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2010 Kansas Legislature now in session

TOPEKA – The House and Senate both convened today at about 2 p.m. kicking off the 2010 legislative session.

The House swore in Rep. Barbara Bollier, R-Mission Hills, who is filling the seat vacated by former Rep. Terrie Huntington, R-Fairway, who moved to the Senate after Mission Hills Republican David Wysong stepped down for personal reasons.

The Senate swore in Huntington on Monday as well.

Other new lawmakers, including Wichita Democrat Rep. Melany Barnes and Wichita Republican Rep. Gene Suellentrop had been sworn in previously. Barnes replaces former Rep. Tom Sawyer who moved to the Kansas Parole Board and Suellentrop replaces former Rep. Jason Watkins who is now lobbying for the Wichita Chamber of Commerce.

Mostly the chambers handed house keeping issues, including seating assignments and who would escort dignitaries such as the Governor, Supreme Court justices and Lieutenant Governor at the State of the State speech tonight.

Gov. Mark Parkinson, a Democrat, will deliver his first and final State of the State speech at 7 p.m.

Kansas Public Television Station (KPTS) will provide a live broadcast of the speech from inside the House Chamber. Kansas Public Radio will also air the speech.

For reaction to the governor’s speech and the 2011 budget which will be released this evening, read Thursday’s Wichita Eagle.