TOPEKA,. Kan. (AP) _ Gov. Sam Brownback has signed a proclamation formally calling the Kansas Legislature into special session Sept. 3 to rewrite a state law allowing judges to sentence convicted murderers to serve at least 50 years in prison.
Brownback had a Tuesday afternoon signing ceremony in the Statehouse rotunda. He had already announced the special session, but a proclamation is required to convene it.
The governor was responding to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision raising questions about the constitutionality of the state's ``Hard 50'' law.
Attorney General Derek Schmidt had pressed the governor to call such a session.
Legislators and prosecutors said a special session is necessary to rewrite the law and protect public safety.
Brownback and top legislators expect the session to last no more than three days.
Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley responded with the following statement:
“Governor Sam Brownback held a news conference this afternoon for a celebratory signing of the proclamation to bring the Kansas Legislature back for a special session on September 3rd at a cost of $40,000 per day to Kansas taxpayers.
“This is an unprecedented diversion tactic. It’s pretty clear that Governor Brownback is putting on a show so he can deflect peoples’ attention away from the controversy surrounding his selection of a nominee for the Kansas Court of Appeals.
“When Attorney General Derek Schmidt requested the governor to call a special session, Schmidt suggested it be called in mid-September. Instead, Brownback scheduled it for September 3rd – conveniently just four days after the deadline for naming a nominee to the Court of Appeals. It is obvious that he wants to rush this appointment through the Senate quickly to avoid any organized opposition to his nominee.”
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Gov. Sam Brownback is preparing to issue a proclamation that officially calls the Kansas Legislature into special session Sept. 3.
Brownback scheduled a signing ceremony Tuesday afternoon in the second-floor Statehouse rotunda. A proclamation is a formal step required for the governor to call a special session.
Brownback already has announced the special session to rewrite a state law that allows judges to sentence convicted murderers to serve at least 50 years in prison. A U.S. Supreme Court decision in June raised questions about the statute's constitutionality.
Attorney General Derek Schmidt asked for the special session, and he plans to attend the signing. Also planning to participate are legislators, Kansas Highway Patrol Superintendent Ernie Garcia and representatives of local law enforcement agencies.