House Republicans release their Legislative agenda

Money – how to cut it, where to get it, how to spend it – toped the agenda for 2009 that House Republicans unveiled today.

High on the list was the budget. With the state facing down an almost $200 million deficit this year, and a potential $1 billion plus shortfall next year if nothing is done, crafting will likely over shadow almost every other issue.

House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchison, called the budget “the most important challenges facing us in the Legislature this year.”

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Senate President Stephen Morris’ response to the State of the State

Following is the Republican response to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius’ State of the State speech.

Senate President Stephen Morris, R-Hugoton, delivered the response after Sebelius, a Democrat, finished speaking. The remarks are taken from a preview copy of the response.

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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 »

Kansas Senate selects commitee chairs and vice-chairs

TOPEKA — Two south-central Kansas lawmakers will head the Senate Ways and Means Committee, which handles the budget for the chamber.

Sen. Jay Emler of Lindsborg was appointed chair of the committee. Sen. Carolynn McGinn, of Sedgwick will be the vice-chair.

The Organization, Calendar and Rules Committee makes the appointments, but those chosen reflect the wishes of Senate leadership. The chamber’s majority party controls the top committee positions, so all chairs and vice chairs are Republicans. Read More »