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Top Kansas Senate Democrat: Legislative Session Is Off Track

Stephen Koranda
Kansas Public Radio
Senator Anthony Hensley speaking to reporters Friday.

The top Democrat in the Kansas Senate says he believes lawmakers are off-track and haven’t made enough progress on big issues facing the state. Legislators have been in session almost 40 days, and Sen. Anthony Hensley says they haven’t done enough to erase a budget deficit and write a new school funding system.

“The Legislature over the years has wasted time, but I’ve never seen anything like this when we have such significant issues on the table that we have to deal with,” Hensley says.

Both chambers have debated and approved a tax plan, but it was blocked by a veto from Gov. Sam Brownback.

Republican Senate President Susan Wagle is still upbeat about their efforts to tackle the challenges.

“I’m not discouraged. I feel like there’s a tremendous energy in both the Senate and the House to resolve the budget shortfall,” Wagle says.

Lawmakers normally plan for a legislative session to last 90 days, but they have budgeted up to 100 days for the session this year.