Legislative panel named for ‘Hard 50’ study

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas legislative leaders have appointed a joint committee to review Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s proposal for revising the state’s “Hard 50” criminal sentencing law.

The appointments of six senators and eight House members were released Monday. House Judiciary Committee chairman Lance Kinzer, an Olathe Republican, will head the panel.

Gov. Sam Brownback has called a special session for Sept. 3 to rewrite the state law allowing judges to sentence convicted murderers to serve at least 50 years in prison. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June raised questions about the statute’s constitutionality.

Schmidt’s office is drafting a proposal for revising the law. The joint committee is expected to review it before the special session begins.

Joint committee members also include Senate Majority Leader and Hutchinson Republican Terry Bruce.

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