Voices follows bills that can affect children and families as they work their way through the legislative process. Every week during legislative session, we publish the legislative update, which you’ll find below.

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The other day, my friend Betsy and I were talking about how the couple of weeks leading up to Crossover Day were always so crazy and intense. We were both getting blown around like unstapled whitepapers, from hearing to hearing, meeting to meeting, advocacy event to advocacy event. In fact, I’d arrive home at night, the hum of human-filled-hallways echoing in my ears until ultimately drowned out by my dog Gus’ snoring. (I’m not sure which is worse…) Then Crossover Day happened on Monday. Despite the fact that it was the last day a bill could cross from one chamber to the other and still be able to pass, it was oddly calm. Of course, there were some wins, including the Amended FY2023 Budget, and some losses, including my favorite earring, but little hubbub overall. Betsy called it “the eye of the storm”, and boy, was she right! Now we are back in the tornado itself, along with flying cows, screen doors, a shocking number of amendments, a lemonade stand or two (SB 55), and, yes, witches in soapbox cars (HB 237). I’m not sure if we are going to land in Oz, regulate who is allowed in the field of poppies (HB 557), protect the infrastructure of the Emerald City (HB 227), or bonk into some of those creepy flying monkeys (there are NO bills about that!), or if we are going to land in the House Regulated Industries Committee for a quick snooze. I am, however, confident of two things: 1. I won’t be riding any horse-of-a-different-color since the horseracing bill (SB 57) didn’t cross, and 2. We are not in Kansas anymore (and actually never were.). As you know, I could go on about Auntie Em and kinship care (SB 230), the “AI” of the Tin Man, and try to count how many “Wizards” around the Capitol are simply just conmen from Nebraska, but the hour is already long and so is this update, so I’ll stop here, close to the end of the Yellow Brick Road.

See you next week, when I’ll be one skip closer to saying “Oh, but anyway, Gus, we’re home—home!”


Polly McKinney
Advocacy Director

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