Lawmakers say Kansas house lacks transparency

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Kansas state lawmakers are busy at work voting on new legislation, but some of those votes could be secret.

Members of the House approved rules that won’t record how lawmakers vote in committee. Votes in committee are the first step in getting legislation to a full vote. Lawmakers like Democrat Jim Ward say that’s not good for transparency.

“I’m proud of my votes. Some of them I’ve had to explain and go back and change cause they weren’t right. I think my people expect to know what I’m doing for them and I should be able to defend my vote, whether they’re in committee or on the floor. I don’t know why some people want to work in secret,” Ward said.

Ward said he also takes issue with a rule that allows the Speaker and Majority Leader to block debate on any bill. Previously a majority could vote to force debate on a bill anyways. The new rules changed that to require a super majority.

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