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Kansas Lawmakers Consider Bill Shortening The Session

Stephen Koranda

A Kansas House committee is considering a proposal that would cap the legislative session at 60 days during odd-numbered years, down from the normal 90 days.

Republican Rep. Marvin Kleeb says while the session is only supposed to last 90 days, in reality it often stretches into five months. He says that length discourages many average Kansans from serving in the Legislature.

“You have people who can’t leave their businesses that long. You have employees who are unable to earn their income. It impedes their career, so it impacts their lives,” Kleeb says .

Democratic Sen. Tom Holland told a committee on Thursday that shortening the session would save the state money. Cutting 30 days off the session would save almost $2 million.

“Let’s be serious here, we’re talking to our constituents, to the state of Kansas about finding efficiencies. We’re great about talking the talk. We need to walk the walk,” Holland says.

Republican Rep. Amanda Grosserode says the legislation isn’t needed. She says if leaders in the chambers set strict deadlines then lawmakers could already have shorter legislative sessions.

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.