House Bill 2282 was introduced on February 12th. It has 32 sponsors—the most ever for a Kansas abolition bill! There are 15 Republican sponsors and 17 Democratic sponsors.
A hearing was held on February 19th in House Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee. Twenty people provided written or oral testimony in support of ending the death penalty. Only 3 people testified in favor of keeping it. We will be presenting testimony excerpts over the coming weeks.
Another first was achieved when the House committee actually held a vote on the bill on February 22nd – This was the first vote on abolition in a House committee since 1997! It was a tie vote, and the Chair voted no so our bill did not advance to the full House for consideration. The close vote and our large number of bi-partisan sponsors reflects the growing support for the full House to have a debate on abolition.