KS legislators balk at transparency

State News

January 24, 2019 - 9:54 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas legislators are still allowed to take unrecorded votes on legislation in committee and as the House or Senate debate bills despite an ongoing push for greater openness in state government.

The Republican-controlled House approved new rules Wednesday for 2019 and 2020 that include a few changes that leaders in both parties said would promote transparency. The GOP-dominated Senate adopted its rules in 2017 and isn’t set to review them again until 2021.

Both sets of rules maintain a long-standing practice of allowing committees to take unrecorded votes on bills, leaving no record of how members vote most of the time. Both chambers also can take unrecorded votes on amendments to bills and on advancing them to final action, though final votes are always recorded.

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