2018 Kansas Legislative Priorities
The ACLU of Kansas is a non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting and strengthening the civil liberties and civil rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. A non-profit membership organization with over 20,000 supporters in Kansas and more than 2 million supporters nationwide, we advance a wide range of civil liberties and civil rights through litigation, advocacy, and education.
During the 2017 Kansas legislative session, we call on lawmakers to defend and strengthen the core American value of "liberty and justice for all" on five priority issues:
Increasing Citizen Participation
The ACLU of Kansas supports comprehensive elections reform to increase citizen participation. Kansas has some of the most onerous voting laws in the country. Burdensome government regulations and bureaucratic red tape prevents eligible citizens from accessing the polls, reducing turnout and civic participation.
We call on the Legislature to:
- Repeal the SAFE Act and failed policies that prevent tens of thousands of Kansans from completing the registration process.
- Enact election-day registration to allow citizens to register to vote and cast a ballot on election day.
- Withdraw from the wasteful, expensive “Interstate Crosscheck” system that removes citizens from voter rolls based on bad, inaccurate data.
- Allow for permanent advance voting because no Kansan should have to choose between going to work and casting a ballot.
Sensible solutions such as early voting and same day registration have been enacted in states across the country—including Idaho, Montana, North Carolina, and Wyoming—increasing voter turnout.
Smart Justice Reform
- Increasing prosecutors’ use of diversion.
- Enacting sentencing reform for drug possession crimes (as states including Oklahoma, Utah, and South Carolina have). 30% of Kansas prison admissions are nonviolent drug crimes. Prison is not a cure for addiction and mental illness.
- Requiring a conviction before private property can be seized and forfeited by law enforcement.
The ACLU of Kansas opposes bills that infringe on a woman’s constitutional right to make decisions about her own healthcare.
Equal Protection Under the Law
The ACLU of Kansas vigorously opposes bills that deny Kansans their 14th Amendment rights or that promote discrimination. Measures that deny transgender Kansans the right to access public accommodations that align with the gender they live every day should be rejected.