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Kansas Lawmakers Leave Statehouse For Spring Break

Kansas Health Institute/File photo

Kansas lawmakers have wrapped up the first part of the legislative session and will return to the Statehouse in May.

Legislators did manage to send a bill balancing the budget for the fiscal year that ends in June to the governor, but they haven’t finalized tax and budget plans for 2018 and 2019.

Republican Senate President Susan Wagle said she isn’t frustrated by the slow progress.

“It’s expected. Coming to a compromise, an agreement on a tax package is probably the most difficult thing any state legislature would have to do," she said.

Republican Rep. Melissa Rooker said she wishes legislators had finalized tax issues before leaving for the break, because that would have given them a better spending target as they write a new school finance plan. They’ll now have to fit all the issues into the wrap-up session.

“We’ve been notified to plan to stay for the full two weeks and not have the weekend in between, which is fine, it’s appropriate get the people’s business done, but it’s a lot of heavy lifting to pack into a very compressed time frame,” Rooker said.

Lawmakers have already made plans to extend the 90-day legislative session by 10 days.