Democrats in the Kansas Legislature have outlined some of their legislative priorities for the year. One plan would only allow lawmakers to be paid for 90 days during odd-numbered years when they are writing a budget. In even-numbered years, the length of the session would be capped at 60 days. Democratic Senator Tom Holland hopes that can prevent a repeat of last year’s record-long session.
“Failure to effectively manage Kansas’ legislative process has resulted in wasted taxpayer dollars, and legislative sessions that run far longer than the 90 days already allocated,” says Holland.
The plans would also close a loophole in the state’s open records law, which allows state officials to use private email accounts that aren’t subject to public scrutiny.
Democrats are also proposing a waiting period before state lawmakers or other officials can take jobs as lobbyists. Senator Anthony Hensley says this would prevent what he calls a “revolving door” between lawmakers and lobbyists.
“This is a common-sense solution to the practice of lawmakers leaving office only to cash-in as lobbyists and use their connections and relationships to affect Kansas law,” says Hensley.
The Democrats admit that, being in the minority, they'll need public support and across-the-aisle support to pass any of bills.