76 J. Kan. Bar Assn. 7, 26 (2007). 2007 Legislative Wrap Up: Reflections on the 2007 Session.

AuthorBy James W. Clark

Kansas Bar Journals

Volume 76.

76 J. Kan. Bar Assn. 7, 26 (2007).

2007 Legislative Wrap Up: Reflections on the 2007 Session

Kansas Bar JournalVolume 76, July/August 200776 J. Kan. Bar Ass'n 7, 26 (2007)2007 Legislative Wrap Up: Reflections on the 2007 SessionBy James W. ClarkThe most dominant feature of the 2007 Session of the Kansas Legislature for legal practitioners was the lack of a dominant issue. Unlike school finance, which engendered attacks on the independence of the judiciary, there was no such stimulus this year. In fact, there was only one measure, HCR 5008, that sought change in the merit system for selecting appellate judges. That measure proposed allowing direct appointment by the governor, with confirmation by the Senate, similar to the federal system. There was a hearing in the House Federal and State Affairs Committee, which took no action. It is interesting that a proposal allowing Senate confirmation of the nominee was initiated in the House, since a House special committee had spent all summer investigating members of the Senate who went to lunch with Supreme Court justices. The goal of the resolution's sponsors is apparently confirmation without further communication.

While expanded gambling in the state promises to at least assist in further school financing, it may be years before funding from expanded gambling enters state coffers. Nevertheless, the Legislature felt confident enough to fund the second year of a three-year school finance plan - and to give members of the two appellate courts a raise commensurate with the raises granted district judges and magistrates in the 2006 Session.

In more KBA-specific legislation issues, the 2007 Session was a qualified success. The bill review process implemented by the KBA Board of Governors in 2005, seems to be working well, or maybe slow-learning legislative counsel is just catching on. (And speaking of learning curves, yes, KBA is still publishing Oyez, Oyez, the weekly legislative newsletter, only we are doing it by e-mail, and it is also posted on the KBA Web site.) At any rate, under the bill review system, bills or member proposals affecting particular areas of practice are referred to the appropriate section(s). The sections' recommendations are passed onto the Legislative Committee, which makes recommendations to the Board of Governors, or the Executive Committee, when a bill appears to be on a fast track.

This year, acting on the recommendations of the KBA Legislative Committee, the Board of Governors adopted the following positions:

. Supported SB 35, establishing civil procedure time computation for license suspension hearings. The bill passed, but with numerous, unrelated measures for increasing punishment of DUI.

. Supported SB 58, amending the Uniform Trust Code to allow conveyance of property in the trustee's name, as well as in the trust's name. The bill passed as written.

. Supported SB 76, expanding jurisdiction of estates under $20,000 to include all forms of property. The bill passed as written.

. Opposed a portion of SB 74, requiring joining all states that had given medical assistance to decedent or spouse as a party. The provisions of the bill were inserted into HB 2363 and amended to require only that notice be given to such states.

. Opposed HB 2089, extending child support through college or age 23. Did not receive a committee hearing.

. Opposed HB 2075, exempting most inspections from ban against disclaimers in home inspection contracts. Did not receive a committee hearing.

. Requested bill to eliminate taking DNA samples prior to finding of probable cause. SB 237 introduced and heard before Senate...

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