TOPEKA – (February 8, 2016) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued the following statement in connection with Governor Brownback today signing House Bill 2449 into law. That measure repeals the so-called “nonseverability clause” in 2015 House Bill 2005 that had created a risk that funding for the judicial branch of state government could be eliminated after the Kansas Supreme Court in December struck down judicial reforms contained in separate legislation:
“I thank legislative leaders, Governor Brownback, and legislators of both political parties who worked together to swiftly repeal this provision of law. The risk that all state funding for the judiciary could be eliminated – an outcome nobody wanted – has now passed.
“When this bill is published in the Kansas Register within the next few days, the so-called ‘nonseverability clause’ will be formally repealed. At that point, it seems to me, the pending lawsuits challenging it will become unnecessary. Therefore, I am hopeful that Chief Judge Fairchild and the other judges who are suing the state to challenge the now-repealed law will soon dismiss their lawsuit in Shawnee County District Court. Once that occurs, I can proceed to dismiss the lawsuit I filed in Neosho County District Court that led to the injunction that gave the Legislature the time it needed to act.
“It appears Kansas is close to putting this chapter in state history behind us, and I am grateful to all who demonstrated the humility and restraint that allowed this conflict to be resolved without needless confrontation.”