Lawmakers wrapped up the session in three long days last week. Here’s a little of what happened.
“ This is the time of year they put so much baloney in everything, you can hardly keep track what’s in it.”
— Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, commenting on how unrelated bills are mashed together during the wrap-up session.
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"I do the best I can, but sometimes it's like getting washed over by a huge tidal wave."
— Sen. David Haley, D-Kansas City, describing failed attempts by Senate Democrats to stop bills favored by the Republican majority
That’s how much less revenue overall the state has compared with this time last fiscal year.
It was a very tough week for Gov. Sam Brownback. Where to start? Last Sunday, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported that the FBI was investigating the activities of his former chief of staff, who now chairs his political action committee. On Wednesday, April revenue numbers showed the state was $93 million below projections. On Thursday, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the credit rating of the state’s bonds. The Brownback administration contended the plunge in revenue was the fault of President Barack Obama. Economists and Moody’s pointed to the governor’s tax cuts, which the administration had said would cause enough growth to drive spending.
Well, the 2014 legislative session is over. It was four months packed with controversies, including the debate over religious freedom and same-sex rights, the elimination of state-mandated teacher due-process hearings and a host of other issues. Now it’s time to see whether any votes come back to haunt legislators on the campaign trail. Get ready for primary season.
— Bryan Lowry