Check this spot on Sundays for a few quick hits about what’s driving the debate in the Legislature.
“I have not yet made enough people mad at me this week. I guess I’ll make some more.”
Rep. Clay Aurand, R-Belleville, before casting the 84th vote and clinching the vote to override Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax veto in the House
“Individuals are asking for more. Well, you can’t get blood from a turnip.”
Rep. Willie Dove, R-Bonner Springs, speaking against Medicaid expansion
That’s how many Kansas senators voted to override Brownback’s veto of an income tax plan, three votes short.
Advocates of Medicaid expansion in Kansas had arguably their best week in years. But it didn’t start out that way. Members of the House Health and Human Services Committee voted Monday to table an expansion bill until at least early April. Wichita Republican Dan Hawkins, the committee chairman, called the bill dead. But the bill’s language was inserted into another bill on the House floor, then passed by a comfortable margin. It now moves on to the Kansas Senate, where it will see another round of hearings.
The state will release its February revenue figures this week. Kansas has surpassed revenue estimates for three months in a row after it lowered those estimates in November. The state’s projected shortfall for the current budget year stands at about $320 million.
The Legislature is off this week before returning March 6. Key committees will meet that Monday and look at other budget and tax plans following the governor’s sustained veto.
For more legislative news, go to www.kansas.com/politics.