Kansas Voters Could Give Legislature Power To Veto Executive Branch Regulations
Lawmakers in Kansas are asking the state’s voters to give them the power to bypass the governor’s office and hack away at executive branch regulations.
But the proposal—a so-called “legislative veto”—raises some complex constitutional questions.
If approved by voters, Kansas’s Constitutional Amendment 1 would allow the state legislature to revoke or suspend any executive branch rule or regulation with a simple majority vote in both chambers. Under current law, the legislature needs a supermajority and the approval of the governor to block executive branch rules—a setup that effectively dooms any such effort.
“Adoption of the amendment by the voters would return lawmaking authority to the lawmaking branch of government, the branch closest to the people,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt wrote in testimony to the state legislature earlier this year. Schmidt, a Republican who is running for governor this year, is one of the prime supporters of the effort, which is also backed by a collection of business groups and pro-market nonprofits.
Politically, the amendment is a clear attempt at undermining the authority of current Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat and Schmidt’s opponent in next week’s gubernatorial election. Republicans enjoy a large majority in both chambers of the Kansas legislature, and Democrats have not had a majority in either chamber since 1991. Nat
Article from Reason.com