Proposal would give Kansas Legislature veto power over executive branch rules, regulationsMarch 14, 2022
A proposed constitutional amendment would give the Kansas Legislature the right to veto rules and regulations by the state executive branch.
The proposal has passed the House and is now pending in the Senate, the Kansas City Star reported. If it passes the Senate with a two-thirds majority, the measure would go before voters in November for approval or rejection. It would not allow the Legislature to directly override executive orders by the governor that aren’t included in the proposal, according to the Star.
The Kansas Policy Institute, a free-market think tank, is in favor of the legislation in principle, the organization’s president, told The Center Square.
“As a conceptual matter, we are absolutely supportive of the legislature having authority over regulation that comes out of the executive branch,” said James Franko, the think tank’s president. “Our hope is that this will allow the legislature to confirm their intent when the regulations actually come out of the executive branch. Sometimes, the legislative intent is not absolute when the regulations are finally promulgated. This allows the legislature to really make sure the intent they wrote into the law is actually there on the action end of a regulation, which is where businesses, families, nonprofit interact with the state, not with the law itself.”
The legislation was originally proposed by Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
“I think it’s good policy,” Schmidt said in a Senate committee hearing on the legislation. “You’re accountable for what the agencies do, you should be able to delegate to the agencies.”
There have been cases where agency bureaucrats issued inappropriate rules and regulation, House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins said, according to the Star. Critics of the proposal, however, said it is an election year slight at Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, with Schmidt challenging Kelly.
The legislation would provide additional checks and balances between the legislature and executive branch regardless of party affiliation, Franko said.
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