Archive for Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Coal plant debate stays at impasse

May 6, 2008


— The wrap-up session continued Monday as lawmakers argued over the final spending bill and a measure allowing two coal-fired power plants in southwest Kansas.

The Senate convened only briefly, and few members were at the Statehouse. The House met but considered only one bill.

Senators expected to debate the coal plants bill today.

Two budget items were at the center of the dispute: nearly $40 million in bonds for prison construction and $750,000 for road improvements near the Parsons Army Ammunition Plant.

Senate leaders, however, say their chamber may not take up any more business.

But that would doom the top priority for House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, an Ingalls Republican, and Senate President Steve Morris, a Hugoton Republican. It's a bill to clear the way for the two coal-fired power plants and limit the power of the regulator who has been blocking their construction.

The coal-fired power plants are caught up in the debate because their supporters have drafted a new bill, having failed to override Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' vetoes of two previous measures.

Their latest proposal ties the project and provisions limiting the secretary's power to other economic development legislation.

Opponents of the coal-fired plants blasted bundling the project with other popular initiatives.

Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, said the Legislature has failed to work on several important issues because of the focus on the coal-fired plants project. She cited those as being a cost-of-living adjustment for retired public employees, funds to continue the Kansas Autism Task Force, and a comprehensive health reform plan. "We are truly letting the people of Kansas down," she said.

State Rep. Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said the new economic development package violated the state Constitution's requirement that no bill, except appropriations bills, shall contain more than one subject.

Staff writer Scott Rothschild contributed to this report.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 1 month ago

Apparently, there is very little dispute that the coal plant issues can't constitutionally be attached to the economic development bill. Doing so shows just how misguided Neufeld, et al, are in their single-minded obsession with ramming this coal plant through.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 1 month ago

Even if you consider it "germane," it's still unconstitutional.

dirkleisure 10 years, 1 month ago

Just to add a little more flavor to Sen. Derek Schmidt (R-Lawrence) and his comments about the constitutionality of this bill:--Asked whether he supported taking that approach to the economic development bill, Schmidt would only say, "That's a hard question."--Ergo, he disagrees with Rep. Davis, but he's not going to answer whether mixing topics in a bill is a constitutional approach.

dirkleisure 10 years, 1 month ago

Carbon monoxide is also a natural part of air - it's definition, if you will.Here's an idea - shut your garage door, start your car, and spend some time just hanging out, say a couple of hours or so.Same principle.Another idea - water is a natural part of your body - it's definition, if you will. So, get yourself a 10 gallon jug of water and drink it down in less than 60 minutes.Same principle.

SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years, 1 month ago

bozo is mistaken. Authorization of the Holcomb plant is germane to the economic stimulus legislation to which it is being attached.

dirkleisure 10 years, 1 month ago

The definition of "germane," during the final days of a legislative session, is 63 votes in the House and 21 votes in the Senate.STRS is correct, this idea did manage to garner 64 votes in the House on Saturday. Well, not initially, but after a few minutes of arm twisting it did make it to 64.So, can they override a veto with only 64 votes? Sounds like fuzzy math.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 10 years, 1 month ago

Let them build the stupid power plants, and why not build storage for hazardous waste, that will bring in a lot of jobs too. Let's turn SW Kansas into the armpit of America. Those people are too healthy anyway. And Neufield will retire somewhere else soon anyway. Let's just turn it into the dessert. According to the reps, that's exactly what they want.

gr 10 years, 1 month ago

"Another idea - water is a natural part of your body"Oh, sorry. Guess water is next, huh?

gr 10 years, 1 month ago

Personally, any bill that has non related items should be vetoed - it shouldn't even be presented. No matter how one spins it. Isn't everything "economic stimulus"?However, I also disagree with judgement that the clean air act requires regulation and limitation of air.Isn't carbon dioxide a natural part of air - it's definition, if you will? How can one limit the components of air? What's next, Oxygen?

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