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Early this morning, the Kansas Legislature adjourned for its mid-term break. The Legislature will reconvene on April 26, with a final adjournment date set tentatively for May 4, for what’s called the “veto” or wrap-up session.
The adoption discrimination bill, now amended into HB 2481, http://kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/measures/hb2481/, is still “alive” pending either a conference committee report resolving differences between the House and Senate versions, or a “motion to concur,” which will take it to an immediate final vote.
The final expected vote tally on this bill is close – too close for either side to call – and continues to fluctuate as we and the opposition make our arguments in the halls of the Kansas statehouse.
As part of these discussions, members of House Republican leadership have worked to propose compromise language. Previously, Equality Kansas successfully negotiated language in Section 1(h) to eliminate so-called “religious freedom” exemptions for companies that contract directly with the State of Kansas for placement of children in the State’s custody. The negotiations are now focused on language that would either eliminate or narrow the scope of Section 1(d) of the bill. This section, as presently written, allows private adoption agencies to receive state money to provide a broad array of taxpayer services on behalf of the State of Kansas. We have strongly opposed this language since the day the bill was introduced, and many in the legislature – conservatives, moderates, and liberals alike – agree with our position that taxpayer money should never be used to discriminate against those very taxpayers.
Please take a few minutes to call your representative and urge them to vote NO on this bill as it is presently written, and ask them to support any future compromise language Equality Kansas finds acceptable. See our previous posts (here and here) for talking points and legislative contact information.
We have 17 days before the Legislature reconvenes. Help us make the most of it, and contact your legislators today!
One final note: These legislative fights are expensive. Please support our efforts in the Kansas Statehouse, and around the state, by contributing to Equality Kansas. We thank you for your support.