The Judiciary Committee considers a wide range of bills that relate to the Courts and the Judicial system. It also considers other bills that may have a legal nature to them or may have legal implications that need to be explored from a legal based discussion. The committee frequently addresses issues of a Constitutional nature. The membership is made up of Senators who are both attorneys (five in nature at the current time) and non-lawyers, many of whom are today themselves, chairs of other standing committees within the Senate. All in all, the committee is comprised of an experienced and hard working group of legislators.
As Chair of the Judiciary Committee I believe every bill is important to somebody. With rare exception I therefore try to hold a hearing on every bill assigned to my committee. For this reason the Judicial committee is one of the busiest committees in Topeka, hearing upwards of 80 bills each session. On occasion there are bills that for some reason conflict with other issues the committee or another standing committee may be dealing with. There may also be bills that are presented that are wrought with potential unintended consequences or which are not going to do what the intent of the bill might dictate. For these reasons, and because on occasion Senate Leadership may ask that I not work a bill, I may not hear and work a bill that has been assigned to the Judiciary Committee. The committee meets five days a week for one hour a day during the regular session. In that time frame it is nearly impossible to hear and work every bill that is assigned to the committee and that necessitates a prioritization among the bills as to which one might or might not receive the attention that the sponsor of the bill may desire.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have.