TOPEKA – At 1:30 a.m., Rep. Anthony Brown caused a buzz when he tried unsuccessfully to amend the House’s budget bill to include language from immigration law recently implemented in Arizona.
“This is modeled after immigration law that passed out of the Arizona Legislature,” said the Eudora Republican. “It denies benefits to those folks who can’t prove their status.”
He didn’t say much more about the proposal, but as the amendment was read out it appeared to include a part of the Arizona law requiring people to prove citizenship to law enforcement.
Democrats questioned if the measure could be added to the House’s budget bill, which they had been debating since starting work at about 9 a.m.
After an approximately 30 minute huddle, the rules committee decided the idea could not be tacked onto an appropriations bill calling it “more policy than appropriations.”
Brown said he wouldn’t challenge the ruling but that the issue would come up again.
He said the idea did deal with state budget issues noting the amendment would block non-citizens from receiving public benefits and any fines would go back into the state general funds.
“I think it is an important policy that is vital for the state to look at,” he said.