Little traction so far in Topeka

State News

March 1, 2019 - 3:11 PM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers have hit the halfway point of their annual session and they haven’t had a hearing on a Medicaid expansion plan or pushed an education funding bill out of committee in the face of a court mandate to boost spending on public schools.

And the GOP-dominated Legislature doesn’t just appear to be slow-walking new Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s big initiatives. Despite Republican supermajorities, an income tax relief bill that GOP leaders consider an urgent priority hasn’t cleared both chambers.

Top Republicans began a long weekend Thursday by arguing that lawmakers’ annual 90-or-so-day session is not unusually sluggish and that committees have laid a foundation for key debates in March and early April. But the first big votes on a wide range of big issues — including school funding, Medicaid expansion and even abortion — aren’t coming until after the second half starts next week.

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