2013 Legislative Session
5:56 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Dems Question Constitutional Amendment Costs

Some lawmakers are questioning the number of constitutional amendments proposed this year. At least a half dozen amendments have been filed.

They range from proposals to change the way judges are selected to putting term limits on lawmakers. The costs for publishing and public votes on the amendments could run into millions of dollars. 

The top Democrat in the Kansas House, Paul Davis from Lawrence, says lawmakers should only consider amending the Constitution in rare circumstances when there's a great public need.

"We have a lot of constitutional amendments that are being proposed and there is a cost to all this that I think we need to take in to consideration," says Davis.

But House Speaker Ray Merrick, from Stilwell, says he doubts all the proposed amendments will pass the Legislature, meaning they wouldn't all need public votes.

"I think it is much ado about nothing, it's nice to talk about numbers. Scare people with numbers, and that is exactly what that is," he says.

To change the state Constitution, both chambers must pass the amendment with a two-thirds majority and it must be approved by voters.