“The senator from Wilson is giving me a headache.”
That’s what Wichita Democratic Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau told Sen. Forrest Knox, R-Altoona, as he voiced support for Senate Bill 63, which increases penalties for election crimes and gives the secretary of state the power to prosecute those crimes. “If there’s anybody I don’t want to give a headache, it’s the senator from Sedgwick,” Knox later said.
That’s how many days legislative leaders think it will take to approve a budget and finish off their overhaul of dozens of laws. The legislative session is traditionally slated for 90 days, although lawmakers often extend that to negotiate disputes. But with strong Republican majorities and more like-minded leaders than in past years, many expect to reach agreements more quickly.
The pushback against environmentally friendly energy initiatives appears to be waning. The House and Senate killed plans backed by some conservative Republicans and limited-government lobbyists to push back standards requiring utility companies to get 20 percent of electricity from wind or other alternatives by 2020.
Lawmakers have Monday and Tuesday off. But after they return Wednesday, expect robust debate over whether to let grocery stores sell stronger beer, wine and spirits, as well as over the collective bargaining rights of teachers unions.
For more legislative news, go to www.kansas.com/politics and follow @BrentWistrom on Twitter.