Legislature Aims To Constrain Governor

Lawmakers are advancing a measure to prevent the governor from entering into legal agreements that change state election practices without getting prior approval from the Legislature or its top leaders.

A Senate committee approved a bill in response to an agreement Governor Laura Kelly reached in October with voting-rights groups to head off a lawsuit.

The agreement allows Kansas residents to register to vote at state agencies that provide social services benefits.

Federal law requires states to allow people to register when they interact with social services agencies.

A law enacted last year prevented the secretary of state from making such agreements without legislative leaders’ approval first.

The bill approved would require the full Legislature to sign off first on an agreement involving either the governor or secretary of state if lawmakers are in session.

If they are out of session, either official would need permission from the Legislature’s top eight leaders.