Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bill to Cancel Kansas Primary is Off to Conference Committee

Earlier this week, the Kansas House failed to concur with the Senate-amended version of HB 2080 and has subsequently called for a conference committee to which the Senate has agreed. The bill in question is an omnibus elections bill that originally did not include a section canceling the Sunflower state's 2012 presidential primary, but had it added in the Senate. It is doubtful that the primary provision is what is holding the process up, but the House now has before it three bills -- one that originated in the House and two others passed by the Senate -- upon which it has not acted.

As has been stated here previously, Kansas has not held a presidential primary since 1992, and as such the likelihood of the state-funded contest surviving for 2012 is quite low. The state would stand to save upwards of $2 million by cutting the primary for 2012 and forcing the state parties to pay for caucuses instead.

The Washington state legislature has already passed a bill to cancel the Evergreen state's presidential primary. Kansas would join that group should this legislation's sticking points be ironed out prior to the legislature adjourning later this month.

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