Policy & Research


2020 Kansas Legislative Recap (September 2020)

Session cut short as COVID-19 cases climbed

By Linda J. Sheppard, J.D., Peter F. H. Barstad, Hina B. Shah, M.P.H., Sydney McClendon | September 15, 2020

2020 Kansas Legislative Recap (September 2020)


During the 2020 legislative session, cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 100 health-related bills were introduced. Few of them progressed beyond the committee of origin before legislators left the Capitol on March 19. Ultimately, just a handful of health-related bills became law.  

This 2020 Kansas Legislative Recap examines some of the key health-related bills that were considered, including:

  • Senate Bill (SB) 252, a Medicaid expansion bill announced by Gov. Kelly and Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning on January 9, received five days of hearings but failed to pass out of committee. 
  • House Bill (HB) 2563, a comprehensive bill that would have amended Kansas law to increase the minimum age to purchase or possess cigarettes and tobacco products from 18 to 21 passed out of committee but received no further action.
  • After legislators passed Senate Substitute for HB 2054, a 40-page bill covering a wide variety of COVID-19 related topics, the bill was vetoed by Gov. Kelly and she called for a Special Session. 
  • During the Special Session, legislators passed HB 2016, enacting the governmental response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Kansas.

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.