WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Kansas voters are getting a say on two more possible changes to the Kansas Constitution. In August, they voted down a “Value Them Both” abortion amendment. On Nov. 8, they will decide on amendments about legislative authority and about county sheriffs.
The legislative amendment would essentially grant Kansas lawmakers “legislative veto” power.
For the past four years, Kansas has seen the Republican-led legislature butt heads with the state’s Democratic governor, most notably at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
If passed, the amendment would allow the Kansas Legislature to suspend or revoke rules and regulations that the executive branch puts in place. The executive branch includes the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state treasurer, insurance commissioner, and members of the State Board of Education.
The Kansas Reflector said that if the amendment passes, a Republican-led legislature can have veto power over virtually anything done by any of the state agencies a Democratic governor oversees and vice versa. It would require a majority vote of the Senate and House.
The Kansas Chamber has voiced support for the amendment, saying the legislative veto would only happen when the executive branch oversteps its authority.
The League of Women Voters of Kansas opposes the amendment, calling it an overreach of the Kansas Legislature.
Voting yes means you do want to give the Legislature authority over the executive branch.
Voting no means no change to the current legislative and executive powers.
What you will see on your ballot
The amendment will be labeled Question 1 Submitted. It will include this explanation:
“Explanatory statement. The purpose of this amendment is to provide the Legislature with oversight of state executive branch agencies and officials by providing the legislature authority to establish procedures to revoke or suspend rules and regulations.
“A vote for this proposition would allow the Legislature to establish procedures to revoke or suspend rules and regulations that are adopted by state executive branch agencies and officials that have the force and effect of law.
“A vote against this proposition would allow state executive branch agencies and officials to continue adopting rules and regulations that have the force and effect of law without any opportunity for the legislature to directly revoke or suspend such rules and regulations.
“Shall the following be adopted?
“§ 17. Legislative oversight of administrative rules and regulations.
“Whenever the legislature by law has authorized any officer or agency within the executive branch of government to adopt rules and regulations that have the force and effect of law, the legislature may provide by law for the revocation or suspension of any such rule and regulation, or any portion thereof, upon a vote of a majority of the members then elected or appointed and qualified in each house.”
Voters can choose yes or no.