Kansas House Speaker Makes Change To End Anonymous Bills

Jan 22, 2018

Most bills considered by the Kansas Legislature are introduced anonymously. House Speaker Ron Ryckman is putting new rules in place so it’s clear where bills are coming from.

Speaker Ryckman said starting now, he’s requiring House committees to record in their minutes the actual author of a bill and whether that’s a lawmaker or a lobbyist. That information should soon be appearing in the online bill directory.

“For me, it’s how do we improve?" Ryckman said. "How do we become more transparent? What can we do administratively? This is something that we can do.”

The change will only affect legislation introduced in the House.

Democratic Rep. John Carmichael says Kansas currently doesn’t have a good reputation when it comes to transparency. He’s glad the speaker is taking action, but said the changes should be put into law.

“It needs to be in the law because otherwise, it’s subject to change based on the whims of who’s in leadership at a given time,” Carmichael said.

Democrats are set to unveil their own transparency proposals Tuesday.

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Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio, a partner in the Kansas News Service. Follow him on Twitter @KPRKoranda.

 

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