Kansas House and Senate members' assembly-line approach to legislating resulted in introduction of more than 300 bills in a four-day period before a deadline clock quelled the avalanche.
Last week's output included bills slashing sales tax on food, legalizing medicinal pot, raising the minimum wage, building toll highways and allowing teenagers to carry concealed firearms.
Politicians want to offer free license plates to Purple Heart recipients, save egregious murderers from the death penalty and to quit applying state income tax on Social Security benefits. Legislation added to the mix would give teachers a $500 stipend for classroom supplies, sanction farmers when livestock ran amok and declare polka the state's official dance.
A bill on the docket expanded reach of Kansas' sales tax to online purchases. Another required government divisions subject to the Kansas Open Meetings Act to tape meetings and make audio available to the public. One added ministers to a list of mandatory reporters of abuse.
There's legislation to give drivers of all-terrain vehicles permission to zip across state or federal highways. It's unrelated to a bill creating the crime of abandoning a human corpse.
And, a group of lawmakers moved to end Kansas' recognition of same-sex marriage. Their House bill would discard the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court decision overriding Kansas' interpretation of marriage as exclusively the union of man and woman. Their bill says Kansas should declare homosexuality a religion with adherents who prefer to wave a rainbow-colored flag rather than text of 10 commandments.
Gov. Laura Kelly, a Democrat, said she was disturbed a half-dozen House Republicans put their names on legislation disenfranchising LGBTQ Kansans.
"I'm deeply troubled by these hateful bills," Kelly said. "As I've said before, discrimination of any kind has no place in Kansas. It is time to stop dividing people and instead come together to solve the real problems facing our state."
Rep. David French, R-Lansing, said reaction among liberals to traditional-marriage legislation was overwhelming.
"That means I must have done right in co-sponsoring them," he said. "Having now read the full bills, they say exactly the way I feel on the subject."
Senators introduced a bill to allow family members or law enforcement officers to intervene on behalf of someone who could be at extreme risk of self-harm or injuring others. The idea is to set up a court hearing to determine whether a person should be temporarily forbidden from possessing guns.
A House bill would lower the age for carrying a concealed firearm to 18. Another measure in the House would exempt public universities from a state law that made it financially unfeasible for campus officials to forbid people from taking firearms into buildings.
"It allows the universities to make the decision," said Rep. Mike Amyx, a Lawrence Democrat and co-sponsor of the campus bill. "I think that is important."
House Bill 2282 would abolish the death penalty for crimes committed after July 1. The state's capital murder statute would be replaced with aggravated murder, which would require a sentence of life without parole or pardon.
Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, introduced a bill allowing residents of Kansas who voluntarily donate an organ to possess an inherent right to decide use of their anatomical gift. He said waiting lists for organs had expanded at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., as a national clearinghouse forwarded organs to high-demand, low-donation cities outside the Midwest.
"It will give Kansans the choice to say, 'I want Kansans to be prioritized for my liver,'" Denning said. "In the Midwest, as a population, we donate lots of organs -- hearts, kidneys, livers -- and the East and West coasts, for whatever reason, their donations have declined."
Other health-oriented bills require written consent before administration of anti-psychotic medicines in adult care homes, a right to confidentiality in communications by Kansas National Guard members undergoing counseling and for women to be informed a medication abortion could be halted after administration of the first of two drugs.
Rep. Brandon Whipple, D-Wichita, introduced a bill providing college students receiving need-based financial aid a state income tax credit of $500 annually for four years.
"We want to help these people. It offsets the amount of money it costs to go," he said.
Other tax bills would create a tax credit for contributors to the Eisenhower Foundation and launch a sales-tax holiday at onset of the school year. A bill in the Senate would double the residential property tax exemption in terms of the school levy to $40,000 of appraised value. There's a bill initiating a special tax on electric cars.
Four bills in the House and Senate would modify impact of the state's 6.5 percent sales tax on food. Bills in both chambers drop the rate to 5.5 percent, while another would offer a food sales tax credit for people earning less than $35,000 annually.