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Kansas Democrats Outline Legislative Goals

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo

Democrats in the Kansas Legislature have outlined some of their legislative priorities for the year. One plan would only allow lawmakers to be paid for 90 days during odd-numbered years when lawmakers are writing a budget.

In even-numbered years, the length of the session would be capped at 60 days. Democratic Senator Tom Holland hopes that can prevent a repeat of last year’s record-long session.

“Failure to effectively manage Kansas’ legislative process has resulted in wasted taxpayer dollars, and legislative sessions that run far longer than the 90 days already allocated,” Holland says.

Another proposal would require a two-year waiting period before lawmakers or other state officials can become lobbyists.

Democratic Senator Anthony Hensley says this would prevent what he calls a “revolving door” between lawmakers and lobbyists.

“This is a common-sense solution to the practice of lawmakers leaving office only to cash-in as lobbyists and use their connections and relationships to affect Kansas law,” Hensley says.

The plans would also close a loophole in the state’s open records law, which allows state officials to use private email accounts that aren’t subject to public scrutiny.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Radio covering health, education and politics.