Big decisions lie ahead for legislators

News

Some people questioned if Kansas lawmakers are making enough progress on important issues this legislative session. 

Halfway through the session lawmakers have yet to make several key decisions impacting your taxes.

Maybe the biggest issue that wasn’t solved in the first half of the session was education.

“We do have a pretty close court deadline that’s facing us on K-12 funding,” said Topeka Representative Freda Warfield. “So we do need to get that addressed as soon as possible.”

Legislators have been taking heat from what some call a lack of bills of substance.

“Quite frankly, I think overall this is the most do nothing legislature that I have been in, and this is now my sixth year. We have accomplished very very little,” said Wichita Representative John Carmichael.

During the past eight years, the legislature and governor were controlled by Republicans. This year that dynamic changed.

“They got used to a certain way of doing business,” said KSNT News Political Analyst Bob Beatty.

“I think that has affected the output of this legislative session. Even some things that many people thought they should be able to get that done fairly quickly, that hasn’t happened.”

But with roughly 45 days left this session, some legislators are preparing to tackle issues where many Kansans would be directly impacted.

“I think they made it very clear when they elected Governor Kelly,” said Rep. Warfield, speaking about Kansas voters.

“Their priorities were K-12 funding, Medicaid expansion, and reduction in grocery tax relief,” she said.

Republicans in the Senate did pass a major tax plan that would return millions of dollars to Kansans, making it another major topic legislators will have to look at that in the coming weeks.

Legislators will get Tuesday off before they return to work Wednesday.

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