Committee considers change in when local elected officials take office

The Senate Ethics, Elections & Local Government Committee had its hearing on SB 325, a bill proposed by Sen. Pat Pettey, D-Kansas City, that would move the date local elected officials take office from the “new” current law of the second Monday in January to the first regular meeting following the certification of election results in November. 

Pettey indicated the idea for the bill came from concerns of the new “lame duck” period in local municipal elections, that was different from previous practice which was more similar in schedule to the proposed changes in SB 325. 

The League of Kansas Municipalities testified in support of the legislation with a suggested amendment to allow cities the ability to set a date sometime between the default of the next regular meeting and the second Friday in January. They proposed this would allow cities more flexibility in determining their calendars and how the transition of elected officials would affect each differently. 

KASB testified that the adopted policies indicate a desire to study the new election calendar for a year, measuring the impacts of the change and working on any suggested changes in the 2019 session prior to the next local election cycle. 

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