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Minutes for HB2042 - Committee on Corrections and Juvenile Justice

Short Title

Removing the authority of the secretary of state to prosecute election crimes.

Minutes Content for Mon, Jan 28, 2019

Natalie Scott gave an overview of the both HB2018 and HB2042. Representative Highberger questioned the use of the word 'appropriate'.

Attorney General Derek Schmidt testified in support HB2042. He stated this bill would remove the statutory authority of the Secretary of State to prosecute certain election crimes and would make related changes to the system for handling these cases. General Schmidt conveyed the current Secretary of State has made clear that he does not wish to have, and does not intend to exercise, the statutory authority to prosecute election crimes. (Attachment 1)

Representatives Carmichael, Wheeler, Delperdang, and Jennings had questions for General Schmidt.

Letitia Harmon testified in support of HB2018 and HB2042 on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas. She stated they are delighted to see that both bills would remove prosecutorial authority from a state agency that is not equipped to exercise that authority. (Attachment 2)

Kim Parker testified in support HB2042 on behalf of the Kansas County and District Attorney's Association. She stated when this change was enacted in 2015, our association voiced strong opposition, and we urge this body to adopt the changes proposed in HB2042, return to the former statute and eliminate the expansion of prosecutorial power which now resides in the office of the Secretary of State. (Attachment 3)

Representative Carmichael had questions and comments for Kim Parker.

Written testimony in support of HB2042 was submitted by Katie Koupal on behalf of the Secretary of State. (Attachment 4)

Chairperson Jennings called for final questions from the Committee and then closed the hearing.