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Kansas Senate's Top Democrat Believes Session is Off Track

Senator Anthony Hensley speaking to the media last month. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

The top Democrat in the Kansas Senate says lawmakers haven’t accomplished enough so far this session. Legislators are facing a significant deadline this week, which marks the midpoint of their scheduled time in Topeka. Democratic Senator Anthony Hensley believes they’re not making enough progress solving problems like a budget shortfall. KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports.

Hensley is concerned that they haven’t tackled some big issues and they haven’t passed enough bills. He says they’re already set up to go beyond the normal 90 days of the Kansas session.

“It doesn’t appear to me that the GOP’s got their act together. It looks very chaotic, very dysfunctional,” says Hensley.

But Republican House Speaker Ray Merrick disagrees with Hensley, and says you don’t judge a session by the number of bills you pass. He says in the House, the budget committees have been working double duty.

“He’s not in any of that stuff on my side but I know how hard my people are working. Last time I saw, I think he’s got eight members over there and when he’s in charge he can set the pace,” says Merrick.

Merrick says lawmakers are also waiting for updated tax collection numbers that will come in April.

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