July 23, 2024

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Kansas Legislature Closes with Something Old, Something New

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The Kansas Legislature adjourned without attempting to override a pair of line item vetoes and the veto of a lottery of expansion bill.

The Kansas Legislature formally wrapped for the session on its 114th day, Sine Die, but not before finishing two key pieces of business: One legislator announced his retirement, and another was sworn in.

Rep. John Wilson, a Lawrence Democrat, announced he will retire from the Kansas House. He didn’t announce a specific timeline for his departure, but once it occurs, Democratic precinct men and women in the 10th district will select his replacement.

Wilson said serving in the legislature takes too much time away from family and job responsibilities.

Jason Probst, a Hutchinson Democrat, took the oath of office to replace Rep. Patsy Terrell. Precinct committee members in the 102nd District selected Probst to replace Terrell, who was found dead on June 7.

Leading up to the formal session wrap, Rep. Jim Ward, a Wichita Democrat, said he intended to attempt to override a Gov. Sam Brownback line item in the budget. However, the Senate adjourned before Ward had an opportunity to present his motion. With the Senate adjourned, Ward said it would be a an exercise in futility.

“I would make the motion to override the governor’s veto, but our friends in the Senate had other engagements,” he said.

Though officially adjourned for the year, there’s a possibility lawmakers could return for a special session. The Kansas Supreme Court will hear arguments in an ongoing school financing case on July 18. Justices could request legislators return to the Capitol to make changes to the recently adopted formula.


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