Bill would require chief justice to address Legislature

Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, was free to deny Chief Justice Lawton Nuss’ (in photo) request to speak to a joint session of the Legislature, and ask the chief justice instead to put his State of the Judiciary report in writing. But a bill introduced by Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, would newly spell out the chief justice’s responsibility to deliver such an oral report to the Legislature at the beginning of each session. It also says the governor “shall deliver an oral State of the State address to every session of the Legislature” – an annual tradition not currently required by law, Ward said.