Legislature’s wrap up session starts

TOPEKA – The Statehouse parking garage is full again, which means lawmakers are back in town.

The wrap up session starts today. Typically these mini sessions last only a handful of days. Legislators come back, tweak the budget and take a crack at overriding some vetoed bills.

This year is likely to be a little different. Facing a $328 million deficit, lawmakers are likely to use a combination of cuts to state programs and revenue enhancements to fill the gap.

That process is likely to be more contentious than adding money to key projects, which is typical in a good year.

Legislators are also likely to have at least two veto override attempts. One for a bill allowing the construction of two coal plants in Western Kansas and a second aimed at bolstering the state’s late-term abortion law.

Kansas House selects committee chairs and vice-chairs.

TOPEKA — Several south-central lawmakers will lead House committees in the legislative session that begins Jan. 12. The Republican House leadership announced the chairs and vice-chairs Wednesday. Wichita Rep . Jason Watkins will be vice-chair of the Appropriations Committee, which handles budget issues. He will also head the General Government Budget Committee; Arkansas City Rep. Kasha Kelley will be vice-chair. Read More »