Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Amended Kansas Senate Bill Would Now Eliminate Presidential Primary Altogether

Last week both efforts to cancel at least the 2016 presidential primary in Kansas pushed forward. However, a divergence between the two chambers' respective bills emerged in the process. The House version was amended in committee to not just eliminate the 2016 primary, but to repeal the presidential primary portion of the Kansas statutes, killing the primary altogether. On the Senate side, the committee passed the original version of its bill, which stuck to the quadrennial protocol that has defined the presidential primary election in the Sunflower state over the last two plus decades. Basically, that has entailed canceling the primary every four years, kicking the can down the road and leaving the door open to the possibility of the state funding a primary option and the state parties utilizing it.

That door now appears to be closing. The Senate, in considering SB 239 on Tuesday, March 24, amended its version, syncing it with the House version. This would alter the standard operating procedure described above. It would cancel the primary for good barring another subsequent act of the legislature to reverse course and reestablish a presidential primary election.

The Senate Committee on the Whole -- the floor consideration of the bill -- recommended that the bill pass the chamber as amended. That clears the way for a final vote that, at this stage, seems nothing more than a formality.

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