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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Hensley says Republican leaders delayed wrap-up session to attend summit

April 8, 2013

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— The influence held by the American Legislative Exchange Council over bills considered by the Kansas Legislature has been a contentious subject in recent years.

But Democrats said Monday that ALEC is now determining when the Kansas Legislature actually meets. Republican legislative leaders denied that was the case.

According to Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka, the break between the 2013 legislative session’s first adjournment, which was Friday, and the wrap-up session, which starts May 8, is unusually long to allow Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, and House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, to attend the ALEC Spring Task Force Summit.

The summit is being held May 2-3 in Oklahoma City.

“I think that was intentionally set up that way so that they could participate in their leadership roles in the ALEC organization, which to my way of thinking is inappropriate that we would schedule the Kansas Legislature, legislative business around when ALEC meets,” Hensley said. “But it is what it is, and we go back in May 8, a month from today,” he said.

Wagle and Merrick’s office denied that they delayed the wrap-up to attend ALEC.

Usually the break between first adjournment and the wrap-up session, also called the veto session, is about three weeks.

But Wagle said, “In the recent past, veto session has turned into a lengthy mini-session. In contrast, we dealt with most of the big issues before we left town and plan on spending a limited amount of time in Topeka for veto because there are so few items left to consider.”

While the Legislature did churn out dozens of bills before first adjournment, it hasn’t reached agreement on the state budget and tax proposals, which are usually the most difficult to resolve. Still, Wagle and Merrick have insisted that the session end no later than May 13.

Wagle added that both ALEC and the National Conference of State Legislatures are meeting the first weekend of May. NCSL is having its spring forum in Denver.

“Legislators have always used these resources, and we will have a number of legislators attending both. However, the date we return for veto session does not affect the limited amount of business we need to attend to upon our return.”

Merrick’s spokeswoman Rachel Whitten also said Hensley was off the mark. “That is just the way the schedule worked out,” Whitten said.

Both Wagle and Merrick serve on the national board of ALEC.

Wagle served as ALEC’s national chairwoman in 2006, and Merrick was named the group’s legislator of the year in 2010.

ALEC describes its mission as promoting free markets, limited government, federalism and individual freedom “through a nonpartisan public-private partnership of America’s state legislators, members of the private sector, the federal government and general public.”

ALEC’s critics said the organization’s goal is to get legislatures to adopt bills for corporate interests, including Kansas-based Koch Industries, which helps fund ALEC.

Comments

Paul Wilson 1 year, 5 months ago

"I think that was intentionally set up..." ???

Nothing but a guess by Hensley to stir the pot. I think Hensley is a liar. I have just as much proof as he does....none.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 5 months ago

But Wagle said, “In the recent past, veto session has turned into a lengthy mini session. In contrast, we dealt with most of the big issues before we left town and plan on spending a limited amount of time in Topeka for veto because there are so few items left to consider."


That's because both the Guv and the legislature get their marching orders from ALEC and Koch, so there will be no vetoes to consider.

10

UneasyRider 1 year, 5 months ago

Brownback and the Legislature already have the Koch memos detailing exactly what they must do. Doesn't take long to read these and follow Koch's orders.

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rtwngr 1 year, 5 months ago

@bozo - And you have proof of this?

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IreneAdler84 1 year, 5 months ago

How about we call the NE quadrant of the state Kansas. The rest of the state should secede and form a new state, Alecistan. I know that people have suggested Brownbeckistan, but really lets be honest, Brownback is really just the toady.

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DScully 1 year, 5 months ago

Someday the devils (Koch brother's) will want their due, and Kansas will become a slave state.

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Paul Wilson 1 year, 5 months ago

And if I called you a 'devil' my post would be pulled. How are the Koch's any less important as human beings?

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Paul Wilson 1 year, 5 months ago

Notice Scott how none of the lefties are coming out to support this article? It's because it should be buried in the editorial section. A guess by Hensley does not make for good copy Huh? It's because you only choose to write about things that attempt to make Gov. Brownback look bad. Why is that?

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Paul Wilson 1 year, 5 months ago

Thanks for validating my claim that Rothschild is a partisan hack who should be relegated to the editorial page. I'm sure he appreciates your support.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 5 months ago

Perhaps you should learn the difference between what reporters (such as Rothshild is) do, and what press spokespersons do. I'm sure you can find plenty of press releases from those in the employ of Brownback and the legislature who'll give you the fawning propaganda you expect.

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Paul Wilson 1 year, 5 months ago

...and if Rothschild dug into labor union influence into Gov Kitty's tenure...he would have found the same type of stuff.

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UneasyRider 1 year, 5 months ago

Why do you have such a problem with Rothschild reporting facts?

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chootspa 1 year, 5 months ago

Facts have a liberal bias, and he just hates the liberals.

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Paul Wilson 1 year, 5 months ago

The ultimate fact is that Rothschild is no different than Fox News. No integrity and biased. With real reporters the sword cuts both ways. That's what they take pride in.

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Paul Wilson 1 year, 5 months ago

I don't. I have a problem with partisan hacks posing as unbiased reporters. Show me the facts in this story.

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UneasyRider 1 year, 5 months ago

Just read the story, facts are obvious.

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rtwngr 1 year, 5 months ago

Because Rothschild reports editorialized news.

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Michael LoBurgio 1 year, 5 months ago

Kansas ALEC Politicians

ALEC is a corporate bill mill. It is not just a lobby or a front group; it is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, corporations hand state legislators their wishlists to benefit their bottom line. Corporations fund almost all of ALEC's operations. They pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills. Learn more at the Center for Media and Democracy's ALECexposed.org, and check out breaking news on our PRWatch.org site.

This is a partial list of Kansas politicians that are known to be involved in, or previously involved in, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Kansas_ALEC_Politicians#cite_note-KansasHealth-7

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rtwngr 1 year, 5 months ago

Much like the Chicago political machine of the Dems. Only it's on our side.

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Paul Wilson 1 year, 5 months ago

How is this not inflammatory? How does this positively contribute to the thread? How does this not provoke? Unreal.

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tomatogrower 1 year, 5 months ago

The reasons given for delaying the end of the session are bogus. Make them do their jobs.

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