Lawmakers wrap up three days of debate – debating nearly 100 bills

TOPEKA (CAPITOL BUREAU) - After nearly eight and a half hours spent on the floor, lawmakers wrapped up three days of debates. Some lawmakers said a lot was accomplished while others said they wish some bills passed went further.

"I think the body worked hard," said House Speaker Ron Ryckman following Thursday's floor session.

Over the three day span, lawmakers debated close to 100 bills. Bills passed out of the House now go to the Senate for consideration.

Most bills taken up passed final action without a problem, however one bill addressing telemedicine was a closer vote, passing 77 to 40.

Under the bill insurance companies are required to reimburse patients at the same rate whether the patient visited a doctor in-person or received care through a telecommunications platform.

"It's going to be something that will change the healthcare in our state," Ryckman said.

Representatives also spent some time in the evening debating a bill to decrease the penalty for having THC - the active ingredient in marijuana.

"It's between the bowl and the bag, if you have the bag it's less serious than if you have the residue in the bowl and that's not right," said State Rep. Russ Jennings, R-Lakin.

Wichita State Representative Gail Finney brought an amendment to floor which would've give local municipalities the control over reducing the criminal penalty for marijuana possession, her amendment failed.

It would give a home rule where the cities and counties would be allowed to adopt a resolution or ordinance would allow them to vote on the possession of Marijuana," Finney said. "I think this would be beneficial throughout the state."

There was an amendment put forward to expand Medicaid, however due to a technicality debate on the topic didn't take place.




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