TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – Kansas legislative leaders have appointed a joint committee to review Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s proposal for revising the state’s “Hard 50” criminal sentencing law.
The appointments of six senators and eight House members were released Monday. House Judiciary Committee chairman Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican, will head the panel.
Gov. Sam Brownback has called a special session for Sept. 3 to rewrite the state law allowing judges to sentence convicted murderers to serve at least 50 years in prison. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June raised questions about the statute’s constitutionality.
Schmidt’s office is drafting a proposal for revising the law. The joint committee is expected to review it before the special session begins.
Joint committee members also include Senate Majority Leader and Hutchinson Republican Terry Bruce.
The panel’s chairman is House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lance Kinzer.
The members are:
– Senate Republicans (5): Majority Leader Terry Bruce, Hutchinson; Jeff King, Independence, Senate vice president and Judiciary Committee chairman; Forrest Knox, Altoona; Julia Lynn, Olathe, and Greg Smith, Overland Park.
– Senate Democrats (1): David Haley, Kansas City, ranking party member on the Judiciary Committee.
– House Republicans (6): Kinzer, Olathe; John Rubin, Shawnee, Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee chairman; John Barker, Abilene; Ed Bideau, Chanute; Mark Kahrs, Wichita, and Charles Macheers, Shawnee.
– House Democrats (2): Jan Pauls, Hutchinson, ranking party member on the Judiciary Committee, and Emily Perry, Mission.