care. The ‘Born Alive’ bill passed with a veto-proof majority.
“The people for this bill [are] saying it’s simple human rights, the baby has a right to live. And those against the bill say the proponents don’t understand late-term abortions,” Beatty said. “These children that are possibly being born alive are suffering from horrific medical conditions in which they may only be alive for a minute.”
Beatty also said if the bill is enacted, it will likely be challenged and the state supreme court will have to determine if it violates the right to an abortion.
Beatty also touched on one bill that didn’t make it to the Governor’s desk was a medical marijuana bill.
Medical marijuana legislation was stalled once again this year, after being tabled by lawmakers. Republicans in the state’s Senate Fed and State committee said the bill needed more “work” before being put up for debate.
Beatty says there appears to be a declining will for the medical marijuana debate to be addressed.
“It’s just one of those issues that the Republican legislature, specifically the leaders of the legislature, they do not want to see it happen,” Beatty said. “And every legislative year at the end of the session they argue ‘well we don’t have time for this.’ And if they started right now, they wouldn’t be able to say that next year.”
According to a 27 News poll last year, 61% of Kansas voters would support a proposal legalizing medical marijuana. Beatty says voters in the state of Kansas are for medical marijuana, and they have to keep lawmakers accountable.
In the legislative forecast, it doesn’t look likely to happen anytime soon. Unless the will of the Republican party leadership is there to make it happen.