Kansas lawmakers head for vacation, session crossing halfway point

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Kansas lawmakers are going on a short vacation after crossing the halfway mark in the legislative session. Lawmakers are heading in to a five day vacation starting Friday. They are expected to be back at the statehouse on March 6.

Thursday was “turnaround” day at the Kansas Statehouse. This means that all non-exempt bills that started in the House of Represenatives needed to be passed and sent to the Senate, and visa-versa. Otherwise, the bills would not be passed this session.

Rep. Fred Patton (R-Topeka) says he’s happy with what’s been accomplished so far this session.

“I feel really good, especially compared to last year. I mean we’re having lots of good discussion. We’re passing needed bills,” said Patton.

Still, Patton acknowledges many issues still need to be addressed, including school finance.

“I think the first one we have to address is school finance because that kind of impacts everything else. Depending on how much money we put in to schools that determines how much money we have left,” said Patton.

“We need to go back to Medicaid Expansion. You know we’ve got 150 thousand Kansans that don’t have health care access right now,” said Rep. Mike Amyx (D-Lawrence).

Patton also says the state’s budget, which is currently being looked by both the House and the Senate, is another major issue that will be addressed when the legislature returns next week.

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