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Kansas Lawmakers Go Into Legislative Overtime

House speaker Ron Rykcman talking to reporters earlier this month. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

Kansas lawmakers have left for the weekend, but not before going into overtime. When they come back on Tuesday, they’ll be on day 102 of what was supposed to be a 100-day legislative session.

Republican Ron Ryckman is the speaker of the Kansas House.
 
“We’d hoped to be finished by now, but we’re going to do what’s best for our state. If that takes more time to get it right, (then) we’ll continue doing the best we can,” says Ryckman.

Pay for lawmakers, staff and other expenses mean each overtime day costs taxpayers around $45,000, according to the Legislative Administrative Services office. That doesn't take into account the 20 lawmakers who are waiving all or some of their pay for the overtime days.
 
Lawmakers extended the session from the normal 90 days to address several major issues. Democratic Representative Tom  Burroughs opposed lengthening the session.
 
“Because it told me then that the leaders weren’t going to be serious about getting us out of here on time. I’m extremely disappointed that we’re not further along in this process,” says Burroughs.
 
Republican leaders hopes that can wrap up the session next week, but they still need to finish work on taxes, the budget and school funding.

The longest session in state history was 114 days in 2015.
 

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