Democrats in the Legislature have outlined a series of bills they say will help middle-class Kansans. The proposals range from a preference for hiring Kansans for state contracts to restoring due process hearings for teachers before they can be fired.
The top Democrat in the Kansas House, Jim Ward, says some of the plans have been proposed in past years. They didn’t find much traction before, but Ward believes there’s a more cooperative spirit in the Legislature this year.
“This is an opportunity. I’ve worked with the speaker since the elections in December. We’re very hopeful that these will be given a full airing and an opportunity for voting. I think the energy in this building has changed since the last election,” says Ward.
The proposals also include changes that would affect the private sector, such as updating the state’s workers compensation laws.
Ward says they recognize Kansas is facing tight finances. The changes they’re proposing won’t have any additional cost to the state.