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Archive for Saturday, March 25, 2006

Votes change before they’re recorded

March 25, 2006

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— The House record will show that Rep. Judy Morrison, R-Shawnee, voted for a $610 million, three-year school finance plan.

What it won't show is that she changed her vote no fewer than seven times during a period of several minutes.

Morrison took advantage of a practice that occurs frequently in the Legislature where lawmakers are allowed to change their vote before the vote is recorded.

On the House vote, the count was 63-62, and Morrison and Rep. Ted Powers, R-Mulvane, kept switching back and forth as House Speaker Doug Mays, R-Topeka, kept the roll call open.

After a number of switches, Rep. Deena Horst, R-Salina, switched from a no to a yes vote to ensure the bill passed. Morrison then also voted for the measure and Powers against it, producing the final 64-61 margin.

Horst said she put the bill over because "ultimately we had to get something going. You can't sit here and change votes back and forth forever."

When asked why she kept switching her vote, Morrison said, "I think I'd rather not comment."

Asked if she supported the bill, she said, "I'm concerned about where we are going to get the money."

Earlier, Morrison voted against the bill when it was up for preliminary approval.

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