Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What did the Kansas House just do to domestic partner registries?

By Diane Silver


Here's the quick version: The Kansas House just voted 66 to 50 to refer the proposed statewide ban on domestic partner registries -- House Bill 2299 -- to the House Judiciary Committee for more study. This means the ban is still alive, but not moving forward. The ban itself did NOT come up for a vote by the full House.

The vote on referring the bill to committee was a recorded roll call vote. Once the House Journal for today is posted, we can see how everyone voted.

Much parliamentary maneuvering ensued before House voted to refer the bill back to committee.

An amendment was offered, and House members debated whether the amendment was "germane." In other words, the question was whether the amendment dealt with the same issue as the original bill. Under legislative rules only germane issues can be considered. The legislative expert on rules, the chair of the rules committee, declared that the amendment was not germane, and an unrecorded vote upheld his ruling.

Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, then provided background on Lawrence's domestic partner registry. He eventually moved that the bill be referred to the House Judiciary Committee, and won that vote.

Bottom line is that Davis succeeded in taking the bill back to the beginning of the legislative process. HB 2299 now has to go through these steps to become law.
  1. Be approved by a vote of the Judiciary Committee
  2. Be approved by a vote of the full House
  3. Be considered by a Senate Committee
  4. Be approved by a Senate Committee
  5. Be approved by the full Senate
  6. Be signed by Gov. Kathleen Sebelius
And so the saga continues. Stay tuned.

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