Thursday, May 12, 2011

Kansas Senate Passes Conference Committee Report to Cancel 2012 Presidential Primary

The Kansas Senate on Thursday passed the conference committee-negotiated report to HB 2080. By a vote of 35-1, senators supported the broad elections bill that includes a provision -- added to the House original by the Senate -- to postpone the 2012 presidential primary election and replace references in the Kansas statutes to it with references to 2016 instead. The move would save the state around $2 million, but would also continue a trend of holding party-run caucuses over state-funded primaries. The likely move is not surprising since Kansas has not held a presidential primary since 1992.

A separate Senate bill (SB 128) with the sole intent of canceling the presidential primary has already passed the Senate and has been stuck in the House since February. HB 2080, which fulfills that same end among other matters, now goes to the House for consideration. What this bill has that SB 128 did not necessarily have is support from the House members on the conference committee. Regardless, it should pass the House.

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