Kansas lawmakers repeal clean energy standards; elections bill delayed

? The Kansas House and Senate passed a bill Thursday that repeals the state’s renewable energy standards for electric utilities and replaces the voluntary goals. It now goes to Gov. Sam Brownback for consideration.

But a bill passed Wednesday in the Senate to change the schedule for city and school district elections to November of odd-numbered years did not, as had been expected, come up for a vote.

The energy bill, Senate Bill 91, repeals a 2009 law that says electric utilities must produce at least 20 percent of their power from renewable resources such as wind turbines by 2020. And it reduces the property tax exemption for renewable energy projects to 10 years, instead of the lifetime of the project, for new projects approved after Jan. 1, 2016.

The bill passed the House 105-16. Lawrence Reps. Barbara Ballard, Boog Highberger and John Wilson, all Democrats, voted no. Republican Rep. Tom Sloan voted yes.

A few hours later, it came up in the Senate where it passed 35-3. Democratic Sens. Tom Holland of Baldwin City, Marci Francisco of Lawrence and Anthony Hensley of Topeka accounted for the three no votes.

Meanwhile, the House did not take an expected vote on House Bill 2104, which would change the schedule of city and school board elections so that primaries would be held in August, and general elections in November of odd-numbered years.

The bill also includes a provision requested by Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach that would prohibit candidates from withdrawing from a race after they’ve been nominated, unless they die or suffer some other serious physical ailment.

It also repeals a law requiring the state to hold presidential preference primaries and gives parties authority to decide for themselves how to select delegates to their national conventions.

That bill had passed the Senate Wednesday. Passage by the House would send it to Gov. Sam Brownback’s desk.

House leaders said the bill could come up for vote Friday.