Caryn Tyson: Kansas Senate to debate important constitutional issue
Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 1602 titled Value Them Both (VTB) was supposed to be debated on the Senate Floor but it didn’t happen. It needs 27 votes to pass but Senators were gone or refused to vote Yes or No. The House passed their resolution, House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 5003, with the same language on Friday. The Senate will debate it next week and if it passes there will be no need for the Senate resolution.
It is an important issue and should be debated. A few years ago, the legislature passed a bill banning dismemberment abortion in Kansas. A supermajority, 2/3 the legislature, supported the bill. The governor signed it into law. However, the Kansas Supreme Court nullified the law by issuing an extreme ruling that the Kansas Constitution allows dismemberment abortion. Where in the Kansas Constitution does it say that? The rogue Kansas Supreme Court is legislating from the bench again. The proposed constitutional amendment, SCR 1602 and HCR 5003, would at least stop the Court from legislating on abortion. That duty is the responsibility of the Legislature.
A constitutional amendment requires a resolution to pass in both chambers with a supermajority. Then the amendment would be on a ballot for all Kansas voters to cast a yes or no vote. It is a high bar and should be to change our constitution. The constitutional amendment would reset the law as if the court ruling hadn’t occurred. It is not a ban on abortion as such, but it would allow the people, through their elected legislature, to regulate abortion.
COVID-19 testing parameters were quietly changed by Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) earlier this month and by the World Health Organization (WHO) last week. The change in Kansas decreases the cycle threshold for testing. This is important because, according to the medical experts, the higher threshold results in more false positives.
The WHO parameter change requires a person to have symptoms along with a positive test before anyone is diagnosed with COVID-19. These changes will lower the number of COVID-19 cases. You can bet the news and others are going to say how the cases dropped because of vaccines or government mandates. How will we know what caused the decreased number of cases when the definition of positive test changed?
It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 12th District State Senator.