Paul D. Cramm

Lawmakers In Kansas To Hear Bills On Medical Marijuana, Hate Crime And More

On Tuesday, the Kansas Legislature dig deep into a four-day work week with hearings on medicinal marijuana, hate crimes, teacher contracts and campaign reform with the state budget shortage puzzle serving as imposing backdrop.

Senate Bill 1 was sponsored by Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, that will instruct judges to double the sentence for an individual who is convicted of an offense motivated wholly or in part by “race, color, religion, ethnicity, national origin or sexual orientation” if the conviction carried a presumptive term of imprisonment.

If the underlying offense carried a term that didn’t need prison, the sentence should be raised to presumptive imprisonment with twice the maximum time period in prison.

On Thursday, the measure will be heard by the Senate Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee.

The House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee will dig deep into the state’s $280 million amount shortage in the current fiscal year and a larger shortfall in the fiscal year beginning on 1st of July.

Filling portions of the black holes with large transfers from the Kansas Department of Transportation and the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System is suggested by Gov. Sam Brownback.

On Tuesday, the top executives of both agencies will address House budget committee members.

On Wednesday, Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice, Lawton Nuss, will give the State of the Judiciary speech at the Judicial Center in Topeka. The speech had been delivered off and on at the Capitol, but Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, set precedent in the year 2013 by not permitting the address to happen in the House chamber.

Merrick said at that time, “It’s just another thing to take up time. I just think it’s time that could be put to better use on other things”.

2 days of hearings are scheduled by the Senate Public Health and Welfare on a long-dismissed proposal to permit legal use of marijuana for medicinal causes in Kansas. Many other states permit the consumption for physician-approved health causes, and proponents will step up on Wednesday to discuss why Kansas ought to join those ranks. On Thursday, opponents of the concept are set to make the case.

Election reform is on the agenda of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee. Time will be given on Wednesday by the panel to Senate Bill 27 allowing candidates to allocate contributions to “any organization which is recognized as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization”.

Senate Bill 28 will also be examined by the panel that will alter the definition of lobbyist to any individual who makes expenditures amounting to $500 or more in any calendar year. The current cap is $100.

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About the Author

This practice has been exclusively devoted to all levels of criminal defense from misdemeanor offenses in municipal court to felony matters in the Federal courts of Kansas and the Western District of Missouri. Paul D. Cramm is qualified to provide defense in Capital and Death Penalty cases.